Milton Krantz, Longtime Manager of Cleveland's Hanna Theater, Is Dead at 94

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23 Oct 2006

Milton Krantz, the manager for 42 years of Cleveland's Hanna Theater, once a major stop for touring Broadway shows, died Oct. 11 at his home in Beachwood, Ohio. He was 94.



Mr. Krantz was drafted by the then-floundering Hanna in 1941, having already managed the Studebaker Theatre in Chicago, his hometown. He quickly made changes, increasing the number of seats and breaking away from a New York booking agency that decided which plays would visit Cleveland. He later helped form the Legitimate Independent Theaters of America.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he was close friends with Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, having them over for dinner at his Shaker Heights house often. Because of this relationship, touring versions of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals would often stop at Cleveland first.

Born in Chicago, he got his start in the theatre selling candy in the aisles of the Studebaker during intermission.