A host of theatre luminaries will gather at the Westside Theatre (Upstairs) February 10 to commemorate the late Kyle Renick. The former artistic director of the WPA Theater died November 29 at the age of 71.
Under Mr. Renick's leadership, Off-Off-Broadway's WPA produced such works as the original production of Menken and Howard Ashman's Little Shop of Horrors, Busch's The Lady in Question, Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey (directed by Ashley), Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias, and Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World.
The Westside Theatre is currently home to an Off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Michael Mayer. Mayer worked with Renick on two WPA productions in the '90s (the Ashman revue Hundreds of Hats and John C. Russell's Stupid Kids) and has dedicated the production to Mr. Renick.
“Everything I knew about Howard Ashman came from the work I had done on Kyle’s behalf in creating Hundreds of Hats,” Mayer previously told Playbill. “In so much as Howard trusted Kyle with his vision, I felt like Kyle trusted me. So it is as much a dedication to this friend that brought me into the fold as it is a celebration of the kind of work I knew to expect from Kyle and the WPA.”
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