William Glover, Retired AP Drama Critic, Dead at 91

Obituaries   William Glover, Retired AP Drama Critic, Dead at 91
William Glover, a retired editor and theatre critic who reviewed thousands of performances for The Associated Press between 1960-78, died Dec. 20 after a long illness, the AP reported.

Mr. Glover was 91 and covered more than 3,000 openings in New York City and around the world, from Oklahoma to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. According to the wire service, Cue magazine once called him "the Nureyev of the aisle" for racing out of the theatre as the curtain rang down.

In his time, critics still had overnight deadlines and filed their reviews hours after a show ended, in time for the morning edition (or, in Mr. Glover's case, in time for AP to send news out on the wire, serving papers around the country and world).

The idea of overnight reviews is rare now, except in some regional markets; Broadway producers offer critics a number of performances from which to choose, often days before an official opening night.

Mr. Glover was known for not burying the lead: You knew what he felt about a show in the first paragraph.

"Bill seemed like a crusty fellow, but underneath he dearly loved the theatre," veteran theatrical press agent Susan L. Schulman told Playbill On-Line. "When he retired from the AP, my union — made up of theatre  press agents and managers — threw a grand party for him. I think it's the only time press agents ever toasted a critic who had the ability to put them out of work." Mr. Glover, a Rutgers University graduate who served in the U.S. Maritime service 1943-45, began his journalism career at the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, where he was city editor 1935-39. He joined the AP's Newark bureau in 1939, and moved to the AP in New York in 1941 as news editor of a mailed feature service. After World War II, he returned to the AP as science editor for a year and then as editor of AP Newsfeatures until 1957.

In the late 1950s he began contributing Sunday theatre columns and reviews for the AP wire, simultaneously acting as news editor of the New York bureau. He retired from AP in the position of drama critic.

Mr. Glover was a member of the New York Drama Critics' Circle, and a past president. He served on the Tony Awards' nominating committee for many years, even after his retirement from AP. He is survived by his wife, Virginia Holden Glover, and a sister, Grace Nye, of Pensacola, FL. No memorial service was planned.

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