1984 Best Musical Tony Award for La Cage aux Folles and a Treasure Trove of Memorabilia


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Sep 29, 2023 2:00 PM EDT
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Fritz Holt was a renowned, revered and respected producer, director and stage manager, beloved by all with whom he worked onstage, backstage and in high-powered production offices across Broadway. Holt, along with partner Barry Brown, were the executive producers of the original ground-breaking, Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon La Cage aux Folles

La Cage was the first Broadway show in history to celebrate the love story between two men in leading roles. Arriving at the Palace Theatre at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic in the early '80s, many on Broadway assumed the show was doomed by the trauma of current events. Instead, it was an instant, joyous and loving hit, playing to sold-out audiences, gay and straight alike, who understood and embraced the singular and shared dream of "I Am What I Am." On June 3, 1984, the Tony Award for Best Musical was placed in Holt's hands.

On July 14, 1987, at the age of 46, Holt passed away from the ravages of AIDS. He became one of thousands ? from the well-known and those just beginning their careers - who were taken way too soon by an epidemic that, fueled by stigma, had little regard for success or status. Holt's Tony was left to his sister who, in turn, bequeathed it to Broadway Cares in his name. His beloved companion and business partner, Barry Brown, went on to be a founding board member of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in 1988, still serving as a Trustee today, 35 years later.

This piece of theater history is the centerpiece of the entire La Cage-themed portion of the Grand Auction and the inspiration for the 40th anniversary reunion celebration of La Cage aux Folles on Broadway. 

The lot includes:

  • The Tony Award for Best Musical presented to La Cage aux Folles producer Fritz Holt
  • Silver embossed Playbill from the 38th Annual Tony Awards
  • Silver embossed invitation to the 38th Annual Tony Awards and ticket stub from the evening
  • Holt's own La Cage original cast recording LP in its original, unopened cellophane wrap
  • La Cage crystal cube paperweight by Tiffany & Co., an opening night gift given to the entire La Cage company by the show's producer, Allan Carr. 
  • Red leather, gold embossed La Cage script issued on the first day of rehearsal in the spring of 1983, filled with the choreographer's notes for creating the musical numbers, including the infamous and scandalous Jerry Herman song "Have a Nice Day," ultimately cut during the show's pre-Broadway try-out in Boston. Now, you can read it and understand just why!