Roger Horchow Dies: Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer Of ‘Crazy For You’, ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ was 91

Roger Horchow 2012 Shutterstock

Roger Horchow, a Cincinnati-born entrepreneur who parlayed a luxury mail-order fortune into a Tony Award-winning streak as a producer on Broadway, died Saturday in Dallas of cancer. He was 91.

The founder in 1971 of he Horchow Collection luxury mail-order catalog, Horchow sold the company to Neiman Marcus in 1988, and by 1992 had won his first Tony Award as producer of Crazy For You, a “new” George Gershwin musical inspired by 1930’s Girl Crazy. Directed by Mike Ockrent and choreographed by Ockrent’s future wife Susan Stroman, Crazy For You was a smash, garnering awards and audiences enthralled by its classic Gershwin score and refreshingly contemporary style.

Six years later Horchow and co-producer Roger Berlind mounted a revival of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, starring Marin Mazzie, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Michael Berresse. It, too, was a hit, winning the Tony for Best Musical Revival.

Four other Broadway productions, each of exceptional taste and popularity, followed: 2007’s Curtains, headlined by Debra Monk and David Hyde Pierce; 2008’s Gypsy, costarring Patti LuPone and Laura Benanti; 2012’s Annie, starring Kate Finneran, Anthony Warlow and, as little Annie, Lilla Crawford; and in 2017, Bandstand, starring Corey Cott, Laura Osnes and Beth Leavel.

In a 2017 interview with The Dallas Morning News, Horchow said, “I never thought I would create a catalog. It was just an idea I had, and I went with it. I never thought I’d be a producer. But once I did, I went for broke. I didn’t skimp. I didn’t want to look back and say it would have worked if only I had done this or that. My belief is that in life you stumble into things, but once you do, you do everything you can to make it work.”

Horchow’s success as a collector and catalog magnate was chronicled by author Malcolm Gladwell in the bestseller The Tipping Point. A resident of Dallas, Horchow served on the boards of the Dallas Museum of Art, vice-chairman of Dallas’ KERA public radio station, and various other Dallas cultural institutions. His East Coast ties were demonstrated in board seats on the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Horchow’s years in Texas prompted a tight friendship with former President George W. Bush, who said in a statement today, “Dallas lost a wonderful man today with the passing of Roger Horchow. Roger was a person of culture, humor, and generosity. He was important to Laura and me — and to so many fortunate friends. We send our heartfelt condolences to Roger’s daughters and grandchildren.”

Horchow was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn Pfeifer, who died in 2009. He is survived by three daughters, Regen Horchow Fearon, Lizzie Routman and Sally Horchow, and five granddaughters. 

No memorial service is planned.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/05/roger-horchow-dead-obituary-broadway-producer-tony-award-crazy-for-you-kiss-me-kate-91-1202926080/