I only met Patrick Lee once, at our first bloggers brunch in March 2008, when more than a dozen of us, mostly strangers but united by a passion for theatre, gathered at the venerable Broadway hangout Angus McIndoe.
I remember going on about how much I loved The 39 Steps, which had recently moved to Broadway after a stop in Boston. Patrick didn't share my enthusiasm for the play but we had a lively discussion about it.
That was the first of many terrific conversations, many brunches and dinners and shows and adventures with new friends. We don't always agree and that's a good thing. Because for me, the debate is a big part of the fun.
Today Theatermania, where Patrick was a frequent contributor, reported that he passed away earlier this month in Larchmont, N.Y. He's survived by his mother, sisters and other family members.
My theatergoing friends have become a big part of my life and to lose one, so young and so unexpectedly, is incredibly sad and shocking. My condolences go out to Patrick's family and to friends and colleagues who knew him far better than I did.
Even though we only met once, I was a devoted reader of his blog, Just Shows to Go You. We both had an opportunity to see Hairspray before it closed on Broadway. It's one of my favorite musicals and Patrick summed up so well what I loved about it:
"I spent the first act with the wildly enthusiastic audience marveling at how feel-good a well-directed, delightfully choreographed and terrifically scored big Broadway musical can be when everyone is on their game."
As a writer and as an advocate for theatre, Patrick Lee was always on his game. He will be missed.