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Hinton Battle (Photo Credit: NNPA)
Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Published: 04 March 2024

The Broadway community will honor the late Hinton Battle, a three-time Tony Award-winning actor celebrated as one of Broadway’s most versatile and groundbreaking acting, dance, and song figures. Battle died on January 30, 2024, at 67, leaving behind a legacy that has profoundly influenced the theater world.

The Committee of Theatre Owners has announced that on March 12, 2024, at exactly 6:45 pm, all Broadway theaters in New York will dim their lights for one minute to pay tribute to the iconic performer.

“After further consultation among the Committee of Theatre Owners and reflecting on the impact of Hinton Battle, the Committee has shared with his family that all Broadway theatres will dim their lights in his honor on March 12, 2024, at 6:45 pm for one minute,” Jason Laks, Interim President of The Broadway League, wrote in an email. “As we continue to remember Mr. Battle’s remarkable talent and array of roles, the decision was made to dim all lights as the most appropriate way to recognize his legacy on Broadway and within our community.”

Battle’s journey in performing arts began at a young age. Trained as a ballet dancer at the renowned Jones-Haywood School of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and later at the School of American Ballet in New York City, Battle made his Broadway debut at the age of 18. He starred as the original “Scarecrow” in the 1975 musical The Wiz, marking the beginning of a prolific career spanning two decades.

The late actor’s unparalleled talent earned him three Tony Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, a record in the category. His noteworthy roles in Miss Saigon (1991), The Tap Dance Kid (1984), and Sophisticated Ladies (1981) showcased his versatility and left an indelible mark on Broadway.

Among his many Broadway credits, Battle’s performances included memorable roles in Chicago (1996 Revival), Miss Saigon (1991), The Tap Dance Kid (1983), Dreamgirls (1981), Sophisticated Ladies (1981), Dancin’ (1978), and The Wiz (1975). His touring credits extended the reach of his artistry, featuring shows like Ragtime (Chicago, 1998), The Tap Dance Kid (1985), Sophisticated Ladies (Los Angeles, 1982), and Dancin’ (1979).

As Broadway prepares to dim its lights in a collective moment of remembrance, the theater community and fans alike will reflect on Battle’s enduring contributions to the world of performing arts, Laks said. He added that Battle’s impact on Broadway remains an integral part of its history, and the dimmed lights ceremony serves as a much warranted tribute to a “legendary figure who forever changed the landscape of theater.”

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