Monday, March 14, 2016

Personal thoughts on the passing of David O. Frazier

It is with great sadness that I write this tribute to David O. Frazier.

When my wife and I walked into many an opening night performance, it was our pleasure to find David and Joe Garry, David’s partner for 40 years and husband for two, and schmooze about the theater scene in Cleveland and New York, and the many places all of us had visited. 

Lately, David had entered the theatre in a wheel chair and was transferred by Joe into his seat.  It was sad to watch this strapping, energetic, talented performer fade before our eyes.   

David left us early Monday morning.

David was not only a fine singer, actor and writer, but a wonderful person.  His ready smile was infectious.  It was impossible to listen and watch David and not smile back. 

On July 15, 2009, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich rose before the Congress to honor and recognize David for his induction into the Cleveland Playhouse Hall of Fame for Outstanding Achievement in the Theater.  The proclamation was placed in the Congressional Record (Vol. 155 Issue 106).

David may best be remembered for his 1973 appearance in the record-breaking run in “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” which ran for two-and-a-half years in the lobby of the State Theatre.  That production stopped the demolition of and revived Cleveland’s five historic movie theatre houses, which now constitute the second largest professional performing arts center in the country.   In 2012 David and Joe were recognized for their “vision, commitment and significant contributions to the saving of the historic theaters of Playhouse Square.”

David and Joe, besides collaborating on “Conversations With An Irish Rascal,” co-wrote and produced fifteen original musicals.  

Joe and David were great hosts.  Their Bratenahl condo is filled with many mementos of their travels as they sailed around the world entertaining on many cruise ships and gained recognition.

All of us who considered David to be a special friend will miss him very, very much. 

The curtain has fallen on his life, but David O. Frasier will long be remembered as holding a special place in our collective hearts.