WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link

Mel Brooks and more pay tribute to Thomas Meehan - 'We have all lost a giant of the theatre'

The writer's credits include Annie, Hairspray, Young Frankenstein and Bombay Dreams

Tony Award-winning book writer Thomas Meehan, whose hits include Annie, The Producers and Hairspray has passed away at the age of 88.

Longtime collaborator Mel Brooks, who worked with Meehan on projects including The Producers, Young Frankenstein and Spaceballs, wrote on Twitter: "Stunned by the news that my friend/co-writer Tom Meehan has died. I'll miss his sweetness and talent. We have all lost a giant of the theatre."

Throughout his career Meehan had 11 shows on Broadway, his first being Annie in 1977. The current West End production tweeted to say that this evening's performance would be in his honour, and the new production of Young Frankenstein – which opens in London later this year – also paid its respects.

Other industry figures paying tribute to the late writer included Meera Syal who worked on Meehan's Bombay Dreams on Broadway. She said she was 'privileged to work with the musical theatre legend', adding that he was 'sweet funny and so kind.' Syal's partner Sanjeev Bhaskar added Meehan was 'responsible for one of the funniest dinners ever when he brought along Mel Brooks'.

Actress Jackie Hoffman recalled Meehan saying that he hoped audiences would 'focus on the word dream in Bombay Dreams and not the word bomb'. Lin Manuel Miranda tweeted his tribute to 'one of the best around' and Michael Feinstein commented on how Meehan was the 'only writer to have three shows run over 2,000 performances'.

Director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell thanked Meehan on Instagram, and Hairspray colleague Harvey Fierstein said: 'He led a wonderful life and left so much mirth behind for us to enjoy.'

The cake was good but the #martinis were better. Thank you Tom Meehan for all the joy!

A post shared by Jerry Mitchell (@jammyprod) on