Life of Craig Zadan to Be Celebrated at November Event

Craig Zadan - Getty - H 2018
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The late musical producer and Neil Meron will be honored by the Educational Theatre Foundation at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences headquarters.

The life of producer Craig Zadan will be celebrated Nov. 11 at an event hosted by the Educational Theatre Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting theater arts in schools and nurturing students across the country.

Zadan, 69, died unexpectedly Aug. 21, several days into recovery after shoulder replacement surgery. He and Neil Meron produced film, television and live-theater projects that include the best picture Oscar winner Chicago and this year's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

The celebration will take place at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences headquarters in North Hollywood. 

Zadan and Meron were scheduled to receive the Thespians Go Hollywood inaugural Theatre for Life award. The evening will now become an official memorial and celebration of Zadan's legacy.

"There's no doubt in my mind that we will celebrate Craig's life in a way that he, the consummate producer, would have liked," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. "And at the same time, I know nothing would give him more satisfaction than raising money for the work of the Educational Theatre Foundation. We already miss Craig terribly, but his spirit and his joy for the theater lives on in the dozens of movies and television projects we're fortunate to have which will remain with us always."

"This is a cause that was near and dear to Craig's heart," Meron said, "and we were so honored to be receiving this award from the foundation because we knew it would bring attention to their work, which literally changes the lives of so many young people. We're so pleased this night will now also become a celebration of Craig's legacy as he was devoted to theater and so believed in the work of this organization. It makes perfect sense, though is sadly ironic, that we can honor Craig and support something that meant so much to him at the same time."

Elwood Hopkins said that anyone wanting to honor his life partner's memory should send donations directly to the ETF. "I can't think of a better way to honor Craig since his entire life was devoted to theater and the performing arts,” he said.