Chase Mishkin Dies: Broadway’s ‘Dame Edna’, ‘Memphis’ Producer Was 85

Chase Mishkin, the Broadway producer whose roster of productions scored two Tony Awards (for Dame Edna: The Royal Tour and Memphis), died July 24 at her home in Manhattan. She was 85.

Her death was made public in a New York Times obituary today. Mishkin’s daughter Julie Kahle told the newspaper that her mother had dementia and had suffered two strokes.

Mishkin began her theater producing career just shy of her 60th birthday following the death of her husband, carpet manufacturer Ralph Mishkin. Her first production was a Los Angeles staging of Trish Vradenburg’s The Apple Doesn’t Fall…, a drama about Alzheimer’s that opened on Broadway in 1996 with Leonard Nimoy directing.

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Though her first production was not a commercial success, closing the day after opening, Mishkin would return to Broadway more than 30 times, taking part in productions of, among others, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Dirty Blonde, Urban Cowboy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life, Passing Strange, Equus (starring Daniel Radcliffe) and Hands on a Hardbody.

In 2000, she was a lead producer of Broadway’s Dame Edna: The Royal Tour, which won a Special Tony Award. Her next Tony came in 2010, when Memphis, set during the early days of rock and roll, was named Best Musical. Her final Broadway production was 2015’s Doctor Zhivago.

Mishkin’s Off Broadway credits include Moisés Kaufman’s acclaimed 1997 hit Gross Indecency: The Trials of Oscar Wilde. She also was a producer of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street In Concert, which aired on PBS in 2001.

In addition to Kahle, Mishkin is survived by daughter Dixie May, stepson Steve Mishkin, and other extended family.

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