Laurie Beechman

~ Person

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Laurie Hope Beechman (April 4, 1953 – March 8, 1998) was an American actress and singer, known for her work in Broadway musicals. After her death, the West Bank Cafe Downstairs Theater Bar in New York was renamed the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

Beechman made her Broadway debut in the 1977 original production of Annie. For her role as the narrator in the 1982 original Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She then went on to be the first actress to play the role of Grizabella in the US national touring production of Cats in 1983, before replacing Betty Buckley in the Broadway production in 1984. She would play the role on Broadway for over four years. She also starred in the Broadway productions of The Pirates of Penzance (1981) and Les Misérables (1990) and returned to the role of Grizabella for four months in 1997, when Cats became the longest running musical in Broadway history. In addition to her Broadway work, she had a career as a cabaret performer and a recording artist.

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