Gerard said his contract was not renewed and he was told that Deadline, officially called Deadline Hollywood, no longer plans to cover Broadway. Mike Fleming, the co-editor-in-chief, didn’t return an email. Gerard also covered newspaper and book publishing, with forays in television and film, especially around awards season, as well as public radio, urban planning, pop, jazz, classical music and opera. “I have had a great run at Deadline,” said Gerard, who joined the online show biz news outlet in 2014.
He has written about the performing arts since 1975. He has been the Broadway reporter for The New York Times, chief drama critic for Variety and senior editor and cultural columnist at New York magazine. Immediately before Deadline, he was a critic and (my) editor at Bloomberg News, which eliminated daily arts coverage in November 2013. Gerard was laid off from Deadline after the Tony Awards in 2016 before rejoining as a contract writer that August.
The writer and editor, who is a friend, brings uncommon appreciation and perspective to theater criticism and reporting. In his obituary yesterday of actress Jan Maxwell, who died at 61, he wrote she was “both talented and beloved, known for her professionalism and timing, whether it was for a sly patrician snarl or a bit of business put over with minimum exaggeration for maximum effect.”
He wrote two books, most recently Wynn Place Show, about Wynn Handman, the co-founder and artistic director of the American Place Theatre. It produced early plays by Sam Shepard and Eric Bogosian and was a training ground of such actors as Richard Gere, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Faye Dunaway and Frank Langella.
He’s now at work on a biography of Langella, tentatively titled Uncommon Promise, taken from the first New York Times review of the actor, for the 1963 play The Immoralist. In a 2017 Roundabout Theatre gala program, Gerard wrote about Langella, who has won four Tony Awards and played both Count Dracula and Richard Nixon onstage and in film: “One would be hard-pressed to think of another actor at once so utterly comfortable in his own skin and at the same time so devoutly eager to jump out of it.”