HNIR Gets a Kill: 'Re-Animator' Director Stuart Gordon @ 72

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2020/03/25 20:28:08 (permalink)

HNIR Gets a Kill: 'Re-Animator' Director Stuart Gordon @ 72

 
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Stuart Gordon, founder of Chicago’s Organic Theater Company and known as the filmmaker behind such cult classics as “Re-Animator” and “From Beyond,” has died, his family confirmed to Variety Tuesday night. He was 72.


Although best known for his seminal work in independent horror movies, Gordon had a varied career that included founding the Organic with his wife, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon. The Organic premiered such prominent works as David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” and “Bleacher Bums,” which starred Dennis Franz and Joe Mantegna.
During his days in the ’60s at the University of Wisconsin, he was a free spirit in the arts including for the “Peter Pan,” with nudity, that he produced there with his fledgling Organic Theater Company; and in Chicago, where he re-established the Organic, he was a pioneering innovator of off-Loop theater.


Under Gordon’s direction came such hits as the fabled Cubs comedy “Bleacher Bums”; “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit,” by Ray Bradbury, with Franz and Mantegna in the cast; the original long-run emergency room comedy “E/R,” and “Warp,” the 1972 sci-fi trilogy that preceded “Star Wars” by five years. David Mamet’s first full-length play, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” was guided into being by Gordon in 1974, and Franz got his first break in the movies as the result of his appearance as a corrupt policeman in “Cops” at the Organic in 1976.
He was a co-creator of the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” franchise, for which he shared a story credit, and produced the film’s sequel and directed an episode of the TV spin-off. In 2005, he directed a film adaptation of Mamet’s “Edmond,” starring William H. Macy. Other films include “Fortress,” “Castle Freak” and “King of the Ants.”


In recent years, Gordon was active in L.A. theater, finding success directing the solo show “Nevermore…An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe” starring his “Re-Animator” star Jeffrey Combs. He also directed and co-wrote the book for “Re-Animator: The Musical,” which won several awards and was praised by a Variety critic, who wrote, “not since ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ has a screamfest tuner so deftly balanced seriousness and camp.”
ordon also won a Stage Raw Award for directing "Taste," a two-person drama that premiered in 2014, based on a true story where one man agrees to be eaten by another.


He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, daughters Suzanna, Jillian and Margaret Gordon, four grandchildren and his brother, David George Gordon.
 
https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-ent-stuart-gordon-dead-reanimator-organic-theater-20200325-zin3sqrunbgf5axjiymr6bmjuu-story.html
 

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