Born: June 1, 1921
Brigdeport, Connecticut, USA
Died: February 17, 2009
New York, New York, USA
Obituary: Eric Blau, who was born on June 1, 1921, in Bridgeport, CT, to Hungarian-immigrant parents, first heard Jacques Brel when his friend Nat Shapiro, who worked at Columbia Records, played some songs for him. Mr. Blau was impressed by the composer's work. He and Shuman began translating some of the songs. Some of the resultant translations were used in a revue called O, Oysters! starring Mr. Blau's wife Elly Stone. Stone and Shuman also starred in Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well….
The revue was Mr. Blau's greatest achievement in the arts — not that he ever stopped trying. In his time, he wrote novels ("The Beggar's Cup," "The Hero of the Slocum Disaster"), books, created other Off-Broadway musicals, was a children's television producer, a ghost writer and was a founder of the Communist-leaning journals Masses and Mainstream.
Mr. Blau's tribute to Brel came just in time; by 1978, the title of the revue was no longer accurate — Brel died that year at the age of 49. The Belgian, incidentally, was not able to attend the opening of the show that made him a worldwide household name. Opposed to American involvement in Vietnam, he stayed home. He finally attended a performance in 1970.
Mr. Blau's first marriage ended in divorce. He is survived his wife and his son Matthew, who lives in Brattleboro, VT, he is survived by two other sons, John, of Forest Hills, NY, and Peter, of Brooklyn; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
|Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
Sep. 15, 1972 - Oct. 28, 1972