Florence Klotz

Designer

Also known as: Flossie Klotz, Kathrina E. Klotz

Female

Born: October 28, 1920
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Died: November 1, 2006
Manhattan, New York

Florence Klotz, a six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer, died Nov. 1, 2006, in her Manhattan home of heart failure. She was 86. Known as Flossie to her friends, Ms. Klotz was closely associated with the work of composer Stephen Sondheim and director Harold Prince. Three of the six Tony Awards she won for costume design were for landmark Sondheim-Prince projects: Follies, A Little Night Music and Pacific Overtures. She also did the costumes for two Sondheim revues: Sondheim: A Musical Tribute in 1973 and Side by Side by Sondheim in 1978.

Obituary: Perhaps the greatest expression of her creativity came with Follies, which critic John Simon said hoverd "with shrewd campiness between lavish splendor and outrageous pastiche."

The musical was set in an old theatre about to be torn down. There, the veterans of a follies series that used to be staged in the theatre meet for one last reunion. The action fluttered back and forth between the characters' faded present and their glorious, showbiz past. The set-up gave Ms. Klotz ample opportunity to plunge into sartorial flights of fancy.

According to Ted Chapin's memoir of working on Follies, "Everything Was Possible," Florence Klotz—a dramatic-looking woman with thick hair, thick arched eyebrows and dark deep-set eyes—was an unlikely person for the job. "Every era on Broadway seems to have a reigning designer... Florence Klotz wasn't yet one of them, but to be fair, she had never been given an opportunity to show what she was capable of. Follies was to provide her entree into that group." According to Chapin, the costumes were so oppulent, they put the show over-budget. Talking about the show years later, she said the costumes could not be made today. "Not only would they cost upwards of $2 million, but we used fabrics from England that aren't even made anymore."

For A Little Night Music, she had to create turn-of-the-century, Continental apparel. John Simon wrote "There is an oppulent but restrained elegance here that is carefully but not excessively calculated."

During the 1980s, she designed costumes for a string of flops: Harold and Maude, Goodbye Fidel, A Doll's Life, Peg, Rags and Roza. Her luck changed with the hits City of Angels and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Show Boat in 1994 was her last Broadway show.

She was born Kathrina E. Klotz on Oct. 28, 1920. Her theatrical career, which spanned more than four decades, began in 1951 as assistant to Irene Sharaff on the original production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I. She remained someone's assistant, be it Alvin Colt or Miles White or Lucinda Ballard, for ten more years before designing her first Broadway show, A Call of Kuprin, in 1961. Ms. Klotz's career included 60 Broadway productions.

Ms. Klotz also won Tony Awards as Best Costume Designer for her work on Grind (1985), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993) and Hal Prince's Show Boat revival (1995); the latter featured 585 costume designs by Ms. Klotz. The only time she was nominated for a Tony Award and didn't win was for City of Angels.

For her work in the theatre, Ms. Klotz also received five Drama Desk Awards, three L.A. Critic Circle Awards and two Outer Critics' Circle Awards. In 2002 she was awarded the Fashion Institute of Technology's Patricia Zipprodt Award, and in 2005 she received the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ms. Klotz also designed for ballets, operas and film. In fact, her costume designs for the film of A Little Night Music earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Ms. Klotz is survived by her niece Suzanne DeMarco and cousin Paula Silbert. Her longtime partner, producer Ruth Mitchell, died in 2000.

No funeral ceremony will be held. Donations in Ms. Klotz's name may be made to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - Show Boat Show Boat
Oct. 2, 1994 - Jan. 5, 1997
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Kiss of the Spider Woman Kiss of the Spider Woman
May 3, 1993 - Jul. 1, 1995
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - City of Angels City of Angels
Dec. 11, 1989 - Jan. 19, 1992
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Roza Roza
Oct. 1, 1987 - Oct. 11, 1987
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Rags Rags
Aug. 21, 1986 - Aug. 23, 1986
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Jerry's Girls Jerry's Girls
Dec. 18, 1985 - Apr. 20, 1986
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Grind Grind
Apr. 16, 1985 - Jun. 22, 1985
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Peg Peg
Dec. 14, 1983 - Dec. 17, 1983
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Doll's Life A Doll's Life
Sep. 23, 1982 - Sep. 26, 1982
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Little Foxes The Little Foxes
May 7, 1981 - Sep. 5, 1981
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Goodbye Fidel Goodbye Fidel
Apr. 23, 1980 - Apr. 26, 1980
Costume Design
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Harold and Maude Harold and Maude
Feb. 7, 1980 - Feb. 9, 1980
Costume Design
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - On the Twentieth Century On the Twentieth Century
Feb. 19, 1978 - Mar. 18, 1979
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Side by Side by Sondheim Side by Side by Sondheim
Apr. 18, 1977 - Mar. 19, 1978
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Legend Legend
May 13, 1976 - May 16, 1976
Costume Design
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Pacific Overtures Pacific Overtures
Jan. 11, 1976 - Jun. 27, 1976
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Dreyfus in Rehearsal Dreyfus in Rehearsal
Oct. 17, 1974 - Oct. 26, 1974
Costume Design
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Sondheim: A Musical Tribute Sondheim: A Musical Tribute
Mar. 11, 1973 - Mar. 11, 1973
Costume coordination
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Little Night Music A Little Night Music
Feb. 25, 1973 - Aug. 3, 1974
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Follies Follies
Apr. 4, 1971 - Jul. 1, 1972
Costume Design
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Norman, Is That You? Norman, Is That You?
Feb. 19, 1970 - Feb. 28, 1970
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Paris Is Out! Paris Is Out!
Feb. 2, 1970 - Apr. 18, 1970
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman"
Mar. 29, 1966 - Jul. 16, 1966
Costume Design
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The Best Laid Plans The Best Laid Plans
Mar. 25, 1966 - Mar. 26, 1966
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Mating Dance Mating Dance
Nov. 3, 1965 - Nov. 3, 1965
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - One by One One by One
Dec. 1, 1964 - Dec. 5, 1964
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Owl and the Pussycat The Owl and the Pussycat
Nov. 18, 1964 - Nov. 27, 1965
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Nobody Loves an Albatross Nobody Loves an Albatross
Dec. 19, 1963 - Jun. 20, 1964
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - On an Open Roof On an Open Roof
Jan. 28, 1963 - Jan. 28, 1963
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Never Too Late Never Too Late
Nov. 27, 1962 - Apr. 24, 1965
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Lord Pengo Lord Pengo
Nov. 19, 1962 - Apr. 20, 1963
Assistant to Miss Ballard
(Original)
 
Romulus
Jan. 10, 1962 - Mar. 10, 1962
Assistant Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Take Her, She's Mine Take Her, She's Mine
Dec. 21, 1961 - Dec. 8, 1962
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Gay Life The Gay Life
Nov. 18, 1961 - Feb. 24, 1962
Assistant to Lucinda Ballard
(Original)
 
Jerome Robbins' Ballet: U.S.A.
Oct. 8, 1961 - Oct. 28, 1961
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Call on Kuprin A Call on Kuprin
May 25, 1961 - Jun. 3, 1961
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Invitation to a March Invitation to a March
Oct. 29, 1960 - Feb. 4, 1961
Assistant Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Loss of Roses A Loss of Roses
Nov. 28, 1959 - Dec. 19, 1959
Assistant Designer to Lucinda Ballard
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Sound of Music The Sound of Music
Nov. 16, 1959 - Jun. 15, 1963
Assistant to Miss Ballard
(Original)
 
Jerome Robbins' Ballet: U.S.A.
Sep. 4, 1958 - Oct. 11, 1958
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Carousel
Sep. 11, 1957 - Sep. 29, 1957
Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Orpheus Descending Orpheus Descending
Mar. 21, 1957 - May 18, 1957
Assistant to Ms. Ballard
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Pipe Dream Pipe Dream
Nov. 30, 1955 - Jun. 30, 1956
Assistant Costume Design
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Mar. 24, 1955 - Nov. 17, 1956
Assistant to Lucinda Ballard
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Silk Stockings Silk Stockings
Feb. 24, 1955 - Apr. 14, 1956
Assistant to Miss Ballard
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Pal Joey Pal Joey
Jan. 3, 1952 - Apr. 18, 1953
Assistant to Mr. White
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Two on the Aisle Two on the Aisle
Jul. 19, 1951 - Mar. 15, 1952
Assistant to Miss Personnette
(Original)
 
 

Inside the Playbill (11)

See more Who's Who

Awards


Drama Desk Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1995 Outstanding Costume Design Show Boat Winner
1993 Outstanding Costume Design Kiss of the Spider Woman Winner
1990 Outstanding Costume Design City of Angels Nominee
1978 Outstanding Costume Design On the Twentieth Century Winner
1976 Outstanding Costume Design Pacific Overtures Winner
1971 Outstanding Costume Design Follies Winner

Irene Sharaff Awards

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
2005 TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Tony Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1995 Costume Design (Play or Musical) Show Boat Winner
1993 Costume Design (Play or Musical) Kiss of the Spider Woman Winner
1990 Costume Design (Play or Musical) City of Angels Nominee
1985 Costume Design (Play or Musical) Grind Winner
1976 Costume Design (Play or Musical) Pacific Overtures Winner
1973 Costume Design (Play or Musical) A Little Night Music Winner
1972 Costume Design (Play or Musical) Follies Winner
 
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