Broadway musical “Chicago” has launched an investigation after friends of a cast member, Jeff Loeffelholz, alleged he killed himself because he was “bullied” by the board.
Broadway musical “Chicago” has launched an investigation after friends of a cast member claimed that he killed himself because he was “bullied” by the board.
Pals of Jeff Loeffelholz — who had been a member of the cast of 22 years — started a campaign called Justice for Jeff after Loeffelholz suicide, claims that the production of director Walter Bobbie and musical director Leslie Stifelman wanted Loeffelholz out of the long-running production, but that his contract would not them to fire him.
The group claims that the pair put Loeffelholz, a standby member of the cast, via a tortuous rehearsal on 22 June in an attempt to get him to stop with the show, forcing him to sing the same song over and over and told him: “You always do the wrong thing.”
The campaign blog, Justice For Jeffrey, claims that the account is based on notes that Loeffelholz made after the incident. Loeffelholz died a week later, on June 29. Now, Six-Page has learned that the producers of the show have hired a lawyer Judd Burstein to look into Loeffelholz the situation.
In a statement, Burstein told us, “The producers of ‘Chicago’ have been destroyed by Jeff Loeffelholz death. The producers are taking this matter very seriously, and are totally committed to finding out exactly what happened. To that end, I have retained to perform an exhaustive research on an accelerated basis.”
Bobbie added: “I am saddened by Jeff’s tragic passing, for him and for his family.” Stifelman not get back to us.
A Broadway insider told us that the problem is known that is also good on the Great White Way.
“No one can directly blame someone for something like suicide, but this treatment is a bit like an old-school Broadway scenario where there seems to be a disposable amount of talent that allows people to treat people like this,” said a source. “If you’re loyal to a show, it is not celebrated. It can actually make you unhireable. It is a strange thing.”
This article originally appeared on Page Six.