The Shubert Organization will celebrate the life of former Chairman Philip J. Smith—who passed away January 15, 2021, at the age of 89—next month at the Music Box Theatre.
The memorial celebration will begin March 22 at 1 PM. The afternoon service is open to the public, and all COVID protocols will be observed.
The Shubert Organization Chairman and CEO Robert E. Wankel stated, “Phil Smith was a giant of the American Theatre and a treasured member of our Shubert family for 63 years. We look forward to this celebration when we can honor Phil’s memory with reminiscences and performances, together with his family and his many friends and colleagues in the theatre community.”
Mr. Smith’s rise through the ranks of The Shubert Organization began in 1957 when he became box-office treasurer at the Imperial. He went on to gain experience working in operations and management and was named general manager of all Shubert theatres in 1964. He was promoted to Shubert vice president in 1969.
During more than 15 years as executive vice president of The Shubert Organization, Mr. Smith worked closely with President Bernard B. Jacobs and Chairman Gerald Schoenfeld, whose stewardship of the company began in the early 1970’s. Following the death of Mr. Jacobs in 1996, Mr. Smith was named President. He served alongside Mr. Schoenfeld for 12 years.
After the passing of Mr. Schoenfeld in 2008, Mr. Smith became chairman and co-chief executive officer of The Shubert Organization, and Robert E. Wankel, longtime Shubert executive vice president, was named president and co-chief executive officer. Mr. Smith retired and became Chairman Emeritus in 2020.