10/12/2017 10:26 am ET

‘Brilliant,’ 41 And Lost To AIDS: The Theater World Asks Why

Michael Friedman couldn’t make it to Minneapolis this summer. Rehearsals were beginning there for his new musical, but he was homebound in Brooklyn, trying to regain strength after a series of H.I.V.-related infections had landed him in the hospital.

So Mr. Friedman, a hyperkinetic and much-admired young songwriter with two theater jobs and a head full of projects, improvised: He would sing the score by phone to the show’s music director, who would then teach the songs to actors portraying high school hockey players and their overeager parents.

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