Tony Award Recipient Joan Marcus Looks Back On 10 Photos That Changed the Course of Her Career

June 8th, 2014 by

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Chances are when people around the world think of Broadway, the images that spring to mind are those captured by photographer Joan Marcus. She’s the woman responsible for the production photos you associate with the iconic shows Rent, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Cabaret, Angels in America and The Book of Mormon. Now, Marcus is the recipient of a 2014 Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater for her enduring body of work, and she spoke to BroadwayBox about 10 photos that stood out from the pack for one reason or another.

The Photo That Was My Big Break

Lillian- Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus


My big break photo would have to be Lillian [a one person show about Lillian Hellman starring Zoe Caldwell]. I was working at the Kennedy Center, and it was the first Broadway show I photographed— because it had tried out at the Kennedy Center. It was the first time I had done something in the commercial arena, and it became a very visible photo.

The Photo I Can’t Escape From (It’s Everywhere!)

Phantom

Photo by Joan Marcus


You can’t get away from Phantom.

The Photo That Surprised Me

Life (x) 3- Joan MArcus

Photo by Joan Marcus


The Life (x) 3 photo was taken from above. I shot it from the catwalk and it came out really nice.

The Photo I Was Nervous to Shoot

Nine- Joan MArcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Nine: it was a hard shoot with big stars.

The Photo That Moves Me When I See It

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I love the photo of Bernadette Peters in Gypsy.

The Moment That Was Hardest to Capture in a Photo

Wicked

Photo by Joan Marcus


Wicked was hard to photograph. Maybe that one.

The Photo I Wish I Could Go Back and Reshoot Now

Lion King

Photo by Joan Marcus


When I first shot The Lion King I shot it on film but digital is so far superior for shooting shows; and so many of the images are set-ups from the original shoot. It’s still visually one of my favorite shows, and I’d love to shoot it again with the new technology.

The Photo I Wish Had a Wider Reach

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It would again be the Gypsy picture. It’s one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken. I just love it.

The Photo That Stretched Me the Most as a Photographer

Rent-

Photo by Joan Marcus


Rent was very challenging because you want to tell that story in just a photo. You want it to be representational, and not just documentary. And again it was film and not digital, and the lights were hard. Rent was a tough one.

The Photo That I Am Most Proud Of

Grey Gardens & Such

Photo by Joan Marcus


You know what photo I love, the Grey Gardens photo of Christine Ebersole with the mirror. I love that picture and it never got used much. I love The Little Mermaid and Twelve Angry Men and the 42nd Street picture.

But what photo would I want to be remembered by: Angels in America.

Angels in America Pic

Photo by Joan Marcus