Martin M. Schaeffer, the theater, cabaret and nightclub critic, columnist, and entertainment feature writer for publications, including VARIETY, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, BACK STAGE, and NEWSDAY, died in New York City's Cabrini Hospice on May 29, 1996. Schaeffer, who was 50 years old, died of complications of AIDS, according to his friend, Brian Bradley.

Over the past two decades, Martin Schaeffer was a fixture at all of Manhattan's top cabarets and night spots. While a critic and feature writer, he was also a friend of many of the top celebrities, including Julie Wilson, Hildegarde, Karen Mason and the late Sylvia Syms and Nancy LaMott. Numerous stars from theater and cabaret lent their talents to his lavish 50th birthday party, held at Eighty Eight's in Greenwich Vilage in August of 1995, which Schaeffer used to raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

In 1995, Schaeffer received the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs "Board of Directors Award" for contributions to cabaret in New York City. From 1993 through 1996 he co-hosted and co-wrote the BACK STAGE Bistro Awards, for which he also served as a judge.

From 1988 to 1991 Schaeffer was a nightclub critic for VARIETY, and from 1985 to 1991 he was co-host and critic for the Manhattan Cable TV show "Tomorrow, Tonight Live!". In the mid-1970's he began reviewing Broadway and off-Broadway productions, first for THE WAVE OF LONG ISLAND, and beginning in 1987 as the off-Broadway critic for THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

From 1984 he was a critic, columnist and feature writer for BACK STAGE, reviewing Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway for this major entertainment trade paper. From 1993 he was BACK STAGE's cabaret critic and co-wrote the weekly's "Bistro Bits" column. He was co-editor of THEATERGOER, a national theater newsletter, which was published from 1982 to 1984 and was editor of CELEBRITY WORLD NEWS" from 1985 to 1987.

In 1988 he did a brief turn-about, conceiving, producing and co-writing his own cabaret/theater piece, "Damned If You Do..." at Don't Tell Mama, the well known Manhattan night spot.

Schaeffer was a member of the New York Drama Desk and the Outer Critics' Circle.

In the area of public relations, he was the associate publicity coordinator for "Career and Education Expo," held at Manhattan's Jacob Javits Center in 1989 and 1990.

Martin Schaeffer was born in Manhattan on August 20, 1945. He was raised in Brooklyn, moving to Manhattan in 1976. He graduated from Hunter College in January, 1967 and received a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in June of 1968. He was also a hearing representative for the New York State Department of Labor for over 20 years.

Martin Schaeffer's funeral was held on May 29 at Park West-Riverside chapel in Manhattan He was buried at Beth David Cemetary in Queens.

Schaeffer is survived by his lover, Lance Geshwind of Manhattan, and cousins Ruth Rosenhaus and Efriam Edelstein.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Cabrini Hospice, God's Love We Deliver or Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, all in Manhattan.

A memorial service was held on Sunday, July 14, 1996 at Eighty Eight's, 228 West 10th Street, New York City at 4:30 pm.


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