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Tuesday, 30-Sep-2014 09:13:23 EDT

SAD NEWS - Arthur Kirson Passes Suddenly at Age 54

Entertainer/Educator/Songwriter Arthur Kirson passed away on Friday, February 28, 2003 after a brief illness at age 54. A just-retired NYC high school guidance counselor, Arthur managed to burn the candle not just at both ends, but also in the middle. His homage love song to Kevin Spacey proved that if you get a crush on a guy and perform a song about him, you can actually meet him and become his friend ... if you promise not to let anyone else sing the song.

Arthur and his collaborator Jay Kerr compiled a song catalogue with more than fifty entries, among which is his popular cabaret anthems, "Cabaret! Cabaret! Cabaret!" ("You come to my show and I'll come to yours") and A Million Dreams ("To wake up where I want to be/ My life a stage. Please come to see/ The song I sing, the play I play/ My life a million dreams away"). Jay and Arthur performed the songs in dozens of cabaret shows over a number years, to the delight of his fans.

While adorning cabaret stages over four decades in his various stages of svelteness and otherwise, Arthur never failed to irk his peers and entertain his audiences. In the eighties Arthur was working with every piano man in town. Sidney Myer recently said, "Every young performer should see Arthur perform, to see how it really should be done."

Arthur performed at just about all the cabaret clubs in Manhattan, including Don't Tell Mama, Danny's Skylight Room and Judy's. He also performed regularly on the stage at The Players Club on Gramercy Park, where he was a member. In the early 80s, Arthur produced one of the very first AIDS benefits ever, called "30 Sing the 30's" at the old JAN WALLMAN'S on Cornelia Street in the Village.

Arthur was not aware that he was in poor health. He had what he thought was the flu in January, but did two performances of "Guys & Dolls at the Players' Club and then decided to take it easy and fully recuperate. He knew he was mending slowly, but didn't see a doctor until Thursday the 27th, was scheduled for more tests on Wednesday, March 5th. He collapsed in his apartment Friday morning. He is survived by a cousin.

Due to that fact that he died without a will, funeral arrangements have been delayed until this Friday, March 7th at 1:00 pm, at Mount Mariah Cemetery, 685 Fairview Avenue, Fairview, NJ. Call the funeral home at 201-943-6163 for further details.

We were assisted in preparing this article by friends of Arthur, Cynthia Crane, Jay Kerr and Leslie Carroll.

Mailbox If you wish to add a thought of rememberance,
send me your comments at cabarethotline@svhamstra.com
and if deemed appropriate, it will be added to this page.


I had the honor to be there when Arthur took his last breaths. In a moments time the world lost a great man. He loved people and the theater, and I wish everyone knew how rare it is that a person like Arthur comes along. My life without him is blank, but yet he is responsible for the man that i am today. dad i miss you and i hope u are performing on the big stage the sky. look dad your with your true love, tell Paul i said hi

love u eternally dad
from your biggest fan and son
Jonathan




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