Inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame, August 16, 2009.
Good evening. I'm inducting Gil Martin into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.
Gil is a member of Actor's Equity Association and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He is an uncommonly gifted actor, a beloved composer of secular and sacred music, a veteran of multiple national touring companies, over eleven years of summer stock ... A regular, leading man at the Dayton Theatre Guild for 4 decades ... Gil Martin is a legend.
In 1976, he was on the Bicentennial Tour of 1776. He was the designer, arranger, and conductor on the Off-Broadway productions of Oh, Coward, Broadway Encore, And the Band Played On, and Silver and Gold. And Gil held the leading role on the National Tour of Oh, Coward. With his friend, author John Jakes, he has composed nearly a dozen musical productions for the theatre.
He has created elegant and poignant characters with a clarity that rivets the audience to their seats. He has balanced the demands of a brilliant, international musical career with the love, devotion and sacrifice necessary to perform regularly in a public theatre venue.
I've had the privilege of directing Mr. Martin in 4 productions at the Theatre Guild. What memories: His fearless performance as the distraught lover of a young artist dying from AIDS, in As Is. His virtuosity as -— what will always be for me —- the definitive George, in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? His shattering, layered portrayal of the tortured Dr. Dysart in EQUUS. And his glowering, dominating characterization of one of the world’s most notorious bullies: the Marquis of Queensbury in Gross Indecency, the Three Trials of Oscar Wilde.
And then, who could forget his entrance in last year's Dice House? As Doctor Ratner, he strode large and in charge onto the stage wearing a tiny, starched, white nurses uniform -— with a scandalous hemline. Recently, Westminster Choir College at Princeton honored Gilbert M. Martin as a distinguished composer and alumnus. He has been creating exquisite music and lyrics for churches and schools throughout the world for over four decades -— amassing more than 400 pieces of published music.
I'm told he even has a fan club... Imagine lots of robed and reverent acolytes in the lotus position blogging and tweeting about the latest Gil sightings at some or another venue. One of my favorite Gil moments was at an audition. Several nervous wannabe's sat about waiting for their turn to slaughter Albee, when --- and just a tiny bit late --- in walks Mr. Martin. Upon seeing Gil, one hopeful leapt to his feet in horror and shouted "Oh, No!" Three more skulked out downstage muttering incoherently never to be seen again.
Oh, and back to those blogging acolytes: I've got a news flash: I happen to know that much of the soaring, reverential, organ and chorale music Mr. Martin is famous for is composed while sitting at his tiny, cigarette burned spinet in an old, comfy bathrobe while listening to his beloved New York Yankees on the radio.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it my distinct honor to induct my dear friend Gil Martin into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.
-- Michael Boyd