BHT Member Memorials – Sally Smith Cross

Sally Smith Cross

Died February 2, 2022

Born in 1929 in New York, the daughter of F. Harold Smith and Pauline V. Curtiss, Sally rapidly developed a broad affection for any person who traversed her path: her city and country neighbors, her classmates at The Chapin School and Vassar College (1951), and her colleagues in the administration of Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, which she joined after college. She rejoiced equally in summer hijinks with her family in Washingtonville, NY and the exhilaration of winters filled with classical music, art, and vibrant conversation.

In the early ‘50s, Sally joined the Blue Hill Troupe and met the very tall and rather reserved banker William R. Cross, Jr. (1917-2002). The wedding of close friends a few years later set a romance in motion. They married on June 14, 1958, and soon became parents to three children (Bill, born 1959, Polly in 1960 and Fred in 1962). Her long-widowed mother-in-law Julia welcomed the growing family into the brick townhouse to which she had moved four decades earlier, when her husband Bill was a baby.

In 1973, their Bedford, NY weekend house became their principal home, complemented by a Chilmark, MA cottage whose simplicity sweetened Sally’s … Continued

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – Sheila Molitz

A Jersey girl, born and bred, Sheila Molitz moved to “the big city” to pursue her education in fashion. A graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Sheila went to on have a career in the music business, working in the exciting and hectic world of Rock and Roll and pop music as a production coordinator at Bell Records, later Arista, in the heyday of Barry Manilow, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and The 5th Dimension, later becoming a production manager at Arista with many of those and other major artists. Eventually, Sheila opted for a more structured life in corporate America—which led to an extensive and successful career at Philip Morris, now Altria, in the field of communications.

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – Tim Waesche

Margaret Tilghman Hollyday (“Tim”) Waesche was an active “propster” for many years, after having joined the Troupe in ‘84. After her career retirement, her many varied activities included being a “fearsome” aerobics instructor (to which I can personally attest), and making kitchen preparations in quantity…especially her multiple mason jars of pickles, “relished” by her many friends.

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – John D’Luhy

John D’Luhy

Died October 9, 2021

When John was a new resident of NYC, beginning work on Wall Street, he was asked to join a Christmas party. While singing around the piano, a lovely gal came up to him and she introduced herself, Gay Clark. Thinking what luck!, he reciprocated, and then she said “I like your voice!” Well, he went to the required audition—at the Walbridges’—though he knew nobody in the city. John loved to sing, having sung in the Trinity College Chorus. Standing in front of Charlie Walker—also of Trinity—John offered his music. Charlie said “Really?” It was “Thanks for the Memories,” i.e. scale up, scale down! But John was a rare first tenor, and thus his first show was Utopia, Ltd!

The next season he went to Nat Pulsifer’s for a proposed members’ cocktail party, where I met him via my catering! After a bit, we were “courting,” during Ruddigore.

Music was major for John, especially songs of the Big Band era. I always knew where he was in the house because he sang snippets of songs all day long! He said that for every moment there is a song.

The Troupe brought us a full life … Continued

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – Jeanne Dickinson

Little did Blue Hill Troupers know in 1957 that their organization was about to change, in very positive ways, for the foreseeable future. Jeanne Dickinson would become not only the Troupe’s second female President, but an amazingly influential presence, as well. She used to say that the Troupe “has no memory and no conscience,” but in our hearts we knew that she, Jeanne, was, in reality, both.

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – Anne Becker Egbert

Anne Becker Egbert

Died July 6, 2021

Beloved coloratura soprano Anne Becker Egbert passed away peacefully July 6, 2021 in Sudbury, MA. at age 90.

Born in Evergreen Park, IL, Anne joined the Troupe in 1953 following graduation from Connecticut College with a Music degree. She moved to New York City to study voice and to pursue a professional Broadway career, but it was with the Blue Hill Troupe that Anne found stardom and became one of the organization’s most popular leading ladies. Anne was blessed with a beautiful soprano voice, and the Troupe cast her often as the G&S ingenue for more than 10 years. Her favorite roles included Yum-Yum (Mikado), Elsie Maynard (Yeomen of the Guard), and Aline (Sorcerer).

During one of her first Troupe rehearsals, Anne fell madly in love with her husband-to-be, dashing baritone Richard Cook Egbert (Dick). Following a brief courtship and marriage in 1954, Anne and Dick enjoyed 60 years of singing and entertaining together. During their tenure in the Troupe, the couple were best known for their performances on stage together—especially Yum-Yum and Pish-Tush (Mikado) and Aline and Dr. Daly (Sorcerer). Hosting rehearsals in their apartment was a particular joy for the … Continued

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – Barbara Peters

Human resources director, explorer, maker of beautiful quilts, dog lover, friend…and passionate Trouper. Since joining in 1971, Barbara’s years in the Troupe were busy, productive, and filled with fun. She served on the Board several times and was active in Backstage set construction, costumes, and makeup, as well as chairing the Program Committee several times. She also served on numerous other committees from Stage Management to Development (…and she loved a good Troupe party!).

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – Jerrold Zieselman

Jerrold (“Jerry”) Zieselman

Died May 3, 2021

Jerry and I met in 1998, when we both auditioned for the Troupe, and immediately bonded when we learned that we were next door neighbors in New York and had both previously lived in Westchester, where he had played Luiz in a production of The Gondoliers, which I happened to have seen. We were equally delighted to sing in the chorus of the BHT’s 2000 production of said opera and other Spring Shows. Jerry was also active in concerts, where he often had solos, and was happy to be my escort home from rehearsals and social events. After he hung up his performing shoes, he continued to be an active Trouper and was for many years a fixture in the ticket office.

An attorney by profession, Jerry had sung in a number of Westchester choral groups, and in later years, was a devoted and beloved member of Vocal Ease, a New York City organization which provides live entertainment for senior citizens in hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, and senior residences.

Jerry and his late wife, Paula, enjoyed good food and travel, as well as their children, grandchildren, and a series of grand-dogs. A … Continued

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – Dale McNulty

Dale McNulty

Died April 26, 2021

Dale Archer McNulty became a member of the celebrated BHT Backstage in 1976 (possibly because he viewed the 20 lovesick maidens in our performance of Patience earlier that year?). His dry wit and ever-present pipe became his trademarks while he lent his talent and expertise to the enhanced lighting of many BHT productions. In addition, his renowned culinary skills provided sustenance (aka Eggs McNulty) at the many Backstage awards gatherings at Dede Brown’s apartment.

A successful Wall Street floor trader, Dale would retreat, with others, on occasional weekends, to his converted “what-had-been-a-military-hospital” on Cushing’s Island off the coast of Portland, ME. Other summer weekends were spent in the Hamptons, in a shared house (the fabled Duckwood, almost all of whose members were BHTers), where he was an integral part of the management team, affectionately called the “gang of four” (with myself, Charlie Kelly, and Carol Davis).

Dale retired, left NYC, moved to West Palm Beach, married a lovely woman named Marietta Muina, and became active in the Palm Beach Symphony, eventually as the Board President. Dale was integral in transforming the non-profit into one of the area’s top cultural institutions and positioning it … Continued

Read More

BHT Member Memorials – Sandy Keay

Sandy Keay

Died April 10, 2021

Sandy Keay was a pint-sized force of nature with sequential lives. She was a Carnegie Mellon-trained actress, produced and starred in This Property is Condemned at the Cherry Lane Theater when she was in her twenties, and then, because “theater wasn’t done” in her father’s world, she married, suburbanized, had a son, divorced, and emerged anew as a rock concert manager. Sandy had some wild and woolly times and friends then, but she morphed again into an Upper East Side matron for her son’s sake. She joined the Troupe, the Church of the Heavenly Rest and St. Bart’s, and the Windmill house in the Hamptons. She had a Park Avenue apartment she loved, a whimsical collection of folk art and first-edition books, and a large group of old friends from the Hamptons, many of whom helped get her through her last, difficult years.

Sandy’s sense of fun never left her—she kept her son’s expired pet snake in her refrigerator’s freezer (many freezers) for 40 years, and was, while always polished on the outside, quite adept at circumventing tradition. She loved hosting elegant parties at home and for social groups, and while she was … Continued

Read More