Adam Brace, the British playwright and director who was set to make his Broadway debut this summer with longtime collaborator Alex Edelman, died Saturday following a short illness. He was 43.
The news comes less than a month after the announcement that Brace and Obie Award-winning writer and performer Edelman would bring the award-winning solo show Just For Us to Broadway. The limited engagement – Edelman’s first appearance on Broadway – is scheduled to begin previews at the Hudson Theatre on Thursday, June 22, with an opening night set for Monday, June 26. The show will run through Saturday, August 19.
Just For Us had previously been staged to considerable acclaim Off Broadway and in London, Edinburgh, Boston and other cities.
“He was my closest collaborator for more than a decade, but more importantly, he was one of my closest friends,” Edelman said in a statement posted on Twitter. “I don’t feel ready to acknowledge the magnitude of this loss, but I already feel it.”
Edelman went on to write that Brace directed all three of his solo shows including Just For Us. “Adam’s laugh was distinctive and deep and my favorite sound,” Edelman wrote. “I sought it out again and again.”
Brace worked as the Associate Director of London’s Soho Theatre since 2016. His plays include the full-length productions Stovepipe and They Drink it in the Congo, as well as the short Midnight Your Time. In addition to Edelman’s shows, Brace directed Liz Kingman’s One-Woman Show, Leo Reich’s Literally Who Cares?!, and the Edinburgh Fringe premiere of Age Is a Feeling.
“He worked with some of the world’s finest comics and theatremakers,” Edelman wrote.
The Broadway run of Just For Us was announced on April 5 by producers Jenny Gersten, Rachel Sussman, and Seaview, with Mike Birbiglia. The show was originally produced Off Broadway by Birbiglia in association with Mike Lavoie, Carlee Briglia and Joseph Birbiglia.
The show’s synopsis: “In the wake of a string of anti-Semitic rhetoric pointed in his direction online, standup comic Edelman decides to go straight to the source; specifically, Queens, where he covertly attends a meeting of White Nationalists and comes face-to-face with the people behind the keyboards. What happens next forms the backbone of the shockingly relevant, utterly hilarious, and only moderately perspirant stories that comprise Just For Us.”
Edelman’s first of three solo shows directed by Brace, Millennial, won the 2014 Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, and Just For Us received a special Obie citation this year for its Off Broadway run. Just For Us will be the Hudson Theatre’s tenant between A Doll’s House with Jessica Chastain, which runs thorough June 10, and the Merrily We Roll Along revival starring Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez, which arrives Sept. 19.
“I was lucky to spend so much time with him,” wrote Edelman, “especially over the last year and a half, and I am distraught at the prospect of doing the show without him on Broadway. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure what kind of performer – and person – I’m going be without him. I am befeft.”
Information on survivors was not immediately available, but according to Edelman Brace is survived by his partner Becca and other family.