It was a gentle rain that fell on a Sunday afternoon. It was almost as if the sky shed some tears it just couldn’t hold back. However, it didn’t stop people from saying their final goodbyes to theater critic David Rosenberg, who died on July 15. The tribute was also available on Zoom, so the solemn occasion was shared by many including actors, directors, fans and playwrights. Attendance belied the statement that “No one likes a critic,” because it was quite apparent from the tributes made in David’s honor that he was especially well liked.
This was my first virtual funeral and surprisingly I felt it deeply moving. Perhaps it was because of the quality of the streamed piece that I felt I was there. Perhaps it was because David was properly represented. Held outdoors at St. Philip’s Church in Norwalk, a large photo of David was prominently displayed on an easel beneath a large canopy. The photo featured David’s ever-ready smile. We had been good friends and shared many theater outings, as well as conversations about theater, family, friends and dinners at each other’s homes. Attending the tribute were also many theater critics, teachers as well as friends, neighbors and his husband Ed Spires with whom he shared 62 years. There was something appropriately somber about the occasion, but I know David was somewhere in the universe appraising this well-orchestrated production of which I am sure his husband and two talented friends, theater radio host and general manager of Square One Theater Company Richard Phenegar and theater director and critic Tom Holehan of Stratford’s Square One, managed to put this all together so beautifully.