Seth Gelblum
Seth Gelblum (Courtesy of Loeb & Loeb)

Seth Gelblum, chair of Loeb & Loeb’s theater practice, died Monday after a long illness. The New York-based partner, who joined the firm in 1998, was 62.

Earlier this year, Gelblum, who spent his legal career representing a broad array of theater industry professionals, was honored as a recipient of the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre. The award is given annually to recipients who have made significant contributions to theater, but are not eligible for a traditional Tony Award. Gelblum was the only member of the legal community to ever be honored by the Tonys, according to Loeb & Loeb.

Following a June reception bestowing the award, Gelblum’s many clients and colleagues gathered at the firm’s Park Avenue office to celebrate the achievement.

Over the course of his career, Gelblum served as ongoing production counsel to Broadway productions such as “Chicago,” “Finding Neverland,” “Waitress,” and “Wicked,” according to the firm, and he also worked on “Hamilton,” “Fun Home,” “Jersey Boys,” “Shuffle Along,” “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” “The Color Purple,” and “The Lion King.” Loeb & Loeb said that Gelblum “represented producers, writers, directors, designers, rights holders, investors and other parties involved in [the theater industry],” including other music and film projects.

Gelblum’s legal career took him from inadvertently becoming “a theater lawyer” to becoming “the theater lawyer,” said Loeb & Loeb chairman Michael Beck. The partner “beloved” by his firm grew to love his theater specialty, Beck said, adding that “theater, his family, and his pro bono efforts—those are the three things that really defined his life.”

Throughout his legal career, Gelblum was committed to pro bono causes. He served as chairman of the board for playwright support nonprofit New Dramatists Inc. since 1999, and founded The Canavan Foundation in 1992, along with his wife, Orren Alperstein, after their daughter, Morgan Gelblum, was diagnosed with Canavan disease, a rare neurological disorder that took her life in 1997.

Gelblum was also a board member of the New York-based charity Lawyers for Children Inc.

While he wasn’t representing Broadway bigwigs and others off-Broadway, Gelblum spent a good portion of time attending the shows of which he became such a significant part.

“He was continually at the productions on Broadway,” Beck said. “He both loved it and knew he should be there.”

Craig Emanuel, managing partner of Loeb & Loeb’s Los Angeles office and chair of the firm’s entertainment group, recalled his time working alongside Gelblum when their practices frequently overlapped. He said they shared clients, such as those “interested in acquiring the rights to theatrical productions” or producers and directors who wanted to expand their expertise into the feature film and television arena.

“Because of Seth’s unique skill set and expertise in this area, he really represented every side of the theater business,” said Emanuel, who noted that Gelbrum’s collaborative spirit was reflective of an incredibly close theater community. “He was unique in that space because of the breadth and scope of his knowledge.”

Seth Gelblum, chair of Loeb & Loeb ‘s theater practice, died Monday after a long illness. The New York-based partner, who joined the firm in 1998, was 62.

Earlier this year, Gelblum, who spent his legal career representing a broad array of theater industry professionals, was honored as a recipient of the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre. The award is given annually to recipients who have made significant contributions to theater, but are not eligible for a traditional Tony Award. Gelblum was the only member of the legal community to ever be honored by the Tonys, according to Loeb & Loeb .

Following a June reception bestowing the award, Gelblum’s many clients and colleagues gathered at the firm’s Park Avenue office to celebrate the achievement.

Over the course of his career, Gelblum served as ongoing production counsel to Broadway productions such as “Chicago,” “Finding Neverland,” “Waitress,” and “Wicked,” according to the firm, and he also worked on “Hamilton,” “Fun Home,” “Jersey Boys,” “Shuffle Along,” “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” “The Color Purple,” and “The Lion King.” Loeb & Loeb said that Gelblum “represented producers, writers, directors, designers, rights holders, investors and other parties involved in [the theater industry],” including other music and film projects.

Gelblum’s legal career took him from inadvertently becoming “a theater lawyer” to becoming “the theater lawyer,” said Loeb & Loeb chairman Michael Beck. The partner “beloved” by his firm grew to love his theater specialty, Beck said, adding that “theater, his family, and his pro bono efforts—those are the three things that really defined his life.”

Throughout his legal career, Gelblum was committed to pro bono causes. He served as chairman of the board for playwright support nonprofit New Dramatists Inc. since 1999, and founded The Canavan Foundation in 1992, along with his wife, Orren Alperstein, after their daughter, Morgan Gelblum, was diagnosed with Canavan disease, a rare neurological disorder that took her life in 1997.

Gelblum was also a board member of the New York-based charity Lawyers for Children Inc.

While he wasn’t representing Broadway bigwigs and others off-Broadway, Gelblum spent a good portion of time attending the shows of which he became such a significant part.

“He was continually at the productions on Broadway,” Beck said. “He both loved it and knew he should be there.”

Craig Emanuel, managing partner of Loeb & Loeb ‘s Los Angeles office and chair of the firm’s entertainment group, recalled his time working alongside Gelblum when their practices frequently overlapped. He said they shared clients, such as those “interested in acquiring the rights to theatrical productions” or producers and directors who wanted to expand their expertise into the feature film and television arena.

“Because of Seth’s unique skill set and expertise in this area, he really represented every side of the theater business,” said Emanuel, who noted that Gelbrum’s collaborative spirit was reflective of an incredibly close theater community. “He was unique in that space because of the breadth and scope of his knowledge.”