‘Brilliant,’ 41 and Lost to AIDS: The Theater World Asks Why

Mr. Friedman’s death from complications of H.I.V./AIDS has rattled the theater world, both because he was seen as among the brightest lights of his generation and because it shocked those who had come to see H.I.V. infection as a chronic but manageable condition, at least for those with health care.

“It feels like a brutal reminder of another time,” said Jonathan Marc Sherman, a playwright and friend. “It’s going to be a long time for a lot of us to wrap our minds around this one.”

Best known for the 2010 Broadway musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” Mr. Friedman leaves behind several uncompleted shows, including a musical adaptation of “All the President’s Men” — a project he had excitedly presented in June to the book’s receptive authors, Bob…

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