Helena’s Rebecca Luker, who died in 2020 after a stage career that included Broadway, Tony Award nominations and acclaimed albums, is now immortalized in one of New York’s popular parks.
A plaque dedicated to her was put up today on a bench in Riverside Park between 113th and 114th streets on the city’s Upper West Side.
It happens to come on the day her husband, Tony Award-winner Danny Burstein, begins performances of the play “Pictures from Home” on Broadway.
“My wife had wonderful timing,” he wrote on Facebook, giving credit to Karen Mulvey, a friend of Luker’s, for making the plaque happen.
It reads, “In loving memory of Rebecca Luker, 1961-2020; Wife, Mother, Actress, Singer, Activist, Teacher, Friend. Her beautiful heart will shine on forever.”
Luker grew up in Helena, performed at Summerfest in Birmingham and graduated from the University of Montevallo before starring on Broadway in “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Secret Garden,” “The Sound of Music,” “Nine,” “Cinderella,” “Fun Home,” “Show Boat,” “The Music Man” and “Mary Poppins.” She earned Tony nominations for the last three.
She announced in February 2020 that she was fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and hosted a couple of ALS fundraisers before she died on Dec. 23, 2020.
In addition to other tributes, the University of Montevallo has named a stage after Luker.