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Gene Wilder, Carrie Fischer, Alan Rickman

Gene Wilder, Carrie Fischer, Alan Rickman

We lost some of the brightest stars this year and our hearts were broken. Here’s to those who have gone but will live in our memories and in our hearts.

‘Watership Down’ author Richard Adams

Joe Alaskey, voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck

Legendary playwright Edward Albee

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali
Mother Mary Angelica, nun who built Catholic media network

René Angélil, husband of Céline Dion

Alexis Arquette, actress and transgender activist

‘Tuck Everlasting’ author Natalie Babbitt

Actor Kenny Baker, ‘Star Wars’ R2-D2

Voice of ‘Star Wars’ Adm. Ackbar, Erik Bauersfeld

Brian Bedford, the British-born, Tony Award-winning performer was one of the great stage actors of his generation

David Bowie

David Bowie

David Bowie, master of reinvention

Dale Bumpers, fmr. U.S. senator, Arkansas governor

Charmian Carr, Liesl in ‘The Sound of Music’

Myra Carter, winner a Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award for her acclaimed performance in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women

Wrestler, entertainer Chyna

Singer-songwriter Guy Clark

‘Miss Cleo,’ TV psychic network pitchwoman

Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen

Pat Conroy, author of ‘Prince of Tides’ and ‘Great Santini’

Comic book artist Darwyn Cooke

Fashion photographer Bill Cunningham

George Curry, champion of black press

Children’s author Anna Dewdney

‘L.A. Law’ actor Larry Drake

Actress Patty Duke

‘Dances with Wolves’ actor Chief David Bald Eagle, Jr.

Umberto Eco, famed author of ‘The Name of the Rose’

Bob Elliott, the surviving member of the long-lived radio, club, and Broadway comedy team of Bob and Ray

Shawn Elliott, an actor and singer with numerous credits in theatre, film, and television

Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Paul Elvstrom, sailing great

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez

Zelda Fichandler, co-founded Arena Stage

Fyvush Finkel,  the last significant living link to New York’s once-thriving Yiddish theatre

Carrie Fisher, ‘Star Wars’ Princess Leia

Actor, playwright and Nobel laureate Dario Fo

Jazz great Pete Fountain

The Eagles’ Glenn Frey

Zsa Zsa Gabor, Conrad Hilton, Natalie Wood

Zsa Zsa Gabor, Conrad Hilton, Natalie Wood

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Juan Gabriel, Mexican music icon

George Gaynes, ‘Punky Brewster’ actor

Seth Gelblum, legal counsel to producers, writers, directors, composers and others involved in theatrical productions. He was given a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre in 2016.

Former senator, astronaut John Glenn

Tammy Grimes, star of the Broadway musicals, Best known for The Unsinkable Molly Brown

‘Voice’ singer Christina Grimmie

Merle Haggard, country music’s outsider hero

Dan Haggerty, ‘Grizzly Adams’ star

Pat Harrington, Schneider on ‘One Day at a Time’

Actor and comedian Ricky Harris

Jim Harrison, author of ‘Legends of the Fall’

Cecilia Hart, a Drama Desk Award winner for her performance in Dirty Linen & New-Found-Land. Married to Oscar- and Tony-winner James Ear Jones

Fred Hellerman of the Weavers


Florence Henderson, TV’s Carol Brady

Jack Hofsiss, who won a Tony and Drama Desk for his direction of The Elephant Man

Robert Horton, was Starbuck in the original Broadway musical 110 in the Shade 

James Houghton, transformed the New York theatre scene and gave birth to the Signature Theater

Ken Howard

Ken Howard

Ken Howard, Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and a basketball coach in the television series The White Shadow.He won a Tony Award as Best Featured Actor for Child’s Play, and starred in Broadway musical Seesaw

Actress Beth Howland, waitress on ‘Alice’

Actor David Huddleston, ‘The Big Lebowski’

PBS newscaster Gwen Ifill

Monte Irvin, Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder

George S. Irving, Tony winner for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in Irene opposite Debbie Reynolds

Anne Jackson, a theatre actor whose decades-long career was highlighted by frequent onstage teamings with her husband, Eli Wallach

Country music legend Sonny James

Bill Johnson, Former Olympic gold medal skier

Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane guitarist

WWII Navajo code talker Joe Hosteen Kellwood

Actor George Kennedy

CNN’s Will King

W.P. Kinsella, whose book inspired ‘Field of Dreams’

Former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird

Dick Latessa, who won a Tony for “Hairspray

Harper Lee, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author

Rapper Shawty Lo

Warren Manzi, author of the whodunit phenomenon Perfect Crime, the longest-running straight play in New York theatre

David Margulies, ‘Ghostbusters’ actor

Garry Marshall, TV and movie legend

Sir George Martin, Beatles producer

‘Days of Our Lives’ star Joseph Mascolo

PBS’ John McLaughlin

John McMartin originated roles in Follies and Sweet Charity

Cabaret writer Andrew Martin

Denise Matthews, Prince protege Vanity

‘ALF’ actor Michu Meszaros

Those we lost in 2016

80s pop star George Michael

Frankie Michaels, youngest actor ever to win a Tony Award when he took home the prize at age 11 for playing Patrick Dennis in the original production of Mame

Marvin Minsky, Pioneer of artificial intelligence

Edgar Mitchell, Astronaut who walked on moon

Patrice Munsel, a coloratura soprano who often performed at the Metropolitan Opera

Author Gloria Naylor

James M. Nederlander, the longtime patriarch of the Nederlander theatre-owning dynasty

Noel Neill, Lois Lane on ‘Superman’ TV show

Marni Nixon, a singer and actress who gained fame by dubbing the singing voices of other actresses in famous movie musicals, The King and I, West Side Story, My Fair Lady. 

James Noble, Actor known as ‘Benson’ governor

Former Rep. Mike Oxley

Golfing great Arnold Palmer

Israeli leader and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres

Ezio Petersen, a longtime member of the circle of New York theatre journalists

Lawrence Phillips, imprisoned ex-NFL rusher

Singer Prince

Former first lady Nancy Reagan

‘American Gladiator’ Lee Reherman, ‘The Hawk’

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

Alan Rickman

in Die Hard

Actor Alan Rickman, Harry Potter’s Professor Snape

Dylan Rieder, pro skateboarder and model

Doris Roberts, mom on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’

Vera Rubin, dark matter pioneer

Rock ‘n’ roll star Leon Russell

Former Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam

Morely Safer, ’60 Minutes’ legend

Actor Joe Santos of ‘The Rockford Files’

ESPN’s John Saunders

Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court justice

William Schallert, dad on ‘The Patty Duke Show’

Phyllis Schlafly, towering social conservative figure

Garry Shandling, inventive TV comedian

‘Iron’ Mike Sharpe, WWE Superstar

Madeleine Sherwood, best known for her roles in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof and Sound of Music

Frank Sinatra Jr.

Andrew Smith, former Butler basketball player

Ralph Stanley, bluegrass music legend

Robert Stigwood, force behind ‘Saturday Night Fever’

Elizabeth Swados, whose experimental musical theatre was a mainstay of 1970s and ’80s theatre

Rep. Mark Takai of Hawaii

‘Growing Pains’ dad Alan Thicke

Ray Tomlinson, creator of email

choreographer Robert Tucker

Vanity, Singer, reformed nasty girl, Prince protégé.


‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ actor Robert Vaughn

Abe Vigoda, ‘Godfather’ and ‘Barney Miller’ actor

Janet Watson, the choreographer of Broadway’s Big River and the currently running production of The Fantasticks

Fritz Weaver,  won a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Play for Child‘s Play

Maurice White, leader and founder of Earth, Wind & Fire

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate

Gilda Radner , Gene Wilder

With Gilda Radner in Haunted Honeymoon

Actor Gene Wilder, star of ‘Willy Wonka’

Suzanne Wright, autism advocate

‘Star Trek’ actor Anton Yelchin

Alan Young, Wilbur on ‘Mister Ed’



Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond

Music legend Buckwheat Zydeco

Those we lost in 2016

























































Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:


We Say Good Bye To Costume Designer Extraordinaire Carrie Robbins



I met Carrie Robbins at an art gallery with Louis St Louis, Baayork Lee and Judy Jacksina. The four of us stayed well into the morning talking, laughing and having a fabulous time. Carrie and I bonded after that as she turned to playwriting. It broke my heart to learn that on the evening of April 12, 2024 Costume Designer extraordinaire Carrie Robbins passed away.

Carrie’s work has been featured in over 30+ Broadway shows, including Class Act, Grease (original), Agnes of God, Yentl, Octette Bridge Club, Sweet Bird of Youth (Lauren Bacall), Frankenstein, Happy End (Mary Streep), Boys of Winter, Cyrano (Frank Langella), & Shadow Box (Mercedes Ruehl).

Her awards and nominations included: 2012 recipient of the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Theatre Development Fund & the tdf/Costume Collection with the support of the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund. 2 Tony (Noms.), 5 Drama Desks, Maharam, USITT/Prague International, L.A. Dramalogue, Henry Hughes, F.I.T-Surface Design, & Audelco, among others.

Robbins’ costumes for the Irving Berlin musical White Christmas played major cities in the USA, Broadway, and Great Britain. Her regional work included M. Butterfly and On the Verge, for director Tazewell Thompson (Arena Stage) and the Gershwin musical American in Paris by Ken Ludwig for director Gregory Boyd (Alley Theatre, Houston) as well as The Tempest (Anthony Hopkins as Prospero) & Flea in Her Ear (director Tom Moore at Mark Taper Forum), many productions for the Guthrie (MN), Williamstown, and many others from Alaska to Buffalo.

Locally, in NYC, Robbins designed for many productions for The Lincoln Center Repertory Theatre, Chelsea Theatre at BAM, Acting Company at Juilliard and NY Shakespeare Festival.

She also designed for the Opera and they included Death in Venice for Glimmerglass (’08 Prague International Design Exhibit), Samson et Dalila (San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand, more), and many productions for Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston. Her work has also been seen at the Hamburg StatsOper.

For film Robbins designed the movie “In The Spirit” (Elaine May, Peter Falk, Marlo Thomas); TV design included: Saturday Nite Live, PBS Arts in America, & several unseen pilots.

Robbins has designed clothes for several seasons of Queen Esther Marrow and The Harlem Gospel Singers’ European Tour. She also did the designs for The Cincinnati Ballet’s new Nutcracker, in December of 2011

Robbins was an MFA grad from the Yale School of Drama and was Master Teacher of Costume Design at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts for many years. She is extremely proud of the extraordinary number of award-winning, successful young costume designers and costume teachers across the country who came out of her classes.

Besides being a costume designer Carrie also was a playwright. In August 2010, her play, The Death & Life of Dr. Cutter, a Vaudeville, based on the true stories told by her husband Dr. R.D.Robbins, had its 4th reading at the Snapple Theatre Center; it was chosen by Abingdon Theatre Co, NYC, to be part of its First Readings Series in Fall, 2009. In 2011-12 the  League of Professional Theatre Women chose The Dragon Quartet as part of its 30th year anniversary celebration. In 2012-13, La MaMa (oldest off-off-Broadway theater in NYC at 51 years) chose The Diamond Eater for its “Concert Reading Series”. In 2013: TACT (The Actors Company Theatre, chose Sawbones for part of its newTACTics New Play Festival. In 2014 both The Diamond Eater and Sawbones  received 6 Nominations from N.Y. Innovative Theatre Awards (the most nominations given out in the 2014 season). In 2015, Le Wedding Dress, was a semi-finalist in NYNewWorks Theatre Festival. In 2016: Obsessions Of An Art Student chosen by NYNewWorks Theatre Festival. In 2016, The Actress, was a finalist in NY Thespis Summer Festival. In 2017, My Swollen Feet, chosen by NY Summerfest Theatre Festival/ Hudson Guild Theatre. In 2018 The Diamond Eater , semi-finalist at the 14th St. Y competition War + Peace/2018/19 season and The Dragon Griswynd, was chosen by Theater for the New City for its “Dream-Up Festival” In 2019 Pie Lessons, was invited by Crystal Field, Exec. Artistic Director of Theater for the New City, to be part of “Scratch Night at TNC”.

The last thing Carrie was working on was For The Lost Children Of Paris. This play was about how the Nazis, with help from the Vichy Government, collected French-Jewish schoolchildren and delivered them to Auschwitz. Excellent German record-keeping revealed 11,400 children were taken. At the liberation, only 200 were found alive. This is the story of one classroom’s collection day and its aftermath.

She did this play using puppets as the children.

Carrie had a voice that she used in a multiple of ways. She was a caring friend, a dedicated teacher, a prolific writer and costume designer, who always cared about others first. Carrie you will be missed.



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We Say Adieu To Christopher Durang



Christopher Durang was a playwright whose absurdist dark plays have been produced on and off- Broadway, around the country and abroad. He made us laugh and take stock of the world around us.

Among his plays: Beyond Therapy, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Baby with the Bathwater, Laughing Wild, A History of the American Film, Betty’s Summer Vacation, Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

He has written 1,455 one act plays (or perhaps 40), including The Actor’s Nightmare, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, Naomi in the Living Room, and ‘dentity Crisis.

Christopher also acts and sings.  He’s had small but fun parts in a number of movies, and acted in some of his own plays.  Some mornings he feels grateful and bitter at the same time, which is a complicated feat.

Name Dropping:  Sigourney Weaver, Wendy Wasserstein, Albert Innaurato, Dianne Wiest, Jerry Zaks, Joan Allen, Elizabeth Franz, Pootie LaPunta, Klevin Kahn, Bertolt Brecht, E. Katherine Kerr, Kristine Nielsen, Sabu, Swoosie Kurtz, Dana Ivey, Chandra Bell, and Fidel Castro.

Final keywords: cursor, satire, parody, glaucoma drops, dog, dog food, bread.

The best way I knew how to honor Christopher Durang was to use his own words, which is what the above is.

Durang died Tuesday at his home in Pipersville, Pennsylvania, of complications from logopenic primary progressive aphasia, said his agent, Patrick Herold. He was 75. In 2022, it was revealed Durang had been diagnosed in 2016 with the disorder, a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Fashion icon Iris Apfel Brings Her Style To Heaven



Portrait of Iris by

Iris Apfel was born August 29, 1921 in Astoria, Queens. I had the pleasure of meeting Iris, through Errol Rappaport. His mother Francesca had been one of the first people to bring Iris to recognition and had at one time had a lot of her work in her houses. The two of them had been friends for over 70 years.

Francesca Rappaport and Iris Apfel

Francesca Rappaport and Iris Apfal friends for over 70 years

Iris started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson.

Carl, Errol Rappaport and Iris

Errol Rappaport and Iris

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later.  Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including the White House.

Errol and Iris

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015.

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Iris at 90, she began teaching at the University of Texas at Austin. At 94, she was the subject of a documentary by Albert Maysles, simply titled “Iris”. At 97, she became a model and modeled for Vogue Italia, Kate Spade, M.A.C. and many others.  Iris was also the oldest person to have had a Barbie doll made by Mattel in her image. In addition to modeling, she also designed her own clothing and accessories line for HSN and published a book in 2018. It was then she became a fashion icon and self-proclaimed “geriatric starlet”, at the age of 102. Sadly she passed away on Friday in her Palm Beach, Florida, home.

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Apfel was known for chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, and those iconic heavy-framed glasses – she nicknamed eyebobs. She came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird).

Albert Maysles, Iris Apfel

Albert Maysles and Iris Apfel

Iris’s style, creativity and joy of life will be missed.


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Stage and Screen Favorite Rita McKenzie Has Passed Away



We are sad to report the death of stage and screen favorite, Rita McKenzie. Ms. McKenzie, was known for her powerhouse stage voice and theatrical personality, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, February 17, 2024 in Los Angeles, days before her 77th Birthday.  Her death was announced by her husband Scott Stander.  She succumbed after a long-term illness.

In 1988 she took New York by storm with her off-Broadway one-woman show, Ethel Merman’s Broadway which became the longest running one woman show in theatrical history. Her tribute to Merman gained critical acclaim and eventually toured throughout the country. She played Lita Encore in the Los Angeles premiere of Ruthless! The Musical and reprised the role in the recent New York revival of the show.

Ms. McKenzie performed a wide range of stage roles throughout the US – including many of Merman’s hits – Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes!, the 50th Anniversary tour of Annie Get Your Gun, and Rose in Gypsy.   She enjoyed a three year US tour of Neil Simon’s The Female Odd Couple, co-starring with her good friend, Barbara Eden.

She was the opening singer for such iconic performers as Milton Berle and his 90th Birthday Tour, Don Knotts, Norm Crosby, Donald O’Connor and Steve Allen. She appeared in the Joe Bologna, Reneé Taylor & Lainie Kazan tour of Bermuda Avenue Triangle as Reneé Taylor’s daughter.

A favorite of symphony orchestra conductors, she performed for the Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Baltimore Pops, and she sang the closing finale for PBS’s Capital Fourth Celebration on the Washington Mall in 1995.

McKenzie had featured roles on TV in The Brady Bunch -The Final Days, Caroline In the City, Frasier with Kelsey Grammar, the film Meet Wally Sparks with Rodney Dangerfield and the TV series Big Brother Jake opposite Richard Lewis and Don Rickles

Most recently, Rita enjoyed her role as Interview host for stage appearances of The Real Housewives (with Vicki Gunvalson, Jill Zarin and Caroline Manzo) and for Barbara Eden’s On The Magic Carpet show.  Her most recent role was as Associate Producer for the pre-Broadway tour of Rupert Holmes’ All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In addition to her husband, Scott Stander, she is survived by her daughter, Jennifer and her husband Tom Otto, of Cold Spring, NY; son, Derek Pflug and his wife Vanessa, of Gilbert, AZ; sister, Nancy and her husband Joe Wood, of Sun City, AZ; and three grandchildren, Mason and Jackson Pflug and Thomas Otto. She is pre-deceased by her parents, Rita and Edwin Schurter, who raised her in Woodbridge, NJ – a Jersey girl, through and through.

“I first encountered the magic that was Rita McKenzie at the Pasadena Playhouse, where my thriller Accomplice played side-by-side with her remarkable tour-de-force Call Me Ethel (ultimately becomingEthel Merman’s Broadway) … in which Rita made an evening with Ethel Merman more delightful, hilarious, touching, and musical than the real thing would probably have been. Over the decades, I was thrilled to see the range and depth of roles in which Rita triumphed, and during these last three years, I was honored and grateful to work closely with her on All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a play commissioned and inspired by Rita in tandem with her beloved husband and the show’s lead producer Scott Stander. During the play’s development and rehearsals, Rita’s insights as a savvy theatrical pro and one of the warmest and wittiest humans I’ve had the privilege to know were invaluable in sculpting the piece into the success it has become. It is fitting that this tribute to one remarkable woman bears the imprimatur of another remarkable woman: the unforgettable Rita McKenzie.” – Rupert Holmes

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The Original Scarecrow In The Wiz Hinton Battle Passes On



Hinton Battle won three Tony’s and made his Broadway debut at 18,  playing the original Scarecrow in The Wiz.

He earned his Tony’s for Sophisticated Ladies,

The Tap Dance Kid 

and Miss Saigon. He won Best Featured Actor in a Musical for all three roles, making him the most-awarded actor in the category’s history.

He worked under Bob Fosse in the original production of Dancin’ and Michael Bennett in the original production of Dreamgirls. He was also in the first national tour of Ragtime, as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in 1998.

Battle appeared in 15 films and television programmes, including Quantum Leap, Dreamgirls, and Touched by an Angel. On Quantum Leap, he played Thames, the evil Observer from the future, in the final installment of the Evil Leaper trilogy of episodes.

Battle played the role of the Cat in the first U.S. pilot for science-fiction sitcom Red Dwarf, based on the British show of the same name. Notably, he guest starred as Sweet the jazz demon, in “Once More, with Feeling”, Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s musical episode in which his spell forces the characters to sing their biggest secrets and fears.

Battle’s other Broadway starring roles included Dancin’, Dreamgirls, Sophisticated Ladies for which he won his first Tony Award, Chicago (Billy Flynn), and Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker Jr.), which garnered rave reviews from the Chicago press and earned him an Ira Aldridge Award. His role in The Tap Dance Kid also earned Hinton a second Tony Award, the NAACP Award, and the Fred Astaire Award. He won his third Tony Award for Miss Saigon.

Battle’s long list of television credits included; Shine, his one-man show presented at the HBO Aspen Comedy Arts Festival; The Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary; These Old Broads, co-starring Shirley MacLaine, Joan Collins, Debbie Reynolds, and Elizabeth Taylor; and ABC/Disney’s Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story where Hinton served as a choreographer and co-star playing Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson.

As a choreographer, Battle’s work has been seen on the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Once More, with Feeling”, These Old Broads, Foreign Student (with Charles Dutton), The Golden Globe Awards, Dance in America; the sitcoms Fired Up, Sister, Sister, The Trouble with Normal, and The Boys. Hinton has choreographed promos for Warner Brothers, commercials for Coca-Cola, Chicago the musical, and New York Top Appliances. He served as Associate Choreographer on the 65th and 66th Annual Academy Awards with Debbie Allen.

Off-Broadway Battle served as co-director and choreographer for Evil Dead The Musical. Having finished choreographing the movie musical Idlewild, he joined with Wynton Marsalis for The Buddy Bolden Story, a feature film about the untold story of the man who created jazz in the United States. He then directed the stage musical Respect, a musical journey of women from the 1900s – 2007. Battle’s most recent creation, a dance form called Swop that combines swing and hip-hop, was performed on the highly rated Dancing with the Stars in 2006. In 2014, Battle starred in the off-Broadway production Cindy: The Musical.

Battle died on January 29, 2024, at the age of 67.

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