Louis LaRusso II, 67, prolific playwright whose work included the Tony- and Drama Desk-nominated "Lamppost Reunion," died Saturday in Hoboken, N.J., of bladder cancer.
His 1976 "Lamppost," which was performed at Los Angeles' Court Theater as well as on Broadway, depicted old friends drinking through the night with a famous singer after a performance at Madison Square Garden. It was typical of La Russo's topics, usually involving the tribulations of the Hoboken working people with whom he grew up
LaRusso, who lived in Los Angeles for a time, also wrote screenplays. He helped rewrite the film "Saturday Night Fever" in 1977 and earned screen credits for such films as "Beyond the Reef" in 1981, "Hell Hunters" in 1986 and, based on his 1976 play "The Wheelbarrow Closers," the film "The Closer" in 1990.
The dedicated and prolific writer, who boldly told The Times in 1975 that "I'll be the greatest writer of my time," had his first work published when he was 5. It was a poem he wrote as a Christmas gift for his kindergarten teacher and it was printed in his local newspaper.
Among his dozens of plays produced on Broadway and off-Broadway were "Knockout," "Marlon Brando Sat Right Here" and "Sweatshop."