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Obituaries

Broadway Producer and General Manager Gary Gunas Passes Away

Gunas worked on such shows as Dreamgirls, La Cage aux Folles, Godspell, and more.

Broadway Producer and General Manager Gary Gunas Passes Away

Theater producer Gary Gunas died February 22, 2021 at his home in London, England at age 73. Born in Manchester, Connecticut on May 26, 1947, Gunas was known and loved by so many in the theater industry - as much for his gentlemanly demeanor as his sharp business acumen.

His career began off-Broadway in 1969 as an apprentice Company Manager for the musical Promenade. In the 1970s, he shifted to Broadway shows and first-class tours in the office of Marvin A. Krauss Associates where he worked as a Company Manager, Associate General Manager, and eventually General Manager on many shows including Godspell (which had, at one point, 12 simultaneous productions), American Buffalo, Beatlemania, Dancin', Woman of the Year, Dreamgirls, and La Cage aux Folles, as well as notable revivals of Gypsy (starring Angela Lansbury), Richard III (starring Al Pacino), and Death of a Salesman (starring Dustin Hoffman).

During this same time, Gunas general managed Broadway performances by a cavalcade of artists that include Peter Allen, Ashford & Simpson, Charles Aznavour, Josephine Baker, Count Basie, Shirley Bassey, George Benson, Rodney Dangerfield, Ella Fitzgerald, Patti LaBelle, Bette Midler, Gilda Radner, Mort Sahl, Frank Sinatra, and Lily Tomlin.

Starting in 1985, Gunas began producing with Miles Wilkin and Scott Zeiger at the theatrical enterprise that was Pace Theatrical Group, then SFX Entertainment, and ultimately Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation). Gunas partnered on dozens of touring productions, and he had hands-on responsibility for tours of Singin' in the Rain, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tommy, Jekyll & Hyde, Jerry Lewis in Damn Yankees, Big, Sunset Boulevard, Ragtime, and Cabaret.

On Broadway from 1993 to 2001, Gunas executive produced the original Broadway versions of The Who's Tommy, Jekyll & Hyde, Ragtime (a role he inherited when its original producer, Livent, went out of business), The Civil War, and Seussical. Gunas relocated from New York to London in 2002 and worked for Clear Channel's UK office for several years. His final producing credits were the world tour of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, UK tours of Cats and Starlight Express, and a European tour of Fosse. He retired in 2005.

Gunas and his husband Bill Rosenfield, a playwright and award-winning record producer, were together for over four decades. In 2019, they were featured in a popular series of videos for Playbill.com called "Old Show Queens," in which they recounted memorable stories from their illustrious theater careers.

In addition to his husband, Gunas is survived by two brothers, both with very extended families, as well as a large chosen family of friends from around the globe. No memorial service will be held. Contributions in Gary Gunas' name may be made to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.


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