MAMMA MIA!'s Longtime Broadway Home to Host Memorial for Wardrobe Supervisor Irene Bunis
Family, friends and the Broadway community will come together to celebrate the life of beloved wardrobe supervisor Irene Bunis on Monday, September 26 at 3:00pm at The Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway), longtime home of Broadway's hit musical MAMMA MIA!, which Irene kept vibrantly befitted in spandex and platform boots for fourteen years.
Irene Bunis (January 8, 1952 - July 21, 2016), veteran wardrobe supervisor for many Broadway productions since 1980, was a graduate of SUNY Brockport. Irene began her career in the wardrobe department of the Jose Limon Dance Company and subsequently worked with the Dance Theater Foundation, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and The Metropolitan Opera. She joined the Theatrical Wardrobe Union Local 764 in 1981.
Irene's Broadway productions include La Cage aux Folles, Legs Diamond, Peter Brook's Cherry Orchard, Annie 2, Shogun the Musical, I Hate Hamlet, The Chairs, M. Butterfly, Nick & Nora, Crazy For You, Meet Me in St. Louis, Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Sunset Boulevard, The Capeman, Annie Get Your Gun (1999 revival), Breakfast at Tiffany's and Mamma Mia! as well as national tours and regional productions of Whistle Down the Wind, La Cage aux Folles and Sunset Boulevard.
Irene worked with every prominent Broadway costume designer of the last 40 years including Theoni V. Aldredge, Colleen Atwood, Bob Crowley, A. Christina Giannini, Willa Kim, Florence Klotz, William Ivey Long, Bob Mackie, Chloe Obolensky, Anthony Powell, Ann Roth and Mark Thompson. She first worked on the Tony Awards in 1992 and served as its wardrobe supervisor from 1995 to 2015.
The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Easter Bonnet Competition, which has become one of the major industry charitable fund-raisers, was started by the wardrobe department and chorus of La Cage Aux Folles when Irene was the assistant wardrobe supervisor on the show.
Irene is survived by her husband Barry Gelda, her children Michelle and Samuel Gelda and her brother, Harvey Bunis, and sister, Sobyl Bunis.