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In Memoriam: Gary Gunas

It is with tremendous sadness that ATPAM announces the death of Gold Card General Manager Gary Gunas at his home in London, England. Brother Gunas passed away on Monday, February 22, 2021 at the age of 73. Born in Manchester, Connecticut on May 26,1947, he was a proud member of ATPAM for the last five decades, joining the union as a Company Manager in 1973.

 Gary 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 as a Senior Associate at Marvin A. Krauss Associates where, from 1971 to 1987, he often worked with Eric Angelson, Joey Parnes, Steve Callahan, Allan Williams, Sue Frost, and Beth Fremgen Williams. Highlights of Gary’s time at the Krauss office — where he was a Company Manager, Associate General Manager, and eventually General Manager — include 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 revivals of Gypsy (Angela Lansbury), Richard III (Al Pacino), and Death of a Salesman (Dustin Hoffman).

 During this same time, Gary 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, Gary 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). Gary 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, Gary 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. Gary 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.

 Gary and his husband Bill Rosenfield, a playwright and award-winning record producer, were together for over four decades. In 2019, Gary and Bill 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, Gary is survived by two brothers, both with very extended families, as well as a large chosen family of friends from around the globe. At Gary’s request, no memorial service will be held. Contributions in Gary’s name may be made to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

He will be greatly missed.

Photo courtesy of the Theatrical Index

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