Gary Gunas, executive producer of Broadway musicals as The Who’s Tommy, Jekyll & Hyde and Ragtime, died today at his home in London, England, of pancreatic cancer. He was 73 years old.
Her death was announced by her husband Bill Rosenfield.
Born in Manchester, Connecticut, Gunas began his career off Broadway in 1969 as an apprentice entrepreneur for the musical Walk. In the 1970s he turned to Broadway productions and tours, working in the office of Marvin A. Krauss Associates as company director, associate managing director, and ultimately managing director of many shows including Godspell, American Buffalo, Beatlemania, Dancin ‘, Woman of the Year, Dreamgirls, and La Cage aux Folles, as well as notable covers of Gypsy (with Angela Lansbury), Richard III (with Al Pacino), and Death of a seller (with Dustin Hoffman).
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During this time Gunas also handled stage performances by artists such as 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.
In 1985, Gunas began producing with Miles Wilkin and Scott Zeiger in what was then Pace Theatrical Group (later SFX Entertainment, Clear Channel Entertainment and now Live Nation). Gunas has partnered with dozens of touring productions, with direct touring responsibility for Singing in the rain, music by 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 The Who’s Tommy, Jekyll & Hyde, Ragtime (a show he inherited when original producer Livent went out of business), Civil war, and Seussical.
Gunas moved from New York to London in 2002 and worked for the UK office of Clear Channel for several years. His last production credits were Matthew Bourne’s world tour Swan Lake, Visits to the UK of Cats and Starlight Express, and a European tour of Pit. He retired in 2005.
Gunas is survived by Rosenfield, a playwright and record producer, as well as two brothers and their families. No memorial service will be held. Contributions on her behalf can be made to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS.