Mr. Kingwill oversaw dozens of shows during the 1970s and '80s, including The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Sugar Babies, two long-running hits that played almost simultaneously from 1978 to 1982. For a short time in the early '80s, he joined forces with Jack Schlissel — a seasoned general manager who worked in the office of producer David Merrick whom he had assisted on the original Hello, Dolly! — to create the general management firm Schlissel & Kingwill, Inc. When Schlissel died in 1981, he then teamed with Larry Goossen for the remainder of his Broadway years. Jay Kingwill was born on September 5, 1940, at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital, the son of Reverend Wilbur J. Kingwill, a Navy chaplain and a rector at several churches, and Alice (Gigger) Kingwill. He attended Yale University, where he studied Russian and theatre. He married his first wife, Andrea M. Wilson, in 1963. Their son, Scott R. Kingwill, was born in 1964.
In 1965 he served as stage manager on a tour with the Moiseyev Dance Company of Moscow. He then moved to New York, where he worked as a stage manager, until he made the jump to general managing. His Broadway credits included the 1975 revival of Sweet Bird of Youth, A Party with Betty Comden & Adolph Green, I Love My Wife, Happy End, Gorey Stories, The Grand Tour, Nuts, The American Clock, Angels Fall, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Boys of Winter, Sweet Sue, Eastern Standard and the 1987 revival of Blithe Spirit. His final Broadway show was 1989's Senator Joe, a Tom O'Horgan musical that never officially opened.
He is survived by his wife, Susan R. Kingwill, who he married in 1980 with the Rev. Kingwill officiating. Mr. Kingwill moved back to his grandparents' hometown of Woods Hole, MA, in 2002.