A public memorial to celebrate the life of Irene Bunis is held September 26 at 3 PM at The Winter Garden Theatre, longtime home of Mamma Mia!, where the veteran wardrobe supervisor worked for 14 years.
Among the speakers and performers are Pat White, William Ivey Long, Stacia Fernandez, Gina Ferrall, Lolly Totero, Barry Hoff, Debra Katz-Weber, Nina Lannan, Judy McLane (accompanied by Steven Schoenberg), Lisa Kass-Hoffman, Louise Fisher Cozzi, Amy and Ken Kramer, and Sam and Michelle Gelda.
Ms. Bunis, who died July 21 at the age of 64, was a wardrobe supervisor for numerous Broadway productions since 1980. A graduate of SUNY Brockport, she 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.
Ms. Bunis’ 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.
Ms. Bunis worked with the most prominent Broadway costume designers 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 1995-2015.
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 Ms. Bunis was the assistant wardrobe supervisor on the show.
Ms. Bunis is survived by her husband Barry Gelda her children Michelle and Samuel Gelda and her brother, Harvey Bunis, and sister, Sobyl Bunis.