An Out Life Evolved: Irene Gandy and Mira Gandy On Being Proud, African-American Gay Mothers

By Karu F. Daniels
24 Jun 2014

Irene and Mira Gandy
Irene and Mira Gandy
Bruce Glikas

As part of Playbill.com's 30 Days of Pride, Broadway publicist Irene Gandy opens up about her personal life, raising a daughter as a single mother, coming to terms with her own sexuality and life behind-the-scenes in the theatre industry.

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Talk to anyone who's anyone on Broadway about Irene Gandy, and they'll tell you she's one hell of a broad.

As the first African-American publicist on The Great White Way, the Westbury, NY native has worked with just about everybody over the past 45 years — twice!

She's the only theatrical press agent with a coveted caricature in Sardis and the only one who has also held a job heading up publicity campaigns at CBS Records (during its 1970s rhythm and blues music heyday working with music acts such as Labelle, The O'Jays, The Three Degrees and Taj Mahal among countless others) and even worked with the legendary Lena Horne

Working with Jeffrey Richards and Associates for the past 28 years, the fashion-forward media maven is currently represented on Broadway via shows such as Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill and the Tony-winning hit All The Way, respectively. Known to dress in head-turning regalia accentuated by rhinestone-embellished cowboy hats, designer sunglasses, Louis Vuitton bags and exotic furs, she is also the only press agent who does double duty as a Broadway show producer from time to time.

But despite all the accomplishments, accolades and adjectives that can be bestowed upon the trailblazer, the one job Irene Gandy is most proud of is mother.

"Our bond is so totally strong," Irene, 70, said of her one and only daughter Mira Gandy, 46, whom she raised on her own since she was a toddler. "When her father and I separated I said, 'Look, we're married now.'"



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