Roundabout Dresser Patricia Baker Dead at 68; Memorial March 8

Obituaries   Roundabout Dresser Patricia Baker Dead at 68; Memorial March 8
Patricia Baker, one of the unseen people who help make a Broadway show run smoothly as a backstage dresser of actors, died Feb. 23 after a battle with cervical cancer, according the her colleagues at Roundabout Theatre Company, whose shows she served.

Ms. Baker, 68, who also acted in Ohio in her varied career, most recently worked in the New York theatre community as an administrative assistant with the York Theatre Company; and as an usher, child wrangler and wardrobe dresser with the Roundabout Theatre Company.

"All of her life it was a dream of hers to live in New York and work on Broadway," said daughter Denys Baker, a 10-year veteran of Roundabout and curent company manager of Cabaret. "I think my being here brought her here."

The late Ms. Baker was on the house staff of the Roundabout's American Airlines Theatre for The Man Who Came to Dinner, and was asked to be a child wrangler for that staging, the inuaugural show at the venue. She was dresser to both Juliette Binoche and Marisa Berenson for Betrayal and Design for Living, respectively, but her illness started taking hold.

Ms. Baker's daughter said her mother was a people person with the right sense of humor and communication skills to be a dresser. The fact that she had wardrobe and acting background from working in non-Equity theatre in her native Ohio helped, too.

Ms. Baker was a member of Local 764, a proud achievement. Her daughter told Playbill On-Line that her mother's theatre background was instrumental in her children making the leap to stage careers. Son Brad Baker is a college theatre professor, actor and director in Dallas, TX. She began her theatrical career in the 1950s in Cincinnati, OH, where she performed with numerous theatres and was featured in sketch comedy troupes that headlined at the Playboy Club in Cincinnati. Ms. Baker also owned and operated Baker Costumes in Norwood, OH, and designed costumes for many Cincinnati-area professional, college and high school theatres.

A "life celebration" will be held in her honor on Saturday March 8, from 5-8 PM, at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway.

As a special tribute to her life and career, the Roundabout Theatre Company will dim the lights of its American Airlines Theatre at 8 PM March 8, a rare honor for someone who is vital in the wings — often pampering, putting up with and meticulously preparing stars, chorus folk and supporting players — but unseen by audiences.

In lieu of flowers, Ms. Baker has requested that donations be made payable to: "St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center in Memory of Patricia Baker," 325 West 15th Street, New York, NY 10011.

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