New York producer Irving Siders, 81, died on Oct. 13, following a massive heart attack he suffered four days earlier. According to Mr. Siders' grandson, Scott Katz, Siders never regained consciousness from the attack.
Mr. Siders' credits include tours and productions of Dancin', Dreamgirls and other shows, including the recent national tour of Dreamgirls that was aimed for -- but did not reach -- Broadway. He hoped a staging would make it to London, he told Playbill On-Line just two weeks before his death.
According to Katz, Mr. Siders was born in Boston and educated at Boston Latin High School -- the oldest high school in America. After working for his father for a little while, Mr. Siders "ran off to be a roadie -- back then they called it a `band boy' -- for Fats Waller," said Katz. During World War II Mr. Siders worked on the docks, but he was soon back in the music business, reaching a high level at Verve records. "Those connections got him into producing," noted Katz, who said his father's knowledge of Waller's music helped him become a driving force behind the creation of Ain't Misbehavin'.
Mr. Siders' first producing gig (with Emanuel Azenberg, William W. Bradley and Marvin A. Krauss) was Ronald Ribman's The Poison Tree, which received good reviews but ran only five performances in 1976. "Bad sales," said Katz, "but he liked the business and stayed with it."
Apart from Broadway, Mr. Siders' jobs in the entertainment field included booking the talent at all the Playboy Clubs and serving as personal manager for singers Vaughn Monroe and Bobby Rydell. At the time of his death, Mr. Siders had been married to his wife, Pat, for 18 years.
-- By David Lefkowitz & Kenneth Jones