Eugene V. Wolsk

Producer, Manager

Also known as: Eugene Wolsk, Gene Wolsk

Male

Died: May 2, 2013

Obituary: Eugene V. Wolsk, a theatre veteran who rose through the Broadway ranks from company manager to general manager to producer, died May 2 2013. He was 84.

Mr. Wolsk began his career as the Broadway company manager of the hit play Tchin-Tchin in 1962, starring Anthony Quinn and Margaret Leighton. He was also company manager for John Osborne's historical play Luther and James Baldwin's race drama Blues For Mr. Charlie.

By the time the Joshua Logan-directed comedy Ready When You Are, C.B.! came along in 1965, Mr. Wolsk—who sometimes went by the more informal Gene Wolsk—was a general manager. He acted in the same capacity for the enormous comedy hit The Impossible Years, which starred Alan King and ran for two years beginning in 1965.

Mr. Wolsk was a member of a generation of general managers in the 1960s who graduated to the role of producer. His first foray as a full-fledged showman was 1966's The Lion in Winter, on which he joined forces with King and Emanuel Azenberg, who would become his most frequent partner, both as producer and general manager. The James Goldman play, set in the time of King Henry II, ran only three months, but was respectfully reviewed, won a couple Tony nominations and was adapted into a well-known film.

"We formed a combine," Mr. Wolsk told the New York Times or his partnership with Azenberg, "because we can provide better service by the three of us than individually."

Mr. Wolsk followed up that effort with Mark Twain Tonight!, an innovative solo play starring Hal Holbrook; the wartime drama The Investigation; and the farce Something Different, written and directed by Carl Reiner.

From that time on, Mr. Wolsk would ping-pong between the roles of general manager and producer. As a general manager—often in collaboration with Azenberg—he worked on the musical George M!, the Joe Papp-production Shakespearean musical romp Two Gentlemen of Verona, David Rabe's Sticks and Bones, the 1972 revival of A Funny Thing Happened…., the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama That Championship Season, Much Ado About Nothing, Larry Gelbart's Volpone-inspired comedy Sly Fox, the musical The Wiz, and a 1977 revival of Hair. A frequent employer was the New York Shakespeare Festival, where Wolsk and Azenberg were Joe Papp's general managers of choice throughout much of the 1970s.

As producer, he backed, with Azenberg, the Melvin Van Peeples musical Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, and a series of 1970s Neil Simon comedies, including The Sunshine Boys, The Good Doctor and God's Favorite. Alone, he produced a 1977 revival of Man of La Mancha. He was nominated for Tony Awards for Natural Death and The Sunshine Boys. His final Broadway producing credit was the Gelbart political farce Mastergate in 1989.

He had one of his biggest successes Off-Broadway with the musical revue Forever Plaid, which, beginning in 1990, ran for more than 1,800 performances. A subsequent revue, A Brief History of White Music, was less successful.

Eugene Wolsk was the son of Isidore Wolsk, a lawyer of Baldwin Harbor, Long Island. He graduated from Allegheny College and attended the Yale School of Drama.

His marriages to Cynthia Harris and Judith Carol Licht ended in divorce. His is survived by his third wife, Laura Stein.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - Mastergate Mastergate
Oct. 12, 1989 - Dec. 10, 1989
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Singin' in the Rain Singin' in the Rain
Jul. 2, 1985 - May 18, 1986
Associate Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Steaming Steaming
Dec. 12, 1982 - Feb. 5, 1983
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Fiddler on the Roof Fiddler on the Roof
Jul. 9, 1981 - Aug. 23, 1981
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Charlotte Charlotte
Feb. 27, 1980 - Mar. 1, 1980
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Last Licks Last Licks
Nov. 20, 1979 - Dec. 1, 1979
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Saravá Saravá
Feb. 12, 1979 - Jun. 17, 1979
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Hair Hair
Oct. 5, 1977 - Nov. 6, 1977
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Man of La Mancha Man of La Mancha
Sep. 15, 1977 - Dec. 31, 1977
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Sly Fox Sly Fox
Dec. 14, 1976 - Feb. 19, 1978
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Herzl Herzl
Nov. 30, 1976 - Dec. 5, 1976
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Wiz The Wiz
Jan. 5, 1975 - Jan. 28, 1979
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - God's Favorite God's Favorite
Dec. 11, 1974 - Mar. 22, 1975
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Scapino Scapino
Sep. 27, 1974 - Mar. 2, 1975
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Good Doctor The Good Doctor
Nov. 27, 1973 - May 25, 1974
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Sunshine Boys The Sunshine Boys
Dec. 20, 1972 - Apr. 21, 1974
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Much Ado About Nothing Much Ado About Nothing
Nov. 11, 1972 - Feb. 11, 1973
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - That Championship Season That Championship Season
Sep. 14, 1972 - Apr. 21, 1974
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Mar. 30, 1972 - Aug. 12, 1972
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Sticks and Bones Sticks and Bones
Mar. 1, 1972 - Oct. 1, 1972
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Two Gentlemen of Verona Two Gentlemen of Verona
Dec. 1, 1971 - May 20, 1973
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death
Oct. 20, 1971 - Jul. 30, 1972
Producer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The Investigation The Investigation
Oct. 4, 1966 - Dec. 31, 1966
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Mark Twain Tonight! Mark Twain Tonight!
Mar. 23, 1966 - Jun. 11, 1966
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Lion in Winter The Lion in Winter
Mar. 3, 1966 - May 21, 1966
Producer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Impossible Years The Impossible Years
Oct. 13, 1965 - May 27, 1967
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Ready When You Are, C.B.! Ready When You Are, C.B.!
Dec. 7, 1964 - Feb. 13, 1965
General Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Blues for Mister Charlie Blues for Mister Charlie
Apr. 23, 1964 - Aug. 29, 1964
Company Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Luther Luther
Sep. 25, 1963 - Mar. 28, 1964
Company Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Lady of the Camellias The Lady of the Camellias
Mar. 20, 1963 - Mar. 30, 1963
Company Manager
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Tchin-Tchin Tchin-Tchin
Oct. 25, 1962 - May 18, 1963
Company Manager
(Original)
 
 

Inside the Playbill (1)

See more Who's Who
 
Name:
Email:
You are submitting a comment about: The page you are currently on: Eugene V. Wolsk - Broadway Theatre Credits, Photos, Who's Who - Playbill Vault
The website in general
What are you writing about?
Who are you?
Explain your reason for writing to us