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George MacPherson dies at 78

Veteran theater exec was drawn to Broadway

Veteran theater exec George MacPherson, who most recently served as CEO of Masque Sound and Recording, died June 3 of lung cancer in Orangeburg, S.C. He was 78.

MacPherson is credited with helping develop the potential of the Broadway touring market.

After studying veterinary science, he began his career caring for animals and doing PR for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. He served in the Army during the Korean conflict and worked as a Los Angeles police department officer before finding work as a theatrical press agent.

Among the clients he repped as a press agent and manager in the 1960s and 1970s were Victor Borge, Harry Belafonte and the National Ballet of Canada.

With Tom Mallow, the founder of American Theater productions, MacPherson produced top shows of the 1980s and ’90s, including “The Secret Garden,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “Big River” and “Angels in America.”

He helped the business evolve from national tours followed by separate bus and truck companies into today’s model of productions with high production values and first-rate performers touring markets beyond the big cities..

He was hired by Endemol Entertainment to start and run the theatrical management division of its New York offices, and in 1997 became president of Masque Sound, which provides sound systems for Broadway musicals and concerts.

He is survived by his wife Judith; three children; a sister and two grandchildren.

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