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David Rubinstein; Stage Manager for ‘Phantom’ and ‘Les Miserables’

David Rubinstein, for the last two years the stage manager of “Phantom of the Opera” at the Los Angeles Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre, has died. He was 39.

Rubinstein died of AIDS on Nov. 24 in a New York City hospital, his cousin Lois Perilman announced this week.

A native of Philadelphia, Rubinstein also managed touring companies of “Les Miserables,” “Song and Dance” and “Dreamgirls,” and handled the Broadway productions of “Peter Pan” with Sandy Duncan, “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues.”

Rubinstein also worked on the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

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His work on “Phantom” typically included nightly coordination of four assistants and several stagehands; watching monitors showing the conductor, stage and huge chandelier, and controlling a switchboard for hundreds of cues. He also conducted weekly rehearsals for understudies.

“It’s really about putting out fires,” Rubinstein once told The Times about his work. “Some days they’re aren’t any, and my crew and I are able to sit down. Then we have those days when there are more fires than we can handle.”

He began working with theatrical groups while in Philadelphia’s George Washington High School, and majored in theater at Temple University. He directed his first play there, and friends said he eventually hoped to become a Broadway director.

Rubinstein is survived by his mother, Helen Rubinstein of Philadelphia, his longtime companion, Wayne Parker, and two brothers. His father, Albert Rubinstein, preceded him in death.

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