elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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James Raitt (1953 - April 25, 1994)

James Raitt, the musical director of the productions of "Damn Yankees" on Broadway and "Forever Plaid" Off Broadway, died on April 25, 1994, at his home in Manhattan. He was 41.

The cause was AIDS, said Guy Stroman, a friend.

Mr. Raitt was the musical director and vocal arranger for "Forever Plaid" and trained the casts of more than 30 national and international companies of the show. In addition, he created the orchestrations and musical arrangements of the Off Broadway musical "Pageant" (1991). More recently, he did the orchestrations and vocal arrangements for "Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens," playing in London.

He was also the dance arranger for the Broadway production of "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1990); the musical director of the 1986 revue "Stardust," and the musical director for solo performances by Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, Ethel Merman and Donna McKechnie.

Mr. Raitt, who grew up in Santa Ana, Calif., received a music degree from the University of Southern California in 1975. He taught at U.S.C., New York University, the Eugene O'Neill Institute and Sarah Lawrence College.

He was a cousin of the actor John Raitt and of John Raitt's daughter, the singer Bonnie Raitt.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/28/obituaries/james-raitt-41-musical-director.html

Further Readings:

Broadway Musicals, Revised and Updated: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time by Ken Bloom and Frank Vlastnik
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Rev Upd edition (October 27, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1579128491
ISBN-13: 978-1579128494
Amazon: Broadway Musicals, Revised and Updated: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time

A fully updated edition of the acclaimed and bestselling Broadway Musicals, now featuring an expanded off-Broadway section

Broadway Musicals is a richly illustrated, and information-packed celebration of the most popular and enduring Broadway shows of all time. Each show is featured in a detailed, photo-filled chapter that includes expert commentary, special features on the creators and performers, plot synopses, cast and song lists, production details, and backstage anecdotes. Also included are sidebars on Broadway flops, advertising posters, the greatest scores, and more. This edition includes several shows not in the original hardcover edition such as Avenue Q, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Wicked. An expanded off-Broadway section showcases beloved shows such as I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and Little Mary Sunshine.

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Tags: gay classics
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