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James Raitt; Broadway Arranger and Stage Musical Director

James Raitt, 41, arranger and musical supervisor for the perennial hit musical “Forever Plaid” and the current revival of “Damn Yankees.” Raitt, a native of Orange County and graduate of USC, is a cousin of Broadway musical star John Raitt and his daughter, singer Bonnie Raitt. In addition to extensive work in Broadway and off-Broadway productions, James Raitt was musical director of solo performances by such entertainers as Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Ethel Merman. He worked with many productions at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, including “Forever Plaid,” the 1950s barbershop musical that he also brought to the Pasadena Playhouse and Beverly Hills’ Canon Theatre. Raitt trained the casts of more than 30 national and international companies of “Forever Plaid.” He was also the dance arranger for the 1990 Broadway production of “Meet Me in St. Louis.” On Monday in New York of AIDS.


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