Off-Broadway composer and accompaniest Dick Gallagher died Jan. 20 in New York after a long illness. He was 49.
Gallagher (with Mark Waldrop) wrote the scores for the Off-Broadway revues “What Not,” “Whoop-Dee-Doo!” and — his greatest hit — “When Pigs Fly.”
Bette Midler recorded one of the songs from that score, “Laughing Matters.” The show was produced internationally after an extended run in New York, having won the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical Revue, and the Drama Desk Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. “Whoop-Dee-Doo!” (also with Howard Crabtree) also won the 1994 Drama Desk Award for Best Revue.
The composer also wrote the words and music for the Off-Broadway musical “Have I Got a Girl for You: The Frankenstein Musical,” and the title song for the Charles Busch comedy, “You Should Be So Lucky.”
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With Waldrop, Gallagher also wrote two musicals for the Theatreworks/USA: “Gold Rush” and “A Christmas Carol.” He also wrote several songs for the revue “That’s Life!”
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, he started his career playing piano at Carnegie Hall, the Oak Room at the Algonquin, the Russian Tea Room. He created musical arrangements for performers including Liza Minnelli, Bruce Vilanch, Andrea Marcovicci, Charles Busch and Mandy Patinkin.
For the last several years Gallagher was arranger, accompanist and conductor for Patti LuPone. Along with writer-director Scott Wittman he created several shows for LuPone, which they performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center on Broadway (“Patti LuPone on Broadway”) and in cabaret appearances and concerts internationally.
Donations may be made to The Actors Fund.