Peter Howard

Arranger, Conductor, Musical Director, Musician, Performer, Writer
Peter Howard

Also known as: Howard Weiss

Male

Born: July 29, 1927
Miami, Florida

Died: April 18, 2008
Englewood, New Jersey

Peter Howard, who worked on many Broadway shows in numerous capacities, but most commonly as either music director or dance arranger, died on April 18, 2008. He lived at the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, NJ. Born Howard Weiss July 29, 1927, in Florida, he attended Julliard. His first Broadway show was a forgotten revue called All Is Love in 1956, for which he wrote a ballet. The more successful My Fair Lady followed, in which he assisted the production's musical director, Franz Allers. He took on similar duties on Oh, Captain! in 1958, assisting Jay Blackton. He was an on-stage pianist on Say, Darling, which led to a job as pianist on A Party with Betty Comden and Adolph Green; did dance arrangements for Carnival; and was assistant conductor on the original The Sound of Music..

Obituary: By the late '60s and early '70s, Mr. Howard had graduated to more prominent positions. He did dance and incidental music arrangements on the original Hello, Dolly! (for which he also served as conductor), was musical director and did dance arrangements on 1776 and did dance arrangements for the original productions of Chicago and Annie. During the 1980s, he was musical director on Barnum, Harrigan 'n' Hart, Baby and Stepping Out. For the 1992 retro-musical hit Crazy for You, he provided dance and incidental music arrangements.

When Mr. Howard worked on a show, he tended to stick with it. He worked on two Broadway revivals of Hello, Dolly!, the 1997 revival of 1776 and the 1996 revival of Chicago, repeating the same tasks he had on the originals. He also worked on the movie versions of 1776, Annie and Stepping Out.

In later years, Mr. Howard toured with a show called Peter Howard's Broadway. The show was recorded, and, in a review of the album, Playbill.com columnist Steven Suskin tried to encapsulate Mr. Howard's amorphous profession. "What does a dance arranger do, you might ask? Arrange the dances, I suppose is the short answer. Howard tells us, on Peter Howard's Broadway, how the choreographer of one of his musicals asked for a ragtime-sort-of-dance for his two star ladies. Howard discusses — or rather, demonstrates — how he took the kernel of the melody of one of the songs in the show, "Funny Honey," and wove it into the "Hot Honey Rag," a highpoint for Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera in Bob Fosse's Chicago. "Howard did not compose 'Hot Honey Rag,' mind you; rather, he 'ragged' John Kander's clearly identifiable melody. The two pieces are similar enough so that anyone familiar with the song will recognize the origin of the rag — but anyone who first heard the rag might well be enchanted and totally satisfied without ever hearing the Kander and Ebb original. (Kander, who early on served as a dance arranger himself, could have surely come up with his own creation for this spot. But composers rarely have the time or inclination to sit for hours providing variations-to-order for choreographers. And, in the case of Chicago, I believe that by this point relations between Fosse and his songwriters were past the crisis stage.)" His final Broadway credit was the dance arrangements for Minnelli on Minnelli in 1999.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - Minnelli on Minnelli Minnelli on Minnelli
Dec. 8, 1999 - Jan. 2, 2000
Dance Music Arrangements
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - 1776 1776
Aug. 14, 1997 - Jun. 14, 1998
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Chicago Chicago
Nov. 14, 1996
Dance Music Arrangements
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Swinging on a Star Swinging on a Star
Oct. 22, 1995 - Jan. 13, 1996
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Hello, Dolly! Hello, Dolly!
Oct. 19, 1995 - Jan. 28, 1996
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Comedy Tonight Comedy Tonight
Dec. 18, 1994 - Dec. 25, 1994
Musical Director
(Original)
 
    Conductor
(Original)
 
    Piano
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Crazy for You Crazy for You
Feb. 19, 1992 - Jan. 7, 1996
Incidental Music Arrangements
(Original)
Who's Who
    Dance Arrangements
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Stepping Out Stepping Out
Jan. 11, 1987 - Mar. 15, 1987
Musical Supervisor
(Original)
 
    Music Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Into the Light Into the Light
Oct. 22, 1986 - Oct. 26, 1986
Musical Director
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood
Jan. 23, 1986 - Feb. 1, 1986
Music Arrangements
(Original)
 
    Musical Director
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Harrigan 'n Hart Harrigan 'n Hart
Jan. 31, 1985 - Feb. 3, 1985
Musical Director
(Original)
 
    Conductor, Piano
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Tap Dance Kid The Tap Dance Kid
Dec. 21, 1983 - Aug. 11, 1985
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Baby Baby
Dec. 4, 1983 - Jul. 1, 1984
Musical Director
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Dance a Little Closer Dance a Little Closer
May 11, 1983 - May 11, 1983
Musical Director
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The 36th Annual Tony Awards - 1982 The 36th Annual Tony Awards - 1982
Jun. 6, 1982 - Jun. 6, 1982
Special Dance & Vocal Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Barnum Barnum
Apr. 30, 1980 - May 16, 1982
Musical Director
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Grand Tour The Grand Tour
Jan. 11, 1979 - Mar. 4, 1979
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Hello, Dolly! Hello, Dolly!
Mar. 5, 1978 - Jul. 9, 1978
Dance and Incidental Music Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Annie Annie
Apr. 21, 1977 - Jan. 2, 1983
Musical Director
(Original)
Who's Who
    Dance Arrangements
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Chicago Chicago
Jun. 3, 1975 - Aug. 27, 1977
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Tricks Tricks
Jan. 8, 1973 - Jan. 13, 1973
Dance and incidental arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Ari Ari
Jan. 15, 1971 - Jan. 30, 1971
Incidental Music
(Original)
 
    Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Minnie's Boys Minnie's Boys
Mar. 26, 1970 - May 30, 1970
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
    Incidental Music
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - La Strada La Strada
Dec. 14, 1969 - Dec. 14, 1969
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - 1776 1776
Mar. 16, 1969 - Feb. 13, 1972
Dance arrangements
(Original)
 
    Musical Director
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Her First Roman Her First Roman
Oct. 20, 1968 - Nov. 2, 1968
Dance and incidental music
(Original)
 
    Musical Director
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - How Now, Dow Jones How Now, Dow Jones
Dec. 7, 1967 - Jun. 15, 1968
Musical Director
(Original)
 
    Vocal Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd
May 16, 1965 - Dec. 4, 1965
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
    Vocal Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Hello, Dolly! Hello, Dolly!
Jan. 16, 1964 - Dec. 27, 1970
Musical Director
(Replacement)
 
    Dance and Incidental Music Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Here's Love Here's Love
Oct. 3, 1963 - Jul. 25, 1964
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - I Can Get It for You Wholesale I Can Get It for You Wholesale
Mar. 22, 1962 - Dec. 8, 1962
Dance and Incidental Music Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Subways Are for Sleeping Subways Are for Sleeping
Dec. 27, 1961 - Jun. 23, 1962
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Carnival! Carnival!
Apr. 13, 1961 - Jan. 5, 1963
Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
A Desert Incident
Mar. 24, 1959 - Mar. 28, 1959
Incidental Music
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Party with Betty Comden & Adolph Green A Party with Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Dec. 23, 1958 - May 23, 1959
Pianist
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Say, Darling Say, Darling
Apr. 3, 1958 - Jan. 17, 1959
At the pianos
(Original)
 
    Accompanist Performer
(Original)
 
    Sideman Performer
(Original)
 
    Dance Arrangements
(Original)
 
 

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