b. Irwin Mitchnick, 30 January 1928, Brooklyn, New York, USA. A composer, producer and director for the musical theatre and television, Leigh studied music at Yale, graduating with a BA and MA. In the late 50s he formed Music Makers, a company which eventually became the prime source of television and radio jingles in the USA. In the early 60s, Leigh wrote the incidental music for two plays, Too Good To Be True and Never Live Over A Pretzel Factory, before collaborating with lyricist Joe Darion on the musical Man of La Mancha in 1965. It ran for 2,328 performances in New York and won five Tony Awards, and one of its songs, ‘The Impossible Dream’, was awarded the Contemporary Classic Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Leigh never attained anywhere near that degree of success with Broadway shows such as Cry For Us All (1970), Home Sweet Homer (one performance in 1976), Sarava (1979), Chu Chem (1989), and Ain’t Broadway Grand (1993). Indeed, they were all flops, and one or two more of Leigh’s efforts closed out of town. A 25th anniversary production of Man of La Mancha, starring Raul Julia and Sheena Easton, toured the USA, and played 108 performances on Broadway in 1992.
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