Stephen Bocchino, 62, musical director and arranger for the Off-Broadway hit, Boobs! The Musical, the World According to Ruth Wallis, passed away Monday, November 18, 2013, in his Upper West Side apartment of cardiac arrest. Bocchino, a native New Yorker originally from Staten Island,
had been in the forefront of the East Coast cabaret scene for the past three decades. He served as musical director for such performers as Julie Wilson, Wayland Flowers and Louise DuArt. He worked as a successful vocal coach and in many local piano bars, including the Upper East Side's Brandy's and The Townhouse. Stephen performed in most of the top cabaret rooms in New York, as well as on stages around the country. He also served as musical director for the New York run of Boobs! the Musical: The World According to Ruth Wallis, which ran Off-Broadway for over a year. His other musical credits include Always Patsy Cline with Rainie Cole (New York City, Chicago and Portland companies), When Pigs Fly (Off-Broadway) and Unfinished Song (Boston). He was also nominated for the 2008 MAC Award. He spent five years music directing The Brandy Singers, who performed exclusively for Target, appearing at events from Broadway to Los Angeles. Over the last 15 years, Stephen also traveled internationally with award- winning vocalist Craig Pomranz.
Lawrence Leritz, producer/Choreographer of Boobs! The Musical, the World According to Ruth Wallis, "Stephen was a major contributor during the original Boobs! workshop rehearsals. His arrangements were terrific. He also played the piano beautifully at all the performances and continued to do so Off-Broadway at The Triad and Dillon's. He was much loved and respected by everyone."
Pomranz recalled, "Stephen Bocchino and I traveled the world performing for the past 15 years, and it was a deeply satisfying collaboration. When you worked with Steve, it was like having an orchestra behind you. He supported me musically as a gifted musician who could masterfully play all genres -- as an accompanist, his talent for listening was matchless. More importantly, he supported me as a loyal and constant friend." Mr. Bocchino was also an avid Mets fan.
He is survived by his partner David Weincek, parents Rose and Ed Bocchino of Wesley Chapel, Florida, brothers Edward and David, loving nieces and nephews and many bereft friends and music fans around the world.
A celebration of his life is planned for Spring 2014.
Editor's Note: I had the pleasure of working with Mr.Bocchino in the piano bars (Brandy's) as well as working with him when I presented Boobs! at Dillon's. As a very active performer in the piano bars for over three decades, I would run into him on occassion. He was geniunely a good person who always had a smile and was very supportive of the many performers he worked with over the years. Rest well, my friend.