Timothy Ray, Theatre Publicist, Dies at 47

Obituaries   Timothy Ray, Theatre Publicist, Dies at 47
 
Timothy J. Ray, a Broadway theatre publicist, died Oct. 25 in Providence, RI, at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center. The cause was kidney failure. He was 47.

Mr. Ray began his career as an assistant to John Glines in the Glines Production offices. From there, he moved on to the Josh Ellis Office, one of the busier press hives of the late 1980s. He was an associate on such Broadway productions as Meet Me In St. Louis, Mail, The Spoils of War, the Vanessa Redgrave revival of Orpheus Descending, Lend Me A Tenor, Checkmates, the Dustin Hoffman production of The Merchant of Venice, and the national tour of The King and I starring Rudolf Nureyev and Liz Robertson.

According to his friend and former employer Josh Ellis. Mr. Ray's co-worker would joke that he suffered from an ailment called "Tim-Ray-itis," also referred to as "Tim Ray Disease," the key symptom of which was unbridled enthusiasm. "No matter how bad the show he worked on, he fell in love with it and refused to see any of its flaws," said Ellis. "Oh, how he loved the musical Mail. To promote Mail, Tim arranged for the U.S. Postal Service to have one of their mobile units in Shubert Alley. He got a lot of publicity for it, but the show ran just 37 performances at the Music Box Theatre."

One of the stars of Mail was a young Brian Stokes Mitchell. Mr. Ray arranged for Mitchell to sing at Macy's to promote the show, but the event ended up happening in the mattress department of all places, with only six distracted shoppers as an audience. "Tim never stopped apologizing to" Mitchell, said Ellis.

Mr. Ray would later move on to the public relations department of Macy's department store, where he publicized the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. After moving to Rhode Island, he was associated with Opera Providence and was the press representative for Providence's WaterFire annual celebration.

Mr. Ray is survived by his mother Cecelia Ray of West Warwick, RI, and two brothers, Brian and Michael Ray. In lieu of flowers, the Ray family asks that donations be made to the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center, 50 Maude Street, Providence, RI 02908.

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