Wittman was raised in Nanuet, New York, graduated high Nanuet Senior High School in 1972 and attended Emerson College in Boston for two years before leaving to pursue a career in musical theatre in New York City. While directing a show for a Greenwich Village club he met Marc Shaiman, and the two became collaborators and professional partners. While Shaiman wrote for television shows, including Saturday Night Live, Wittman directed concerts for such artists as Bette Midler, Christine Ebersole, Raquel Welch, Dame Edna Everage, and Lypsinka, among others.
In 2002, Shaiman and Wittman wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Hairspray, which won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, the Tony Award for Best Original Score, and a Grammy Award. In addition to Hairspray, Wittman conceived, wrote lyrics for, and directed Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and conceived and directed Matters of the Heart, a solo concert by Patti LuPone in 2000.
Shaiman and Wittman worked on Catch Me If You Can, a musical adaptation of the 2002 Steven Spielberg film, together with Terrence McNally. The musical opened on Broadway in April 2011. They again worked together on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical.
In 2013, Wittman and Marc Shaiman co-wrote the score for Bombshell, a musical about Marilyn Monroe within the context of the NBC television show Smash. A soundtrack was released later that same year.
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