Composer Stephen Schwartz Makes Tony Comeback After Long Absence

Tony Awards   Composer Stephen Schwartz Makes Tony Comeback After Long Absence
With Wicked's ten Tony Award nominations, composer Stephen Schwartz makes a notable return to the nomination circle this season.

Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz Photo by Morgan Allen

The "Wizard of Oz" back story musical, which has become one of the commercial hits of the year, won more Tony nominations than any other show this season.

The strong showing is reminiscent of Schwartz's first big Broadway hit, Pippin, which in 1973 collected 11 Tony nominations. The 1970s proved to be Schwartz's decade. The Magic Show collected two nominations in 1975; Godspell won Schwartz a nod for his score in 1977; and in 1978, Working garnered six noms.

Between 1978 and this year, however, only one Schwartz show was recognized by Tony—Rags, which was nominated in five categories, winning none.

Schwartz's perseverance appears to have paid off. However, he has yet to win for one of his scores. Wicked, armed with not one but two witches, may be the one to break the spell.

"It's so weird to be here," the composer told Playbill On-Line. "For one thing, since I did this [last], it's a much bigger deal than it used to be. Or at least it's much more public and everyone makes a bigger deal out of it. I'm not used to this. And I've never really seen this before. The truth is: I've been around a while, I've never won one of these things, so I'm just enjoying it. For a long, long time, it looked to me that I was never going to be in this position again."

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