Paul Williams Will Get Goodspeed Award at Gala Benefit

News   Paul Williams Will Get Goodspeed Award at Gala Benefit
 
Goodspeed Musicals will honor Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer-lyricist Paul Williams at a gala benefit evening June 12, when he will receive The Goodspeed Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre in recognition of his career.
Paul Williams
Paul Williams Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Williams' songs were heard in two recent Goodspeed shows — Happy Days: A New Musical and Jim Henson's Emmet Otter.

Previous Goodspeed Award recipients include Julie Andrews, Ira Gershwin, Jerry Herman, William Ivey Long, Michael P. Price, Stephen Schwartz, Tommy Tune, Susan Stroman and Gerald Schoenfeld.

Proceeds from the gala will support Goodspeed Musicals' Education Programs.

The co-chairs for this gala event will be writer-director-producer Garry Marshall and his wife Barbara; Academy Award-winning puppeteer, director-producer Brian Henson; Tony Award nominee and Oscar, Grammy Award-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz; and Steve Sauer.

The evening's festivities, to be held at the elegant Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam, CT, will include a cocktail hour and dinner followed by a live auction led by celebrity auctioneer and longtime Goodspeed supporter Ann Nyberg and entertainment by some Broadway stars. Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe-winning songwriter Paul Williams (chairman and president of ASCAP) wrote such hits as "Evergreen," "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays" and "The Rainbow Connection." His film scores include the Oscar-nominated "Bugsy Malone" and the classic "Muppet Christmas Carol." His contribution to musical theatre includes penning the music and lyrics for Jim Henson's Emmet Otter, which had its world premiere at the Goodspeed in 2008, and Garry Marshall's Happy Days: A New Musical, which was developed at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre followed by a full-scale production at the Goodspeed Opera House. Happy Days went on to play at the Paper Mill Playhouse and a national tour.

Williams' standards have been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Luther Vandross, REM, Mel Torme, Anne Murray, Diana Krall, Gladys Knight and Diana Ross.

Individual tickets start at $500, while tables of ten can be purchased for $5,000 and up. For gala ticket information, call Caitlin Quinn at (860) 873-8664, extension 367.

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Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and additional productions at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The only regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater.

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