Ripley Sings Schwartz: Goodspeed Gala Honors Wicked Composer June 17

News   Ripley Sings Schwartz: Goodspeed Gala Honors Wicked Composer June 17 Goodspeed Musicals will honor Broadway songwriting star Stephen Schwartz at a gala June 17, when he will receive The Goodspeed Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre.

The award presages the new Goodspeed revival of Pippin, opening this summer. The production will then tour.

The Tony Award-honored Connecticut theatre devoted to revivals and the development of new work has given awards to Julie Andrews, Ira Gershwin, Tommy Tune, Susan Stroman and Gerald Schoenfeld.

Live entertainment will include songs by acclaimed actress Alice Ripley, who has been seen on Broadway in her Tony-nominated performance as Violet Hilton in Side Show, as well as The Rocky Horror Show, Sunset Boulevard and many others. In 2005, Ripley was seen in the role of Genevieve in Schwartz's The Baker's Wife at Paper Mill Playhouse.

Proceeds from the gala will support Goodspeed Musicals and its Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater.

The co-chairs for this gala event are Marc Platt and David Stone, producers of Wicked, the Broadway smashzilla with music and lyrics by Schwartz. The Hartford has taken on the role of Corporate Sponsor. Among guests will be actors James Naughton, Jane Curtin and Paul Dooley, Wicked librettist Winnie Holzman, and more.

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The gala, which begins at 6:30 pm with cocktails, will include dinner, dancing and a rare performance by Stephen Schwartz, who has released two solo CDs in his career.

Included in the evening's festivities will be a silent auction with items such as Stephen Schwartz memorabilia, a walk-on role in Goodspeed Musicals' production of Pirates of Penzance (playing Oct. 6-Dec. 10), tickets for four to the Tony Awards and much more all available to the highest bidder.

Stephen Schwartz's career as a composer, lyricist, and director has spanned over 30 years. Early in his career, he became one of the few composer-lyricists ever to have three successful Broadway shows running simultaneously (Godspell, Pippin and The Magic Show).

He also wrote music and lyrics for The Baker's Wife, Children of Eden, Working and lyrics for Rags (music by Charles Strouse). For film, Schwartz collaborated with composer Alan Menken on the songs for the Disney animated features "Pocahontas" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," and wrote the songs for DreamWorks' "The Prince of Egypt."

He won three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards and four Drama Desk Awards.

Upcoming for Schwartz in 2006 is the release of a new stage musical, Geppetto and Son, adapted from the television musical he wrote for "The Wonderful World of Disney," and Goodspeed Musicals' production of Pippin, July 14-Sept. 24, at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT. Immediately following the close of the show at the Goodspeed Opera House, Goodspeed Musicals will produce a national tour of Pippin.

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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 an additional three 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.

For more information, visit www.goodspeed.org.

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For gala ticket information, call Theresa Kidd, director of individual giving, at (860) 873-8664, extension 317.