Stephen Schwartz Returns To Composing in Film Prince

News   Stephen Schwartz Returns To Composing in Film Prince
 
Stephen Schwartz, the Broadway composer/lyricist who devoted most of the last three years to writing lyrics for animated Disney films, will write both music and lyrics for another forthcoming animated film, Prince of Egypt, the first for Dreamworks SKG.

Stephen Schwartz, the Broadway composer/lyricist who devoted most of the last three years to writing lyrics for animated Disney films, will write both music and lyrics for another forthcoming animated film, Prince of Egypt, the first for Dreamworks SKG.

The movie has set a November 1998 release, according to Dreamworks spokesperson Meredith Blume, with an all-star cast supplying voices: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Sandra Bullock and Helen Mirren.

"I've basically finished the songs for Prince Of Egypt," Schwartz told Playbill On-Line July 28. "I think the big song, the `plug' song, is 'When You Believe,' sung in the movie by Sally Dworsky [the singing voice of Sandra Bullock] in a duet with Michelle Pfeiffer, who sings herself. For 'Through Heaven's Eyes,' the character is played by Danny Glover, but Brian Stokes Mitchel [Ragtime] will probably do the singing on that one."

Schwartz made a splash in the early 1970s by writing music and lyrics for his biggest hit, Godspell, then wrote lyrics for Leonard Bernstein's Mass.

He went on to write music for two more 1970s megahits, Pippin and The Magic Show before beginning a two-decade hitless spell. During that time he wrote respected scores for The Baker's Wife, part of Working, lyrics to Rags and several other projects. His last complete score was Children of Eden, which was produced in London and is scheduled for production at Paper Mill Playhouse and several other resident theatres this year. Schwartz returned to the limelight writing lyrics to Alan Menken's music for animated Disney films The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas, the latter of which won him an Oscar.

As with Godspell, Mass and Children of Eden, Schwartz has turned to the Bible for the subject matter of Prince of Egypt, which musicalizes the story of Moses.

Blume said Prince has six new Schwartz songs.

Schwartz is working on yet another Bible-themed project, a segment of the new musical Miracles, being prepared for Off-Broadway, also in November 1998.

-- By Robert Viagas and David Lefkowitz

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