The Fred Ebb Foundation and the Roundabout Theatre Company administer the annual honor that recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting by a lyricist, composer, or songwriting team who have not yet achieved significant commercial success. The Fred Ebb Award comes with a $50,000 prize.
Cohen penned the score to the Broadway-aimed musical The Big Time, which features a book by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane ( Xanadu, The Little Dog Laughed). He earned two Richard Rodgers Awards and the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation Award for writing book, music and lyrics to No Way to Treat a Lady and was awarded the York Theater Company's inaugural Noël Coward Prize as a "triple threat" writer for book, music and lyrics to The Gig.
Cohen is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Lyrics to Children's Letters to God and penned original songs for the Les Freres Corbusier production of Boozy, directed by Alex Timbers.
His musicals also include Nine Wives (penned with 13 librettist Dan Elish); Barnstormer (with book/lyrics by Cheryl L. Davis); he is the composer/lyricist and co-librettist of The Opposite of Sex. He recently completed his first play Lovely Send Anywhere and is at work on a musical adaptation of the Frank D. Gilroy novel "From Noon Till Three."
Previous Fred Ebb Award winners include John Bucchino (2005), Steve Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman (2006), Peter Mills (2007), Adam Gwon (2008), and Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (2009). Late lyricist Fred Ebb was a recipient of the Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Olivier and Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Awards. With his longtime collaborator John Kander, he first penned the song "My Coloring Book" in 1962. The team would go on to create their first musical with Hal Prince, Flora, The Red Menace, starring a young Liza Minnelli. Their works also include Cabaret, The Happy Time, Zorba, Chicago, The Act, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Visit and Curtains. His last musical with Kander, The Scottsboro Boys, opened on Broadway Oct. 31 at the Lyceum Theatre.