A host of stage and screen stars came together November 13 at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center to celebrate the work of Oscar-winning composer Stephen Schwartz.
Billed as the inaugural Mazzoni Center Honors event, proceeds benefited the Mazzoni Center, the comprehensive health and wellness center serving Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community. Emmy and Peabody Award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien hosted.
Tony winner Alex Newell, most recently on Broadway in the new musical Shucked, performed The Baker's Wife ballad "Meadowlark." Watch Newell belt out the Schwartz classic in the video above.
Performers also included Paula Cole, Lorna Courtney, Charlotte d'Amboise, Tony winner J. Harrison Ghee, Vance Gilbert, Telly Leung, Terrence Mann, Lizzy McAlpine, Lauren Hart, and Dee Dee Sharp as well as the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus.
Schwartz was presented with a special award in recognition of his musical and humanitarian impact.
Walk additional highlights from the celebration below:
Performer Leung said in an earlier statement, “I've known Stephen since I was a college student…and he has always been a 'gift' to me. I'm thrilled I get to celebrate his music with this incredible line-up of artists whilst raising money and awareness for the great work being done at Mazzoni Center for the LGBTQ+ community.”
A recipient of the 2015 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, Schwartz also received Tony nominations for Best Original Score for Wicked, Rags, Working, Godspell, and Pippin as well as a Best Book of a Musical nomination for Working. He is also a three-time Oscar winner for his work on Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt.
The event was produced by Richard Barone with musical director Nick
Wilders. The main concert in the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall was
preceded by a drag show, also featuring Schwartz classics, with
performances by local Philadelphia drag queens Brittany Lynn, Phoebe
Manntrappe, and Nurse Morgan, in the Kimmel Center lobby.