It must be obvious to just about everyone by now that the East Coast is not the only place where successful musicals are built, which explains why the ASCAP Foundation and the Disney entertainment juggernaut underwrite musical theatre workshops in the Los Angeles area. Applications are currently being accepted for the next workshops, to be held in January and February at the Disney Studios in Burbank.
Composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz will lead the workshops, where participating songwriters' and librettists' works-in-progress are heard and evaluated by professional producers, directors, performers, critics, and fellow writers. Past panelists have included Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, composer and lyricist of "Ragtime" and "Seussical"; David Zippel, lyricist of "City of Angels"; and ASCAP President Marilyn Bergman, co-lyricist of "Ballroom."
Interested writers must submit applications by Dec. 12. Prospective participants must send a resume, a cassette of at least four theatre songs, the lyrics to the songs, and a brief outline of the musical to Michael A. Kerker, Director of Musical Theatre, ASCAP, 1 Lincoln Plaza, New York, NY 10023.
A limited number of applicants will be accepted, but the panels are open to anyone, irrespective of ASCAP affiliation.
Sunday with a Jerry on Top
The ASCAP Foundation is also putting its resources into another project to support musical theatre. Last weekend it joined with two-time Tony Award winning Broadway songwriter Jerry Herman to initiate the ASCAP Foundation Jerry Herman Legacy Series, an educational initiative to present America's musical theatre heritage to young audiences nationwide.
The program will kick off in March of next year, bringing performances, seminars, and master classes to schools in San Francisco and San Jose.
Herman, whose Broadway musicals include "Hello, Dolly!," "La Cage aux Folles," "Milk and Honey," "The Grand Tour," and "Mame," received an award from the foundation at a Sun., Nov. 5 fundraiser. The composer-lyricist didn't have to travel far to get the honor, since the benefit party was held at his home.
Jason Graae, Karen Morrow, and Herman performed at the fundraiser, held to benefit the ASCAP Foundation and Reprise!, a program similar to New York City Center's Encores! To add to the recognition, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan declared the day Jerry Herman Day in Los Angeles.
Reprise! opened its concert version of Herman's "Mack and Mabel" Wed., Nov. 8, starring Douglas Sills, Jane Krakowski, and Donna McKechnie. Herman is currently working on "Miss Spectacular," a musical specifically created to play in Las Vegas.