PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA, THE: INSIDE MEDIA: AN EVENING WITH STEPHEN SCHWARTZ: A LIFE IN FILM, TELEVISION, AND THEATER {LONG VERSION}

Summary

One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media's Inside Media events. Held at the Paley Center in Los Angeles, this evening celebrates the career of composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Host Cindy Braun (director of operations and administration, The Paley Center for Media) offers opening remarks and introduces Dan Foliart (president, The Society of Lyricists & Composers), who brings SLC board member Adryan Russ to the stage. Russ explains some recent changes in SCL's membership policy, and then introduces moderator Michael Kerker (director of musical theatre, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). Kerker thanks a number of associates and then brings Schwartz to the stage.

The conversation touches on such topics as: a "Reader's Digest version" of Schwartz's early life, including his inspiration from the 1957 musical "Shinbone Alley"; his time at Carnegie Mellon University and participation with the "Scotch'n'Soda" student theatre program, under which he wrote several original musicals, one alongside "Beaches" scribe Iris Rainer Dart; his history-inspired show "Pippin Pippin" (later shortened to one word) and the process of its production, including his meeting with agent Shirley Bernstein; his titular song for the 1969 play "Butterflies Are Free"; his work on "Godspell" (1971) and beginning of his tradition of receiving poor reviews from the New York Times; his work and friendship with the "generous" Leonard Bernstein; a recommendation from Hal Prince to add another act to "Pippin" (1972), which was eventually directed by Bob Fosse; the "I Want" songs in his musicals, including "Corner of the Sky" from "Pippin"; his work on "The Magic Show" (1974) and the "bewildering" experience of having three shows running simultaneously; his less successful fourth musical "The Baker's Wife" (1976); his show "Working" (1978), on which he worked with James Taylor, and its inspiration from a real-life "uncelebrated" telephone operator; his work with Charles Strause on the not-well-received "Rags" (1986); his plans to possibly abandon music and enter psychology before being recruited by Alan Menken to work for Disney after the death of Howard Ashman; their work on "Pocahontas" (1995) and the various methods of writing "tentpole songs" to support the film's plot; the difference between writing for stage and for screen; alterations to the lyrics of "Colors of the Wind" from "Pocahontas" per Menken's request; his preference for "true rhymes" in lyrics; his work on the 2000 television musical "Geppetto" and the challenges of writing to accommodate commercial breaks; his Disney-sponsored onsite research in Paris for the 1996 film "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"; the 2007 film "Enchanted" and its use of comedic homage to classic Disney films; inspiration from "Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall," during which Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett poked fun at "The Sound of Music" (1965) through song; the challenge of transitioning from dialogue to song; his attempts to subvert musical convention and not have the real-world characters burst spontaneously into song in "Enchanted"; and last-minute changes to the lyrics of his 1977 musical "Mass."

Clips featuring Schwartz's work are interspersed throughout the program, including: "Corner of the Sky" from a 1981 television version of "Pippin"; "It's An Art" from "Working"; and "Happy Working Song," "How Does She Know" and "So Close" from the film "Enchanted." A few of Schwartz's songs are also performed live, including: "Colors of the Wind," sung by Susan Egan; "Out There" from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," sung by David Burnham; "Since I Gave My Heart Away" from "Geppetto", sung by Schwartz; and "When You Believe" from "The Prince of Egypt" (1998), sung by Schwartz.

Details

  • NETWORK:
  • DATE: February 23, 2012 7:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:50:40
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 107246
  • GENRE: Seminars
  • SUBJECT HEADING:
  • SERIES RUN:
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Cindy Braun … Host
    • Michael Kerker … Moderator
    • Stephen Schwartz … Guest
    • Susan Egan … Guest, Performer
    • David Burnham … Guest, Performer
    • Julie Andrews
    • Howard Ashman
    • Leonard Bernstein
    • Shirley Bernstein
    • Carol Burnett
    • Iris Rainer Dart
    • Dan Foliart
    • Bob Fosse
    • Alan Menken
    • Adryan Russ
    • Hal Prince (See also: Harold Prince)
    • Charles Strouse
    • James Taylor