Tag Archives: Schwartz

Snapshots Released for Licensing!


Stephen Schwartz Musical Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook Released for Licensing

Songs from Pippin, Godspell, The Baker’s Wife, and Enchanted, as well as the precursor to Wicked’s “The Wizard and I,” are featured in the score.

Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz Jospeh Marzullo/WENN

Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook, an original book musical that re-contextualizes songs by Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz to tell the story of a married couple on the verge of divorce, has been released for amateur and professional licensing by Music Theatre International.

Part revue, part traditional book musical, Snapshots was conceived by Michael Scheman and David Stern, who approached Schwartz in the mid-1990s about using his music to tell an original story. Schwartz joined in the development process, rewriting lyrics to several of his songs for the production.

“I entered into an exercise that proved to be both challenging and a lot of fun, especially to a ‘puzzle mind’ like mine: taking existing songs, retaining their titles and the music and for the most part their original structure, but starting from scratch with the lyrics,” Schwartz said in a statement. “Now, literally decades later, we have arrived at Snapshots. To my knowledge, it is a unique form. Is it a book musical? Kind of. Is it a revue? Well, that too. There’s no genre it fits into neatly, so we call it a ‘musical scrapbook’.”

The musical incorporates over two dozen of the Academy Award winner’s songs, culling from Pippin, Godspell, The Baker’s Wife, Rags, The Magic Show, Personals, Working, Children of EdenCaptain Louie, Enchanted, and Wicked—including “Making Good,” which was cut from workshops for the Broadway smash Wicked and later replaced with “The Wizard and I.” Songs written in collaboration with David Crane, Seth Friedman, Marta Kaufman, Alan Menken, and Charles Strouse are also included. Original orchestrations are by Steve Orich.

Snapshots follows Sue and Dan, a suburban couple on the verge of divorce after 30 years of marriage. A hidden suitcase in their attic containing photographs of their life together reconnects them with their past as younger versions of themselves appear and play out “snapshots” from their relationship.

Drew Cohen, President and CEO of MTI, states, “We are thrilled that some of the finest songs from the Stephen Schwartz songbook have been woven together brilliantly by David Stern and Stephen Schwartz to create a fresh, new musical that conveys the emotion, brilliance and joy of each Stephen’s songs while delivering a completely new and exciting experience to the audience. Whether audience members know the songs be heart or are new to Stephen’s work, the response to Snapshots has been the same: pure delight.”

Visit mtishows.com for licensing information.

Allwayz On Stage’s Pinocchio a Hit!

Special troupe stages charming show

PLAY REVIEW /// ‘My Son Pinocchio Jr.’

WOODEN IT BE GRAND—Sammy Costanzo, left, as the puppet and Breezy Johnson as Geppetto in “Son of Pinocchio Jr.”

WOODEN IT BE GRAND—Sammy Costanzo, left, as the puppet and

Breezy Johnson as Geppetto in “Son of Pinocchio Jr.”

Allwayz On Stage delivered a heartwarming theater experience earlier this month when it presented its latest production at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts.The company, launched a year ago by Laurie Johnson and Tracy Costanzo, offers stage opportunities for young adults ages 16 and over with special needs. Johnson and Costanzo’s daughters, Breezy and Samantha (Sammy), who have been friends since kindergarten, regularly put on shows in their backyards. But with last year’s successful “Beauty and the Beast,” their personal fairy tales came true as they starred in the fully staged production, complete with sets, costumes, music and choreography.

Now 25 and 24, respectively, the pals headlined the cast in the company’s second production, “My Son Pinocchio Jr.,” which had a three-day run ending on Aug. 13.

“My Son Pinocchio” was penned by screenwriter David I. Stern, the adaptation based on the Disney live-action TV movie “Geppetto.” The score has new songs by Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin”) and two numbers (“When You Wish Upon a Star” and “I’ve Got No Strings”) from the legendary 1940 animated Disney film, “Pinocchio.”

As they did last year, Johnson (director) and Costanzo (choreography) joined forces to stage the show, with their daughters playing the principal roles: Breezy as Geppetto and Sammy as Pinocchio.

The production traces the familiar story from Geppetto’s perspective, beginning when Pinocchio becomes a real boy and taking us through flashbacks. To Geppetto’s dismay, Pinocchio engages in behavior not unlike that of real live boys: He’s incorrigible and uncooperative, leading Geppetto to call the Blue Fairy and ask for a refund on his wish, claiming Pinocchio is defective.

Breezy and Sammy’s friendship is palpable, even when they are disguised by wigs and makeup. It was evident they heartily enjoyed the whimsical dialogue during their scenes together: Geppetto: “Did you sleep well?” Pinocchio: “I slept like a log!” Geppetto: “You are a log!”

The Blue Fairy (played by Abigail Arnal) is one of two characters from the fable whose roles are expanded. Stromboli, the bombastic carnival owner and puppeteer (played by one of the company’s many adult mentors, Ben Deschaine, who also built the set), is the other. The Blue Fairy heads up a school of fairies in training (Brooke Baldauf, Amanda Counts, Erin Schleich and Megan Tresback), boasting about her “perfect record” of successfully granting wishes.

Allwayz On Stage also provides initial acting opportunities for younger performers, and the show featured debuts by Isla Burditt, Owen Sayles, and sisters Siena and Eden Judovits.

Eden, the smallest of the newcomers, was adorable as well as adept as she sang on key, nailed her lines and executed her dance moves with the rest of the cast. (The sisters were joined onstage by their parents, Danielle and Kevin, who played ensemble roles.)

The Allwayz On Stage mentors are professionals who’ve been working with the challenged actors since April. Onstage, many serve as guiding partners to make sure the special needs actors hit their marks and prompt them if they forget a line. The latter instances were few and far between, as everyone performed admirably and professionally, encouraged by the enthusiastic audience.

Of special note in the cast are mentors Julia Marley, a Cabrillo Music Theatre performer, and Ezra Shipin, an accomplished dancer who choreographed her own stunning ballet tableau during the song “Geppetto and Son.”

Others included Emalee Burditt, Katie Gill, Chrys Ryan Johnson, Meghan Pool and Ryan Satterfield, who played Professore Buonragazzo, inventor of the “perfect child” machine, which produces “Body Snatcher”-like obedient children. Hmm. Not a bad idea.