The Catholic University of America

Feb. 3, 2015

New Stephen Schwartz Revue to Premiere at CUA

Musical theatre students will explore the material of one of today’s most well-known composers and lyricists this month as Unlimited: The Music and Lyrics of Stephen Schwartz, makes its premiere at The Catholic University of America.

The revue, which is co-presented by the Musical Theatre Division of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music and No Rules Theatre Company in Arlington, Va., will feature works by Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who is best known for the Broadway hits Pippin, Godspell, and Wicked. Schwartz has also contributed lyrics for films, including Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt, and Enchanted.

Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20 and 21, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m.; and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Feb. 26 through Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Unlimited
was conceived by Joshua Morgan, artistic director of No Rules, Matt Cowart, and Zak Sandler. It is directed by Sally Boyett with musical direction by Marc Bryan Lilley, B.M. 2006. The student vocalists include Hasani Allen, Erica Clare, Nicole Elledge, Brian McNally, Harrison Smith, and Allison Verfhofstadt.

Morgan said the show will include some of Schwartz’s most famous songs, along with some surprises. He believes the pieces — though challenging — are ideal for young adult singers because they are often about individuals growing up and finding their place in the world.

“Stephen’s material is all about people finding their voice,” he said. “It’s all about their journey, starting to feel comfortable in their own skin, and finding their own sense of confidence.”

N. Thomas Pedersen, head of the Musical Theatre Division, said he was “ecstatic” to bring the revue to Catholic University with the help of No Rules Theatre Company.

“A chance for our students to work on the material of a living Broadway composer in collaboration with the original creative team who put this revue together for their age group is a true gift,” Pedersen said. “I am often asked to workshop new pieces and when I saw this one, I knew it would speak to our young artists and audience. Stephen Schwartz is their composer and their grandparents’ composer too.”

A version of Unlimited was performed at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem in Fall 2014, but the show has since been extended with new material. Morgan said he hopes the show can be published and performed around the country in the future.

“The special thing about this Catholic University production is that it is still developmental,” he said. “These kids will be the first students to ever perform material that will hopefully go on to have a longer life. It’s an amazing opportunity for them.”

Unlimited will be presented at Ward Recital Hall, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are $30 for general admission; $15 for CUA alumni, faculty, staff, and seniors; and $10 for students. For more information or to buy tickets, visit http://music.cua.edu or call 202-319-5416.

 

 

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