Pasek and Paul
|Pasek and Paul|
Benj Pasek (left) and Justin Paul
June 9, 1985|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Occupation(s)||Composer, lyricist, singer|
January 3, 1985|
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
|Occupation(s)||Composer, lyricist, singer|
Tony nominees Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (known as Pasek and Paul) are an award winning musical theatre composing team. Their works include A Christmas Story, Dogfight, Edges, Dear Evan Hansen, and James and the Giant Peach, and their original songs have been featured on NBC's Smash. They are graduates of the University of Michigan and winners of the 2007 Jonathan Larson Award, named after the late Rent composer, that honors achievement by composers, lyricists and librettists which is administered by the American Theatre Wing.
University of Michigan
A Christmas Story, The Musical
In 2010, Pasek and Paul joined the creative team of A Christmas Story, The Musical. The musical opened at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre on December 9, 2010. Since the Seattle premiere, the show recruited John Rando and choreographer Warren Carlyle to launch a national tour in 2011, concluding at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. The musical played a limited engagement on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre from November 19, 2012 through December 30, 2012; this was Pasek and Paul's Broadway debut as songwriters.
The show received three Tony Award nominations in 2013, for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre. It also received six Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Music, Outstanding Choreography (Warren Carlyle), Outstanding Book of a Musical (Joseph Robinette), Outstanding Orchestrations (Larry Blank), and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (John Bolton).
Pasek and Paul, together with book writer Peter Duchan, adapted the 1991 River Phoenix and Lili Taylor film Dogfight for their musical Dogfight. The musical premiered Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre on July 16, 2012 after previews from June 27 and was directed by Joe Mantello and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli. The show closed on August 19, 2012.
The musical was the recipient of the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and two 2013 Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Choreographer (Christopher Gattelli). It was nominated for 2013 Drama League Awards for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical and Distinguished Performance (Lindsay Mendez).
The Dogfight Original Cast Album was released digitally on April 30, 2013 and as a CD in May, 2013 by Sh-K-Boom Records.
Edges is a song cycle about the trials and tribulations of moving into adulthood. It examines the search for love, commitment and meaning. Edges premiered at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 3, 2005. Social media created a dedicated fan base nicknamed "Edge-heads". It has had over 200 productions worldwide in Australia, South Africa, Denmark, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Philippines, and across the United States.
James and the Giant Peach
Pasek and Paul wrote the score to the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. The show premiered at the Norma Terris Theatre at Goodspeed Musicals in 2010 in a developmental production, and was directed by Graciela Daniele and choreographed by Pilobolus.
Dear Evan Hansen
Their musical Dear Evan Hansen premiered at the Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.) on July 30, 2015, running through August 23. The musical is inspired by a traumatic incident in Pasek's life, with the death of a high school student. The book was written by Steven Levenson and Michael Greif directs, with Ben Platt starring as Evan.
The musical made its Off-Broadway debut in March 2016 (previews) at the Second Stage Theatre's Tony Kiser Theatre. Again directed by Greif, most of the Arena Stage cast appears in the Off-Broadway production. The musical is a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Dear Evan Hansen is currently scheduled to premiere on Broadway during the 2016-2017 season at the Music Box Theatre, beginning performances in November 2016.
Other works include If You Give A Pig A Pancake and Duck For President for Theatreworks USA, and Dr. Williams, written for the Orchard Project’s 24 Hour Musicals benefit. The show starred Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cheyenne Jackson. Pasek and Paul were featured in the documentary film One Night Stand about the process.
Their New York premiere was a concert of songs titled Become: The Music of Pasek & Paul and was performed May 14, 2006 at Joe's Pub at the Public Theatre. The evening was a benefit for the Wylie Foundation and featured performers including Gavin Creel, Cheyenne Jackson, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Steven Pasquale. The evening was produced and directed by Jamie McGonnigal.
Johnny and the Sprites
Pasek and Paul wrote the lyrics for the film musical La La Land. Justin Hurwitz wrote the music. The film stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and is written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The film, in its world premiere, was the opening film at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2016. They also wrote the song "Get Back Up Again" for the film Trolls.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival
In 2010, Pasek and Paul performed at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Adelaide, Australia.
American Musical Theatre Live Paris
Awards and honors
- 2016 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music
- 2016 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Song in a Feature Film.
- 2013 Tony Nominees for A Christmas Story: Best Musical and Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre.
- 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Dogfight: Outstanding Musical.
- 2011 The ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award
- 2011 Songwriter's Fellowship Award
- 2011 Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
- 2011 Sundance Institute Fellowship
- 2007-2008 Dramatist Guild Fellowship
- 2007 Jonathan Larson Award (youngest winners in history)
- "Jonathan Larson Awards". Broadwayworld.com, February 16, 2007
- "Pasek and Pauls New Song for 'Smash' Sung by Katharine McPhee" playbill.com
- "UM Musical Theatre Department.News Of Graduates.2011 - 12". University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, accessed July 27, 2012
- "Larson Grants Recipients". americantheatrewing.org, accessed July 27, 2012
- "Biography of Benj Pasek". MTIshows.com, accessed July 27, 2012
- "5th Avenue Theatre Presents 'A Christmas Story'". Broadwayworld.com, November 9, 2010
- Jones, Kenneth. "John Rando Will Direct 'Christmas Story' Tour; John Bolton, Gene Weygandt, Rachel Bay Jones Star". Playbill, September 30, 2011
- Hetrick, Adam. " 'A Christmas Story, The Musical!' Will Be Unwrapped at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in November". Playbill, July 26, 2012
- Playbill. September 25, 2012
- Jones, Kenneth. "'Dogfight', New Musical About Cruelty and Hope, Opens in NYC; Lindsay Mendez and Derek Klena Star". Playbill, July 16, 2012
- Jones, Kenneth. "Musicals by Duchan, Pasek, Paul and Gerle Win 2011 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater". Playbill, February 14, 2011
- "The Piano Lesson, The Whale & Dogfight Honored at 2013 Lucille Lortel Awards". Broadway.com, May 6, 2011
- Cox, Gordon. "Off Broadway musicals outnumber Broadway shows in the tuner category". Variety, April 23, 2013
- "'Edges' - Show Details, October 20, 2008". torontolivetheatre.com, accessed July 27, 2012
- "'Edges A Song Cycle' - Sydney Production (OPENS MARCH 25)" theatre.asn.au, 16 March 2010
- "Pasek and Pauls 'Edges'".Broadwayworld.com, October 5, 2011
- "Music Theatre Professor Directs Production in Denmark". elon.edu, July 11, 2011
- Edges fredericiateater.dk
- "Edges coming to Paris". AMT Live. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- Tay, Rebecca. "Fringe Review. Edinburgh Fringe 2010. 'Edges - the Musical'". fringereview.co.uk, 19 August 2010
- "Toronto Premiere of 'Edges'". Broadwayworld.com, September 18, 2008
- "Ateneo Blue Repertory Presents Musical Revue 'Edges'". Broadwayworld.com, July 18, 2010
- Gans, Andrew. "'Pasek and Paul's Edges to Play Sondheim Center with Alvin, Bashor and Hanlon". Playbill.com, February 15, 2008
- Jones, Kenneth. "'James and the Giant Peach, the Musical', Blossoms With the Help of Pilobolus, Oct. 21". Playbill, October 21, 2010
- Rothstein, Mervyn. " Next to Normal 's Michael Greif Stirs Up More Family Drama With Dear Evan Hansen" Playbill.com, July 6, 2015
- Gioia, Michael. "Pasek and Paul's Dear Evan Hansen, About the High School Struggle to Fit In, Premieres in D.C." Playbill.com, July 30, 2015
- Marks, Peter. "Dear Evan Hansen: Original story, high hopes for Benj Pasek and Justin Paul" Washington Post, July 10, 2015
- Clement, Olivia. "Pasek and Paul’s 'Dear Evan Hansen' Bows in New York", Playbill, March 26, 2016
- "Onstage. If You Give A Pig A Pancake, January 24, 2010". Penn State, accessed July 27, 2012
- "'One Night Stand' Documentary Feat. Cheyenne Jackson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Mandy Gonzalez et al. Makes NewFest Premiere, 7/24". Broadwayworld.com, July 24, 2011
- Gans, Andrew and Viagas, Robert. "La La Land Film, With Ryan Gosling, to Feature Songs by Pasek and Paul and Justin Hurwitz" Playbill, March 8, 2016
- Gans, Andrew. "Watch New Trailer for Forthcoming La La Land' Movie Musical" Playbill, August 23, 2016
- "Festival Centre’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival presents Along the Way: An Evening with Pasek and Paul. Australian Exclusive". Adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au, 14 April 2010
- "Musical Theatre Master Class with Pasek & Paul". AMT Live. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- "Pasek & Paul's EDGES". Broadway World. June 7, 2013.
- "The 16th Annual ASCAP Foundation Awards Honor Stephen Schwartz (December 7, 2011)". ascap.com, accessed July 27, 2012
- "Pasek Justin Paul Win Songwriters Fellowship Award for 'A Christmas Story'". Broadwayworld.com, October 19, 2011
- "Sundance-Institute Announces Artists Selected for 2011 Playwrights Retreat". Sundance.org, accessed July 27, 2012
- Pasek and Paul website
- Pasek and Paul YouTube channel
- Benj Pasek at the Internet Movie Database
- Justin Paul at the Internet Movie Database
- MTC MainStage website, producer of Edges in February 2008
- Toronto production of Edges