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Performing Arts

Boundless on Broadway

By Marilou Carlin

Spring is the season of Broadway award nominations and once again alums of U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance have been recognized for their outstanding work in theatre. This year, musical theatre alums Benj Pasek (BFA ’07) and Justin Paul (BFA ’07) have received nominations from all three of the major award bodies, Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. The Tony Awards ceremony will be held June 9, while the Drama Desk Awards will be held May 19, and Outer Critics Award will be May 23.

The Tony nomination, in the category of “Best Original Score,” is for writing the music and lyrics for A Christmas Story, which also received Tony nominations for “Best Musical” and “Best Book of a Musical.” Additionally, Pasek & Paul received a Drama Desk “Outstanding Music” nomination for A Christmas Story, with the show also receiving a Drama Desk nominations in five other categories, including “Outstanding Musical.” A Christmas Story was also nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as “Outstanding New Broadway Musical.”

In addition, Pasek & Paul’s Off-Broadway musical Dogfight, for which they wrote music and lyrics, received Outer Critics Circle Award nominations in the categories of “Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical” and “Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway),” along with three additional nominations.

Other nominations this award season include:

  • Josh Rhodes (BFA ’93, musical theatre) nominated for both a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award in the category of “Outstanding Choreography” for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
  • Jack O’Brien (BA ’61, theatre and MA ’62 English), nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as “Outstanding Director of a Play” for The Nance.
  • The Araca Group, the production company of Matthew Rego (BFA ’92), co-produced two shows nominated for top awards: The Testament of Mary, Tony nominee for “Best Play” and Outer Critics Circle nominee for “Outstanding New Broadway Play;” and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Tony nominee for “Best Revival of a Musical,” Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for “Outstanding Revival of a Musical.”

Marilou Carlin is a writer at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

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