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Defying Gravity: An Evening with Stephen Schwartz & Friends

Sat May 3 | 8PM

Event details

Godspell, Pippin, Wicked – Stephen Schwartz penned some of the most popular Broadway shows of the last five decades. In 2023, the stars came out to celebrate the composer/lyricist’s 75th birthday at the Metropolitan Opera. The Soraya follows suit, presenting the hits of his vast catalog with Schwartz at the piano leading a band and four singers, including Broadway veteran Liz Callaway.

Sat May 3 | 8PM

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Defying Gravity: An Evening with Stephen Schwartz & Friends

Sat May 3 | 8PM

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About the Artist

Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hit WICKED, and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to GODSPELL, PIPPIN, THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER’S WIFE, WORKING (which he also adapted and directed), RAGS, and CHILDREN OF EDEN. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s MASS and wrote the title song for the play and movie BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, CAPTAIN LOUIE and MY SON PINOCCHIO. He has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s ENCHANTED as well as the animated features POCAHONTAS and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, and writing the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature THE PRINCE OF EGYPT. His first opera, SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera. A book about his career, “Defying Gravity,” has been released by Applause Books. Mr. Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . Awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies. http://www.stephenschwartz.com.

Liz Callaway is a Tony and Grammy nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress, singer and recording artist. She made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in Baby, and for five years, won acclaim as Grizabella in Cats. She has also starred in the original casts of Miss SaigonThe Three Musketeers, and The Look of Love.

Off-Broadway she received a Drama Desk nomination for her performance in The Spitfire Grill (Playwrights Horizons), and also appeared in Brownstone (Roundabout), No Way to Treat a Lady, Marry Me a Little, and Godspell. Other New York appearances include the legendary Follies in Concert at Lincoln Center, A Stephen Sondheim EveningFiorello!(Encores!), and Hair in Concert.   Regional and international credits include Dot in Sunday in the Park with George, Eva Peron in Evita, Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, the European premiere of Sondheim on Sondheim at London’s Royal Festival Hall, and most recently, starred in the one-person play “Every Brilliant Thing”.

Ms. Callaway has also established a major career as a concert and recording artist.  The award-winning Sibling Revelry(created with sister Ann Hampton Callaway) was presented to great acclaim at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Boom!,a celebration of the music of the 60’s and 70’s, also created with her sister was recorded live at Birdland, and is currently touring performing arts centers around the country. Recently she had the pleasure of singing Chances Are with singing legend Johnny Mathis in Vancouver. She  also co-starred with Jimmy Webb & Paul Williams in their critically acclaimed engagement at Feinstein’s in New York and joined Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder at Hal David’s 90th Birthday Celebration Concert at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.  Her extensive US symphony work includes appearances at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Ravinia, and The Hollywood Bowl. Worldwide, she has performed in China, Australia (with Stephen Schwartz),  New Zealand, Iceland, Estonia, France (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris), Slovenia, South Korea, and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu where she premiered a new concert featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim.

Liz sang the Academy Award nominated song “Journey to the Past” in the animated feature Anastasia and is also the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin and the King of Thieves and The Return of Jafar. Other film work includes the singing voice of the title character in The Swan Princess, Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, Beauty and the BeastThe Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars and The Rewrite with The Hugh Grant.

She received an Emmy Award for hosting Ready to Go, a daily, live children’s program on CBS in Boston.  Other TV credits include In Performance at the White House, Inside the Actor’s Studio: Stephen Sondheim, In Performance at the White House, Christmas with the Boston Pops, The David Letterman Show, and Senior Trip (CBS Movie of the Week).

Liz has released eight solo albums: Passage of Time, The Beat Goes On, The Story Goes On: Liz Callaway On and Off-BroadwayAnywhere I Wander: Liz Callaway Sings Frank Loesser, Merry and Bright, The Essential Liz Callaway, Comfort and Joy – An Acoustic Christmas. Her latest album, To Steve With Love: Liz Callaway Celebrates Sondheim, was nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. She has also released four singles – “Be a Lion” from The Wiz, “The Morning After” by Oscar-winning songwriter David Shire, “Beautiful City” from Godspell, and a duet of her Oscar-nominated song from Anastasia, “Journey to the Past” with the star of Anastasia on BroadwayChristy Altomare.  Her numerous other recordings include Sibling Revelry, Boom! Live at Birdland, A Christmas Story – The MusicalThe Maury Yeston Songbook, Dreaming Wide Awake: The Music of Scott Alan, Hair in Concert, and the complete recording of Allegro produced by the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. 

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