Grapevine — The young musical duo of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, known for their musicals Dogfight, Edges and A Christmas Story, will be in town in June for a workshop and performance, brought here by OhLook Performing Arts in Grapevine. The workshops, done with students who sign up for the summer musical theater camp, begin June 9. The public performance is 7:30 p.m. June 11; tickets are $20. See info on how to purchase them below.
Pasek and Paul have been gaining notoriety for their work in New York. The first local professional theater to perform them was PFamily Arts, which staged Edges in December 2013 (although Ohlook presented the show before it was licensed in 2008). WaterTower Theatre will produce their award-winning Dogfight beginning July 28. And Dallas Summer Musicals gets the tour of their Tony-nominated take on the beloved holiday movie A Christmas Story at the end of this year.
Here’s more from the Ohlook press release:
The New York Times calls them “Theater wonder boys…effervescent. Consistently buoyant and clever.” The Washington Post says they are “An elegant and skillful collaboration” and Vanity Fair calls them “The heirs of Rodgers & Hammerstein.” Ohlook Director, Jill Blalock Lord, has met them several times and thinks “they’re wonderful...very funny and charming!” Who are they? The Tony-nominated songwriters (Best Original Score Written for the Theatre) of the Broadway musical, A Christmas Story, The Musical, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and they’re coming to Grapevine in June.
Pasek and Paul are also the composers of the off-Broadway musical Dogfight, which received a nomination from the Drama League for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical, was the winner of the Lucille Lortel Outstanding Musical Award and received Outer Critics Circle nominations for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score. Other theatrical works include James and the Giant Peach, Duck for President and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. They are currently at work on an original musical with playwright Steven Levenson and director Michael Greif and a new musical for Disney Theatricals with playwright Rick Elice. Benj and Justin are proud graduates of the University of Michigan.
Most people know Pasek and Paul as television songwriters, since their original songs were featured on season two of NBC’s Smash and rose to the top 25 on the iTunes Pop Charts. However, Ohlook’s relationship with them started in 2008 when Ohlook was one of the first theaters to present their debut songwriting work and widely acclaimed musical Edges, before it was officially licensed. It continued over the years when Ohlook’s award-winning cast of Spring Awakening met up with Pasek and Paul at the American Association of Community Theater national competition in June 2013. Most recently, they were reunited at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta in January 2014, when Pasek and Paul performed for the approximately 4,500 attendees, along with Ohlook’s master classes. Ohlook came home with top honors at that event.
The next obvious step was to bring Pasek and Paul “home to meet the family.” So, they will be in Grapevine the second week in June to host a workshop followed by a public performance on Wednesday, June 11 at 7:30pm at the Palace Theater (300 S. Main St., Grapevine). Tickets for the concert are $20 each and are available at www.ohlookperform.com or by calling 817-421-2825. To partake in the private workshop, sign up for Musical Theater Camp on the Ohlook website.