Friday, May 10, 2013

A Banner Year: Three Cheers for Pasek and Paul

I remember I used to watch clips of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's song cycle, Edges, from my dorm room in Georgia my Freshman year of college, a turbulent time in my life when I found myself stuck in a college town but in desperate need of new life experiences and challenges. "Monticello" was a lifeline for me, and it's been a real joy over the years to see the show continue to change, get a professional production, and help Pasek and Paul carve out spaces for themselves in the theatre world.

This past year (even these past couple of months) have been especially exciting for Pasek and Paul, as their work has not only had some major productions in 2012, but is now getting recognized in awards season. Next week, the duo will be celebrating the release of the cast recording of Second Stage's production of Dogfight at Joe's Pub-- though the album is already available for digital download and is well worth the early grab. I, sadly (and brokely), missed the Second Stage production (which just recently won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical), but man, is Sh-K-Boom preserving some good stuff with the recording of this album. All the performers are top notch-- with Lindsay Mendez's voice a clearly ringing standout throughout, and the songs are ebullient and smart. If this is the future of musical theatre, the kids are alright. I dare you to watch the preview video below with a sample of "First Date/Last Night" and not get hooked.

Pasek and Paul are also up for a Tony for their score for A Christmas Story, which is thrilling. Also, their nomination made this wonderful little Q&A possible.

And last, but hardly least, Pasek and Paul song have been tearing it up on the notorious Smash.

So big congrats go out to Pasek and Paul-- and if you haven't had a chance to check out their music, you gotta get on it! There's no excuse anymore. They're out there killing it, and I couldn't be happier for their success.

No comments: