October 4, 2012

CMU Juniors to Perform with Composer Stephen Schwartz ('68)

By Laci Corridor (MFA '14)

On October 21, Carnegie Mellon's Musical Theatre students will perform SCHWARTZ ON SCHWARTZ, an evening of cabaret, alongside accomplished composer Stephen Schwartz ('68). Every song performed will have music and/or lyrics penned by the talented CMU alumnus whose credits include the famed musicals GODSPELL, PIPPIN, and WICKED. The cabaret performance allows junior-level students to break through the imaginary fourth wall and perform as themselves, a rare opportunity for actors who typically perform in character. This year, Mr. Schwartz will accompany them on the piano.

Associate Professor Gary Kline who directs the cabaret says his students are "over the moon" to have Schwartz working with them on the songs he wrote. Their reaction underscores a rare and special opportunity the cabaret provides: the chance for students to work directly with the composer of their songs. Kline praises Mr. Schwartz for being "a terrific teacher and mentor to many young performers" and is excited that this year's cabaret will center on Schwartz's work. He ensures that it will be a great chance to "see the stars of tomorrow perform these glorious, romantic songs."

The performance will take place at the Cabaret at Theater Square in downtown Pittsburgh, an intimate space that highlights the cabaret experience. In keeping true to the style, students will be accompanied by only a piano (and perhaps a bass or drums). Theatergoers will sit at round tables and can enjoy food and beverage during the performance. According to Kline, they can expect "a rare glimpse into the great music of Mr. Schwartz," who, as an added bonus, will also perform some of his numbers at the piano.

Schwartz is planning to hold an additional workshop with the students on Monday, October 22.

SCHWARTZ ON SCHWARTZ will be performed Sunday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabaret at Theater Square (655 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA). Tickets can be purchased online (General Admission: $25, CMU Parents: $10, CMU Students: $5). An open bar and food menu will be available.