Two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway composer William Finn will appear in Palm Springs on March 16, 2013 in "Heart and Music: A Conversation With and Tribute To William Finn". The man behind such Broadway hits as FALSETTOS and THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE as well as A NEW BRAIN and ELEGIES: A SONG CYCLE and more will be the 2103 recipient of Desert Ensemble Theatre Company's Melpomai Award, given annually to honor excellence in the development of theater nationally.
"Bill Finn's body of work is both poignant and hysterical, pertinent and timeless. It's a great thrill to welcome to our stage and honor him, his art and his career, past, present and future," said Eric Olson, Co-Founding Artistic Director of DETC. "'Melpomai' means "celebration with song and dance" in Greek, and we look forward to celebrating Bill and his remarkable body of work. His work certainly resonates and reflects the diverse communities found in Palm Springs and we are thrilled to bring him here to receive the Melpomai Award."
Finn follows Stephen Schwartz as the recipient of the Melpomai Award. Schwartz was feted in May of 2012 with performances by Tony nomine Andrea McArdle, Kate Flannery of NBC's "The Office" and Hunter Parrish of the GODSPELL revial and Showtime's hit comedy "Weeds" as well as with tributes to him from Idina Menzel, Ben Vereen, Kristin Chenoweth, Betty Buckley, Peggy Gordon and more.
Among those saluting Finn will be Tony nominee and Drama Desk and Theatre World Award winner Donna Theordore (SHENANDOAH). Theodore made a record breaking 50 appearances on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and was seen nationally in ZORBA with Anthony Quinn. Also performing will be Jerome Elliott, Garrett Hoy and Jennifer Singer. Additional casting will be announced soon. Joel Baker will be the musical director/accompanist.
William Finn is well known for the trilogy of short musical shows: IN TROUSERS, MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS, FALSETTOS and FALSETTOLAND. FALSETTOS, the combination of MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS and FALSETTOLAND, ran for 486 performances on Broadway and won Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Book, the latter shared with James Lapine. Finn and Lapine's other collaborations include LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, the Tony Award-winning THE 25H ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE and A NEW BRAIN, which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical. Mr. Finn wrote the lyrics for world premiere musical DANGEROUS GAMES- TWO TANGO PIECES (1989), a co-production of La Jolla Playhouse, American Music Theater Festival and Spoleto Festival U.S.A. He is also the composer of ROMANCE IN HARD TIMES and ELEGIES, A SONG CYCLE.
Finn will be interviewed live onstage about his career, interspersed by performances of his award winning material. The evening will be directed and moderated by Broadway veteran and award-winning actor Scott Logsdon.
DETC presents classic and contemporary performances reflecting both the voice of the Coachella Valley and national trends in the arts. Through productions and arts outreach, DETC entertains, educates and inspires Coachella Valley residents.
Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff