Stephen Schwartz, the three-time Academy Award-winning Broadway legend and composer, and Broadway icon Andrea McArdle will appear in Palm Springs on May 19 in "When You Believe: A Conversation With and Tribute To Stephen Schwartz" at the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum. The man behind such worldwide Broadway hits as WICKED, GODSPELL and PIPPIN and films including PRINCE OF EGYPT and POCAHONTAS will be the first recipient of Desert Ensemble Theatre Company's Melpomai Award, to be given annually to honor excellence in the development of theater nationally.
Stephen Schwartz's body of work includes the scores for the shows GODSPELL, PIPPIN, THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER'S WIFE, WORKING, CHILDREN OF EDEN, CAPTAIN LOUIS, WICKED, the film PRINCE OF EGYPT (for which he won an Oscar) and the opera SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON. As a lyricist, he worked on Bernstein's MASS, RAGS and the films THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, POCAHONTAS (for which he won two Academy Awards) and ENCHANTED. In 2008, WICKED reached its 1900th performance on Broadway, making Mr. Schwartz the only songwriter in Broadway history ever to have three shows run more than 1900 performances. "Stephen Schwartz is a legend of American Theater," said DETC Co-Artistic Director Tony Padilla. "We are proud to present this celebration of his career."
Joining Mr. Scwartz will be Andrea McArdle who rocketed to stardom as Broadway's original ANNIE, for which she was the youngest performer ever nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. For her work as ANNIE she won the Theatre World and Outer Critics' Circle Awards. She's also been seen on Broadway in LES MISERABLES, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, STARLIGHT EXPRESS and STATE FAIR. Her television credits include playing Judy Garland in RAINBOW, the "star to be" in ABC's ANNIE and SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.
Schwartz and McArdle will be joined onstage by Pamla Vale Abramson, Garrett Hoy, Ben Reece and Laura L.Thomas. Joel Baker will be the musical director/accompanist. Additional casting will be announced soon. Schwartz will be interviewed live onstage about his career, interspersed by performances of his stage and movie musical hits. The evening will be directed and moderated by Broadway veteran and award-winning Desert 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.
Tickets for "When You Believe: A Conversation With and Tribute To Stephen Schwartz" are available through the Annenberg Theater, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. Tickets cost $55, $65 and $75. The Annenberg Theater box office can be reached at (760) 325-4490 or online at www.psmuseum.org.