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2006 Tony Awards Q&A: David Zippel

Tony nominated for Best Original Score (alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber) for The Woman in White, has previously won a Tony Award, two Academy Award nominations, two Grammy nominations and three Golden Globe nominations. He is one of the few contemporary lyricists to have achieved success on Broadway, in film and in pop music. Broadway credits include City of Angels, The Goodbye Girl, Barbara Cook: A Concert for the Theatre. Films include Disney's Hercules, Disney's Mulan, The Swan Princess, Frankie and Johnny, The Wedding Planner. His songs appear on more than 25 million CDs, including recordings by Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Mel Torme, Ricky Martin, 98 Degrees, Cleo Laine, Linda Eder, Nancy LaMott, Sarah Brightman and Barbara Cook.

Where did you hear your Tony nomination news?

I was in bed at home, listening to the nominations.

Who was the first person that you called?

The first person was Carolee Carmello to tell her and to congratulate her on her nomination (for Lestat).

Have you spoken to Andrew Lloyd Webber as well?

Yes, I spoke to Andrew and he's delighted.

The show has unfortunately closed here on Broadway, but we hear that there's plans for a tour of England?

Yes, I think the plan is to bring it on a tour of the UK, and hopefully that version we'll then do something else with.

Are there changes planned for that version?

The last discussion was to do it without the chorus just with the principals, basically making it a smaller version of the show.

The show had a mixed reaction here on Broadway, how did you react to that?

It certainly was a polarized reception. There were people that were wildly enthusiastic and people that just dismissed it. I'm sorry that the people who didn't like it weren't more enthusiastic of course.

Because of that, does this year's nomination feel different from those that you've gotten in the past?

It was a very pleasant surprise and it's such a delight to be recognized. I think that it's always nice.

You're working on a number of projects at the moment which is headed to New York next?

I'm always working on several projects at the same time and I have no idea which ones you're going to see first!

Princesses?
We don't have a theater yet for Princesses.

Pamela's First Musical?

Graciela and I have a workshop coming up at a theater out of town. I have no idea which one will come to New York first though.

What else?

Larry Gelbert and I have a couple of things that we're tossing around and that we're working on.

Pamela's First Musical sadly lost some of its collaborators, how has that changed the process?

It's sad that Graciela and I go to these meetings that used to have Cy Coleman and Wendy Wasserstein at them and now it's just the two of us. We're still having a great time, but it's also the fact that they're not here is helping to fuel the fire for this project.

You mentioned that Princesses is looking for a theatre, are you still actively working on the show?

After Seattle, we did some work and then another reading here just to hear it ourselves and it went rather well so we're now just waiting.

Have you seen your fellow nominees this year yet?

I have enjoyed this season, but I've been in California a lot this season so I haven't seen everything. I really enjoyed The Color Purple, though and everything else I've seen recently I enjoyed.

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Robert Diamond The 2001 Syracuse University graduate (School of Information Studies) is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media, an award-winning leading design company for entertainment and technology web sites. In his previous life, he held an executive position for the world's leading publisher of technology magazines, web sites and conferences and, as a result, was named among the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by FOLIO Magazine.

Robert Diamond founded BroadwayWorld.com in 2003, which has now become the largest theatre web site in the world. He also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, covering Broadway and beyond, with specific local coverage for 100 cities in the United States, 35 countries worldwide and 15 other related areas of entertainment - including dance, opera, fashion, concerts, comedy, films, television and more. In May of 2014, the site was awarded a 2014 Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts Education by the prestigious Theatre Museum.

Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.)

As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the BroadwayWorld.com 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need.

Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week. Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on BroadwayWorld.com and he also wrote weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog.

In December of 2011, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School.

In late 2012, Wisdom Digital Media announced the official spinoff and launch of 10 new entertainment web sites including BWWMoviesWorld.com, BWWTVWorld.com, BWWFashionWorld.com, BWWBooksWorld.com, BWWMusicWorld.com, BWWArtWorld.com, BWWComedyWorld.com, BWWDanceWorld.com, BWWClassicalWorld.com and BWWOperaWorld.com.

In January of 2013, BWWGeeksWorld.com, devoted to home entertainment, mobile technologies and social media launched as well, followed by BWWFitnessWorld.com and BWWTravelWorld.com in April of 2013. In July of 2013, BWWHub.com launched as a portal to the complete family of entertainment and lifestyle offerings.

In 2014, BroadwayWorld.com returned to the concert stage, with a series of benefit concerts featuring Broadway's brightest stars. A new partnership with Rock-it Science Records will record and release these special evenings, with proceeds benefiting various charities.