Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich Win 2009 Fred Ebb Award
The Fred Ebb Foundation (Mitchell Bernard, Trustee) in association with the Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) will present the fifth annual Fred Ebb Award for aspiring musical theatre songwriters to Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich. The award, named in honor of the late award-winning lyricist Fred Ebb, will be presented by Eric Schaeffer of the Signature Theatre on Monday, November 30th from 6-8pm at a by-invitation-only ceremony in the Penthouse Lobby of The American Airlines Theater.
The Fred Ebb Award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a lyricist, composer, or songwriting team that has not yet achieved significant commercial success. The award is meant to encourage and support aspiring songwriters to create new works for the musical theatre. The prize includes a $50,000 award. The Fred Ebb Foundation is funded by royalties from Mr. Ebb's vast catalogue of work. Past winners include John Bucchino (2005), Steve Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman (2006), Peter Mills (2007) and Adam Gwon (2008). The selection panel is comprised of: Foundation Trustee Mitchell S. Bernard; lyricist, writer and composer Sheldon Harnick; Music Director David Loud; Actress Debra Monk; Playwright/producer Tim Pinckney; Theatre producer Arthur Whitelaw.
Author Marcy Heisler and Composer Zina Goldrich, who have been collaborating since 1993, are honored to be the recipients of this year's Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting. They also received 2009 Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Lyrics and Music for Dear Edwina and are past recipients of ASCAP's Richard Rodgers New Horizons Theatre Award. Praised by The New York Times as a "bright inventive production" that "beguiles with rock, rag, rhythm and blues and doo wop among other attractions," Marcy and Zina's JUNIE B. JONES enjoyed three highly successful off-Broadway runs under the auspices of Theatreworks USA, earning two Lucille Lortel Award nominations. As performers, Marcy and Zina have toured domestically and internationally, presenting their music at some of the finest venues, including Carnegie Hall, Canada's "Juste Pour Rire" comedy festival and the Kennedy Center. Raved The Village Voice, "[They] have been turning out smart lyrics and sophisticated melodies for some time. Keep in mind they're the ones whose nifty love song rhymed 'quesadilla' with 'IKEA.'" Kristin Chenoweth popularized their song, "Taylor, the Latte Boy," performing it on The Today Show and The Rosie O'Donnell Show and in concert at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, and the White House. Together and apart, Marcy and Zina have provided original songs for The Disney Channel, Disney Interactive and Feature Animation projects, Disney Theatricals, PBS, and Nickelodeon. November 2009 marks the release of MARCY AND ZINA: The Album on Yellow Sound Label, and their Songbooks Volumes 1 and 2 are available from Hal Leonard. They have many new theatrical projects in the works, including an adaptation of the tale of Snow White and Rose Red, a Cyrano story set in the Brill Building Era, and a musical version of FREAKIN' FABULOUS, based on the bestselling book by author and stylemaker Clinton Kelly of TLC's What Not To Wear. For more information about Marcy and Zina, please log on to www.marcyandzina.com.
As a writer, lyricist, composer and director, Fred Ebb made incalculable contributions to the New York theatrical community. Mr. Ebb is a Tony®, Grammy®, Emmy®, Olivier® and Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award winning recipient. Fred Ebb's first professional songwriting assignment came in 1953 when he and Phil Springer were hired by Columbia Records to write a song for Judy Garland called "Heartbroken." Mr. Ebb was introduced to composer John Kander in 1964 by music publisher Tommy Valando and became one of the most legendary songwriting teams in American history. The first successful collaboration was on the song "My Coloring Book," recorded by Barbra Streisand. Their second theatrical collaboration, Flora, the Red Menace, created a star out of Liza Minnelli in her Tony® Award-winning Broadway debut. In 1966, their collaboration Cabaret, opened and received seven Tony® Awards including Best Musical and Best Score. A 1972 movie version of Cabaret starring Liza Minnelli was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won eight awards and was nominated for nine Golden Globe Awards and won three including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. The same year, the songwriting team wrote a number of songs for Minnelli's television special "Liza With a Z," which received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Program - Variety or Popular Music. In 1975, the two wrote the Broadway musical Chicago, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. The musical was successfully revived 20 years later at City Center ENCORES! and subsequently transferred to Broadway where it is currently the longest running revival in Broadway history. In 1977, the team collaborated with Martin Scorsese on the movie New York, New York; the title song was introduced by Minnelli and later recorded by Frank Sinatra becoming the unofficial theme song of New York City. The Minnelli Broadway vehicle The Act also opened that year. After a four-year absence, Mr. Ebb and Mr. Kander returned with Woman of the Year (1981), The Rink (1984), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (1985) and Steel Pier (1997). Miramax's 2002 feature film Chicago was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture and was nominated for eight Golden Globe Awards and won three, including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.