WICKED's Gregory Maguire and Stephen Schwartz Set for 'A WICKED COOL EVENING' at the Bushnell, 10/21

MARK MY WORDS 2014: A WICKED COOL EVENING, on Tuesday, October 21 at 8:00 p.m., is a once-in-a-lifetime event - a conversation between the creators of the book and Broadway smash Wicked. Gregory Maguire wrote the original novel Wicked - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Stephen Schwartz, legendary composer and lyricist of Pippin and Godspell, adapted Maguire's twisted take on L. Frank Baum's universe into one of the most successful musicals in history. Moderated by Connecticut theater legend Frank Rizzo, this is a unique opportunity to hear these creators talk about writing, music, theatre and, of course, the Wonderful World of Oz.

With the iconic Bushnell Mortensen Hall's striking art-deco interior serving as the backdrop for this unforgettable night, audiences will laugh, learn and be inspired by these two men who created the phenomenon that is Wicked. Both gentlemen are donating their time and services in honor of Mark Twain, the Father of American Literature.

Shortly after Mark My Words 2014: A Wicked Cool Evening, the musical Wicked will be performed at the Bushnell--from November 5 to 23.

For all the information that you might want to know about this event, visit www.twainmarkmywords.com.

The Mark Twain House & Museum's Annual 'Mark My Words' event -- wildly popular authors interviewed by a celebrity host -- has become a mainstay of the Connecticut literary scene over the past three years. John Grisham, David Baldacci, Jodi Picoult, Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, R. L. Stine, Sue Grafton, Alice Hoffman, and Scott Turow have been featured in this extraordinary celebration of authors. And we're excited to do something different this year -- and in Hartford for the first time -- with our Wicked Cool Evening!

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 8, with prior sale days for Mark Twain House & Museum members starting on Tuesday, August 5.

To make this benefit event as affordable as possible to all Wicked fans, there is an array of ticket price options. The VIP Package at $125 includes Premium Orchestra Seating, private reception with Gregory Maguire, Steven Schwartz, and Frank Rizzo. Orchestra & Box seats are $55, and Mezzanine seats are $25-40. Tickets can be purchased online at www.Bushnell.org or by phone at (860) 987-5900. All proceeds go to the Mark Twain House & Museum and its mission to preserve the home and legacy of Mark Twain.

About Gregory Maguire - Gregory Maguire is best known for his 1995 novel for adults, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. A New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller, and cited by Barnes & Noble in its "Discover Great New Writers" recommendations for the Fall of 1995, Wicked inspired the Broadway musical of the same name and three New York Times bestselling sequels in the Wicked Years cycle: Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. The Tony Award-winning Wicked, well into its eleventh year on Broadway and playing in nine productions internationally, has broken box office records in nearly every venue in which it has appeared. His latest book Egg & Spoon, a dazzling novel for fantasy lovers of all ages set in Russia, will be released on September 9, 2014.

Born and raised in Albany, New York, and schooled in a parochial setting until college, Maguire published his first novel for children at the age of 24. He has written eighteen novels for children and eight novels for adults. Currently he spends his time in Massachusetts, Vermont, and France with his husband, the painter Andy Newman, and their three children.

About Steven Schwartz - Stephen Schwartz was born in New York City on March 6, 1948. He studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music while in high school and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968 with a B.F.A. in Drama. In 1971, he wrote the music and new lyrics for Godspell, for which he won several awards, including two Grammys. The following year, he wrote the music and lyrics for Pippin, and two years later, The Magic Show. At one point, Godspell, Pippin and The Magic Show were all running on Broadway simultaneously. He then began working in film, collaborating with composer Alan Menken on the scores for the Disney animated features Pocahontas, for which he received two Academy Awards and another Grammy, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Mr. Schwartz's most recent musical, Wicked, opened in the fall of 2003 and is currently running on Broadway and in several other productions around the United States and the world. 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. Pippin is currently running on Broadway and received the 2013 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

About Frank Rizzo - Frank Rizzo has been covering the Connecticut arts scene for more than 37 years, 32 of them for The Hartford Courant. He also writes reviews and stories for the New York Times, Variety, American Theater Magazine and other publications.

During his tenure he has written about disco, rock and punk; covered the Oscars, the Grammys, the Tonys and Live Aid. He was in Cincinnati for the Mapplethorpe Obscenity Trial, at the U.S. Supreme Court for the NEA Four case, and at the Dakota for the John Lennon vigil. He's profiled such figures as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Julia Child, Rock Hudson, Dr. Ruth, August Wilson, Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep and Mischu, the world's smallest man.

The Mark Twain House &Museum (www.marktwainhouse.org) has restored the author's Hartford, Connecticut, home, where Samuel L. Clemens and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works during the years he lived there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In addition to providing tours of Twain's restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain's literary legacy and provide information about his life and times.

The house and museum at 351 Farmington Ave. are open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The museum is closed Tuesdays during January, February and March. For more information, call 860-247-0998 or visit www.marktwainhouse.org.?

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