Stephen Schwartz Inducted into the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame

The induction event was held on March 23rd.

By: Mar. 28, 2024
Stephen Schwartz Inducted into the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Broadway came to Long Island recently as a range of vocalists and musicians gathered to honor and induct award-winning Broadway and movie lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz into the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame on March 23rd at its Stony Brook Museum location. The award presentation was preceded by an hour-and-a-half concert emceed by musician Paul Shaffer, which featured performances from Schwartz’ musicals.

Although well-known on Broadway and Manhattan, Schwartz has solid Long Island roots, having grown up in Williston Park and graduated from Mineola High School. With a career that includes winning four Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and numerous other accolades, Schwartz says that being recognized on Long Island is an extra-special honor for him.

"Long Island has proven to be especially fertile ground for producing major talents in the fields of music and entertainment,” said Schwartz. “The list of names is long and impressive. It's a great honor for me to be recognized as being a part of that amazing tradition."

Schwartz joins other legendary Broadway lyricists and musicians inducted into LIMEHOF with ties to Long Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, including George Gershwin (2006) and George M. Cohan (2006). LIMEHOF currently includes over 120 inductees.

"It is with great honor and pride that the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame inducts the legendary Stephen Schwartz into our esteemed institution,” said Ernie Canadeo, LIMEHOF Chairman. “With a career spanning over five decades, Schwartz has enriched the world of American musical theatre and the silver screen with timeless classics. We celebrate not only his remarkable talent but also his enduring legacy, which will continue to inspire generations to come."

The music concert that preceded the induction was emceed by musician Paul Shaffer, with whom Schwartz worked early in his career. In 1972, Shaffer was hired as the musical director for the Toronto production of “Godspell.” He went on to play piano for another Schwartz-written score that played on Broadway, “The Magic Show,” in 1974. Shaffer eventually went on to play in the house band of on “Saturday Night Live,” followed by serving as musical director for David Letterman’s “Late Night” and “Late Show” broadcasts. Shaffer performed alongside musicians from the musical “Godspell” that included Rick Shutter (drummer), Doug Quinn (guitarist) and Steve Manes (bassist).

Broadway performers and singers who performed at this event included Teal Wicks and Carrie St. Louis (“Wicked”), Dale Soules (“The Magic Show”), Alysia Velez (“Into the Woods”), Sam Simahk (“Into the Woods”) and DeMarius Copes (“Some Like It Hot”). The concert featured Music from “Wicked,” “Godspell,” “Pippin,” “Working,” “The Magic Show.” and “Pocahontas.” In addition to the music performances, his friendStephen Reinhardt, who was a keyboard player and musical director for “Godspell” and “The Magic Show,” took the stage and gave a heartfelt speech. Sprinkled throughout the concert were various recorded video messages from Schwartz’ friends and colleagues who couldn’t be there but wanted to celebrate his induction, including Idina Menzel, Alan Menken, and Kristin Chenoweth, who had worked with Schwartz before in “Wicked,” and is working with him now on “The Queen of Versailles.”

After being inducted, Stephen closed out the evening by performing a song from his upcoming musical, “The Queen of Versailles,” which is set to debut later this year. 

After the event, Schwartz called it “a lovely evening” and said it was like a big reunion.

“All those videos were surprises… from my son and my friends… and it was really a moving evening for me,” Schwartz said. “I didn’t really expect this, so it was very meaningful to me.”