Julia Riew to Receive 18th Annual Fred Ebb Award

The Fred Ebb Award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a songwriter or songwriting team that has not yet achieved significant commercial success.

By: Nov. 07, 2022
Julia Riew to Receive 18th Annual Fred Ebb Award

The Fred Ebb Foundation in association with the Roundabout Theatre Company will present the eighteenth annual Fred Ebb Award for aspiring musical theatre songwriters to Julia Riew. The award, named in honor of the late award-winning lyricist Fred Ebb, will be presented by Beth Leavel on Monday November 28th from 6-8pm at a by-invitation-only ceremony in the Penthouse Lounge of The American Airlines Theater.

The Fred Ebb Award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a songwriter 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 $60,000 award. In addition to the monetary prize, the Fred Ebb Foundation will produce a one-night-only showcase of the winner's work. The Fred Ebb Foundation is funded by royalties from Mr. Ebb's vast catalogue of work. Past winners include John Bucchino (2005); Steve Lutvak & Robert L. Freedman (2006); Peter Mills (2007); Adam Gwon (2008); Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich (2009); Douglas J. Cohen (2010); Jeff Blumenkrantz (2011); Sam Willmott (2012); Michael Kooman & Christopher Dimond (2013); Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen (2014); Stacey Luftig & Phillip Palmer (2015); Thomas Mizer & Curtis Moore (2016); Shaina Taub (2017); Will Reynolds & Eric Price (2018); Angela Sclafani and Benjamin Velez (2019); Ben Bonnema & Christopher Staskel and Michael R. Jackson (2020); and Isabella Dawis & Tidtaya Sinutoke (2021).

The selection panel is comprised of Foundation Trustee Mitchell S. Bernard, music director David Loud, actor Matthew Scott and actress Emily Skinner. Each year, the Foundation also makes a donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Julia Riew

is a composer-lyricist and writer from St. Louis and New York City. She is primarily known for her musical Shimcheong: A Folktale (AKA, "The Korean 'Disney' Princess Musical) which received international support online and in the news in January 2022. Her work has been featured at the American Repertory Theater, 54 Below, Summerstock Austin Texas, The Coterie in Kansas City, AMAS Musical Theater, The UNC-Greensboro School of Theater, Nora Theater Company at Central Square Theater, The Harvard Art Lab, University of Missouri, The Community Music School of Webster University, and John Burroughs High School. Julia graduated from Harvard College in May 2022 and is First-Year in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. She is the current recipient of the Harvardwood Arts Launch Fellowship under the mentorship of composer Laurence O'Keefe. Julia was the inaugural recipient of the Musicians United for Social Equity (MUSE) Linda Twine Scholarship (2021), a member of the first MUSE One-on-One Mentorship Program (2021-22) (mentor: Jeanine Tesori), and a member of the inaugural Maestra Music Mentorship Program (2020-21) (mentor: Deborah Wicks La Puma). Her recent works include Alice's Wonderland (co-written with J. Quinton Johnson), Jack and the Beanstalk: A Musical Adventure (The A.R.T. 2020 Family Musical), and Thumbelina: A Little Musical (The A.R.T. 2019 Family Musical).

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). They were honored by the Kennedy Center with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. 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.

At the time of Mr. Ebb's passing, he and Mr. Kander were at work on several new musicals. Curtains, starring David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk, debuted at CTG/Ahmanson Theatre in 2006 and came to Broadway in 2007, receiving a Tony Nomination for Best Musical as well as a Best Score nomination for Kander & Ebb. In 2007, All About Us was staged at the Westport Country Playhouse. The Scottsboro Boys opened on Broadway in 2010 and received 12 Tony Nominations, including Best Musical and Best Score, and in 2016 concluded a run in the West End at the Garrick Theatre. Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes's Tony Award winning production of Cabaret returned to Broadway in 2014, with Alan Cumming reprising his role as the Emcee and Three-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams in her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles. The Visit, starring Chita Rivera and George Hearn, received a staging at DC's Signature Theatre in 2008, a concert staging in NYC in the fall of 2011, and a production in Williamstown, starring Chita Rivera and Roger Rees and directed by John Doyle. In the spring of 2015, The Visit opened on Broadway and received five Tony nominations, including Best Musical and Best Score for Kander & Ebb. Previews begin on March 24, 2023, for New York, New York, a brand-new musical featuring a new score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, an original story by David Thompson and Sharon Washington, additional lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and choreography and direction by Susan Stroman.



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