Friday, September 9, 2011

Tony Award winner Richard Maltby Jr. to speak at Broadway Blessing

Producer, director and lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. will deliver a theatre reflection at the 15th anniversary celebration of Broadway Blessing, 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Cathedral Church of St. the Divine, Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street.

Currently serving as creative consultant for the Off-Broadway musical play The Magdalene, Maltby holds the distinction of having conceived and directed the only two musical revues to ever win the Tony Award for Best Musical: Ain't Misbehavin' (1978, also Tony Award for Best Director) and Fosse (1999:). He was director/co-lyricist for the American version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance, starring Bernadette Peters, and was co-lyricist for Miss Saigon.

In a partnership that began when they were students at Yale, Maltby and composer David Shire have collaborated many times over the years. Their first Broadway credit was in 1968, when their song "The Girl of the Minute" was used in the revue New Faces of 1968. In 1977 the Manhattan Theatre Club produced a review of their earlier songs, written for other works, titled Starting Here, Starting Now.

With Shire as composer, Maltby directed and was lyricist for Baby and the lyricist for Big. Also with Shire, he conceived and wrote the lyrics for Take Flight, which had its world premiere in July 2007 at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

He also conceived and directed Ring Of Fire, The Johnny Cash Musical Show and was co-bookwriter/lyricist for The Pirate Queen. He was most recently represented on Broadway as the director of the new, original musical The Story of My Life by composer/lyricist Neil Bartram. That musical had a brief run at the Booth Theatre in February 2009 and received a 2009 Drama Desk Award nomination for outstanding production of a musical.

Maltby will be joined by Broadway singer/actress Natalie Toro who will sing the Michel Legrand/Alan and Marilyn Bergman song “Where Is It Written,” backed by the Broadway Blessing Choir, and Tony Haris will perform a new song by composer/playwright Phil Hall written in honor of the anniversary.

Following a tradition established at the 10th anniversary celebration, Project Dance will perform and Rabbi Jill Hausman of The Actors’ Temple and the Rev. Canon Tom Miller, the Cathedral’s canon for liturgy and the arts, will lead the annual candle lighting ceremony.

As with all announced guests, Maltby’s availability is subject to change. Broadway Blessing is the free interfaith service of song, dance and story that has been bringing the theatre community together every September since 1997 to ask God’s blessing on the new season. Reservations are not necessary.

Broadway Blessing was founded and is produced by journalist and author Retta Blaney.

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