Podcast Episode 51 – Stephen Schwartz


If you didn’t know I was from Massachusetts, then I’m sure the pun-intended title of this blog gave it away, for sure.

But the truth is, talking to Stephen Schwartz makes my Masshole musical theater fanboy come out to paaaaaaahty.

I first met Stephen when we started putting together the revival of Godspell and was immediately blown away by his ability to get to the heart of any musical moment and mine it for all that it’s worth . . . but at the same time he had an innate understanding of the business of Broadway.  I remember thinking one day during a meeting that if he wasn’t composing Broadway megahits like Wicked and Pippin or writing Academy Award-winning tunes like “Colors of the Wind,” this guy would have made a helluva Producer.

And thankfully, he sat down with me once again . . . and this time, I turned on the recorder, and got this podcast, where Stephen and I talk about all things including Broadway and beyond, like:

  • The big shock Stephen got when he started his 2nd show on Broadway.
  • Why he won’t tell you what his favorite song is . . . and what Stephen Sondheim has to do with it.
  • The moment he knew Wicked had to be a musical.
  • How he can work for a year on a show without writing one note of music . . . and why that is so important.
  • What he tells every single one of his collaborators before they start working together on a show.

Enjoy this master class in writing and producing and surviving in the business of Broadway.

Click above to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Click here to read the transcript.

  • Felicia says:

    Appreciated his candor regarding the negatives that are encountered (and which must be overcome) when trying to launch an original production. I agree that the “mean,” “territorial” and other downside aspects he mentioned are, unfortunately, very palpable. I’m glad he didn’t try to gloss over them, or pretend they don’t exist. His honesty was very helpful in terms of being able to think, well, if he overcame those obstacles, other well-intentioned people can, too.

  • Janis says:

    Interesting and well done. Good questions. Love his music.

  • Wambui says:

    I’m happy I got to hear this interview. I have even more love and respect (if that is possible) for him. Stephen Schwartz is the ‘real deal’.

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