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Stephen Schwartz & Friends

October 28, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Grammy and Oscar-winning songwriter Stephen Schwartz shares his stories and songs from Broadway with a stellar cast of performers for an unforgettable evening of musical theatre, from Godspell to Wicked and beyond.

Jason Seber, conductor
Stephen Schwartz, piano
John Boswell, piano
Shaleah Addkison, vocals
Scott Coulter, vocals
Debbie Gravitte, vocals
Michael McCorry Rose, vocals

Magic to Do
Making Good / The Wizard and I
Just Around the Riverbend / Corner of the Sky
It’ll be Me
It’s an Art
Forgivenesss’ Embrace
Proud Lady
Defying Gravity


Beautiful City
No Time at All
Out There
In Whatever Time We Have / As Long as You’re Mine
Two’s Company
Colors of the Wind

Selections from musicals, films, and unreleased albums composed by Stephen Schwartz and others. Program is subject to change.

About Stephen Schwartz
Composer, Piano, Host
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. Upon coming back to live in New York City, he went to work as an A&R producer for RCA Records, but shortly thereafter began to work in the Broadway theatre. His first major credit was the title song for the play Butterflies are Free, which was eventually used in the movie version as well.

In 1971, he wrote the music and new lyrics for Godspell, for which he won two Grammys among other awards. This was followed by the English texts, in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, for Bernstein’s Mass, which opened the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. 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 next wrote the music and lyrics for The Baker’s Wife, followed by a musical version of Studs Terkel’s Working, to which he contributed four songs and which he also adapted and directed, winning a Drama Desk Award as Best Director. He also co-directed the television production, which was presented as part of the PBS “American Playhouse” series.

Other work for musical theatre includes lyrics to Rags (music by Charles Strouse), music and lyrics for Children of Eden, and two musicals produced overseas, Mit Eventyr (My Fairy Tale) in Denmark and Schikaneder in Austria. He has also written songs for two musicals for young audiences, Captain Louie and My Son, Pinocchio. Compilation revues of his work include Snapshots and, for Princess Cruise Lines, Magic to Do.

For film, he collaborated with composer Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Pocahontas, for which he received two Academy Awards and another Grammy, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, and Enchanted. He also provided songs for DreamWorks’ first animated feature, The Prince Of Egypt, for which he won another Academy Award for the song, “When You Believe.” The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and The Prince Of Egypthave both been adapted for the stage.

Mr. Schwartz’s most recent stage musical, Wicked, opened in the fall of 2003 and is currently running on Broadway and in several other productions around the world. He received another Grammy for the cast recording, and in 2008, Wicked reached its 1,900th performance on Broadway, making Mr. Schwartz the only songwriter in Broadway history ever to have three shows run more than 1,900 performances.

His first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, premiered at Opera Santa Barbara in the fall of 2009 and was subsequently produced by New York City Opera. His frequently performed choral works include “Testimony”, based on the It Gets Better Project, “Keramos,” and part of the Tyler Clemente Suite. He has also released two singer/songwriter CDs, Reluctant Pilgrim and Uncharted Territory.

Mr. Schwartz has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2015, he received the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for his humanitarian and mentorship contributions to theatre. A book about his career, Defying Gravity, has been released by Applause Books.

Under the auspices of the ASCAP Foundation, he has been the artistic director of musical theatre workshops in New York and Los Angeles for over twenty years, as well as conducting workshops for aspiring musical theatre writers and performers in countries around the world, including Australia, Germany, Latvia, and Kenya. He is also a past president and current council member of the Dramatists’ Guild.

About Jason Seber

Jason Seber is known for his inviting and engaging approach on and off the podium. A strong believer in the eclectic experiences which today’s symphony orchestras offer their communities, he strives to make music of many genres and styles accessible, relevant, and meaningful to diverse audiences across the country.

Seber has conducted many leading American orchestras, including the Charleston, Colorado, Detroit, Duluth Superior, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Nashville, National, San Diego, Santa Fe, and St. Louis symphonies, and the Louisville Orchestra, among others. Upcoming performances include a debut with the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as return engagements with Detroit, Kansas City, Louisville, Nashville, and St. Louis. Seber has had the pleasure of performing with a wide range of artists including Patti Austin, Mason Bates, Andrew Bird, Boyz II Men, Ashley Brown, Jinjoo Cho, Melissa Etheridge, Ben Folds, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paul Jacobs, Wynonna Judd, Lyle Lovett, Natalie Merchant, Brian Stokes Mitchell, My Morning Jacket, Leslie Odom Jr., Aoife O’Donovan, Pink Martini, Doc Severinsen, Conrad Tao, Bobby Watson, and Joyce Yang. This summer he led orchestras across the country in Lyle Lovett and His Large Band’s summer tour.

Seber served as associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony from 2016 to 2022. In this position he led the symphony in over 300 performances on the Classical, Pops, Classics Uncorked, Family, Film + Live Orchestra, Education, and Christmas Festival series. He also served as co-host for the symphony’s podcast, “Beethoven Walks into a Bar.” Prior to Kansas City, Seber was the education and outreach conductor at the Louisville Orchestra from 2013 to 2016, and music director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra from 2005 to 2016.

A passionate advocate for music education, Seber has led the Honors Performance Series orchestra in concert at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and Royal Festival Hall in London. He is a frequent guest conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra each summer and he has served as the All-State Orchestra conductor for Georgia, Missouri, and Pennsylvania, and upcoming in 2024, Kansas.

About John Boswell
John Boswell has served as musical director for Judy Collins, Andy Williams, Bob Newhart, Scott Coulter, Maude Maggart, Faith Prince, Carmen Cusack, Babbie Green, Jason Graae, and a host of other fine talents. John played the role of Moose in the national tour of Crazy for You, and has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Live with Regis And Kathie Lee, General Hospital, and was the piano-playing hands of Nancy McKeon on the sitcom, The Facts Of Life.

Recent concerts with symphonies have included Jerry Herman: The Broadway Legacy Concert, Blockbuster Broadway!, Sheena Easton and Scott Coulter: The Spy Who Loved Me, and Music of the Knights. John has been heard singing in the shows Three Men and a Baby Grand, Cinema Toast, Broadway Today, Wiseguys, and the New York cult hit, Cashino. Broadway/off-Broadway credits include Crazy For You, The Secret Garden, LIZA! Steppin’ Out At Radio City Music Hall, Back To Bacharach and David, and The Kathy And Mo Show: Parallel Lives. His monthly concerts in 2017 at the Gardenia in Los Angeles have been crowd pleasers.

John has eight CDs of original piano music and a ninth on the way. While a student at UCLA, John received the Frank Sinatra Award for popular instrumentalists.

About Shaleah Adkisson

Shaleah Adkisson has been seen on Broadway and on tour in Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, and off Broadway in the revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Rent. Her many regional theater credits includeJubilee (Arena Stage), Clybourne Park, Avenue Q (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), The Hot Mikado, Beehive: The ’60s Musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Broward Stage Door Theatre), Grease, Nunsense (Murry’s Dinner Playhouse), and Children of Eden (Arkansas Repertory Theatre). Shaleah regularly performs in New York City and on tour with Soul Picnic Productions (Back to the Garden and August 1969: A Tribute to the Women of Woodstock). Visit shaleahadkisson.com for more information.

About Scott Coulter

Scott Coulter, star of the Emmy-nominated A Christmas Carol: The Concert on PBS, is one of New York’s most honored vocalists. For his work in cabaret, Scott has received five MAC Awards, five Bistro Awards, and two Nightlife Awards. In addition to his solo concert work, Scott regularly performs in concert with a variety of legendary performers including Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz and Grammy-winner Sheena Easton. Schwartz has said, “One of the greatest things that can happen to a composer is to have his music interpreted by Scott Coulter.”

Scott has performed with symphonies all over the world including those of San Francisco, Baltimore, Seattle, Phoenix, Winnipeg, St. Louis, and Calgary. He has created many touring concert events including Blockbuster Broadway!, Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin, You’ve Got a Friend: The Music of the Brill Building, Music of the Knights, and with The ASCAP Foundation, Jerry Herman: The Broadway Legacy Concert.

Scott is founder/owner of Spot-On Entertainment and Spot-On Arts Academy, and is a resident director of programming at 54 Below (Broadway’s Supper Club) in NYC. He is the artistic director of the Pocono Mountains Music Festival and founder of The Pocono Pops! Scott is a proud graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, which honored him with the CCM Young Alumni Award in 2010 and CCM’s Distinguished Service Award in 2020. Visit spot-onentertainment.com for more information.

About Debbie Gravitte

Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins’ Broadway), one of Broadway’s biggest personalities, has found herself in demand from the Broadway stage to the concert stage and beyond. After making her Broadway debut in the original cast of They’re Playing Our Song, she went on to appear in Perfectly Frank (Drama Desk Award nominee),Blues in the Night, Ain’t Broadway Grand, Zorba, Chicago, and Les Misérables.

Debbie has performed her nightclub act worldwide, from New York’s Rainbow and Stars, 54 Below, and Birdland to London’s Pizza on the Park, and back home again to Atlantic City, where she has had the honor of performing with Jay Leno, Harry Anderson, and the legendary George Burns. A favorite with symphony audiences, she has sung with over 175 orchestras around the world. On TV, Debbie co-starred on the CBS series Trial and Error, was seen on NBC’s Pursuit of Happiness, and starred in several specials for PBS including Live from the Kennedy Center, The Boston Pops Celebrate Bernstein, Rodgers & Hart for Great Performances, and Ira Gershwin’s 100th Birthday Celebration.

Debbie has four solo CDs to her credit, including her latest release, Big Band Broadway, along with Defying Gravity, The MGM Album, and Part Of Your World: The Music Of Alan Menken. Debbie has sung with the New York City Ballet in Peter Martin’s Thou Swell at Lincoln Center, appeared with Bette Midler in the Universal Feature, Isn’t She Great?,and can be heard as one of the voices in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Debbie is the proud mother of three beautiful children.

About Michael McCorry Rose
Michael recently wrapped production on Disney’s live action film, Disenchanted, starring Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph, directed by Adam Shankman. Prior to that, he starred in Daniel Levine’s film adaptation of Snapshots, which received a 2021 Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. On Broadway, he has appeared in the Tony Award-winning musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Wicked, and the first national tour of Anastasia. In New York, Michael has appeared in concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Symphony Space, Birdland, Green Room 42, and Feinstein’s/54 Below.

He regularly appears in concert with his long-time partner Stephen Schwartz, and one of their concerts starring Scott Coulter and Debbie Gravitte was filmed for PBS’ Great American Songbook Concert Series at NJPAC, aired in the summer of 2016 and nominated for a 2017 Regional Emmy Award.

Michael has performed with symphonies and concert orchestras across the United States. Internationally, he has performed in concert at the Adelaide Music Festival in Australia, and for the U.S. State Department in Nairobi, Kenya and São Paulo, Brazil. His theatrical credits include roles at regional theaters such as the Paper Mill Playhouse, Williamstown Theater Festival, Yale Repertory Theater, Primary Stages, Capital Repertory Theater, and Project Shaw in New York City.

Originally from San Diego, he holds a B.A. in Mass Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he appeared in Carol Burnett’s directorial debut of Once Upon a Mattress. He studies at the Jen Waldman Studio and The Actor’s Gym in New York.


October 28, 2023
7:30 pm
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Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201 United States
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(716) 885-5000
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