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Ardmore Composer Nominated for a Tony Award

May 5, 2013 By:
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Benj Pasek, right, and his writing partner, Justin Paul, are nominated for a 2013 Tony Award for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics). Photo by Walter McBride.

Benj Pasek is no doubt more fond of A Christmas Story than most people. That’s because on April 30, the Ardmore native, who celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley and is a member of the Friends Central Class of 2003, was nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) based on his work for the Broadway musical.

Pasek and his writing partner (and fellow BFA from the University of Michigan) Justin Paul came to the theatrical adaptation of the classic 1983 film in 2010, and their score has been instrumental in the show’s success on Broadway.

Although this is Pasek’s first Tony nomination, it is far from his first accolade. He and Paul received the prestigious Jonathan Larson Foundation Award for composers — the youngest winners in the foundation’s history. In 2011, they also won The ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and the Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among others.

Pasek’s second half of 2013 is picking up where the first one left off. He and Paul’s latest musical, an adaptation of the 1991 movie, Dogfight, has been nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, as well as for Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Off-Broadway Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The duo’s work on the play has already earned them a Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.

The Tony Awards air on CBS June 9 at 8 p.m. And be sure to check the Jewish Exponent for an upcoming feature on Pasek.

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