James Lapine

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James Lapine
Born James Elliot Lapine
(1949-01-10) January 10, 1949 (age 65)
Mansfield, Ohio, United States
Nationality United States
Alma mater Franklin and Marshall College (1971)
Spouse Sarah Kernochan (1 child)
Information
Awards Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1985)

James Elliot Lapine (born January 10, 1949) is an American stage director, filmmaker, playwright, screenwriter, and librettist. He has won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical three times, for Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Passion. He has frequently collaborated with Stephen Sondheim and William Finn.

Early life[edit]

Lapine was born in Mansfield, Ohio, the son of Lillian (Feld) and David Sanford Lapine.[1] He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1971.[2]

Career[edit]

Lapine did graduate study in both photography and graphic design at the California Institute of the Arts.[3] He was a photographer, graphic designer, and architectural preservationist and taught design at the Yale School of Drama.[3] At Yale University he wrote an adaptation and directed the Gertrude Stein play Photograph, which was produced Off-Broadway at the Open Space in SoHo in 1977.[3][4] He proceeded to write and direct Off-Broadway plays and musicals, working with composer William Finn on March of the Falsettos in 1981 as director; the musical won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play. Frank Rich, the New York Times theatre critic, noted "Mr. Lapine's wildly resourceful staging." [5][6]

In 1982 he was introduced to Stephen Sondheim,[7] and they decided to work on a musical together, which became Sunday in the Park With George, with Lapine writing the book and directing with Sondheim's music. It was first produced Off-Broadway in 1983[8][9] and then transferred to Broadway in 1984. [7] The pair's next musical was Into the Woods, which premiered on Broadway in 1987.[10] Lapine won both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award, Best Book of a Musical. They then collaborated on the musical Passion, for which Lapine wrote the book and directed. The musical ran on Broadway in 1994 and in the West End in 1996, receiving a nomination for the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, and winning the Tony Award for Best Musical and Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, among other awards and nominations.[11][12][13] Their latest collaboration is the revue Sondheim on Sondheim, presented on Broadway in 2010 and winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Revue.[14][15]

In 1992 Lapine returned to working with William Finn, and wrote the book and directed the Broadway musical Falsettos. Lapine wrote the book, with Finn composing the music, for A New Brain, which premiered Off-Broadway in 1998.[16] They later worked together with Lapine directing Finn's musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2005 and then transferred to Broadway. The New York Times reviewer wrote of the Spelling Bee Broadway transfer that "Mr. Lapine has sharpened all the musical's elements without betraying its appealing modesty."[17] The latest Finn-Lapine work is Little Miss Sunshine, which premiered in 2011 at the La Jolla Playhouse (California).[18]

Lapine has also directed dramas, including Dirty Blonde, which ran Off-Broadway and on Broadway in 2000. Conceived by Claudia Shear and Lapine and written by Shear with direction by Lapine, Ben Brantley called Lapine's direction "stylish and compassionate."[19] Lapine was nominated for the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award, for Best Direction of a Play.[20]

Lapine directed the 2012 Broadway revival of Annie.[21] He wrote a stage adaption of the Moss Hart autobiography, Act One, also titled Act One, which premiered on Broadway at the Lincoln Center Beaumont Theater in April 2014.[22]

In 1991 he directed his first film, Impromptu, which has a screenplay by his wife, Sarah Kernochan. The story revolves around the romance of George Sand and Chopin, and starred Judy Davis and Hugh Grant.[3][23] He followed with Life With Mikey with Michael J. Fox for Disney. In 1993 he directed Passion, starring the original Broadway cast, for television. He directed the film version of Anne Tyler's novel Earthly Possessions, starring Susan Sarandon and Stephen Dorff, for HBO in 1999.[24][25] He is writing the screenplay for Into the Woods for Disney, to be directed by Rob Marshall.

Personal life[edit]

Lapine is married to American screenwriter/director, Sarah Kernochan.[26][27] The couple's daughter is food writer, Phoebe Lapine,[27]

Theatre[edit]

As a director, Lapine has worked on
Writer, musicals

He has written the libretti for the following musicals:

Writer, plays

Film[edit]

For film, he has directed:

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards
  • 1984 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book - Sunday in the Park with George
  • 1984 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Musical - Sunday in the Park with George
  • 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama - Sunday in the Park with George
  • 1988 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical - Into the Woods
  • 1988 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical - Into the Woods
  • 1992 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical - Falsettos
  • 1994 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book os a Musical - Passion
  • 1994 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical - Passion
  • 2005 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Musical - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • 2010 Inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.[36]
Nominations
  • 1984 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical - Sunday in the Park with George
  • 1984 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - Sunday in the Park with George
  • 1988 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Musical - Into the Woods
  • 1988 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - Into the Woods
  • 1992 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - Falsettos
  • 1994 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Musical - Passion
  • 1994 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - Passion
  • 1999 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical - A New Brain
  • 2000 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play - Dirty Blonde
  • 2000 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play - Dirty Blonde
  • 2002 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Musical - Into the Woods
  • 2002 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - Into the Woods
  • 2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Musical - Amour
  • 2005 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "James Lapine Biography (1949-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  2. ^ "Archives and Special Collections, Franklin and Marshall College, James Lapine Collection" FranklinandMarshall.library.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  3. ^ a b c d "Stars Over Broadway, James Lapine" pbs.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  4. ^ Secrest, p. 326
  5. ^ Rich, Frank."Stage:March of the Falsettos'A Musical Find" The New York Times, April 10, 1981
  6. ^ "'March of the Falsettos' Listing" Internet Off-Broadway DataBase, accessed March 10, 2011
  7. ^ a b Secrest, pp.326-341
  8. ^ Lawson, Carol.Summer's hottest ticket? How about Sondheim musical? The New York Times (abstract), June 17, 1983
  9. ^ "'Sunday in the Park with George'Listing" Internet Off-Broadway DataBase, accessed March 10, 2011
  10. ^ Rich, Frank."Stage:'Into the Woods,' From Sondheim" The New York Times, November 6, 1987
  11. ^ Richards, David."Review/Theater; Sondheim Explores the Heart's Terrain" The New York Times (Books, The New York Times on the Web), May 10, 1994
  12. ^ "'Pasion' Listing, 1994" InternetBroadwayDatabase.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  13. ^ "Olivier Awards, 1997 albemarle-london.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  14. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review:'Sondheim On Sondheim'" The New York Times, April 23, 2010
  15. ^ Gans, Andrew."'Red', 'Memphis', 'Bridge', 'Fences' and 'La Cage' Win Drama Desk Awards" Playbill.com, May 23, 2010
  16. ^ "'A New Brain', 1998" InternetOff-BroadwayDatabase.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  17. ^ Isherwood, Charles."Theater Review:Six Misfits Test Wits On Bigger Platform" The New York Times, May 3, 2005
  18. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth."Road Trip! Finn & Lapine's 'Little Miss Sunshine' Musical Begins World-Premiere Run in CA" Playbill.com, February 15, 2011
  19. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review:Smitten by a Goddess, but She's No Angel" The New York Times, January 11, 2000
  20. ^ "Complete List of 1999-2000 Tony Award Winners" Playbill.com, June 4, 2000
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew."Broadway Revival of 'Annie' Finds Its Orphans" Playbill.com, May 15, 2012
  22. ^ Hetrick, Adam and Gioia, Michael. Act One, Stage Adaptation of Moss Hart's Theatrical Memoir, Opens on Broadway April 17" Playbill.com, April 17, 2014
  23. ^ Maslin, Janet. "Review/Film: Chopin, George Sand, Liszt and Some Others" The New York Times, April 12, 1991
  24. ^ Tynan, William.Earthly Possessions' TimeMagazine.com, March 22, 1999
  25. ^ "Earthly Possessions Listing" InternetMovieDatabase.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  26. ^ "James Lapine biography" SondheimGuide.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  27. ^ a b "Sarah Kernochan biography" TCM.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  28. ^ Canby, Vincent."Theater Review: A Morality Tale About Everybody's Fall Guy" The New York Times, April 5, 1995
  29. ^ Eder, Richard."'Table Settings,'a Comedy Of a Modern Jewish Family; The Cast" The New York Times, March 24, 1979
  30. ^ "'Table Settings' Listing, 1979" InternetOff-BroadwayDatabase.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  31. ^ "'Table Settings' Listing, 1980" InternetOff-BroadwayDatabase.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  32. ^ "'Twelve Dreams' Listing, 1981" InternetOff-BroadwayDatabase.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  33. ^ Weber, Bruce.As Life Fatefully Unspools at a Yada-Yada Cocktail Party" The New York Times, March 22, 2000
  34. ^ Klein, Alvin."Theater Review:She's Taken to Her Bed, But No One's Sure Why" The New York Times", November 9, 2003
  35. ^ "'Fran's Bed' Listing, 2005" InternetOff-BroadwayDatabase.com, accessed March 10, 2011
  36. ^ "Theater Hall of Fame Ceremony, Honoring Linda Lavin, Brian Dennehy, Michael Blakemore, Presented Jan. 24". Playbill.com. 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 

References[edit]

  • Haagensen, Erik J. "The Passion of James Lapine." SHOWmusic The Musical Theatre Magazine 1994: pp.11-16
  • Secrest, Meryle. Stephen Sondheim:A Life, Random House (1999), ISBN 0-385-33412-5

External links[edit]