Neil Berg is an American composer/lyricist best known for the hit off-Broadway musical The Prince and the Pauper. He is the creator and co-producer of Neil Berg's "100 Years of Broadway," a Broadway concert touring over 120 cities in 2010/2011. He studied musical composition with Robert Printz and Sue Peters, and is a product of The BMI Workshop, mentored by Maury Yeston and Skip Kennon. Many of his theater songs are featured in various Hal Leonard's Musical Anthologies.
The Prince and the Pauper
The Prince and the Pauper ran for two years at the Lambs Theater in New York City. The original cast CD is released internationally on Jay Records, sheet music published by Hal Leonard, and licensing by Samuel French Inc. Songs from this show are also featured with many other classic songs in the official Off-Broadway Songbook, published by Hal Leonard.
Grumpy Old Men
Berg composed Grumpy Old Men based on the Warner Brothers movie starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and scheduled to open in 2010/2011. The last developmental reading featured Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham and TONY Award winner George Hearn, with Marilu Henner, Carole Kane, Ken Page and Vicki Lewis.
Berg is currently collaborating with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Robert Schenkkan on a new rock musical called The 12. Following a showcase at the China Club in NYC, featuring Dan Spitz of Anthrax on lead guitar, The 12 had its World Premiere at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 1, 2010, and will start touring the US in the 2010/2011 season, produced by Adam Friedson.
The Man Who Would Be King
Berg's musical The Man Who Would Be King with book and lyrics by D J Salisbury, had a developmental reading/workshop at The Village Theater in Issaquah, WA, directed by Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey (Next To Normal). This follows a staged reading at the Rubicon Theater in California. This show has been developed with dramaturgical guidance by Moises Kaufman of the Tetonic Theater Project and Adam Friedson. The fully orchestrated CD recording features Brian d’Arcy James, Marc Kudisch and Mandy Gonzalez.
Tim and Scrooge
Berg's musical Tim and Scrooge with book and lyrics by Nick Meglin (former editor of Mad Magazine), had its first developmental production at the Elmwood Playhouse in Nyack, NY. It was then voted "one of the best musicals" of the inaugural NYMF festival in NYC, then garnered a rave review in the New York Times after it opened for an Equity run at The Queens Theater in the Park, and was recently presented as a special reading at the Criterion Theatre in the West End of London.
Other Projects and Awards
Berg also composed the new musical Heidi, book by Julia Jordan and commissioned by Douglas Love and the Walden Family Theater. Heidi ran for over eighty performances in its regional premiere in Denver. Other new projects in development are musical versions of Pollyanna and The Count of Monte Cristo. Other commissioned works include Percy Penguin for the Penguin Repertory Theater (Joe Brancato, Artistic Director), Threads for the Helen Hayes Theater, and Fiona: The Mother Goose Musical.
Berg was the recipient of the 1995 Bistro Award for Best Musical for his show Asylum in the Night, a revue of Neil's theater music. Neil was also the composer/music supervisor on the feature film Searching For Bobby D featuring Carmen Electra, Sandra Bernhard, and Mario Cantone.
As owner of Leftfield Productions, Inc., Neil has produced over a thousand Broadway concerts worldwide with such stars as Michael Crawford, Bernadette Peters, Ben Vereen, Betty Buckley, Rita Moreno, Donna McKechnie, Liz Callaway, Mark Kudisch, Alice Ripley, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Stephanie Block, and many others.
Berg is also currently producing, in partnership with Adam Friedson, the Twenty Year Anniversary production of Maltby and Shire’s classic musical revue Closer Than Ever. The show will kick off in April 2010 at the Queens Theater in the Park in Queens, before embarking on a US tour.
Berg produced the concert version of the Broadway musical The Secret Garden in association with its composer, Lucy Simon. He has also produced concert versions of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Chess, and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Berg was the Producing Artistic Director of The Broadway Series at the world famous China Club in NYC. Over the past 20 years, Neil has been the musical director/entertainment coordinator for such great organizations as Covenant House, and The Leukemia Society of America. He has produced countless corporate events all across the world for UBS/Paine Webber, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte Touche, John Hancock, Marriott Corporation, IBM, The United Hospice Organization, The American Red Cross, and many others.
Berg was honored in 2001 as The American Red Cross Man of the Year, and was honored again in 2003 by The United Hospice Foundation. In 2008, Berg was awarded "Artist of the Year" by the Arts Council of Rockland County. In May 2010, Neil is being honored by The Rockland Family Shelter for his efforts on behalf of abused women.
Berg can be heard on radio around the country with his jingle for Shock Coffee. Neil also toured the US with rock band Joe D'Urso & Stone Caravan and played on their past seven CDs as well as performed with them on the recent 100 Year Anniversary Tour for Harley Davidson.
Berg is the co-owner, with John Asselta, of the SJR Theater Workshop, a theater camp for students in Montvale, NJ, which instructs over 200 young actors/singers a year.
Berg is a member of the Dramatis Guild.
Berg is married to actress and singer Rita Harvey. They have one son, Lucas David Berg. Neil grew up in Rockland County, NY and attended Tappan Zee High School, where he played baseball.