Robert Lopez (right) and Jeff Marx (left) receiving their Tony Award
February 23, 1975 |
New York City, New York, United States
Early life and career
A native of the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village, Robert Lopez became interested in songwriting from an early age (he wrote his first song at 7.) He attended Hunter College High School and received a B.A. in English from Yale University, where he was a member of the Yale Spizzwinks(?).
In 1998, while participating in the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, he met another aspiring songwriter, Jeff Marx. Their first project together, Kermit, Prince of Denmark, a Muppet parody of Hamlet, won the Kleban Award for lyrics, though The Jim Henson Company rejected the script, saying it did not have enough "kid appeal." The story was considered for the next Muppet film by Chris Curtin in 2004, until Chris left the Disney Company. Highlights from the unproduced musical were performed by Rick Lyon, Rebecca Jones, and Susan Blackwell at the BMI Workshop.
In 1999, Lopez and Marx, who collaborated on both music and lyrics, began work on Avenue Q, a stage musical which, using puppet characters, similar to those on Sesame Street, dealt with adult themes and ideas. The show, for which Lopez also provided the animated segments, was his first professional experience. After playing Off-Broadway, it transferred in July 2003 to Broadway's John Golden Theatre, where it proved both a critical and popular success, winning the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical, and earning Lopez and Marx a 2004 Tony Award for their musical score. As of 2007, the musical's Grammy Award-nominated Original Cast Album has sold over 150,000 copies.
In early 2006, Robert Lopez collaborated with his brother, Billy, on several episodes of the Nickelodeon series Wonder Pets, for which they shared a Daytime Emmy award with the series' other composers and Music Director, Jeffrey Lesser, in 2008. In January 2007, a musical adaptation of the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo, which Lopez co-wrote with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, opened at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.
On January 18, 2007, Lopez and Marx again collaborated to write four of the songs for the hit TV show Scrubs on the show's 123rd episode titled "My Musical." TV Guide named the episode one of the best 100 TV show episodes of all time in 2009. Lopez, along with Jeff Marx, was recognized with an Emmy nomination for the song "Everything Comes Down to Poo" from the above mentioned episode. Stephanie D'Abruzzo, who originated the roles of Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in Avenue Q made a guest appearance in the episode.
In 2005, Lopez began working on a new musical project with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, a series which, in 2003, Lopez had mentioned as a partial inspiration for Avenue Q. The Book of Mormon premiered on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011, following previews from February 24. The show was nominated for fourteen Tony Awards and won nine, including Best Original Score: Music & Lyrics and Best Book of a Musical.
In 2011, Lopez again worked with Matt Stone and Trey Parker on the South Park episode "Broadway Bro Down".
Lopez and his wife Kristen also wrote six songs for Winnie the Pooh, released in 2011 by Walt Disney Animation Studios, as well as songs for WDAS's feature Frozen. They also wrote an original song for Wreck-It Ralph before it was cut out.
Lopez and his wife are currently creating a new musical titled "Up Here". Lopez describes 'Up Here' as "It's kind of like Annie Hall meets Cirque du Soleil. It's a romantic comedy with a huge theatrical twist."
Awards and nominations
|2003||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Lyrics[note 1]||Avenue Q||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Music[note 1]||Nominated|
|2004||Tony Award||Tony Award for Best Original Score[note 1]||Won|||
|2007||Emmy Award||Outstanding Music & Lyrics[note 2]||Scrubs[note 3]||Nominated|||
|2008||Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition[note 4]||The Wonder Pets||Won|
|2011||Tony Awards||Best Book of a Musical[note 5]||The Book of Mormon||Won|||
|Best Original Score[note 5]||Won|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Lyrics[note 5]||Won|||
|Outstanding Music[note 5]||Won|
|2012||Grammy Award||Best Musical Theater Album[note 6]||Won|||
|2012||Annie Award||Music in an Animated Feature Production[note 7]||Winnie the Pooh||Nominated|||
During his participation in the 1998 Lehman Engel's Workshop, Robert Lopez met and began dating lyricist Kristen Anderson. As described in a 2003 New York Times profile, the pair, struggling in a cash-strapped post-college period that recalls the storyline of Avenue Q's Princeton and Kate Monster, "live[d] in Astoria, Queens, [drove] a 1989 Buick and survive[d] on fast food".
- With Jeff Marx
- With Jeff Marx and Debra Fordham
- For the song "Everything Comes Down to Poo" from the episode "My Musical".
- With Jeffrey Lesser (music director), Michael John LaChiusa (composer), Billy Lopez (composer), Martin Erskine (composer), Larry Hochman (composer), J. Walter Hawkes (composer)
- With Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- As composer, lyricist, and producer; With Josh Gad & Andrew Rannells, artists; Anne Garefino, Stephen Oremus, Trey Parker, Scott Rudin & Matt Stone, producers; Trey Parker & Matt Stone, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast)
- With Henry Jackman, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and Zooey Deschanel
- Mandell, Jonathan (2003-03-16). "THEATER: Puppets Not Suitable For Children". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
- Maupin, Elizabeth (2006-11-26). "Swimming with big fish". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- "Stage Stars Nab 2007 Emmy Nominations, Broadway.com Buzz". Broadway.com. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- "http://twitter.com/lopezbobby/status/290109385487835136". twitter.com. 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- "Drama Desk Award Nominations 2002-2003". Drama Desk Awards. May 1, 2003. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "2004 Tony Award Winners". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Awards for Robert Lopez". IMDB. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Who's Nominated? - All Categories". tonyawards.com. May 3, 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- Jones, Kenneth. "Drama Desk Awards Go to Book of Mormon, Normal Heart, War Horse, Sutton Foster, Norbert Leo Butz", playbill.com, May 23, 2011.
- BWW News Desk (February 12, 2012). "The 2012 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album Goes to THE BOOK OF MORMON!". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- "Best Musical Theater Album". grammy.com. Dec 2, 2011. Retrieved 2 Dec 2011.
- Lee, Linda (2003-08-03). "A Night Out With Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; When Puppets Go to Town". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
- Alexander, Bryan. "'Frozen': Family affair for married songwriters". USA Today. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Official Avenue Q website
- Official The Book Of Mormon" website
- Robert Lopez at the Internet Movie Database
- Robert Lopez at the Internet Broadway Database
- Avenue Q at the Internet Broadway Database
- Production: Avenue Q - Working in the Theatre Seminar video at American Theatre Wing.org, September 2003