Robert Lopez (right) and Jeff Marx (left) receiving their Tony Award
February 23, 1975 |
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University|
Robert Lopez (born February 23, 1975) is an American songwriter of musicals, best known for co-creating The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, and for penning the songs featured in the Disney film Frozen. He is one of only twelve people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award, and the only person to win all four within a decade.
Robert Lopez was born in Manhattan, and is partly of Filipino descent. He became interested in songwriting from an early age, writing his first song at age seven. 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 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 the Tony Award for Best Original Score. The Original Cast Recording was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004.
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, guest-starred 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 received numerous theater accolades, including the 2011 Tony for Best Musical, as well as two more Tony Awards for Lopez: Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. The production's original cast recording also earned Lopez the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
In 2011, Lopez again worked with Matt Stone and Trey Parker on the South Park episode "Broadway Bro Down".
In 2013, Lopez and his wife Kristen wrote songs for WDAS's animated feature Frozen. The song "Let It Go" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, making Lopez the 12th person to win all four major annual American entertainment awards (the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony).
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."
During his participation in the 1998 Lehman Engel's Workshop, Robert Lopez met and began dating lyricist Kristen Anderson. As described in a 2003 The 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".
Awards and nominations
- 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
- With Kristen Anderson-Lopez
- With Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Christophe Beck
- Nepales, Ruben V. (November 7, 2013). "Fun, music-filled morning with Fil-Am Tony, Grammy winner and wife. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- Mandell, Jonathan (March 16, 2003). "THEATER: Puppets Not Suitable For Children". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
- Maupin, Elizabeth (November 26, 2006). "Swimming with big fish". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
- "Stage Stars Nab 2007 Emmy Nominations, Broadway.com Buzz". Broadway.com. January 24, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- Lopez, Robert (January 12, 2013). "Twitter Status". Twitter. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
- Lang, Derrik J. (February 22, 2013). "Best Animated Feature: 'Brave,' 'Wreck-It Ralph' Battle For Oscar". Huffington Post.
- Lily Rothman (March 2, 2014). "EGOT! Frozen's Robert Lopez on Scoring His Oscar". Time. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
- Lee, Linda (August 3, 2003). "A Night Out With Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; When Puppets Go to Town". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
- Alexander, Bryan (November 25, 2013). "'Frozen': Family affair for married songwriters". USA Today. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "Drama Desk Award Nominations 2002-2003". Drama Desk Awards. May 1, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- "2004 Tony Award Winners". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- "59th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners". Primetime Emmy Award. September 8, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Winners - Creative Arts" (PDF). Daytime Emmy Award. June 20, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Winners - Creative Arts" (PDF). Daytime Emmy Award. June 27, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Who's Nominated? - All Categories". tonyawards.com. May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- Jones, Kenneth (May 23, 2011). "Drama Desk Awards Go to Book of Mormon, Normal Heart, War Horse, Sutton Foster, Norbert Leo Butz". Playbill.
- BWW News Desk (February 12, 2012). "The 2012 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album Goes to THE BOOK OF MORMON!". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- "Best Musical Theater Album". grammy.com. December 2, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- "39th Annual Annie Nominations & Winners!". Annie Award. February 4, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "2014 Golden Globe Awards". Golden Globe Award. January 12, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "41st Annual Annie Awards". Annie Award. February 1, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "19th Critics' Choice Awards". Critics' Choice Movie Award. January 16, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Oscars Winners". March 2, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- 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