Pasek and Paul

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Pasek and Paul
Pasek and Paul - Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.JPG
Benj Pasek (left) and Justin Paul
Background information
Genres Musical Theatre
Members Benj Pasek
Justin Paul
Benj Pasek
Born (1985-06-09) June 9, 1985 (age 30)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation(s) composer, lyricist, singer
Justin Paul
Born (1985-01-03) January 3, 1985 (age 30)
Westport, Connecticut
Occupation(s) composer, lyricist, singer

Tony nominees Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (known as Pasek and Paul) are an award winning musical theatre composing team.[1] Their works include A Christmas Story, Dogfight, Edges and James and the Giant Peach, and their original songs have been featured on NBC's Smash.[2] They are graduates of the University of Michigan[3] and winners of the 2007 Jonathan Larson Award,[4] named after the late Rent composer, that honors achievement by composers, lyricists and librettists.

University of Michigan[edit]

Pasek and Paul started working together as freshmen at the University of Michigan where they completed their BFA degrees in musical theatre in December 2006.[5]


A Christmas Story, The Musical[edit]

In 2010, Pasek and Paul joined the creative team of A Christmas Story, The Musical. The musical opened at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre on December 9, 2010.[6] Since the Seattle premiere, the show recruited John Rando and choreographer Warren Carlyle to launch a national tour in 2011, concluding at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.[7] The musical played a limited engagement on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre from November 19, 2012 through December 30, 2012; this was Pasek and Paul's Broadway debut as songwriters.[8]

The show received three Tony Award nominations in 2013, for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre.[9] It also received six Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Music, Outstanding Choreography (Warren Carlyle), Outstanding Book of a Musical (Joseph Robinette), Outstanding Orchestrations (Larry Blank), and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (John Bolton).[10]

The cast album was recorded and produced by Sony Masterworks and is published through Warner/Chappell Music.[11]


Pasek and Paul, together with book writer Peter Duchan, adapted the 1991 River Phoenix and Lili Taylor film Dogfight. The musical premiered Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre on July 16, 2012 after previews from June 27 and was directed by Joe Mantello and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.[12]

The musical was the recipient of the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters[13] and two 2013 Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Choreographer (Christopher Gattelli).[14] It was nominated for 2013 Drama League Awards for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical and Distinguished Performance (Lindsay Mendez).[15]

The Dogfight Original Cast Album was released digitally on April 30, 2013 and as a CD in May, 2013 by Sh-K-Boom Records.


Edges is a song cycle about the trials and tribulations of moving into adulthood. It examines the search for love, commitment and meaning. Edges premiered at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 3, 2005.[3] Social media created a dedicated fan base nicknamed "Edge-heads".[16] It has had over 200 productions worldwide in Australia,[17] South Africa,[18] Denmark,[19][20] France,[21] South Korea, the United Kingdom,[22] Canada,[23] the Philippines,[24] and across the United States.[25]

James and the Giant Peach[edit]

Pasek and Paul wrote the score to the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. The show premiered at the Norma Terris Theatre at Goodspeed Musicals in 2010 in a developmental production, and was directed by Graciela Daniele and choreographed by Pilobolus (dance company).[26]


Other works include If You Give A Pig A Pancake and Duck For President for Theatreworks USA,[27] and Dr. Williams, written for the Orchard Project’s 24 Hour Musicals benefit. The show starred Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cheyenne Jackson. Pasek and Paul were heavily featured in the documentary film One Night Stand about the process.[28]



As television songwriters, their original songs were featured on Season 2 of NBC’s Smash, and have risen to the Top 25 on the iTunes Pop Charts. (See: List of songs in Smash)

Johnny and the Sprites[edit]

Pasek and Paul wrote music for six episodes of the Disney Channel show Johnny and the Sprites, including music for one story in the series' premiere episode.


Adelaide Cabaret Festival[edit]

In 2010, Pasek and Paul performed at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Adelaide, Australia.[29]

American Musical Theatre Live Paris[edit]

In 2013, Pasek and Paul performed and hosted master classes in Paris, France at American Musical Theatre Live Paris.[30][31]

Ronacher Vienna[edit]

In 2013, Pasek and Paul hosted a master class at the Performing Center Austria and performed at the Ronacher in Vienna, Austria.[32][33]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2013 Tony Nominees for A Christmas Story: Best Musical and Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre.
  • 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Dogfight: Outstanding Musical.
  • 2011 The ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award[34]
  • 2011 Songwriter's Fellowship Award[35]
  • 2011 Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters[13]
  • 2011 Sundance Institute Fellowship[36]
  • 2007-2008 Dramatist Guild Fellowship
  • 2007 Jonathan Larson Award[1] (youngest winners in history)


  1. ^ a b "Jonathan Larson Awards"., February 16, 2007
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b "UM Musical Theatre Department.News Of Graduates.2011 - 12". University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, accessed July 27, 2012
  4. ^ "Larson Grants Recipients"., accessed July 27, 2012
  5. ^ "Biography of Benj Pasek"., accessed July 27, 2012
  6. ^ "5th Avenue Theatre Presents 'A Christmas Story'"., November 9, 2010
  7. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "John Rando Will Direct 'Christmas Story' Tour; John Bolton, Gene Weygandt, Rachel Bay Jones Star". Playbill, September 30, 2011
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam. " 'A Christmas Story, The Musical!' Will Be Unwrapped at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in November". Playbill, July 26, 2012
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ [4]., September 25, 2012
  12. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "'Dogfight', New Musical About Cruelty and Hope, Opens in NYC; Lindsay Mendez and Derek Klena Star". Playbill, July 16, 2012
  13. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth. "Musicals by Duchan, Pasek, Paul and Gerle Win 2011 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater". Playbill, February 14, 2011
  14. ^ "The Piano Lesson, The Whale & Dogfight Honored at 2013 Lucille Lortel Awards"., May 6, 2011
  15. ^ Cox, Gordon. Off Broadway musicals outnumber Broadway shows in the tuner category". Variety, April 23, 2013
  16. ^ "'Edges' - Show Details, October 20, 2008"., accessed July 27, 2012
  17. ^ "'Edges A Song Cycle' - Sydney Production (OPENS MARCH 25)", 16 March 2010
  18. ^ "Pasek and Pauls 'Edges'", October 5, 2011
  19. ^ "Music Theatre Professor Directs Production in Denmark"., July 11, 2011
  20. ^ Edges[dead link]
  21. ^ "Edges coming to Paris". AMT Live. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ Tay, Rebecca. "Fringe Review. Edinburgh Fringe 2010. 'Edges - the Musical'"., 19 August 2010
  23. ^ "Toronto Premiere of 'Edges'"., September 18, 2008
  24. ^ "Ateneo Blue Repertory Presents Musical Revue 'Edges'"., July 18, 2010
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Pasek and Paul's Edges to Play Sondheim Center with Alvin, Bashor and Hanlon"., February 15, 2008
  26. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "'James and the Giant Peach, the Musical', Blossoms With the Help of Pilobolus, Oct. 21". Playbill, October 21, 2010
  27. ^ "Onstage. If You Give A Pig A Pancake, January 24, 2010". Penn State, accessed July 27, 2012
  28. ^ "'One Night Stand' Documentary Feat. Cheyenne Jackson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Mandy Gonzalez et al. Makes NewFest Premiere, 7/24"., July 24, 2011
  29. ^ "Festival Centre’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival presents Along the Way: An Evening with Pasek and Paul. Australian Exclusive"., 14 April 2010
  30. ^ "Musical Theatre Master Class with Pasek & Paul". AMT Live. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Pasek & Paul's EDGES". Broadway World. June 7, 2013. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "The 16th Annual ASCAP Foundation Awards Honor Stephen Schwartz (December 7, 2011)"., accessed July 27, 2012
  35. ^ "Pasek Justin Paul Win Songwriters Fellowship Award for 'A Christmas Story'"., October 19, 2011
  36. ^ "Sundance-Institute Announces Artists Selected for 2011 Playwrights Retreat"., accessed July 27, 2012

External links[edit]