Friday, August 22, 2014

Mark Your Calendar for Mark My Words

Gregory Maguire who wrote the original novel Wicked - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Stephen Schwartz, legendary composer and lyricist of PippinGodspell, and wicked, Maguire's twisted take on L. Frank Baum's universe, will be the guests for A Wicked Cool Evening, 2014's Mark My Words event for the Mark twain House and musuem.

The conversation, moderated by the Hartford Courant's Frank Rizzo, will be helod 8 pm Tuesday, Oct. 21 at The Bushnell. Musical guests and surprises have been promised.

The tour of Wicked, the musical, makes a tour stop at The Bushnell Nov. 5-23.

The Mark Twain House and Museum's Annual 'Mark My Words' event -- wildly popular authors interviewed by a celebrity host -- has become a mainstay of the Connecticut literary scene over the past three years. John Grisham, David Baldacci, Jodi Picoult, Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, R. L. Stine, Sue Grafton, Alice Hoffman, and Scott Turow have been featured. The VIP Package at $125 includes Premium Orchestra Seating, private reception with Maguire, Schwartz and Rizzo.  Orchestra and box seats are $55, mezzanine seats are $25-40.  Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at (860) 987-5900.  All proceeds go to the Mark Twain House and Museum. For additional information, visit

About Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire is best known for his 1995 novel for adults, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. A New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller, and cited by Barnes & Noble in its "Discover Great New Writers" recommendations for the Fall of 1995, Wicked inspired the Broadway musical of the same name and three New York Times bestselling sequels in the Wicked Years cycle:  Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. The Tony Award-winning Wicked, well into its eleventh year on Broadway and playing in nine productions internationally, has broken box office records in nearly every venue in which it has appeared. His latest book Egg & Spoon, a dazzling novel for fantasy lovers of all ages set in Russia, will be released on September 9, 2014.

Born and raised in Albany, New York, and schooled in a parochial setting until college, Maguire published his first novel for children at the age of 24. He has written eighteen novels for children and eight novels for adults.  Currently he spends his time in Massachusetts, Vermont, and France with his husband, the painter Andy Newman, and their three children.

About Steven Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz was born in New York City on March 6, 1948. He studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music while in high school and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968 with a B.F.A. in Drama.  In 1971, he wrote the music and new lyrics for Godspell, for which he won several awards, including two Grammys. The following year, he wrote the music and lyrics forPippin, and two years later, The Magic Show. At one point, Godspell, Pippin and The Magic Show were all running on Broadway simultaneously. He then began working in film, collaborating with composer Alan Menken on the scores for the Disney animated features Pocahontas, for which he received two Academy Awards and another Grammy, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  

Mr. Schwartz's most recent musical, Wicked, opened in the fall of 2003 and is currently running on Broadway and in several other productions around the United States and the world. In 2008, Wickedreached its 1900th performance on Broadway, making Mr. Schwartz the only songwriter in Broadway history ever to have three shows run more than 1900 performances.  Pippin is currently running on Broadway and received the 2013 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. He is currently preparingThe Hunchback of Notre Dame to be his first stage musical since Wicked.

About Frank Rizzo

Frank Rizzo has been covering the Connecticut arts scene for more than 37 years, 32 of them for The Hartford Courant. He also writes reviews and stories for the New York Times, Variety, American Theater Magazine and other publications.   

During his tenure he has written about disco, rock and punk; covered the Oscars, the Grammys, the Tonys and Live Aid. He was in Cincinnati for the Mapplethorpe Obscenity Trial, at the U.S. Supreme Court for the NEA Four case, and at the Dakota for the John Lennon vigil. He's profiled such figures as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Julia Child, Rock Hudson, Dr. Ruth, August Wilson, Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep and Mischu, the world's smallest man.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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