The Kleban Foundation awarded the 2018 Kleban Prizes for Musical Theatre last night, February 5, in a private ceremony hosted by ASCAP and BMI at ASCAP. The Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theater lyricist category resulted in a tie and was awarded to both Alan Schmuckler and Amanda Yesnowitz, and the 2018 Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theater librettist has been awarded to Christian Duhamel.
The judges making the final determination this year were Tony-nominated actor Marin Mazzie (The King & I), Tony-nominated composer and lyricist Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), and author and professor Laurence Maslon.
The Kleban Foundation was established in 1988 under the will of Edward L. Kleban, best known as the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist of the musical A Chorus Line. Kleban's will made provisions for two annual prizes, which in recent years have totaled $100,000 each, payable over two years, to be given to the most promising lyricist and librettist in American Musical Theater.
"For nearly three decades years, The Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre has been one of the theater's most distinctive honors," said Tony Award winner Richard Maltby Jr., president of the Kleban Foundation, in a statment. "While so many theater awards recognize the best of the past season, The Kleban Prize distinguishes itself by looking to the promise of future work. With a uniquely generous endowment, The Kleban Prize celebrates and supports some of the theater's most promising writers. The Kleban Foundation is proud to carry Ed Kleban's legacy into the 21st century, having fostered the work of emerging artists and the continued achievements of artists taking bold strides in their craft."
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