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Alum Destined for The Great White Way!

5/18/2005
Benj Pasek ’03 will debut Edges, a colorful, brave, honest new work charging to the forefront of contemporary musical theatre in an East Coast tour which includes an Off-Broadway performance. Click to download the Edges poster. Benj is completing his sophomore year at the University of Michigan, majoring in musical theatre. He has recently also studied with renowned opera singer, Shirley Berrett.

Written with colleague Justin Paul, the piece tracks four distinct characters who feel stifled by a world in which they are not challenged to truly know themselves. The 14-song set rivals the best in contemporary musical theater as it explores the themes of self-discovery and reflection. How can we move beyond our resumes to deal honestly with ourselves and with others? What will it take to stop “coasting” and to start “becoming” who we really want to be? Four accomplished actors and singers take us through their personal journey as the audience ponders these questions.

Playing to a sell-out and enthusiastic crowd this April in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Edges was immediately hailed as an instant success. In the month since the premier in Ann Arbor, the music has already traveled around the country. Featured in an Off-Broadway New York showcase, Benj and his collaborators created a buzz among Tony nominees and top Broadway writers and agents. The two are receiving daily requests for the music from New York to Boston to LA. The response has been so exceptional that it spurred the East Coast Tour through Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut this Memorial Day.

Pasek is no stranger to success in theater and song writing. A lead actor in high school plays at Friends’ Central, Benj performed in a two-person show at the Adriene Theater last summer and was a featured artist in the Philly Songwriter’s Project. The response to Edges was overwhelming, “This is like a dream come true for me.”

Where does Benj go from here? This summer, Benj will be interning for Jeff Marx, the writer of Avenue Q, the Tony award winner for best musical in 2004.

Edges can be seen at the following venues in May. To reserve tickets, e-mail edges@adnmail.com with the location and number of tickets desired. Tickets: $15; $12 Students. Check the FCS website this summer for photos from Benj’s East Coast debut!

May 26th - 8:00 PM
Imagination Stage
4908 Auburn Ave.
Bethesda, MD

May 27th - 7:30 PM
The Kimmel Center's Innovation Studio
250 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA

May 29th - 6:30 & 8:00 PM
The Seabury Center
55 Myrtle Ave.
Westport, CT

May 30th - 8:00 PM
Abingdon Theatre Company's June Havoc Theatre
312 W. 36th St, 1st Floor
New York City, NY