I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for … just kidding. (Will I be peppering this post exclusively with Godspell references because I grew up very Catholic and in this house we learn our lessons well? Yes, yes I will.) Stephen Schwartz, the man behind Godspell, Wicked, and a truly bananas-long list of other titles you know and love, is getting the documentary treatment. Defying Gravity will start production next year. It will span Schwartz’s 45-year career, which has yielded a Tony and multiple Academy Awards and Grammys. We’re talking Pippin. We’re talking Rags. We’re talking The Prince of Egypt. All good gifts, you might say.
“Stephen is a hugely talented composer and lyricist who embodies a Renaissance spirit,” Spencer Proffer, one of the three creatives helming the project, said in a press release. “Equally enchanting is his humility and eagerness to reveal that the path to his success has been dotted with disappointments and sometimes failures. It’s a rich field to explore, delving into the artistry behind show tunes we’ve all hummed out loud and in our heads for decades.” Proffer — who was behind Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary — is joined by Corey Brunish and Russell Miller.
Carol de Giere, who wrote the literal book on Schwartz, will consult. The book is also titled Defying Gravity, if you’re looking to get in your Schwartz fix while you wait, day by day, for this documentary. Alternatively, you could join me in listening to Lindsay Mendez singing “Bless the Lord,” from the 2011 Godspell Broadway cast, replaying on a loop to kill some time. Whose grace has maAAAAAAAde me whoooole! Also, I guess, there’s that one about the good witch and the bad witch. Heard some good things about that one too.