Friends Central grad nominated for Tony Award

Philly-born Benj Pasek (left) and music-writing partner Justin Paul have gone from college dreams to sought-after status.

Benj Pasek, who grew up in Ardmore, is having a really good day. The 2003 Friends Central grad is nominated for a Tony, along with writing partner Justin Paul, for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre for their work on "A Christmas Story," the musical adaptation of the beloved holiday flick. "A Christmas Story" was also nominated for Best Book and Best Musical.

"It’s the craziest day of my life. I’ve never gotten more text messages in my life. It’s so overwhelming," Pasek told me

He continued that he always watched nominations, and it was surreal knowing his name could be called (of course, he didn't expect it and was "shocked" by the announcment). "When you write a show that’s nominated for best score, best book and best musical, you know your show really resonated with people," Pasek said.

Pasek and Paul have had a big year as it is, including several songs featured on the NBC musical "Smash." So what's next for the songwriting duo, who met at the University of Michigan? They're working on a couple of musicals in different stages of production, including one with playwright Steven Levenson, who they worked with previously for the musical "Dogfight," based on the 1991 River Phoenix movie.

Click here for a full list of nominees. The awards take place June 9.