What do you do after you win an Academy Award? Ardmore’s Benj Pasek is heading back to TV.
Pasek and composing partner Justin Paul won the Oscar for original song this year for “City of Stars” from La La Land. Recent Tony nominees for the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, they earlier scored the Tony-nominated A Christmas Story: The Musical, which Fox announced Friday would become a live, three-hour event for the network in December.
With some new songs, naturally, by Pasek and Paul, who a few seasons ago were also responsible for several original songs on NBC’s Broadway-set show Smash.
Pasek’s not the only local connection for A Christmas Story, on which Fox Broadcasting and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television are partnering with producer (and University of Pennsylvania grad) Marc Platt (who was also a producer on La La Land).
Northeast Philadelphia native Mike Darnell, the former head of alternative programming for Fox — where he was responsible for, among other things, a little show called American Idol — is now president of alternative and unscripted television at Warner Bros.
“I can’t believe how incredibly lucky we are to have Marc Platt producing this iconic Christmas classic,” said Darnell in a prepared statement. “Marc is the defining voice in this genre and it’s amazing to have this caliber of talent leading what is sure to be a new standard in live musical events.”
Fox also announced on Friday plans for another live event, a production of the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical Rent, with Platt as executive producer.