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Blumenkrantz, Jeff 1965-

BLUMENKRANTZ, Jeff 1965-

PERSONAL: Born June 3, 1965, in Long Beach, NJ; son of Harold David (a pharmacist) and Nancy Rachel (an interior designer; maiden name, Levy) Blumenkrantz. Education: Attended Northwestern University.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Abrams Artists, 275 Seventh Ave., 26th Floor, New York, NY 10001.

CAREER: Actor, singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, orchestrator, musical director, and playwright. Actor in stage productions, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook IL, 1986, then touring show; The Pajama Game, Equity Library Theatre, 1986; South Pacific, New York City Opera, 1987; Into the Woods, Martin Beck Theatre, New York, 1987-89; Waiting in the Wings, Triplex Theatre, New York, 1988; Threepenny Opera, National Theatre, Washington, DC, then Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York, 1989; Henry and Ellen; How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying; Damn Yankees, on Broadway; Forever Plaid; and Goose. Coproducer, Avow, Century City Theater, New York, NY, 2000. Actor in films, including Amos and Andrew, 1993; (as uncredited chorus member) Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Walt Disney Home Video, 1997; Dear Diary; and Elmo in Grouchland, Henson Films. Did ensemble vocals for Anastasia, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1997; choreographer for The Thirteenth Floor, Columbia, 1999. Played Simeon in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (animated), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 2000. Guest star in television shows, including The Simple Life, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1998. Member, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop and Dramatists Guild Musical Theatre Development program.

AWARDS, HONORS: Dramatists Guild Jonathan Larson Memorial Musical Theatre fellowship; BMI-Harrington Award, 2001; Ten-Minute Musical Competition award, for Precious Little Jewel; Antoinette Perry Award nomination for songwriting (with others), 2003, for score from Urban Cowboy.

WRITINGS:

(With Annie Kessler and Libby Saines) Woman with Pocketbook (musical), produced at the New Line Theatre, St. Louis, MO, 1998.

Author of songs "I'm Gonna Like It Here" and "Corene's Commandments" for musical Urban Cowboy, produced in Florida, 2002, then on Broadway, 2003. With Annie Kessler and Libby Saines, author of song "I Won't Mind," 2000, and recorded by Audra McDonald on CD How Glory Goes. With Saines, author of musical Precious Little Jewel. Author of song cycle based on poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, including "Lament," recorded by Megan Mullally on CD Big as a Berry.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Fits and Starts, a full-length musical.

SIDELIGHTS: Jeff Blumenkrantz has written and arranged songs performed and recorded by several notable singers, such as Broadway and television stars Megan Mullally and Audra McDonald. In 2003 he became a Broadway songwriter for the first time when the musical Urban Cowboy, which includes two songs he wrote for the show, made its Broadway debut. Urban Cowboy, based on the 1980 movie of the same name starring John Travolta, is set in a honky-tonk in Houston, Texas, where workers from a local petrochemical plant congregate to drink, dance, and ride a mechanical bull when they aren't working. The original plan for the stage musical was to use primarily songs from the film's soundtrack and other well-known country hits, but the director, Lonny Price, decided to include songs written specifically for the stage production that would be better able to "reveal character," as Price told Ernio Hernandez of Playbill. Price was quite happy with the songs that Blumenkrantz wrote; he told Hernandez that they "very much feel like the world of that country western theme."

Besides writing "I'm Gonna Like It Here" and "Corene's Commandments" for Urban Cowboy, Blumenkrantz also recruited the show's Broadway star, Matt Cavenaugh, after he saw Cavenaugh in a touring production of Strike up the Band. "It was just [a] little show, I wasn't that great in it, but he thought he saw something!" Cavenaugh told Hernandez.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Magazine, August, 1990, review of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, pp. 248-250.

New York, April 2, 2001, John Simon, review of A Class Act, p. 72.

Playbill, December 5, 2002; January 24, 2003; February 13, 2003, Ernio Hernandez, "Urban Cowboy Company Struts Its Stuff, and Shows Some Skin, at Press Preview."

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), March 23, 2001, Peter Filichia, "Actors Portray Pair of Legends" (interview with Blumenkrantz), p. 10.

Variety, November 7, 1994, Jonathan Taylor, review of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, p. 59.

ONLINE

Jeff Blumenkrantz Home Page,http://www.jeffblumenkrantz.com (July 6, 2003).*

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