Honor comes with hefty cash prize
Composer Jeff Blumenkrantz has picked up the 2011 Fred Ebb Award, the legit kudo that comes with a $50,000 cash prize.Blumenkrantz, who began his stage career as an actor (“Into the Woods,” “Damn Yankees”), has penned one-acts “Woman With Pocketbook” and “Precious Little Jewel,” both of which have been seen regionally, as well as contributed to the score of Broadway tuner “Urban Cowboy.” His tunes also have been recorded by a number of musical theater faves including Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster and Victoria Clark. Ebb Award was inaugurated following the 2004 death of Ebb, who with longtime partner John Kander penned the music for tuners including “Cabaret,” “Chicago” and “The Scottsboro Boys.” Kudo goes to a songwriter or songwriting team that has not yet carved out a significant commercial profile. Along with the cash, the laurel also comes with a one-night showcase of the winner’s work. Past winners have included John Bucchino (“A Catered Affair”) and Adam Gwon (“Ordinary Days”). Award is administrated every year by the Fred Ebb Foundation in association with the Roundabout Theater Company. Bebe Neuwirth will hand out this year’s kudo at a Nov. 28 ceremony at the Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater.