Composer-lyricist Adam Gwon and book writer-lyricist Michelle Elliott have been named this year’s winners of the Kleban Prize, with each set to receive $100,000 over two years.
Gwon, whose tuner “Ordinary Days” was seen in a 2009 run at Gotham’s Roundabout Theater, scored the Kleban prize for lyricist, while Elliott, the book writer-lyricist of NAMT and New York Musical Theater Festival alum “The Yellow Wood,” snagged the kudo for librettist.
Kleban Prize was established in 1988 under the will of the late lyricist of “A Chorus Line,” Edward Kleban. This year’s judges included Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime”), Michael Korie (“Grey Gardens”) and David Zippel (“City of Angels”).
Gwon’s latest, “The Boy Detective Fails,” is set for a bow at the D.C. area’s Signature Theater next season. In 2008 he nabbed the Fred Ebb Award for songwriting, which comes with $50,000.
Elliott’s new tuner “Cloaked,” written with composer and co-lyricist Danny Larsen, recently received the 2011 Jonathan Larson Grant, named after “Rent” tunesmith Larson.
Past winners of the Kleban Prize include Korie, David Lindsay-Abaire (“Shrek the Musical”), Glenn Slater (“Sister Act”) and John Weidman (“Assassins”). This year’s awards will be handed out in a June 27 ceremony at ASCAP.