‘Defying Gravity’ Documentary in the Works


Stephen Schwartz
L-R: Idina Menzel in Wicked, Stephen Schwartz, Luke Brady in The Prince of Egypt; photos from Facebook

Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz will soon be the subject of a documentary about his incredible career in musical theater.

Entitled Defying Gravity: From Godspell to Wicked, a Musical Journey, the documentary will be written and directed by John Scheinfeld, Variety reports. Scheinfeld has previously directed other documentaries about musical icons such as Chasing Time: The John Coltrane Documentary and The U.S. vs. John Lennon.

The documentary will be produced by the team of Spencer Proffer, Corey Brunish, and Russell Miller. Carole de Giere, who wrote the Schwartz biography Defying Gravity, will be a consultant to the producers. 

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Schwartz has had a long and illustrious career in creating musicals for both the stage and the silver screen. His most memorable musicals are Godspell, Pippin, Working, Wicked, and the stage versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (in German) and The Prince of Egypt. Godspell was recently staged as the first professional musical to be performed live, since in the U.S. since the pandemic lockdown.

He has also composed the songs for several Disney films including Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Enchanted

Among his most iconic songs are “Corner of the Sky,” “Colors of the Wind,” “Day by Day,” “When You Believe,” and “Defying Gravity.”

He has won three Academy Awards, three Grammy Awards, a Drama Desk Award, and has also been nominated for six Tony Awards. In 2015, he received the Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special Tony for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent.

The documentary will depict Schwartz’s long path to success which has also had its fair share of disappointments and failures as well as explore the artistry behind the composer’s most unforgettable songs. It will also show some key moments in American musical theater history. So far no further details have been announced about the release date or platform where the documentary will be available.

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