A Musical Scrapbook





Chicago CRITICS and AUDIENCES LOVE Snapshots!!!

                      ALL 5 out of 5 STARS from the Audiences...


”Terrific cast. Was totally enjoyable. Wouldn't mind seeing it again.”

“One of the best musicals that I have seen in quite a while. The voices were outstanding and the story was told flawlessly. An enjoyable evening at the theater.”


Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook

Posted by admin • September 25th, 2011 • Printer-friendly


Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz


Book by David Stern

Directed by Ken Sawyer

This album well worth viewing

Take a direct, simple story, unfold it with exquisite care, and the result is a gem of a play opening Northlight’s 37th season.

The plot of this Chicago première of Snapshots is easy to sum up: Sue and Dan (Susan McMonagle and Gene Weygandt), middle-aged empty nesters, find a hoard of old pictures in their attic.  Sue plans to leave Dan, and is just about to tell him so when they begin to examine the photos and reminisce about their early years together (Act I) before honing in on an examination the ways they have drifted apart (Act II).

The snapshots, originally photos clutched in their hands, become large projections on the paneled walls before actually springing to life in the form of two incarnations of their earlier selves: Susie and Danny (Megan Long and Nick Cosgrove) and Susan and Daniel (Jess Godwin and Tony Clarno). The three couples interact to sing and dramatize specific, emotion-filled episodes that trace the two from their early days in elementary school  – hitting on many rites of passage  —  before moving on to courtship and highlights of their 30 years together.

And what songs they are: 28 drawn from 12 successful musicals – all written by Stephen Schwartz. The melodies are recognizable from many of these shows which include Wicked, Pippin,  Godspell, The Magic Show, Rags, Personals, The Baker’s Wife, Enchanted, Captain Louie, Working, Reluctant Pilgrim and Children of Eden – but the lyrics have been rewritten to fit the new dramatic situation.

Schwartz has said that to his knowledge this has never been done before. That’s why he titles it a scrapbook rather than a review or book musical. For the first time, an original songwriter has revised his lyrics to enhance storytelling. And it works!

The cast has remarkable voices, clear and compelling and their dramatic ability marches the timbre – moving from humor to nostalgia with ease as past and present intermingle and advice is exchanged back and forth, neatly breaking barriers as they address their earlier selves. It is an imaginative tour de force – brilliantly executed. What might be clunky in other hands, flows smoothly under the expert direction of Ken Sawyer.

Kudos to Jack Magaw for the multi-level set, Karl Christian for musical staging, Steve Orich for Musical direction and arrangements,  and to the orchestra: Chris Sargent, Scott Reed, Paul Dallas, Jeffrey Handley and Marc Hogan.

While Act I is stronger than the slower second act, by play’s end the viewers responded to much that reached their hearts.  On opening night, not a few wiped away tears as they joined the rest of the audience for a standing ovation.


Beverly Friend, Ph D.

By Katy Walsh, Saturday at 10:26 am

With the Facebook age, picture taking has become even more popular.  Not only can I capture the moment, I can post it immediately for all my FB friends to see.  We spend so much time documenting the fun time, we forget to actually have a fun time.  Those posed pictures hold less and less importance.  Offline, I stumble on an old  photograph.   I see the younger version of myself with someone I don’t remember and in a place I don’t recall.  There are no comments, tags or *likes* to help me know its significance.  I only know that when I look at it, I feel that young girl’s moxie and innocence.

Northlight Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of SNAPSHOTS.  Sue and Dan have been together since 12 years old.  They started as buddies.  They went on to date.  They ended up married.  Their son has left home.  Sue decides it’s time for her to go too.  Dan surprises her letter-explaining-her-departure-exit.  And a box of photos sends them back in time.  They must first look back to move forward.  SNAPSHOTS is a compilation of award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz‘ favorite songs.  This time, the music is set to story and everybody shares in the musical memory.

Walking into the theatre, the stage grabs my attention.  The framework of the attic has an iridescent shell-like quality.  The shimmer adds a surreality to the cluttered reality.  Designers Jack Magaw (scenic), Jesse Klug (lighting) and Mike Tutaj (projections) work together to provide the nostalgic backdrop.  The show starts with an overture of Schwartz‘ musicals.  The cast hums along with the band to selections from “Pippin”, “Godspell”, “Wicked” and more. The musical logo flashes onto the attic walls.  It’s a powerful kick-off to the singing revue.

The show is all about Sue and Dan.  And Suzie and Danny.  And Susan and Daniel.  Susie McGonagle, Megan Long and Jess Goodwin play the female.  Gene Weygandt, Nick Cosgrove and Tony Clarno play the male.  McGonagle and Weygandt are the old married couple.  Musical veterans, McGonagle and Weygandt anchor the show with solid singing and bittersweet contemplation.  Always onstage, they delightfully interact with their younger versions.  There are hilarious moments as they try to get their young selves to act differently.  (Aw, if it was that easy to change the past.)  The entire ensemble is incredibly talented.  The singing is a melodious powerhouse multiplied by six.  A standout, Megan Long belts out a bright, pleasing rendition of “Popular.”  But it’s her multiple character portrayal in bed that’s unforgettable.  Long showcases an impressive range.

My only disappointment in this wonderfully sung retrospective is the missing “Defying Gravity.”  I would have loved for McGonagle to close off the first act with that “Wicked” song.  If I ever leave my husband, I’m totally singing it.  Despite the denying "Defying", SNAPSHOTS is picture perfect!

Chris Jones

Theater critic

September 26, 2011


“At one of the key moments in "Snapshots" — the unusual new show at the Northlight Theatre celebrating and re-conceiving the remarkable music of Stephen Schwartz — we watch an older man, whose marriage is in crisis, watching his younger, happier self pace a delivery room. The expectant father is singing "All Good Gifts," originally from "Godspell," and a melody of great beauty.

At that moment, you're struck that the idea behind "Shapshots" (not quite a revue and not quite a full-fledged musical) is a very good one. At the top of "Snapshots," which has a book by David Stern, a middle-aged woman (played by Susie McMonagle) climbs to her attic to get the suitcase that will help her leave her husband (Gene Weygandt). He shows up from work, oblivious as ever, and the two end up looking back through their lives as lovers, parents and take-each-other-for-granted spouses, with the wife's impending exit providing the requisite tension. Their younger selves, variously played by Megan Long, Jess Godwin, Nick Cosgrove and Tony Clarno, act out vistas from their lives, singing Schwartz as they go, often with lyrics newly penned by the composer himself.

The idea works because of the originality of the set-up, but also because Schwartz's songs, filled with aspiration and quizzical wonder, fit the basic premise so well. "All Good Gifts" and "Fathers and Sons" (from "Children of Eden") make perfect paternal sense, just as "Magic to Do" or "Corner of the Sky" work with the young and graduating. I was very touched by how the show uses "Meadowlark" as a picture book that sad-eyed McMonagle finds in the attic, her life flown away. And, thanks in no small measure to some truly superb arrangements from Steve Orich, who also musically directs this strong cast, there are some very clever song pairings that work on one level for Schwartz aficionados and another for everyone else: For example, the upbeat "Lion Tamer" from "The Magic Show" leads beautifully into "I'm Not That Girl" from "Wicked," fused with even more self-doubt.

I could go on about many more such inspired musical choices here, most of which are beautifully sung, especially by Long and Clarno. Schwartz's new lyrics, like all of his old lyrics, are wise, direct and generally superb...”



Well-Developed 'Snapshots' Mines Compelling New Memories From Stephen Schwartz' Celebrated Musical Past

.... “So it should come as high praise that I found Northlight's world premiere of Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook--which utilizes songs from throughout Schwartz' career in the service of an original storyline--entirely enjoyable and entertaining even without recognizing most of the source material. Press about this show has revealed that Schwartz has re-written some of his lyrics to fit the new narrative, but other than noting such changes in a couple tunes from Wicked, I have no idea what was altered or to what extent.

I imagine Schwartz aficionados will enjoy Snapshots as a clever twist on the revue or jukebox musical, but I was impressed that it also works as something entirely new.

it's not hard to imagine a producer taking this show to Broadway for a successful staging in a smaller venue, and Snapshots will undoubtedly become a property snapped up by regional theaters looking to give its audiences something new and brand-named at the same time...”

‘Snapshots’ Puts Memories in the Picture

Touching musical comedy at Northlight blends new lyrics to familiar Stephen Schwartz music.

  1. By Tom Witom



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Nothing is ever simply black and white in a relationship, particularly in marriage. And it’s easy for one’s memories to play tricks as the years fly by.

That’s at the crux of Stephen Schwartz’s heartwarming 2005 musical comedy Snapshots: a Musical Scrapbook, making its Chicago-area premiere at Northlight Theatre in Skokie in a terrific production directed by Ken Sawyer.

Steve Orich serves as music director and Karl Christian handles musical staging. The play’s book is by David Stern.

Schwartz, a prolific composer and lyricist whose resume includes Godspell, Pippin, The Baker’s Wife, Working, Rags and Wicked, has taken more than 25 musical numbers from these and his other works and adapted lyrics to fit Snapshots. It’s a creative endeavor that works well.

The show, featuring a pitch-perfect cast bursting with talent, opens in a cluttered attic where middle-aged Sue (Susie McMonagle), packed suitcase in hand, is poking through keepsakes. Feeling distant from her workaholic husband Dan (Gene Weygrandt), she is ready to call it quits after 20 years of marriage to her childhood sweetheart in order to chase a dream of intimacy that has eluded her.

Before Sue can get out the door, Dan comes home early from the office and joins her, and the pair spend time pouring over old photos. These snapshots trigger memories of when they first met, birthday parties, family gatherings, “best pals” during their college years, dating experiences (with one another and others) and eventually their engagement and birth of a college-age son.

A series of projected photos help bring many of the those events into focus. But what really brings them to life are four hard-working cast members who re-enact these various milestones in song and dialogue.

Tony Clarno as Daniel, Jess Godwin as Susan, Nick Cosgrove as Danny and Megan Long as Susie are shadow figures from the past, younger versions of Ken and Sue with whom they often interact. As the events play out, they don’t always match how the principal characters remember them.
Many of the rekindled events are hilarious. In the first apartment that he will share with Sue, Dan has a number of surprise female visitors, baggage from his past, who literally pop up from the most unexpected places. Even funnier is a bedroom scene where more ghosts put in an appearance (Godwin, changing wigs and intonation in rapid succession).

Snapshots has many heartwarming numbers, from “The Spark of Creation” and  “All Good Gifts” to “The Hardest Part of Love” and “Code of Silence.” It’s a play that holds appeal for young and old audiences alike.

"Snapshots" Review - Can this Marriage Be Saved?

By Andrew DeCanniere

 At the center of one of the most highly anticipated productions of the Northlight Theatre's 2011-2012 season, Snapshots (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by David Stern and directed by Ken Sawyer) are Dan (Gene Weygandt)and Sue (Susie McMonagle), a long-time couple that have been friends since childhood, back when they were still known as Danny (Nick Cosgrove) and Susie (Megan Long).

(background) Susie McMonagle and Gene Weygandt; (foreground) Megan Long and Nick Cosgrove


When the play opens, Sue, dissatisfied with the state of their marriage, is up in the attic of their home, suitcase packed, in the middle of writing Dan a letter explaining that she has decided to leave him. Just as she’s almost done, about to make the move and leave, Dan comes up, genuinely confused about what she might be doing up there. Rather than giving him the letter or informing him of her plans to leave him herself, she comes up with an excuse. While they are up there, Dan starts to go through the items that have gathered over the years, pointing out what he feels they can get rid of.

(background) Susie McMonagle and Gene Weygandt; (foreground) Megan Long and Nick Cosgrove

While puttering around in the attic, talking with Sue, he comes across a box of snapshots on the floor, much of its contents spilled out. While he gathers them up, one in particular catches his eye -- a photo taken during a trip that they took to the Caribbean many years earlier. This is when the trip down memory lane, mostly in song, begins.

Gene Weygandt and Susie McMonagle

It is through these glimpses that we get a better sense of who Sue and Dan really are. We get a chance to see how they met – as children, Danny the new kid in a small town, who Susie takes under her wing and introduces to her friends; the two of them as teenagers, getting ready to head off to university; Daniel (Tony Clarno) and Susan (Jess Godwin) as college graduates, going their own separate ways for the first time in a long time, pursuing their own dreams, their own careers, and then coming together again; and now Dan and Sue, married for decades, “empty-nesters,” their own son grown and out of the house. It is also through these glimpses, these memories, that we learn about what really happened versus how they remember certain events in their lives happening, how they went from childhood friends to married couple, to married couple on the verge of breaking up after decades of being together.

(background) Susie McMonagle and Gene Weygandt; (foreground) Megan Long and Nick Cosgrove

Though they do love and care about each other a great deal (there’s no doubt about that), there’s also no denying that there are real problems in the relationship. Much of the time they act as if they expect one another to be mind readers, each expecting the other to just somehow know what they want them to do or say. Indeed they go to great lengths not to talk about anything of substance, to avoid any unpleasantness or arguments. Then there is also, on at least some level, some resentment. Growing up Susie had her own dreams, wanted her own career, all of which now seems to have taken a backseat to raising a family, while Daniel spent much of his time away, often working 70 hours a week. While those long hours were necessary early on, when they were young – they wouldn’t have been able support a family without that job – he long ago could have scaled back to a much more reasonable, manageable schedule that would have allowed him to spend more time with Sue, yet somehow he never did, leaving her to feel essentially alone. Compounding the problem is that Dan has fallen into a familiar pattern of long hours spent at work, not recognizing that there is any sort of problem at home, whatsoever. From his perspective, he doesn’t recognize that a problem exists, therefore there isn’t one, all of which leads up to the point where the play begins … the point at which Sue must decide whether she is to leave or stay and try to work their problems out together.

(background l to r): Nick Cosgrove, Megan Long, Jess Godwin, Tony Clarno; (foreground): Gene Weygandt, Susie McMonagle

While I personally enjoyed this production and found it to be very well-acted, it does seem a bit  simplistic in its view of Dan and Sue’s relationship.  I suspect that this play is likely to appeal most strongly to and be enjoyed by fans of Stephen Schwartz’s previous works (such as Wicked, Working, Pippin, and Godspell, among others).  If you are someone who enjoys musicals, or are curious about the work of Stephen Schwartz, this play is the one to see.

Susie McMonagle and Gene Weygandt

SNAPSHOTS is a new musical by the amazing Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, The Baker’s Wife)!!

"Snapshots” offers a powerful reminder of Stephen Schwartz’s remarkable gifts as composer and lyricist, but more importantly, it’s the rare musical that asks as many questions as it answers. I’m betting the one that resonates most strongly is "How did I get here? Is there an answer in these snapshots?”

— Rick Rogers

A group of very talented theatre folk and myself formed a theatrical production company called Cardboard Belt Productions. Ten years ago we began working with Stephen Schwartz and David Stern to bring this fantastic musical to the stage. We then teamed up with Relevant Theatricals (Million Dollar Quartet) and have workshopped SNAPSHOTS at Theatre Works, The Village Theatre, The Human Race Theatre, Seaside Music Theatre and more to come. 

SNAPSHOTS, in many ways, is Stephen Schwartz’s Mama Mia! Mr. Schwartz has taken his most famous songs and brilliantly reworked them into an entirely new powerful book written by David Stern.

Audiences are truly transformed!!!

SNAPSHOTS....coming to a theatre near you soon!


Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook!

Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by David Stern

Conceived by Michael Scheman and David Stern

Additional music and lyrics by David Crane, Seth Friedman, Marta Kaufman and Charles Strouse


“Snapshots captures power of memories”

Published: February 6, 2010

"Snapshots” offers a powerful reminder of Stephen Schwartz’s remarkable gifts as composer and lyricist, but more importantly, it’s the rare musical that asks as many questions as it answers. I’m betting the one that resonates most strongly is "How did I get here? Is there an answer in these snapshots?”

— Rick Rogers

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but photographs seem to convey so much more. In addition to capturing a moment in time, they hold myriad memories for those whose images are pictured within. They also have the power to rekindle powerful emotions years, even decades, after they were taken.

That’s the idea behind Stephen Schwartz’s "Snapshots,” a new musical receiving its Oklahoma premiere as part of Lyric Theatre’s Lyric at the Plaza series. A cast of six portrays Dan and Sue at three stages in their lives: as childhood friends, as newlyweds and as a couple whose 30-year marriage is falling apart.

When a box of old photographs tumbles from a dusty attic shelf, Dan and Sue are flooded with memories of their many years together. As they reflect on their past, they recall happier times they spent together, a few missed opportunities and some of the inevitable challenges every couple faces.

In many ways, "Snapshots” marks Schwartz’s return to smaller, more intimate shows. It shares similarities with Dan Goggin’s "Balancing Act,” a chamber musical with a main character whose conflicting personalities are played by five actors. "Snapshots” also recalls "I Do! I Do!,” Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s chronicle about a couple whose 50-year marriage has survived marital bliss, infidelity, children and incompatibility.

For "Snapshots,” Schwartz has repurposed more than two dozen songs from his earlier musicals, most notably, "Godspell,” "Pippin,” "The Magic Show,” "The Baker’s Wife,” "Children of Eden” and "Wicked.” Together with Michael SchemanDavid Stern and Richard Maltby, Schwartz manages to assess a scene’s emotional level and match it with an appropriate song.

Lyric rewrites have made many of Schwartz’s retrofitted songs more suitable for their new settings, but too often I found myself imagining them in their original contexts. For any musical theater enthusiast, "Day by Day” is inextricable from "Godspell,” just as "Popular” will always be associated with "Wicked.” Those unfamiliar with Schwartz’s musical canon should not even notice.

Stern has crafted a book whose well-drawn characters and realistic situations offer something every audience member can identify with. Who doesn’t remember a first crush, an awkward first kiss, rites of passage and missed opportunities? Such issues make for interesting, if not always compelling, theater.

The authors have opted to ignore conventional uses of time and space, a ploy that results in the past intruding on the present and vice versa: a character’s older self giving advice to his more youthful counterpart, and a young girl questioning the woman she fears she’ll become.

One couldn’t ask for a more accomplished cast. Jay Montgomery and Stefanie Morse play Dan and Sue in the present, Michael Marcotte and Kristy Cates portray the characters as newlyweds, and Brian Crum and Sarah Shahinian depict the couple as childhood friends and schoolmates. Each is vocally solid and conveys many fine nuances of character.

As Dan comments when he looks through the box of old photos, "our whole lives are here.” These are images that preserve lives richly lived, with a unique mix of happiness and despair, youthful passions and wise pronouncements, optimism and regret.

"Snapshots” offers a powerful reminder of Stephen Schwartz’s remarkable gifts as composer and lyricist, but more importantly, it’s the rare musical that asks as many questions as it answers. I’m betting the one that resonates most strongly is "How did I get here? Is there an answer in these snapshots?”

— Rick Rogers

Northlight Theatre

will open its 2011-12 season with


a musical scrapbook with book by David Stern

and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz,

the creator of Wicked, Godspell, Pippin!, and Working


Chicago, IL--Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans announce the first show of Northlight's 2010-2011 season,  Snapshots, a new show described by the authors as a "musical scrapbook," that includes some of the best-loved music and lyrics by the creator of Wicked, Godspell, Pippin! and Working.  Snapshots, with book by David Stern, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz,  direction by Ken Sawyer, musical staging by Karl Christian, and musical supervision and arrangements by Steve Orich, will run at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie, September 16 - October 23, 2011.


Snapshots will open the 2010-2011 season.  The remainder of the season will be announced soon.  


Blending together some of the best-loved music with some of the genuinely wonderful lesser known gems of renowned Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, this touching romantic comedy exposes a marriage at a crossroads.  Newly adapted, this musical reveals the humorous twists and unexpected turns of a middle-aged couple's reminiscence of how love brought them together and why life pushed them apart.  Mr. Schwartz has rewritten many of the lyrics to even the most familiar songs, to stay true to the fascinating story and characters of this new work.  Funny and bittersweet, Snapshots brings into focus all the wonders and frustrations of trusting your heart and believing your memories.


"Stephen Schwartz is one of the greats of American Musical Theatre.  Bringing Snapshots, which includes some of his favorite compositions, to Northlight is an honor and a truly special treat for our audiences.  What a tremendous way to kick off our season!," says Artistic Director BJ Jones.  "Snapshots is the next step in Northlight's ongoing dedication to new work and long-standing commitment to new musicals, including the world premieres of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, A Marvelous Party, Studs Terkel's 'The Good War', and most recently, Daddy Long Legs."


Relevant Theatricals and Cardboard Belt Productions have been developing this project for the past several years and most recently worked on the musical with David Stern, Stephen Schwartz and the creative team in preparation for its Chicago premiere.


"Relevant Theatricals and our partner Cardboard Belt Productions have been working with Stephen for some time now on this new musical.  His work is unparalleled and, Snapshots, in particular, is a beautiful piece of musical theatre that features many of his best-loved songs.  I couldn't be more thrilled about Northlight wanting to bring Snapshots to Chicago audiences," says Relevant producer Gigi Pritzker.


Stephen Schwartz (Composer/Lyricist) has contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, Children Of Eden and the current Broadway hit, Wicked. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein's Mass and wrote the title song for the play and movie Butterflies Are Free. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, Captain Louie and My Son Pinocchio. For films, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's Enchanted as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince Of Egypt. He has released two CDs of new songs entitled Reluctant Pilgrim and Uncharted Territory. His first opera, Seance on a Wet Afternoon, premiered with Opera Santa Barbara in the fall of 2009. A book about his career, "Defying Gravity," has recently been released by Applause Books. Under the auspices of the ASCAP Foundation, he runs musical theatre workshops in New York and Los Angeles, and is currently the President of the Dramatists' Guild. Mr. Schwartz has recently been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Other awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies.


David Stern (Book Writer) began his career working on the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, Nick & Nora and Big.  He then wrote the plays Dreams & Stuff and Finders of Lost Luggage.  After a small detour into directing with the NY revival of Starting Here, Starting Now and a stint with The American Project at Circle in the Square, he wrote for NPR's The 1990's Radio Hour and a Half.  David then migrated west where has written numerous movies, including: Geppetto for the Wonderful World of Disney (nominated for four Emmy Awards), Open Season 2 (nominated for an Annie Award), Open Season 3 as well as the upcoming The Hotel Transylvania, and Henry & Me.  He recently finished the stage adaptation of Geppetto entitled My Son, Pinocchio, and is currently writing and producing Turkeys - an animated feature starring Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson (due in theaters Thanksgiving 2012).

Ken Sawyer (Director) most recently directed the world premiere of Lovelace: A Rock Opera at the Hayworth Theatre, winning the LA Weekly Award for Best Director of a Musical.  He directed Dracula (Winner 2 LA Ovation Awards, nominated Drama Critics and LA Weekly Awards) at NoHo Arts Center.  His LA production of Woman in Black ran for over a year, setting box office records and winning five Ovation Awards and four Drama Critics Circle Awards.  Other noteworthy productions include the new musical One Red Flower at Carnegie Mellon University and a subsequent production in LA starring Maureen McGovern, Hunter Parrish, David Burnham and Levi Kreis; and the LA premiere of Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus' adaptation of Crime & Punishment.  As an accomplished sound designer, he has created original scores for most of the plays he has directed, including The Woman in Black, for which he won the Ovation and the Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Sound Design. Ken is a BFA graduate of The Juilliard School.  He is also an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab West and the LaMama Italy International Directors Workshop.


Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.


Now in its 36th season, the organization has mounted over 165 productions, including more than 33 world premieres.  Northlight has earned 145 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 28 Awards.  As one of the area's premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.


Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; ComEd, An Exelon Company; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Ernst & Young; Harris Bank; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The Lehman Family American Experience Series; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; MetLife Foundation;; McKinsey & Company; National Endowment for the Arts; North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; Nuveen Investments; The Pauls Foundation; Sanborn Family Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; Shubert Foundation; Sullivan Family Foundation; and the Theatre Communications Group.

About Snaphots the Musical

"The story is appropriate for teens through senior citizens, but especially for married couples. It really affected our audience as most people left the theater with tears in their eyes. Also, I'm sure it encouraged a lot of discussions on the way home." -- Comments by Sandy Focht of Dayton, Ohio, who attended the 2007 production in Dayton.

Snapshots may be available for licensing in the future, and will be appropriate for groups who need a small show, as it involves only six actors, four musicians, and a single set. Several theatre groups staged new versions of it in the summer of 2007, including Dayton, Ohio's The Human Race, whose production is pictured in the photo with cast members Kristy Cates and Michael Marcotte.

Bookwriter David Stern brought Stephen Schwartz the idea of using a compilations of Schwartz songs to create a musical scrapbook of a couple's life. Mr. Schwartz was intrigued by the notion, and gave permission for the concept to be developed further. Early versions were produced in the mid 90s, and over time, it evolved in terms of the story and the lyrics. Schwartz says that about 50 percent of the lyrics are new.

Snapshots did not develop out of an ideal list of songs that had to be included. "As happens when you're writing an original musical from scratch, the story and the characters made the demands of what the mateiral should be," Schwartz comments. Below is a songlist for the Dayton version. (Photo by Scott J. Kimmins)

Snapshots Songs by Stephen Schwartz and their Sources


"Where Did the Magic Go" - This is from the DVD version of The Magic Show.

"Snapshots" This and several other songs are from Reluctant Pilgrim, a CD of personal songs by Stephen Schwartz

"New Kid in the Neighborhood" from Captain Louie

"Popular" from Wicked

"Lion Tamer" from The Magic Show/ "I'm Not That Girl" from Wicked

"Making Good" an early, unrecorded version of a song from Wicked / "Extraordinary" and "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin

"With You" from Pippin

"Dear Old Shiz" from Wicked

"Two's Company" from The Magic Show/ "All For The Best" from Godspell

"Morning Glow" from Pippin

"If We Never Meet Aain" from Rags, although it was cut from the Broadway production. RECORDING: Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner have recorded this cut song from Rags on their Duets album. Duets - (Varese Sarabande, 1998) Duets - []

"Nothing To Do With Love" from Personals

"Endless Delights" from The Baker's Wife

"Meadowlark" also from The Baker's Wife - (Meadowlark page with lyrics)


"Love Song" from Pippin

"Moving in With Susan" from Personals

"Chanson" The Baker's Wife (Chanson page with lyrics)

"The Spark of Creation" from Children of Eden

"All Good Gifts" from Godspell - (All Good Gifts page with lyrics)

"Fathers and Sons" from Working / "The Hardest Part of Love" from Children of Eden

"Code of Silence" from Reluctant Pilgrim. (See lyrics for "Code of Silence")

"In Whatever Time We Have" from Children of Eden (page with lyrics for this song)


Snapshots Review from the Ohio production in 2007

Review by Scott Cain (used with permission) - Originally published on

Over the years, the Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, Ohio, has helped to develop quite a number of new musicals, either through their Musical Theater Workshop series or via full blown productions. Shows such as Was, Convenience and Harold & Maude were either shaped or fine-tuned at Human Race in recent years.

The theater company kicks off their Mainstage season for 2007/2008 with yet another similar endeavor. Incorporating existing songs from Broadway composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz into a new story, Snapshots is a tune-filled emotional examination of a single relationship across a span of thirty years. Human Race is one of several theaters that has worked to develop the piece with the help of Mr. Schwartz and book-writer David Stern. The result is an entertaining package showcasing well-known theater songs which have been given a fresh sound, together with a unique storyline. This production, which is mounted in coordination with Dayton's, Victoria Theatre Association, boasts a very talented six-person cast and solid direction.

Snapshots tells the story of Sue, who is about to leave Dan, her husband of about twenty years. As Sue retrieves some items from the attic, Dan unexpectedly comes home early. Before Sue can tell Dan that their marriage is over, that come across some photographs that stir up memories from their past, which come alive in front of them. The circumstances and emotions associated with each picture play out as the couple watch two sets of their younger selves, school-aged Danny and Susie, and young adults Daniel and Susan.

Few musicals could boast a stronger score than Snapshots. Many of the best tunes from Stephen Schwartz's vast musical theater catalogue (there are none from his film scores here) are presented, to much delight. Pippin, The Magic Show, Wicked, and The Baker's Wife are the most well represented, but show tunes from Children of Eden, Godspell, Rags, Working, Personals and Captain Louie are also used. Two songs from Mr. Schwartz's Reluctant Pilgrim album are included as well.

Part of what makes these songs effective here, out of their original context, is the fact that Mr. Schwartz has provided many new lyrics to make the songs much more specific to the characters and plot of Snapshots. Godspell's "All For the Best" contains nearly all new words, and "Popular" (Wicked) and "If We Never Meet Again" (Rags) have significantly altered lyrics as well. Most of the other songs have at least minor lyric changes. However, it is the melding and layering of songs that creates some of the best musical moments in the show. Combinations of "Lion Tamer" and "I'm Not That Girl"; "Two's Company" with "All For the Best"; and the trio of "Making Good" (cut from Wicked)/"Extraordinary"/"Corner of the Sky" are a few examples of new musical arrangements that supply fresh approaches to familiar songs. The writer's emotionally rich songs, such as "Meadowlark" (sung as a trio for the three female performers), "Chanson," "All Good Gifts" (which is Dan's response to becoming a father) and the title song, provide poignancy and strong material for a relationship-themed show.

David Stern's book provides a solid structure for the songs, with detailed characters, plenty of pathos and mostly smooth transitions.

The impressive list of songs for Snapshots, as well as the complex characters, provide ample opportunity for the six talented performers in Human Race's production. Denise Devlin, a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University, shows off a wide range, both vocally and in the acting department. She demonstrates spunk, quiet contemplation and a knack for physical comedy in her role as young Susie, and sings with great skill. As young adult Susan, Kristy Cates (a former Elphaba in Wicked in NY and Chicago) supplies splendid professional polish and stage presence. Her wonderful rendition of "The Spark of Creation" captures the fiery determination of self-discovery (in this case, that of an expected mother-to-be). Forty-something Sue is portrayed by Stefanie Morse. Ms. Morse wisely delivers her material with the quiet heartache of a woman viewing the end of a long marriage.

The men in the cast don't have quite as strong a set of songs as their female counterparts, but likewise do well with their material. Human Race regular Scott Hunt scores lots of laughs as child/teenager Danny, and is believable as a character much younger than his own age. Michael Marcotte puts his great facial expressions to good use, and carries the character deftly from college graduate to empty-nester dad and husband Daniel. Jay Montgomery has the most difficult job, with his role as Dan, the modern-day workaholic spouse. Mr. Montgomery allows the audience to empathize with the character despite his faults, and leads the final song, "In Whatever Time We Have," with confident vocals and the appropriate desperation of a man trying to redeem a marriage that has been neglected for too long.

Snapshots has a lot going for it. Its quaint and personal story of a couple struggling through life's ups and down plays well to the Midwestern sensibilities of an Ohio audience and will likely to appeal to many of the audiences to which this show will eventually play. Schwartz's amazing songs are given a new coat of polish thanks to new lyrics and arrangements, and the story that supports the songs is well-constructed. The Human Race Theatre Company, with their strong cast, direction, and sufficient design, presents an entertaining production of which all involved should be proud.

Lyric Theatre will present the Oklahoma premiere of SNAPSHOTS: A Musical Scrapbook as part of the 2010 "Lyric at the Plaza" season this February 4 through 14 at the newly renovated Plaza Theatre. This unique production will unite celebrated composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz and acclaimed book writer David Stern, with Tony Award-winning director, Richard Maltby, for a memorable show with an exciting new musical concept.

Stephen Schwartz is an extraordinarily talented composer and lyricist whose awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy awards, and four Drama Desk Awards as well as ten Tony nominations and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Schwartz, who wrote music and lyrics for shows such as Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, Children of Eden, and Wicked, has woven together treasured songs from his past musicals to tell the enchanting story of a couple who, after years of marriage and raising a child, have fallen out of love. But, when they come across photos that stir up joyous and touching memories of the past, their many years together come back to life right in front of them. Audiences will recognize favorite songs such as "Popular" from Wicked, "All Good Gifts" from Godspell, and "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin among many more musical gems, many with newly revised lyrics by Schwartz to tell this heartwarming, romantic story.

David Stern, along with co-conceiver Michael Scheman, has written a show that takes place in the attic of Sue and Dan, a couple whose marriage has fallen apart after 30 years together. Sue, who is about to leave her husband, has gone to the attic to retrieve a hidden suitcase when Dan unexpectedly comes home early. During this encounter, a box of photographs falls to the floor and leads them to relive the memories of their past selves captured in the snapshots. The cast of six play Dan and Sue at different stages in their lives and features Jay Montgomery (Broadway: Falsettos) and Stefanie Morse (National Tour: Fiddler on the Roof; European Tour: A Chorus Line) as the couple in the present, Sarah Shahinian (Regional: Snapshots, Seaside Music Theatre; Little Women, Syracuse Stage) and Brian Crum (Broadway: Grease, Wicked) as the couple when they met as children, and Kristy Cates (Broadway: Wicked) and Michael Marcotte (Regional: Snapshots, Theatre Works; A Little Night Music, Seaside Music Theatre) as the college-age couple.