by KYW’s Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Main Line native is hitting all the right notes in Hollywood: a song he co-wrote was honored at the Golden Globes, as the movie musical ‘La La Land’ cleaned up at the awards show.
“And the Golden Globe goes to… ‘City of Stars,’ ‘La La Land!’
The trophy for Best Original Song was awarded to Justin Paul and his songwriting partner Benj Pasek, who grew up in Ardmore.
(Pasek:) “We never thought we’d get to be a part of an original movie musical. That’s what got us into loving musicals in the first place.”
(Paul:) “We have to calm down. We’re so nervous.”
(Pasek:) “We really are. This is for musical theater nerds everywhere. Thank you for this!”
“‘City of Stars’ is a beautiful ballad,” says Terry Guerin, who teaches drama at Friends’ Central. “It’s very evocative of the two characters dreaming about their own future. It makes perfect sense, the song, and it is beautiful.”
She directed Pasek in several plays when he was at the Wynnewood school in the early 2000s.
“I just was thrilled — I was screaming, seeing him up there on stage at the Golden Globes,” Guerin says. “I taught him a musical theater class when he was an 8th grader, and I could see it then — that spark. It’s really a love and a passion that you can detect even more than talent, because talent can grow. But when you see that kind of commitment, it feels like — yeah, this is going to happen.”
For her current students, dreaming of a career in the arts, she notes Pasek “made a point of meeting with and talking to them at length about working in theater, so he’s been giving back a lot to our school.”
And Guerin bets we haven’t heard the last of Benj Pasek on the awards show circuit — not by a long shot.
“I’m looking forward to him at the Oscars and Tony’s as well. We’re going to see a lot from him, and it’s well-deserved,” she said.