OCCUPATION Composer-lyricist and cabaret performer
GOALS A show on Broadway, an animated film and a gold record
QUOTE "The good news is that people are beginning to get very excited again about new musicals. Anything is possible."
Steven Lutvak is a member of an endangered species: musical-theater composers. He's also a cabaret performer, part of another class not known for its survival rate. To pay the bills, Lutvak sometimes toils as a music arranger and director and as a performance coach. He's picked up some grant money too--from the NEA, for instance, and the Jonathan Larson Foundation (created by the family of the late composer of Rent).
But Lutvak, 36, is poised for a breakthrough. After having several shows produced in regional theaters, Lutvak will hit off-Broadway next season with his musical The Wayside Motor Inn, adapted from the play by A.R. Gurney. Currently he's doing a regular Monday gig at Arci's Place, a smart Manhattan restaurant-boite, and this fall his creme-brulee baritone will be heard on a debut CD.
In which metier will the Bronx-born Lutvak break out first? At least one fan guesses musical theater. His songs, says Gurney, are "very tuneful and accessible. They're very American." And often very funny. (A lyric from The Dinner Party: "The repartee was brisk/ Throughout the lobster bisque.") But getting produced is tough. "It's 'We love you, but we're going with someone better known,'" he says. Soon that someone may be Lutvak.
--By William Tynan