Glenn Slater Q&A: ‘Galavant’ composer
“It’s been a joy working on this show,” declares “Galavant” lyricist Glenn Slater during our recent webcam chat (watch above). And, he quickly adds, “probably the most fun I’ve had working on any project.” Created by Dan Fogelman, this ABC musical comedy starred Joshua Sasse as the title character, a dashing knight who tries to reclaim his lost love, Madalena (Mallory Jansen) from the grips of the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson). Slater and composer Alan Menken served as executive producers and wrote some 65 original melodies for the show’s two season run, including this year’s Emmy-nominated “A New Season.”
The song is a clever nod to the self-parodying musical’s near-cancellation after its first season. “We had a huge sense of vindication,” Slater reveals, “and wanted to just spike the football a bit, and celebrate the fact that this show nobody thought was going to live was going to get another shot.”
Working with Menken, who’s just one Emmy shy of an EGOT, has been a dream come true for Slater. “I had grown up hearing his songs,” he recalls of Menken’s heyday with lyricist Howard Ashman, who died in 1991. He says the two clicked because “we just come from the same place. We both have a pretty encyclopedic knowledge of pop musical styles throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.”
Their near twenty-year partnership has yielded an Oscar nomination and Grammy win for “Tangled” (2010), an Emmy nom for “The Neighbors” (2013), and Tony bids for both “The Little Mermaid” (2008) and “Sister Act” (2011) (Slater competed for his third Tony this year for his “School of Rock” tunes, co-written with Andrew Lloyd Webber). Being recognized by these kudos “gives you that little extra boost of confidence to take more chances, to try things you might not have tried before, to go off in directions you might not have thought possible.”
Check out our full interview to learn more about Slater and Menken’s collaboration, including how they came up with a new tune for Seth Rogen’s hit movie “Sausage Party” and the possibility of “Galavant” on Broadway.