Stephen Cole

Welcome to the Official Stephen Cole Website.

Stephen is a prolific and award winning musical theatre writer (book and lyrics, sometimes just book, sometimes, just lyrics) and author of five published books.
Browse through the galleries ​and enjoy the pictures from Stephen's many produced musicals. There are YouTube videos and audio links where you can hear songs, and get to know Stephen and his work. Click the photos to enlarge them.
You can contact Stephen or his agent to find out how to produce one of his shows or get his CDs and books, or just to say hello.
Enjoy your time at stephencolewriter.org and don't forget to write!  
cole in custom suit
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Click the CD cover to buy the CD on Amazon.com

"If you've ever uttered the phrase "they don't make 'em like they used to anymore," I would kindly direct your attention to MERMAN'S APPRENTICE. Like the best fables, it has plenty of heart. Evans has crafted a wholly original score full of memorable songs that tell the story without ever losing their essential song forms. Cole's lyrics have an economical cleverness, delivering story without sacrificing humor or technique. (Thank God for a score full of genuine rhymes!)"

   David Levy, Castalbums.com

"A hilarious good time from start to finish as well as poignant and insightful."

    Marilyn Lester, Theatre Pizzazz

Recently Off-Broadway

The Author

"Fasten your ear-plugs … here they come!A song-studded vehicle for a Merman and a mini-Merman (with the occasional interruption from other folk), set in a book (yes, I’ve read it) of showbiz in-jokes and ribbing that will set Broadway fans of all ages a-hootin’ and a-sniggerin’  Listen to the Trumpet Call’, is the hit of the night."

    Kurt Ganzl, International Theatre Critic

"MERMAN'S APPRENTICE-e – Jubilant, Warm, Funny. Numbers with lyric specificity shine. Music is appealing and often Mermanesque. Arrangements are terrific. Cole has succeeded in spades. A thoroughly entertaining musical"

Alix Cohen, Woman Around Town

 

"MERMAN’S APPRENTICE

hits the bull’s eye! Melodies that have the perfect period pizzazz to remind us of when Broadway really was Broadway. "

          Peter Filichia, theater critic, Star-Ledger emeritus

Click the CD cover to buy the CD on Amazon.com

"Cole and Evans are writing here in a golden age of Broadway style...witty and wonderful lyrics. The heart-tugging Little Bit, and the inspirational Taking the Veil are the standout songs in a wholly enjoyable score.  Hamilton may hip-hop its way through modern-day Broadway deservedly, but Broadway deserves a bit of old-fashioned charm, chuckles, and star charisma too"

   David Edward-Hughes, JetSpace Magazine

"Hello, much-missed mayhem and Merman .. and good ol' Musical Comedy—it's so nice to have you all back where you belong!  The rollicking score pulls off a welcome and crucial coup in finding its heart. Everything about this show clicks. Can a full production be far behind?"

    Rob Lester, Talkin' Broadway

"Cole’s lyrics are often hilarious and the gags come thick and fast. In fact several visits are required to this CD just to catch up with all the clever jokes. However Cole can also switch to more tender moments as in the melancholy Little Bit where Merman sings of her dead daughter."

    Mark Klegg, The Reviews Hub

David Evan and Stephen Cole win the San Francisco Bay Area Drama Critics Award for Best Score for Merman's Apprentice 
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Raves for Merman's

in Sonoma

“'Merman’s Apprentice' Delights! Part fable, part fairy tale, and all heart. A show that will delight theater fans of all varieties and ages. David Evans has cooked up a couple dozen tunes that evoke the glory days of big brash Broadway musicals. 'Merman’s Apprentice' is a huge unabashed exercise in nostalgia. The show and its stars are destined for much broader horizons, so catch it while you can.”

            Barry Willis, President of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.

Aisleseatreview.com

"A charming tale told in classic Broadway-style. A step back in time to the classic musicals of Merman’s heyday, which also makes it suitable for all ages. Just a sweet story with catchy tunes, gentle humor and the requisite happy finale. If you’re a lover of musicals you owe it to yourself to see this one now, while it’s still in Sonoma...you’ll be bragging for months about your good fortune."

Jeanie K. Smith , San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Sonoma County Gazette

 

"Real Treat! Merman's Apprentice is a throw-back to the classic Broadway musical—a simple plot, larger-than-life characters, a little schmaltz and lots of songs to tell its story. Cole and Evans' score evokes the feel and sound of classic Broadway with lyrics that are often clever. A theatre-lover's treat, the exceedingly pleasant Merman's Apprentice is what All About Eve would have been in the hands of Walt Disney. It's a virtual Merman-palooza!"

Harry Duke, Bomemian. com

" Young wannabe actress/singer and Ethel Merman expert Muriel Plakenstein (yes, she knows she'll have to change it) becomes the great star's apprentice in this wonderful new musical, book and lyrics by Stephen Cole and music by David Evans. It sure leaves you wanting more! Don't miss your chance to see 'Merman's Apprentice''

Mitchell Field

 

A Double-header for Cole!
Merman's Apprentice premiered in Sonoma, Ca
and
Casper flew back to life at Cincinnati Children's Theatre. Both musicals got rave reviews!

 

casper poster.jpg

Raves for Casper

in Cincinnati

"Casper: The Friendly Musical, a story about a friendly and fearless little spirit. The show is a must-see, with high-flying fun, spook-tacular special effects and a catchy soundtrack. The show is very of the moment, full of pop culture references and accessible humor. At its core, Casper is a musical about not judging a book by its cover. There are also themes about bullying and materialism that give this musical real substance. Casper: The Friendly Musical is the most wonderful way to celebrate Halloween with your family."

 Sarah McCosham,

Cincinnati Parent Magazine

"A Toe-Tapping Spook-tacular!  This Halloween-themed show is a wonderful way to get kids in the mood for the fall season. Excellent and luscious! A great experience for kids and families. Casper: The Friendly Musical” is a great first (or second or third) show to bring your ages 4+ kids to go see."

Christiana Molldrem Harkulich, League  of Cincinnati Theatres

"No booing here! ‘Casper the Friendly Musical’ does not disappoint . This delightful musical moves at a fast clip, interspersing tap dancing, slapstick, heartfelt musical theater and a lively storyline into a great entertainment experience for the whole family. In addition to lots of fun, the musical has an anti-bullying message, and children are likely to come away thinking about how they might be better friends. Come catch Casper before he floats away!"

Catlin Tracy-Miller, Arts Wave Guide

What's Else is Happening?

New Musicals:

Goin' Hollywood & The Black and White Ball...and the 20th Anniversary Concert of After the Fair! 

 

Big News! Stephen's short story "Sisters Through a Window" wins first prize. Watch the video and find out about his career and how he wrote the story

 

GOIN' HOLLYWOOD WORLD PREMIERE! JUNE 2021 at WATER TOWER THEATRE IN DALLAS!

 

Stephen tells all! (well, not quite all)

 

Concert Cast: Joshual Hinck, Tim Jerome, Mary Jo Dugaw and Jenn Gambatese

"What a phenomenal experience last night seeing AFTER THE FAIR at Urban Stages. What Stephen Cole and Matthew Martin Ward did with Thomas Hardy's story was NOTHING less than e-x-t-r-a-o-r-d-i-n-a-r-y. The nuance of character, the soaringly beautiful melodies, the impeccable craft reminded us all what a beautiful chamber musical could be."

                                                  Peter Filichia

"After 20 years, "After the Fair" returned for one night as part of Urban Stage's Winter rhythms. It was just as heart-wrenching as I remember it. I wish this would come back and get the proper run it deserves which the York did 20 years ago. It still takes my breath away."

                                              Eva Heinemann

Listen to Stephen's latest interview on Behind The Curtain: Broadway's Living Legends by clicking the logo below

 

Last Season and Beyond (click poster to get to page)

Stephen's book is available on Kindle for the first time. Click here to buy.

cole and cds.jpg

Click the photo to listen to a fabulous new June 2019 Podcast about Stephen's career and creative process!