Theater archives

Broadway Songwriter Is Not An Abductor!!


Whew! That would be such bad business for his show.

Let me explain.

At last night’s screening of the documentary One Night Stand: Creating A Broadway Musical In A Day, actor Richard Kind–who’s in the film–said that someone else in the film babysat his children before going on to make it big.

He was talking about Benj Pasek, who got out of college, worked on the 24-Hour Musical event shown in the film, and became known for co-scoring Dogfight and Broadway’s A Christmas Story. In that order.

Well, a couple of years ago, a busybody lady saw Benj in the park with Kind’s kids and became very concerned.

She was convinced that somehow a bad person had gotten ahold of the poor young ‘uns, and she became so unglued about the whole thing that smoke practically billowed out of her nostrils.

But that wasn’t the case at all. He was simply a hired babysitter who’d taken them out to the park.

And now he’s a big songwriter.

It’s totally safe to see A Christmas Story.

Anyway, I got Benj Pasek on the phone and he explained:

“My friend was Richard’s kids’ babysitter. She had something come up last minute, so she asked me to fill in. His kids were five-year-old twins, Max and Lily.

“I met them and we got along really well. Richard said, ‘Go to the park.’ We went and played this game of tag where I’d run around and be active and have a good time with them.

“I played a chasing game called Monster. ‘I’m gonna get you!’ All these kids started wanting to play the game. Eventually, there was an entire playground full of kids playing Monster. I felt like I was running a summer camp activity.

“Well, this woman taps my shoulder and says, ‘Excuse me, did you just tell my daughter that you were gonna get her?’ I told her, ‘I’m playing this game. I’m babysitting these kids. Max, Lily, come here.’

“Well, Max and Lily started crying and running away from me. They were five and didn’t know me that well. The woman said, ‘Are you really their babysitter?’ I said yes. They kept running away and she kept following and asking accusatory questions. She looked at me like I was predatory. It was so scary. She even brought another parent over and said, ‘I don’t think he’s with these kids.’

“I went with Max and Lily to the Farmer’s Market and then back to their home.”

I guess the message is to never play Monster in public.