The Kennedy Center

Martin Charnin


Martin Charnin is celebrating his 56th year in the entertainment industry, which began in 1957 when he created the role of Big Deal, (one of Jerome Robbins' authentic juvenile delinquents) in the original company of West Side Story. He played the role for exactly 1000 performances. Since then he has been involved in over 135 theatrical, television, film, and night club productions as a director, producer, composer, or lyricist. He is one of the dozen people who have won Emmys, Tonys, and Grammys, and the Peabody Award for Broadcasting, but he has yet to win an Oscar. This might change in 2014, when the 3rd film version of his iconic musical Annie, is released by Sony pictures. Annie, which he brought to Broadway in 1977, originally ran for 2377 performances, and has been revived there, three times. He has directed Annie 19 times (after directing the original production in New York), in London, Montreal, Amsterdam, and Melbourne as well as Annie's 14 national U.S. companies.  He has collaborated with Charles Strouse, Vernon Duke, Marvin Hamlisch, and twice with Richard Rodgers. He has written for, or directed Fred Astaire, Ethel Merman, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margaret, Jack Benny, Anne Bancroft, Betty Hutton, Sutton Foster, Catherine Zeta Jones, Bebe Neuwirth, Barbara Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Larry Kert, Chita Rivera, Jane Lynch, Tony Bennett, Jason Alexander, and Jay-Z, among countless others, and most recently for his wife, Shelly Burch,(who originated a leading role in the original company of Nine), and who opened her new one-woman-show at the famed Broadway Bistro, 54 Below, this past October. He currently has 3 new musicals that are "circling over Kennedy" getting ready for production in 2014 and 2015,in New York, including a revival of "Annie Warbucks", which opened off-broadway in New York in 1993. This year, "Tomorrow"' from Annie, became one of the 100 most performed musical numbers in the last century.

Watch Past Performances

Video 11/20/2013: ASCAP Centennial Celebration: Jason Graae, Shelly Burch, and Martin Charnin

Stage and screen actor Jason Graae, Drama Desk nominee Shelly Burch, and Tony Award®-winning lyricist, writer, and director Martin Charnin perform selections from 1964-1988. Presented under the auspices of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). Part of Broadway Today and Tomorrow.

Martin Charnin