A Tunesmith for Our Times:
Tim Di Pasqua

If you haven't heard the pop and theater
songs of Tim Di Pasqua, you're in for
a tuneful treat. Broadway composer
Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell)
calls him ''one of the freshest and most
melodic of the contemporary cabaret
writers.'' For his efforts, DiPasqua has
won a Bistro Award and received 5
MAC Award nominations for his
songwriting and singing.

Last November, Michael Feinstein featured him in a concert at Weill Recital Hall, and Time Out New York magazine's H. Scott Jolley says, ''Di Pasqua's penning some of the most original and heartfelt music in town. Why his name isn't lighting up a Broadway marquee while Elton John is, remains a mystery.''

Until then, Di Pasqua's songs will take center stage Mondays, Sept. 11 and 18 at 8 p.m. at the Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd St., New York City. Called Purpose of Love, the concert will include Broadway and cabaret stars Tom Andersen, Scott Coulter, David Gurland, Capathia Jenkins, Trent Armand Kendall, Alix Korey, Lina Koutrakos, Phillip Officer, Stephen Schwartz and KT Sullivan. It'll be produced and directed by Michael Levesque, and the proceeds will go to Broadway Cares.

Purpose of Love promises a cavalcade of Di Pasqua's sensitive songs and styles: from cabaret to country, from Broadway to blues, from pop to pastiche. His melodies and lyrics have been compared to everyone from Sondheim to Sting.

''I'm delighted to sing a song of Tim's,'' says Schwartz. ''I've always thought he was a terrific writer, and I'm excited to be a part of this.''

Born in San Francisco, Di Pasqua, 39, grew up as ''a rock 'n' roll kid, listening to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.'' In his 20s, he concentrated on pop singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Todd Rundgren and J.D. Souther. He also listened to jazz, blues and standards, and says Stephen Sondheim and Irving Berlin's songs ''really resonate'' with him.

Asked to describe his music, Di Pasqua says it's simply ''American pop.'' His concert will include ''positive songs about the joys of love, as well as melancholy ones about loss and grief. I write love songs about men and women, about gay people, about neurotic people, just all kinds of people.''

Purpose of Love also will showcase his melodic theater songs from his new musical, Synchronicity, which features a book by Michael Levesque. On its surface, it's a backstage show about five actors, including a drag queen, hoping for their big break in New York, but its composer insists it's really about ''relationships and how you got to this time and place; thus, the title 'Synchronicity.'''

Di Pasqua is also an accomplished singer who's received raves for his cabaret act, which often includes classic pop tunes like ''It's Magic'' and ''Boulevard of Broken Dreams.'' Eric Myers of Time Out New York once wrote that Di Pasqua's high and honeyed tenor is ''uncommonly sweet and powerfully erotic.''

Remarkably enough, Di Pasqua doesn't read music, but that hasn't stopped him from being the musical director to cabaret stars like Tom Andersen (with whom he's written some superb songs) and Philip Officer at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall and the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

As for Purpose of Love, Di Pasqua says, ''This concert is about much more than getting my songs out there or even putting together a terrific lineup of singers. It's about moving a mountain (in the fight against AIDS). It's an amazing feeling to be able to utilize your God-given talent and art to try to heal.''

The cover charge for Purpose of Love is $25 and a two-drink minimum. This will include the show and a copy of the cast recording to Synchronicity. For reservations, call (212) 362-2590. Synchronicity is also available at Tower Records, Colony Records and Footlight Records in New York and online. Or it can be ordered directly from Easter Records, 229 W. 101st St., 6A, New York, NY 10025; $13 (includes shipping and handling). (212) 501-2297.

(Note: Tim will be interviewed by David Kenney on WBAI radio this Sunday, September 10, on "Everything Old is New Again" which airs at 9 PM (EST) in New York. The Web audience can hear the show on Real Audio by tuning into WBAI's website.)

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