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A Christmas Story Composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul 'Can Barely Breathe' While 'Still in Bathrobe Mode'

A Christmas Story Composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul 'Can Barely Breathe' While 'Still in Bathrobe Mode'
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
'The fact that it actually happened? I can barely breathe.'

The morning the Tony nominations are announced, phones start buzzing with texts and calls for the happy few who get nods. As usual, is thrilled to be among the callers offering congratulations and getting responses. Here are the first reactions from 2013 Tony nominees. Congrats to all!

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Nominated for Best Original Score, A Christmas Story

Benj: "We're freaking out for ourselves! I slept over at a friend's house because I didn't want to be alone, just in case, so we watched this morning and then as soon as we heard A Christmas Story, I literally couldn't hear anything else. We were jumping up and down and my mom was on the phone with my brothers—on Skype, with extended family—just crazy. It was a communal experience. [Justin and I] are going to get together later and spend money we don't have on a really nice lunch. We were musical theater majors. We studied this as our college major. Ever since college, we would watch the nominations livestream on the Internet or wake up early and watch NY1, just because we couldn't wait to find out who was going to be nominated. The fact that there was this possibility that we could be among them, even today, was shocking. The fact that it actually happened? I can barely breathe. And to top it all off, the Tonys are on my birthday this year! Honestly, I just can't. What a gift!"

Justin: "We weren't together [when we found out]. I think it would have been too much if we had been standing next to each other. But we called each other on the phone. I was pretending that I slept in, that I wasn't going to be concerned about it, but then at 8:25 my wife and I jumped out of bed, like, 'We have to watch it!' So we were just sitting in our bathrobes jumping up and down, screaming in our apartment. We're still in bathrobe mode. Look, if we hadn't gotten nominated this morning, we would have just gone about our lives and continued working, and we would have been fine, but the fact that it happened is insane to us. As theater dorks growing up, people like us were going insane for musical theater and getting sheet music wherever we could and watching YouTube videos. So to be attending the Tony Awards, first of all, is a huge deal no matter what. The fact that I'm attending them as someone who's nominated—we're going to get to have one of our songs on the awards, and that's what I'm mostly freaking out about. It's hard to put into words what a huge deal it is for us. We've been fans of these artists and writers since we were kids, so it feels ridiculous that we're actually going to be let into the party."

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