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Songwriter Robert Lopez is turning 42 today. He began writing songs as a child and wrote two musicals during his studies at Yale. After graduation, he teamed with another songwriter, Jeff Marx, on a musical called Avenue Q. An innovative musical which featured Sesame Street style puppets interacting with human characters, Avenue Q ran for over 2500 performances on Broadway and won three Tonys including Best Musical and Best Musical Score.
In 2003, Lopez was approached by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, of South Park fame, who had seen Avenue Q and had the beginnings of an idea for a musical. It took the threesome seven years of development, but in 2011, the musical The Book of Mormon premiered on Broadway. It went on to win nine Tonys, including two that Lopez personally shared in, Best Book and Best Original Score. The original cast album also won a Grammy.