Oscar winner, Westport alum meets with kids performing his play

Posted: Updated:
WESTPORT -

An Academy Award-winning composer and songwriter stopped by his old Westport middle school Friday to work with budding actors getting ready for their spring musical -- which he just happened to have written.

Justin Paul went back to Coleytown Middle School at the request of his former fifth-grade and theater teacher Ben Frimmer. He discussed the students' interpretation of his "James and the Giant Peach" play and also talked about how his early experiences played a key role in his successful career.

"It is a very bizarre and surreal and wonderful experience to get to be back at this theater," Paul says. "They are up there performing my music and words, and it's really special."

The students will put on four performances of "James and the Giant Peach" Friday, March 23 through Sunday, March 25.

Paul was nominated at last weekend's Academy Awards in the best original song category for "The Greatest Showman." He won the gold statue at last year's Oscars in the same category for "La La Land." 

  • Connecticut SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Stars and fans descend on San Diego for Comic-Con 2018

    Stars and fans descend on San Diego for Comic-Con 2018

    Over 130,000 pop culture devotees were gathering in San Diego's Gaslamp District for the annual four-day comic book convention Comic-Con, the big, bright and very heavily branded confab of costumed superfans and the corporate sponsors vying for their attention. Images via Getty.

    Over 130,000 pop culture devotees were gathering in San Diego's Gaslamp District for the annual four-day comic book convention Comic-Con, the big, bright and very heavily branded confab of costumed superfans and the corporate sponsors vying for their attention. Images via Getty.

  • Trump and Putin hold summit in Helsinki

    Trump and Putin hold summit in Helsinki

    (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

    Sights and scenes at President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16, 2018. Images via Getty.

    Sights and scenes at President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16, 2018. Images via Getty.

  • 2018 Mohegan Sun Arena performer lineup

    2018 Mohegan Sun Arena performer lineup

    Lorde will perform on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesLorde will perform on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
    Lorde will perform on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesLorde will perform on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    The 2018 Mohegan Sun Arena performer lineup includes live music, entertainment, top headlining concerts and premier sporting events in Connecticut.

    The 2018 Mohegan Sun Arena performer lineup includes live music, entertainment, top headlining concerts and premier sporting events in Connecticut.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."