Open to read some special birthday messages:
Happy birthday, John! Thank you for being such a champion of the craft of musical theater writing. I greatly appreciate your mentorship and your belief in my work.
~~ Cindy O’Connor
Many happy birthday wishes to a true gentle man - a scholar, a teacher, a mentor, a mensch. Wishing you a wonderful birthday, and years & years ahead that are healthy and full of adventures and joy.
~~ Robin Share
Thank you for being my mentor and teacher. You have changed my life!
~~ Judy Freed
Jim and I appreciated all your great comments from as far back as Lehman Engel. I loved your support for "Dali"!
~~ Alice Lunsford
You hold a special place in my heart. It's because of you that I ever composed any musical theatre at all. Coming to the world of musical theatre as a singer/songwriter, I learned most of what I know from you. And that resulted in my composing 5 musicals. They would not have had a glimmer on this earth stage without you. Your belief in me has taken me miles. And will continue to do so. Wishing you great health, continued creativity and collaboration and the fruition of your fondest dreams.
~~ Sandy Shanin
Happy birthday John. Thanks for everything you've taught me and all the great criticism and ideas you've shared. You are one of a fabulous kind! Much love,
~~ Jan Tranen
I have wonderful memories of many great conversations at NAMT meetings and your work with Midwest Musicals. All the best on your 80th birthday.
~~ Bridget McDonough
Craft. I was thirsty for it, I needed it, and thanks to your work, I was able to study it from here, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (a place I know you visited long ago)! NMI made my writing fundamentally better, and I will always be grateful for it. I am so glad I was able to meet you when I came down to LA to visit HQ!
Yours, with love and admiration,
~~ Marissa Kochanski
Happiest of Birthdays John!
It seems to be year of 80s .. you are the 7th person I know who is turning 80.
Congratulations and all best wishes!
~~ Bernard Garbo
Happy birthday John!! You have been such a guiding light in our lives. Jan and I owe a tremendous debt of thanks to you. I hope you have a fabulous birthday!! We love you.
~~ Jay Schwandt
Happy Birthday!!! I am so grateful for your mentorship and friendship! Thank you for teaching me and championing my work. Love,
~~ Marian Partee
Happy Birthday to one Broadway Baby from another!!!
~~ Joel Rothman
Mentor, teacher and inspiration to so many, including me!
~~ Mark Adamczyk
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!
Thank you for your time, support and sage advice.
Ajay & I are extremely grateful to have met you and wish you a VERY happy birthday and many more to come xxx
~~ Sumerah & Ajay Srivastav
Happy 80th you lovely, legendary and insightful man! Keep doing what you love! Many hugs, x
~~ George Stiles
Impossible to believe you’re 80! Except that your accumulated wisdom and insight suggests 180. Have a great day, a great time, a great big gin. And thank you for the many years of support you’ve given to Mercury and all it’s members. Love and all good wishes - xx
~~ Francis Matthews
You cannot be 80! It has been a pleasure getting to know you through MMD and I wish you the happiest of birthdays and many happy returns.
~~ Sean Gray
Thank You for bringing so much creative provocation, caring support, sparkling insight and artistic wisdom to so many MMD writers over all your years of commitment to the Company. We have absolutely loved and appreciated you being on the Board, running events, mentoring members and being our friend, so on behalf of MMD I'm giving you a Huge Happy Birthday Hug from all your UK fans. Thank you too for welcoming me into the MMD Family with such generosity. So much love and many happy returns, Emily and MMDxxx
~~ Emily Gray
John--working with you, learning from you, and creating art alongside you was one of the great joys of my life. Thanks for giving me my very first professional directing gig for Beach Wars and then the chance to get my hands (albeit for only a moment) on The Nervous Set. Thanks, to, for the stories, the advice, the mentorship, and the musicals! Most importantly, however, thanks for (not) being a Narrow-minded, Small horizoned, Partisan, opinionated, Bigoted reactionary mule.
~~ Josh Penzell
Wishing you a wonderful birthday! Thank you for all of your support and inspiration throughout the years.
~~ Grace Jasmine
Thank you, John, for all you’ve taught me about musical theatre. I’m may be a slow learner, but I’ve learned a lot from you in the past forty years.
~~ Brad Beaver
I wish you all the birthday good wishes that your heart desires and hope you have a wonderful day filled with music and fun!
~~ Johanna Drew
Happy Birthday to our dear musical maven and mentor. Beloved by so many, I can't even BEGIN to imagine the size of this card.
~~ Susan DiLallo
John! I am wishing you a wonderful birthday and covid free year! I miss you and NMI and the gang but glad that I can wish you well on an E card!!! xoxo
~~ Gabi Wagner
Thank you for all your wisdom and guidance!! Much love to you on your 80th!!
~~ Linée Ferguson
John: Congratulations, you ol' codger! I love that you are now one of my favorite octogenarians. xox
~~ Sheilah Rae
Happy 80th birthday, John, thank you for all you have done for musical theatre.
~~ Ken Pedersen
Happy birthday John! And thanks so much for all of the help and support you have given all of us in NMI over the years! Wishing you a happy 80 more!
~~ Bill Johnson
Happy birthday John! Thank you for all of your inspiration and wisdom. May your best years be ahead!
~~ Mara Hitner
What a tremendous milestone. 80 years is nothing to shake a stick at. Well, maybe a cane but definitely not a stick. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to not only meet you but to sit under your instruction as I learned to navigate the world of musical theatre. Your work with so many has not and will not be in vain. It lives on John. Thank you and Happy Birthday! Now keep movin!
~~ James A. Goins
John, Thanks for your wisdom, enthusiasm, humor and humility in sharing your mastery of the musical. Happy Birthday!
~~ Greg Beattie
Save this space for me. Fabulous Birthday Comment to come! Wait. Wait. Here it is: "Welcome to the Eighties. You make us feel young!" Love ya!
~~ Lita Grier
Many more happy, productive years, John!
~~ Susan Padveen
Happy Birthday, you young whipper-snapper.
~~ Harriet Belkin
I didn’t want to write Dear John—anyway—much love on your 80th.
“There was a star danced, and under that was I born” —Shakespeare
Thank you for shining your star on all us Artists.
~~ Denis McCourt
Happy Birthday John!
It's been so long since my days on the TBC board. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
~~ Arla Lach
Happy Birthday! Your wonderful organization has brought so much joy to my life.
~~ Jane Wong
Happy birthday to a great mentor, great talent, and even better human being!
~~ Pat Byrnes
Happy Birthday from Wilmette. I am so grateful to you and to your friendship all the way back to the musical theater conference with Chris Grady. I hope your days are bright and full of wonderful musical theater. With Love from Illinois,
~~ Kyle Dougan
John, You have Sparked up our lives and our musicals! Thank you for your guidance and patience over the years. May your show run for many more seasons!
~~ June Finfer
What an honor to be sharing this wonderful day with you. You are a very gifted and talented man whom I have admired through the years. I wish you many more wonderful years in the arts and to have your heart filled with music and love.
~~ Yolanda Mendiveles
Dear John, You 'sparked' inspiration and creativity in me, and for that I am eternally grateful. You are FANTASTIQUE!!! Thank you John Sparks!!!!! Happy Birthday, and many more!!!
~~ Rhonda Lageyre
John, Creating new musicals with New Tuners under your guidance are among my happiest theatrical memories. So many fun and productive years at The Theatre Building and that wonderful week at the Beverly Arts Center with Cashel Byron. Happy 80th Birthday, Music (Theatre) Man!
~~ Doug Long
With fond memories of TBC's Writer's Workshop and your kind guidance and encouragement. Happy Birthday!
~~ Roger Griffin
John: Everyone will congratulate you on your talent and knowledge. And rightfully so. But I want to say how honored I am to know you as a real person with humanity, goodness and generosity of spirit. With love...
~~ Herb Isaacs
John, you are such an amazing human being, mentor and presence in my life. Thank you for your gifts, your generosity and for being a kind witness in my journey to find my voice. You truly have sprinkled sparks of light on my path. Thank you. I wish you love, light , fun and peace. Happy birthday dear John!
~~ Natalja Aicardi
Being 80 ain’t hard—every day after is a gift. Fond regards,
~~ J. Linn Allen
Happy, happy birthday John! I hope you feel so loved and celebrated today, because you are so worth celebrating! I am so grateful for you and the profound impact you've had on my life. Your mentorship and encouragement gave me the courage to call myself a writer, pursue my dreams, and become the person I was meant to be--and I am only one of the hundreds of lives you have touched. The world is full of beauty, music, stories, and art because of you--both those you have created yourself, and those you have mentored into being. THANK YOU for who you are and what you do. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
~~ Jenny Stafford
Thank you for your Musical Guidance. Hope your dreams continue to come true.
~~ Anthony Marciona
Thank you, John, for creating a world of musical theatre for literally any aspiring composer. With hundreds of writers behind you have made your long life more worthwhile than you can imagine!
~~ Anton Chesnokov
Not only do I want to wish you a happy 80th birthday dear John, but I want to thank you for believing in me and encouraging me throughout the years. Your support has always been invaluable
~~ Edward Auslender
Here's to memories, music-making, wishing on stars, and blowing out 80 candles on your birthday cake -we're wishing with you - Joan and Paul
~~ Joan Mazzonelli
Happy 80th, John!
~~ Dan Wessels
Happiest of Birthdays, John! Thank you for all that you have done for the Musical Theater community. Your notes on my work in particular have always been insightful and illuminating. You are a blessing on the theater world.
~~ Stephen Nolly
Every contact I reach out to on East Coast knows the great John Sparks. You are the best!
~~ Marilyn Haese
Dear John! At four years your senior (remember the day you challenged that? I was thrilled), I can tell you that the eighties are not so bad. The great thing is giving up what doesn't please you any more. Not that I have given up on Morality Play, which still has the possibility of life. So do you and I. Thank you for all you taught me, and long life to you! Love,
~~ Janet Burroway
Happy birthday John! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with particularly great cake!
~~ Makena Metz
Happy Birthday to an ICON of our industry! Thank you, John, for the way you give yourself above and beyond as a mentor to others, while staying in the game yourself as a writer. You are the REAL DEAL, and I am privileged to know you. Now how in the heck are you 80 years old? You continue to impress me! Sending you much love and gratitude, John. xoxo
~~ Jan Roper
I'll never forget my exit interview from NMI's Core, when you started commenting, for an unexpected duration, about my pencil. Hopefully I've made a more interesting impression on you since then. Thanks for years of sage wisdom, fine directorial work, and endless enthusiasm for musical theatre.
~~ Michael Shapiro
John, I hope your 80th is your best birthday ever and you have many great birthdays to come! You are a very wise man and teacher and I learned so much from you. I wish I could see you to give you a big birthday hug!
~~ Barbara Georgans
Happy birthday, you delightful human being!
~~ Laura Toffenetti
John! I consider going through the introductory workshop with you to be the absolute backbone of any musical theater knowledge I possess. Your enthusiasm was infectious, you got me excited about songs and ideas in a whole new way, and I still find myself quoting you all the time. Thank you for being you, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
~~ Kellen Blair
Happy Birthday, John! It's been about ten years since I took the workshop in Chicago, and I am now circling back around to the work via "writingmusicaltheater.com". I remember feeling incredibly inspired by your teaching, grateful that you spent your time and energy flying across the country, and personally invested in. I am now grateful that there are classes online that I can take that don't require me to choose between the stability of my job and pursuing my passion. From one teacher to another, thank you, thank you for everything you do. And happy birthday!
~~ Rachel Anne Williams
John, with your deep knowledge and guidance you have enhanced the growth of musical theater community, in general, and for me in particular, widening my skill range to better apply to my writing projects, dramatic or otherwise. Happy 80th birthday to a man who's lived a full and appreciated life!
~~ Cynthia Gallaher
Happy birthday, John! I still remember your talk on the first day of the Core Curriculum. Musical theatre makes life worth living - that really resonates with me! I’m so grateful for the opportunity the NMI has given me to enter the musical theatre writing world. Thank you again.
~~ Lalit Sritara
John, thank you so much for your incredible service to writers, composers, and the field of musical theater. I'm grateful to you for your mentorship and guidance, and my entire NMI experience!
~~ Jennifer Rosenfeld
Here’s to many reprises in a life devoted to our beloved musical theatre art. Greetings from New Zealand. Happy Birthday, John.
~~ Xavier Vidal
The world became a better place on June 24th, 1941! Much love to you, John,
~~ Patricia Zehentmayr
John, thanks for your wisdom and encouragement! It has been invaluable!
~~ BK Wells
Happy birthday, John! I loved learning from you and writing with you, and wish you all the best!
~~ Richard Plotkin
Having a great time at NMI, John! Thanks for all your hard work!
~~ Dav Wright
John -- I am so grateful for your deep sense of commitment to the theater community and your mentorship to so many artists in the Los Angeles Basin. I learned of NMI through Stephen Nolly who is now in the celebrated Writers on the Verge Program of NBC which launches careers placing artists onto TV writing staffs. Through Stephen, I leaned about this wonderful community. I am grateful to have been held through all of Covid with this precious space.
~~ Celeste Wolfe
Happy Birthday John, and thanks for all that you've done to make me a better writer!
~~ Wayne Self
John, thank you for your talent and friendship and infectious love of this art form! Happy birthday!!!
~~ Adrian Bewley
Ever since I met you, I felt like I was at the right place and the right time in my life with musical theater...thank you for being such a wonderful guide...i could feel the passion of musical theater in your heart, and you're such a beautiful spirit. Wishing you an amazing 80th John..keep shining always.
~~ Joelle Sahar
Happy Birthday wishes from:
J. Linn Allen
Ralph William Boone
Simone Ibbett Brown
G. Victoria Campbell
John Sterling Carter
Orlando De La Paz
Antonio De Mesa
Peter John Dodsworth
Maria Haïk Escudero
Celia Cruwys Finnigan
Ron St. Germain
Matthew W. Goldsby
Shopland And Hughes
Scott J Hurley
Ruth Spencer Jolly
Ian Lloyd Jones
Eugene A. Kuish
Kansley & Lidert
Gabi Wagner Mann
Joss Holden Rea
Annabel Mutale Reed
Shaye Poulton Richards
Joel & Jeri Rothman
Rachel Victor Sampson
Jonathan O’Neill & Isaac Savage
Sumerah & Ajay Srivastav
R. C. Staab
Ishan Mahabir Stokes
Annemarie Lewis Thomas
Sissy Van Dyke
CJ Ver Burg
Colin Ross Waterson
Natasha Sutton Williams
Rachel Anne Williams
Gabi Wagner Mann