I\u2019m only working at this Pizza Hut to pay my way through college. Selling chicken wings and bread sticks to a fat ass clientele. Its not as if I plan on working here forever. Cause one day, it\u2019s goin\u2019 to be These ideas are goin\u2019 to sell. These words were written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and, boy, have their ideas ever sold. The two young men were college students when they wrote the lyrics to the song Boy with Dreams for their song cycle Edges, and ever since they have been on an upward trajectory in the world of musical theater. They will come to Wilton on Sunday, April 7, to present a concert of songs and stories at St. Matthew\u2019s Episcopal Church, 36 New Canaan Road, beginning at 4. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Mr. Paul, who grew up next door in Westport and graduated from Staples High School. \u201cWe haven\u2019t done a concert in Connecticut in a while,\u201d said Mr. Paul, who now lives in Manhattan. \u201cWe\u2019ll be performing a broad variety of our songs, some from Dogfight, A Christmas Story, a song or two from Smash, as well as some of our older favorites. It will be an afternoon of us telling stories we\u2019ve collected thus far in our brief career and stories behind some songs,\u201d he said. Joining Mr. Paul and Mr. Pasek at St. Matthew\u2019s will be Carrie Manolakos, whom Mr. Paul described as \u201can incredible Broadway actress.\u201d She has appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia! and on the national tour of Wicked. \u201cShe\u2019s one of our favorites,\u201d Mr. Paul said. Mr. Paul and Mr. Pasek met as students at the University of Michigan, where they were both musical theater majors focusing on performance. As their college careers progressed, it started to become apparent that their performance careers might not. After receiving bit parts in a college production they turned their hands to writing. \u201cIt was never \u2018I\u2019ve got to be a performer or I\u2019ll die,\u2019\u201d Mr. Paul said. \u201cI think in college, halfway through, things started to shift to another angle. There was never one moment. It was a gradual shift and we started to focus more on writing.\u201d From the time he was at Staples, Mr. Paul was on both sides of the footlights, acting and playing music and conducting. \u201cI\u2019ve loved being on both sides of it,\u201d he said. Growing up, Mr. Paul studied piano in Norwalk with Dorothy Grimm and in Weston with Chris Coogan. In college, \u201cthe writing started to take off and we got opportunities,\u201d Mr. Paul said. \u201cThe performing just fell aside a little bit, and that was probably for the best for everyone,\u201d he added, laughing. \u201cAlthough it\u2019s fun, at events like this one, one thing we do still love is getting to perform our own material.\u201d While in college, the duo wrote Edges, a four-person song cycle about coming of age that has been performed worldwide. One of its signature songs is Be My Friend, known as the Facebook song. Rodney Ayers, music director at St. Matthew\u2019s, saw a production of Edges in Westport and \u201cthought it was tremendous,\u201d he said. \u201cThe musical quality, the lyrics were really incredible. I was totally wowed. \u201cThey are widely celebrated as the up-and-coming writing team in the theater world,\u201d he added. \u201cI think we\u2019ll see a long and distinguished career as a writing team.\u201d The two young men graduated with bachelor\u2019s degrees in fine arts in 2007, and shortly thereafter received a Jonathan Larson Award from the American Theatre Wing, which gives out the Tony Awards, and the 2007-2008 Dramatists Guild Fellowship. Since then they have also brought their musical Dogfight to Off Broadway and in November made their Broadway debut with A Christmas Story: The Musical, based on the popular film. Both have been widely praised. Their songs are also featured on the NBC musical show Smash, Sesame Street, Disney\u2019s cable-TV series Johnny & the Sprites, and Theatreworks USA (Duck for President and If You Give a Pig a Pancake). Performances of their songs have been featured on ABC-TV\u2019s The View and Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, VH1 Morning Buzz, The Rosie Show, and Fox & Friends. Diverse As is evident from the varied scope of their projects, the duo works in a variety of genres. \u201cHopefully people recognize we\u2019re trying to be diverse,\u201d Mr. Paul said. \u201cSome of the writers we respect most are those who are able to write in different styles. We\u2019ve been chasing after every opportunity giving us a chance to flex our muscles. \u201cWhen Christmas Story came up, it was a more old-fashioned style, classic Broadway, early 40s. We said, \u2018Give us a shot, give us a try.\u2019\u201d Dogfight is more contemporary, he said, \u201cwritten through the filter of 60s folk and pop music of that era.\u201d Smash is also more contemporary, with a theatrical pop sound. \u201cWe try our hand, and that\u2019s something we want to continue to do and continue to develop,\u201d Mr. Paul said. In the way they share the work, Mr. Paul said, \u201cwe\u2019re pretty collaborative as partnerships go. I write the music and Benj writes the lyrics, but we present ourselves as a unified team. Just because at the end of the day, hopefully, people are judging the song. What is the song accomplishing? Hopefully, with a good song, it\u2019s not easy to separate the music and lyrics.\u201d Mr. Paul said that early on, \u201cI didn\u2019t have any idea where I would be. I had not written music growing up or in high school. I had never gravitated that way. It was a new thing doing it in college. I never thought I\u2019d end up with the opportunities I\u2019d end up with.\u201d Those opportunities resulted in the duo being named to Dramatist Magazine\u2019s \u201c50 to Watch\u201d in contemporary theater. \u201cIt seems like dumb luck that it\u2019s fallen into place like it has,\u201d he said. \u201cWe\u2019ve been in the right place at the right time.\u201d For those who would like to see Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, the time to be at St. Matthew\u2019s is 4 p.m. Tickets are $40\/patrons, $20\/adults and $10\/students and may be purchased online at stmatthewswilton.org or at the door.