Brad Oscar, Emily Skeggs, Lilli Cooper, Margo Seibert and More Set for Festival of New Musicals

News   Brad Oscar, Emily Skeggs, Lilli Cooper, Margo Seibert and More Set for Festival of New Musicals
 
Now in its 27th year, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals will invite theatre producers from around the world to preview eight new shows in development. Included in the casts are Broadway actors Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!), Emily Skeggs (Fun Home), Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening) and Margo Seibert (Rocky), among others. 

Margo Seibert
Margo Seibert

The line-up also features a new musical by Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik, a show helmed by Tony nominee Sam Buntrock (Sunday in the Park with George) and Chicago's sold-out production of Othello: The Remix, a hip-hop adaptation of the Shakespearean classic.

The musicals will be presented as 45-minute staged readings over two days, Oct. 15-16, at New World Stages. Registration for this industry-only event is now open at NAMT.

In the festival's history, more than 85 percent of the musicals presented have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions and tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past shows include The Drowsy Chaperone, It Shoulda Been You, Striking 12, Ordinary Days and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among others.

The line-up is outlined below:

Costs of Living with book, music and lyrics by Timothy Huang
Director: Marlo Hunter 
Cast: Raymond Lee (Anything Goes, Honeymoon in Vegas), Orville Mendoza (Peter and the Starcatcher, Pacific Overtures). Based on a true story, Costs of Living chronicles the lives of two immigrant cab drivers who come to New York for the American dream but instead find a nightmare scenario.  Set to a rock and pop theatre score, featuring a predominantly Asian-American ensemble.

Imagine Harry with music and lyrics by Will Van Dyke, book and lyrics by Jeff Talbott
Director: Brandon Ivie 
Music Director: Ian Weinberger 
Cast: Brad Oscar (Something Rotten, The Producers), William Parry (Gypsy, Sunday in the Park with George),  Preston Sadleir (National Tour: Next to Normal), Taylor Trensch (Wicked)

When Tucker was 8, Harry was his imaginary friend. Now Tucker’s grown up, and Harry has left the biz—two lost guys trying to figure out the little things. Like life.  Can they help each other before it’s too late? Imagine Harry is a musical for grown-ups about the very tricky business of growing up.

The Last Queen of Canaan with a book by Harrison David Rivers, lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik, music by Jacob Yandura.
Director: Peter Rothstein 
Music Director: Matt Gallagher 
Cast: Kecia Lewis (Leap of Faith, The Drowsy Chaperone), Kenita Miller (The Color Purple), Jon-Michael Reese (National tour: The Book of Mormon), Margo Seibert (Rocky),  Q. Smith (Mary Poppins)

Set in 1937 rural Virginia, The Last Queen of Canaan follows Cora Skye, an uncompromising​ ​landowner, and Ginny, her restless granddaughter. When Kay, a Northern do-gooder, descends on the property to collect Cora’s story for the WPA, she unwittingly instigates a confrontation that will leave all three women forever changed.

Legendale with music by Andrea Daly, book and lyrics by Jeff Bienstock, story by Bienstock and Daly.
Director: John Simpkins
Music Director: Vadim Feichtner 
Cast: George Salazar 

Andy’s favorite way to escape his humdrum life is an online game full of magic and monsters called “Legendale.” When a once-in-a-lifetime tournament is announced, Andy dreams of victory, but finds himself stuck competing as a cow maiden––the lowliest character in the game. He curses his fate, until the fantasy becomes real and Andy and his avatar must both discover their inner warrior. An original, contemporary musical comedy with a pop-infused score, Legendale blends romance, adventure and virtual reality.

Noir with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow
Director: Chloe Treat with Rachel Chavkin 
Music Director: Jason Hart 
Cast: Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening), Daniel Everidge (Grease), Kevin Mambo (Fela!), John Schiappa (Rocky), Emily Skeggs (Fun Home), Theo Stockman (Hair, American Idiot), with Foley Artist Jeremy Bloom.

A heartbroken man never leaves his apartment, consoled only by the music on the radio. Through the thin walls, he hears almost every word of the couple next door—and before long, his eavesdropping becomes an obsession. Soon he finds himself drawn into a web of lust, lies, deceit and danger. Noir is a lush and mysterious new musical inspired by radio plays and classic film noir.

On the Eve with music and lyrics by Shawn Magill & Seth Magill, book by Michael Federico, story by Michael Federico, Shawn Magill and Seth Magill
Director: Sam Buntrock 

As bombs explode outside, a theatre company staves off impending apocalyptic doom by performing a sci-fi musical about Marie Antoinette’s first time-traveling hot air balloon. As the dictatorial Talking Man turns the story into a celebration of stereotypes, the company fights back. Soon the play bleeds into reality, reviving hope for survival.

Othello: The Remix with a book, music and lyrics by The Q Brothers (GQ and JQ), developed with Rick Boynton
Director: Brian Hill 
Cast: GQ (The Bomb-itty of Errors), JQ (The Bomb-itty of Errors), Postell Pringle (A Free Man of Color), Jackson Doran (A Q Brothers' Christmas Carol)

Following an acclaimed international tour and triumphant homecoming to sold-out audiences in Chicago, this fresh urban take on Shakespeare’s tragedy is spun out and lyrically rewritten over original beats by The Q Brothers—America’s leading re-interpreters of Shakespeare through hip-hop. Othello: The Remix delivers an intense, high energy spin like no other.

The public can receive passes to the festival through a donation to NAMT. There is also a day-of stand-by line for the general public for free admission, based on availability.

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