Directed by Will Fears (Omnium Gatherum), the reading will star Celia Keenan Bolger (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and Andrew Lippa (book, music & lyrics, The Wild Party). Book is by Marsha Norman, lyrics by Beth Blatt, and Jenny Giering. Mary Baker didn't want to be a maid. But it was 1817 in England, and she was nobody, so what choice did she have? Go to America. And that journey is where we find her, on the dock in Bristol—she's put on a turban and is speaking a made up language. She soon attracts the attention of a smooth talking Irishman who "translates" for her, and an American patron. Mary Baker realizes they want a princess, and she becomes one, Princess Caraboo. Based on a true story, Mary Baker manages to fool the scientists who are sent to examine her, and convince the nobles who gather to celebrate her. It's about a girl who didn't want to stay where she was put, in her place, in her time. It's about a girl who wanted more. And got it.
According to a festival spokesperson, last year's event directly led to five of the eight shows securing productions. They were: The Drowsy Chaperone (to be done at the Ahmanson Theatre, November 2005), The Flight of the Lawnchair Man (Goodspeed Musicals, May 2005), The Girl in the Frame (Goodspeed Musicals, November 2005), Striking 12 (TheatreWorks Palo Alto, December 2004) and Winesburg, OH (The Arden Theatre Company, October 2005).
Admission is by invitation only and closed to the general public. For more information, visit www.NAMT.net(http://www.namt.net/).