Fall NY Musical Theatre Fest Presents More Than 30 New Musicals, From Caligula to Meet John Doe

News   Fall NY Musical Theatre Fest Presents More Than 30 New Musicals, From Caligula to Meet John Doe Caligula, Meet John Doe and The Great American Trailer Park Musical are among 15 shows selected by a panel to play in the ambitious inaugural New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in September and October.

The 15 shows are part of the juried "Next Link" initiative in the Sept. 13-Oct. 3 fest. The scripts submitted for "The Next Link" were "production ready" scripts selected by a prestigious panel and will be produced by the creative teams or their producers as the developmental "link" between past readings or workshops and future commercial or not-for-profit productions. (The jury included Gabriel Barre, Robyn Goodman, Kathleen Marshall, Scott Schwartz and other Broadway industry folk.)

The festival, running in many New York City venues, will offer a variety of programs including concerts, readings, movies and other full productions such as Top Gun! The Musical and the award-winning Like You Like It. Readings of Kander and Ebb's Skin of Our Teeth (a New York premiere) and Stephen Schwartz's Captain Louie are also on tap.

Performers such as Alice Ripley, Marc Kudisch, Brian d'Arcy James, Euan Morton and Brook Sunny Moriber have been announced to appear in shows.

The following is a breakdown of the musicals being presented in the NYMF in 2004, though the fest does include other programs and presentations. Consult the fest website (www.nymf.org) for complete information for more information.

THE NEXT LINK SELECTIONS

  • A Hundred Years Into the Heart, a romantic musical about a Long Island Italian family, book by Richard Vetere, music by Jeffery Lodin, lyrics by William Squier. "A baby falls from the sixth floor window, setting into motion a chain of events that ends 25 years later with two men in love with the same woman." The 45th Street Theatre - Primary Stages Sept. 14 at 8 PM; Sept. 17 at 5 PM, Sept. 18 at 8 PM; Sept. 19 at 8 PM, Sept. 23 at 6 PM.
  • Altar Boyz, book by Kevin Del Aguila, conceived by Marc Kessler and Ken Davenport, music by and lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker. "N'Sync meets Nunsense in...a new musical comedy about a struggling Christian boy-band riding the wave of America's latest fascination with religion. Armed with catchy melodies, freaky moves, and product in their hair, the self-anointed apostles of pop (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Juan) bring their soul-saving tour to NYC, featuring their heavenly hits 'Girl, You Make Me Wanna Wait' and 'Jesus Called Me on My Cell Phone.'" Stafford Arima directs. The 47th Street Theatre - The Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre Sept. 16 at 8 PM, Sept. 17 at 8 PM, Sept. 19 at 4:30 PM and 8 PM, Sept. 24 at 8 PM, Sept. 25 at 4:30 PM.
  • And the Earth Moved, book by Timothy Huang, music by Timothy Huang, lyrics by Timothy Huang. "Inspired by real events...a through-the-rabbit hole journey of self discovery that explores one Asian's role in the American Experiment. Between clairvoyant 18 year-old truants, eccentric cross-dressing restaurateurs, and The First Chinese Pentecostal Church of Harlem Gospel Choir, everyone Will meets has something to teach him. But does he have anything to learn?" The 45th Street Theatre - Primary Stages Sept. 16 at 8 PM, Sept 23 at 9:30 PM, Sept. 25 at 8 PM, Sept. 26 at 1 PM and 8 PM; Sept. 29 at 1 PM.
  • Caligula: An Ancient Glam Epic, book by Eric Svejcar, music by Eric Svejcar, lyrics by Eric Svejcar. "A glam rock musical inspired by the sound and style of the early '70s, Caligula is a hedonistic fever dream of ancient Rome at its most wild, decadent, and deadly. Ancient Rome meets 70s Glam Rock in this retelling of the classic tale of power, sex and incest." Starring Taboo's Tony-nominated Euan Mortan and Judy McLane (Johnny Guitar), and with a score based on early '70s rock — David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, Queen - Caligula was a finalist for the 2003 Richard Rodgers Award and was heard at a recent concert reading at the Zipper Theater. The Theatre at St. Clements Sept. 14 at 7 PM, Sept. 17 at 2 PM, Sept. 18 at 9 PM, Sept. 19 at 7 PM, Sept. 24 at 7 PM, Sept. 28 at 7 PM.
  • Far from the Madding Crowd, book by Barbara Campbell, music by Gary Schocker, lyrics by Barbara Campbell. Adapted from Thomas Hardy's novel of the same name, the show "blends original music and English folk songs to chart the tempestuous journey of Bathsheba Everdene as she struggles to find her place in the world. While she finds it easy enough to manage her prosperous farm, it is far more difficult for Bathsheba to control the vagaries of her heart. A girlish prank sets in motion events that build inexorably to tragedy and to Bathseba's ultimate acceptance of love." The 47th Street Theatre - The Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre Sept. 20 at 8 PM, Sept. 22 at 8 PM, Sept. 25 at 8 PM, Sept. 28 at 4:30 PM and 8 PM and Oct. 30 at 4.30 PM.
  • Houdini, book by James Racheff, music by William Scott Duffield, lyrics by William Scott Duffield and James Racheff. "The epic tale full of sibling rivalry, love, passion and obsession. Look into Houdini's mind — as complex and mystifying as his legendary acts of illusion, and experience the charismatic power and magic of this same man who promised to speak to the world from beyond the grave." The 47th Street Theatre - The Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre Sept. 14 at 8 PM, Sept. 15 at 1 PM and 8 PM and Sept. 17 at 1 PM.
  • Meet John Doe, book by Andrew Gerle and Eddie Sugarman, music by Andrew Gerle, lyrics by Eddie Sugarman. "When a 1930's newspaper columnist creates a fictional political protester as a prank, she never imagines that she will touch a national nerve and leave the country forever changed. Based on the classic Frank Capra film, Meet John Doe is a powerful, jazz-driven show about greed, lies, ideals, and a media battle for the heart of the American people." Christiane Noll will star. The Theatre at St Clements Sept. 22 at 7 PM, Sept. 25 at 1 PM and 5 PM, Sept. 29 at 2 PM, Sept. 30 at 8 PM, Oct. 2 at 1 PM.
  • The Blue Flower, book by Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer, music by Jim Bauer, lyrics by Jim Bauer. "Max Baumann, a famous German artist, dies alone on a park bench in New York City in 1955, leaving behind a fairytale book of collages that come to life on stage with the aid of the 10-piece Weimarband, projected films, and a cast of seven physical actor-singers. The Blue Flower, a unique collaboration between husband-and wife team Jim Bauer (composer-lyricist) and Ruth Bauer (visual artist), is a playful Dada-inspired romp through the memories unleashed at the moment of Max’s death, centering on three friends and lovers he lost and the apparition of events that overwhelmed their lives during World War I and the restless post-war years of the Weimar Republic in Germany." The Theatre at St Clements Sept. 21 at 7 PM, Sept. 25 at 9 PM, Sept. 26 at 7 PM, Sept. 27 at 2 PM, Sept. 30 at 2 PM, Oct. 1 at 8 PM.
  • The Eyes are the First Thing to Go, book by Jim and Bob Walton, music by Jim and Bob Walton, lyrics by Jim and Bob Walton. "A comic take on approaching middle age, The Eyes Are the First to Go covers a woman's ticking biological clock, the desire to chuck it all and do something new and adventurous, trips to the doctor, empty nest syndrome, and much more..." The 45th Street Theater - Primary Stages Sept. 22 at 8 PM, Sept. 28 at 9:30 PM, Sept. 30 at 8 PM, Oct. 1 at 4:30 PM, Oct. 2 at 8 PM, Oct. 3 at 4:30 PM.
  • The Great American Trailer Park Musical, book by Betsy Kelso, music by David Nehls, lyrics by David Nehls. "What happens when a hot young stripper with a questionable agenda moves into a North Florida mobile home and steals the attention of the married man next door? Lotsa stuff, including — but not limited to — magic marker huffing, handguns, agoraphobia, '70s and '80s nostalgia, talk shows, spray cheese, road kill, hysterical pregnancy, a broken electric chair, kleptomania, flan and disco." The Revelation Theatre Sept. 28 at 8 PM, Sept. 29 at 1 PM, Oct. 1 at 4:30 PM and 8 PM, Oct. 2 at 1 PM and 8 PM, Oct. 3 at 1 PM.
  • The Happy Prince, book by Frank Schiro, music by Frank Schiro, lyrics by Frank Schiro. "A statue who speaks, a disgruntled pigeon, a conceited swallow, a gloriously bejeweled Happy Prince, and a bumbling government: this is the heartwarming story of generosity, love, and selfless giving. Adapted from the fable by Oscar Wilde and developed at the BMI Workshop." The Beckett at Theater Row Sept. 25 at 8 PM, Sept. 28 at 8 PM, Sept. 30 at 4:30 PM and 8 PM, Oct. 1 at 8 PM, Oct. 2 at 1 PM.
  • The Man Who Would be King, book by DJ Salisbury, music by Neil Berg, lyrics by DJ Salisbury. "Based on a story by Rudyard Kipling...a sweeping adventure about the unexpected transformation of two con men who set out to conquer a tribal nation. Humorous and moving — and surprisingly relevant to current events." Starring Tony Award nominees Brian d'Arcy James and Marc Kudisch. The Theatre at St Clements Sept. 20 at 7 PM, Sept. 23 at 7 PM, Sept. 26 at 2 PM, Oct. 1 at 2 PM, Oct. 2 at 5 PM and 9 PM.
  • The Woman Upstairs, book by Kait Kerrigan, music by Brian Lowdermilk, lyrics by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. "A physicist who hates music falls in love with a violinist who hates her. Only in New York. A quirky, chaotic romantic comedy that boasts sharp dialogue, playful lyrics, and a contemporary pop score with elements of hip hop and rap." The 47th Street Theatre - The Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre Sept. 21 at 8 PM, Sept. 22 at 1 PM, Sept. 24 at 4:30 PM, Sept. 30 at 1 PM, Oct. 1 at 11 PM, Oct. 2 at 8 PM.
  • Three Sistahs, book, story and concept by Janet Pryce, book and lyrics by Thomas W. Jones, music by William F. Hubbard, lyrics by Thomas W. Jones II. "It is the fall of 1969 in Washington, DC. Three African American women reunite to bury their only brother, just killed in Vietnam. Echoing the female lead characters in Chekhov's Three Sisters and set in the midst of a country torn apart, this musical tapestry evokes the rhythms of the 1960s, melding blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, and soul." The Revelation Theater on 37th Street Sept. 23 at 9:30 PM, Sept. 24 at 8 PM, Sept. 25 at 1 PM, Sept. 24 at 1 PM and 8 PM, Sept. 29 at 8 PM.
  • Tim and Scrooge, book by Nick Meglin, music by Neil Berg, lyrics by Nick Meglin."Twelve years after A Christmas Carol, Tiny Tim has grown into a fine, healthy man and is engaged to be married. But a shocking surprise jeopardizes everything he wants… and it's up to Scrooge to come back as a ghost and help save the day!" The Theatre at St. Clements Sept. 16 at 7 PM, Sept. 18 at 5 PM, Sept. 24 at 2 PM, Sept. 28 at 2 PM, Oct. 3 at 2 PM and 7 PM. INTERNATIONAL WORKS

  • FRANKENSTEIN...do you dream, book by Robert Asselstine, music by Robert Asselstine, lyrics by Robert Asselstine. "An enduring legend. And now, an epic musical experience. Frankenstein ... do you dream? is the rarely told story of unrestrained ambition, passion and desire at the heart of Mary Shelley's original novel. This is a tale about loving and being loved, and at its core lies the simple request: 'I just want you to make one like me.'" The Belt Theatre Sept. 23 at 8 PM; Sept 25 at 11 PM, Sept. 26 at 4:30 PM, Sept. 30 at 8 PM, Oct. 1 at 1 PM, Oct. 2 at 4.30 PM and 8 PM. (From Canada.)
  • Top Gun! The Musical, book by Denis McGrath, music by Scott White, lyrics by Denis McGrath. "Writer Billy Palmer is about to crash and burn. His musical adaptation of the movie 'Top Gun' is going off the rails and he really needs a hit after the debacle of Apocalypse Wow! For anyone who's ever cringed through Cats, felt the need for speed, or wondered, 'Who thought that would be a good idea?' comes this satirical musical comedy.... You'll laugh, you'll hum, you'll believe a jet can fly!" 47th Street Theater - The Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre Sept. 27 at 8 PM, Sept. 30 at 4:30 PM, Oct. 1 at 8 PM, Oct. 2 at 4:30 PM and 11 PM, Oct. 3 at 1 PM. (From Canada.)
  • Town and Gown, a two-act British import about "two sides of Old England: Black against White, Poor against Posh, Crude against Smooth, Town against Gown." Town, starring Alan Pillay as the black vulgar Northern English drag queen reminiscing on his shabby life in a new musical play Glitter & Twisted, specially written for the occasion by award winning author Tim Fountain. Gown, starring Kit & The Widow, the most eloquent erudite and sophisticated of performers to hit the stage since the halcyon days of Noel Coward." The Beckett Theatre in Theater Row Sept. 23 and 24. (From England.)
  • Joe Starts Again, book by Martin Croft and Mark Fletcher, music by Dean Lotherington, lyrics by Martin Croft. "Joe Thompson, 49, has been single for longer than he ever intended to be, and now he's ready to start again. In his search for love and companionship, Joe joins a video dating agency. With the help of the agency's receptionist, he makes a video to send to prospective dates. Often hilarious and surprisingly moving, the process peels back the layers of Joe's life, revealing what is truly important." The 45th Street Theatre - Primary Stages Sept. 15 at 8 PM, Sept. 17 at 8:30 PM, Sept. 18 at 1 PM and 4:30 PM, Sept. 19 at 1 PM, Sept. 24 at 8 PM. (From Australia.) PRIZE-WINNER

  • Like You Like It, book by Sammy Buck, music by Daniel S. Acquisto, lyrics by Sammy Buck. "All the world's a mall in this totally awesome mix of Shakespeare and John Hughes. It's 1985 and the brand new Arden Mall is hosting a high school dance. Straight-A babe Rosalind wants to go with varsity wrestler Orlando, but she is too shy to face him. Rosalind disguises herself as a frat dude named Corey and learns Orlando's true feelings for her. But things get tricky when 'Corey' complicates the lives of three other couples at Arden, and Rosalind must show up at the dance as both herself and Corey." 2004 winner of the inaugural NMTN New Voices Prize. The Beckett at Theater Row Sept. 26 at 8 PM, Sept 29 at 1 PM and 8 PM, Oct. 1 at 1 PM and 4:30 PM, Oct. 2 at 8 PM. PRESENTATIONS BY NYC COMPANIES

    5horts, "five short musicals from the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, birthplace of such hits as Avenue Q, Nine and Little Shop of Horrors," featuring works by Tony winners Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Avenue Q), plus Gretchen Cryer, Nancy Ford, Donna Kaz, David Strickland, Gerald Stockstill, Ellen Schwartz, Andy Monroe and other members of the workshop. Directed by Bick Goss, produced by Musical Mondays Theatre Lab at the Greenwich Street Theatre (Sept. 27-28).

  • The Taxi Cabaret, book by Peter Mills, music by Peter Mills, lyrics by Peter Mills. "Six 20-somethings — an actress, a writer, a corporate consultant, a kindergarten teacher, and a young couple — experience the hilarious trials and tribulations of their first year living in the Big Apple." Presented by Prospect Theater at The 45th Street Theatre - Primary Stages Sept. 21 at 8 PM, Sept. 29 at 8:30 PM, Oct. 1 at 8 PM, Oct. 2 at 1 PM and 11 PM, Oct. 3 at 1 PM.
  • Orpheus, book by Stephanie Fleischmann, music by Nikos Brisco, lyrics by Stephanie Fleischmann."The HERE space transforms into Club Asphodel complete with dancing and drinks for this 21st century re-creation of the Orpheus & Eurydice myth incorporating poetic text, dynamic songs, captivating visuals and emotion-based choreography." Presented by HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue, Sept. 15-Oct. 9. NYMF SELECTIONS

  • Captain Louie, a reading presentation of the new family-friendly musical by Stephen Schwartz (music and lyrics) and Anthony Stein (book), musical based on the children's book, "The Trip." The 47th Street Theater - The Puerto Rican Travelling Theater Oct. 1 at 5 PM, Oct. 2 at 2 PM.
  • LULU: a new musical, book by Adam Gwon & Courtney Phelps, music by Adam Gwon, lyrics by Adam Gwon. "With a lush, jazzy score of complex and gorgeous melodies, Lulu tells the tale of a femme fatale's search for love in the burlesque underbelly of silent movie-era America. Caught in a web of scandal and seduction, Lulu dreams of discovering a love like the ones she sees flickering up on the movie screen — only to learn that nothing is ever just black and white." Starring Brooke Sunny Moriber (James Joyce's The Dead, My Life With Albertine). The Belt Theatre Sept. 21 at 8 PM, Sept. 27 at 9 PM, Sept. 30 at 4.30 PM.
  • Pretty Faces, book by Robert W. Cabell, music by Robert W. Cabell, lyrics by Robert W. Cabell. "The 'other girl next door' finds fame and glamour at a beauty pageant for plus-sized women in this backstage musical." The show "follows each contestant's Cinderella transformation, from day one of rehearsals to the crowning moment of truth. Complete with two feuding stars, a love-struck stage manager, a baton-twirling rich Southern belle, and a spoiled rich girl, this show pays tribute to the large and lovely." The Revelation Theatre Sept. 21 at 8 PM, Sept. 22 at 1 PM and 8 PM, Sept. 25 at 8 PM, Sept. 26 at 4:30 PM and Sept. 27 at 9 PM.
  • Skin of Our Teeth, a reading of the new Joseph Stein, John Kander, Fred Ebb musical based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Thornton Wilder. The 47th Street Theater - The Puerto Rican Travelling Theater Sept. 26 at 8 PM.
  • The Big Voice: God or Merman, book by Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu, music by Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu, lyrics by Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu with additional lyrics by Marie Cain. "Praised from coast to coast...The Big Voice chronicles the strains and tensions of gay life and marriage performed by the gay, married couple itself. This funny, touching love story is a truthful and joyful look beyond the media stereotypes to the actual realities of gay marriage. The Belt Theatre Sept. 24 at 8 PM, Sept. 26 at 8 PM, Sept. 28 at 8 PM, Sept. 29 at 1 PM, Oct 2 at 1 PM, Oct. 3 at 4:30 PM.
  • [title of show],book by Hunter Bell, music by Jeff Bowen, lyrics by Jeff Bowen. "A show about writing a show for a festival! Jeff and Hunter only have three weeks to write [title of show]! Will they finish? Will it get produced? Will Tony nominee Michael Berresse direct? [title of show] explores how ideas begin and just what it takes to make a show a show." The Belt Theatre Sept. 22 at 8 PM, Sept. 25 at 8 PM, Sept. 26 at 1 PM, Sept. 28 at 4:30 PM, Sept. 29 at 8 PM, Oct. 1 at 4:30 PM.
  • Tusk, book by Steven Billing, Norman Rea & Yuhasz, music by Bryon Sommers, lyrics by Norman Rea. "Family-friendly musical told with theatrical artistry of silhouette and shadow puppets, about the survival of an elephant family." The 47th Street Theatre - The Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre Sept. 18 at 8 PM, Sept. 19 at 1 PM, Sept. 23 at 8 PM, Sept. 26 at 1 PM, Sept. 29 at 1 PM, Sept. 30 at 8 PM.
  • The Flute Player's Song, book by Tony Troy, music by Tony Troy, lyrics by Tony Troy. "Set in the alleyways of Victorian London, The Flute Player's Song is the magical story of Bethany, who sees her mother die on the street. Dodging the slum's villains and aided only by beggars and an enchanting Fool who alone hears the music of an invisible flute player, Bethany sets out on a quest to discover if there really is a heaven." The Theatre at St Clements Sept. 15 at 7 PM, Sept. 17 at 7:30 PM, Sept. 18 at 1 PM, Sept. 19 at 2 PM, Sept. 23 at 2 PM, Sept 29 at 8 PM.