Five New Musicals Are Tested in Chicago's Stages 2009 Festival Aug. 21-23

News   Five New Musicals Are Tested in Chicago's Stages 2009 Festival Aug. 21-23 Stages 2009, Theatre Building Chicago's annual festival of new musicals presented in reading format, will kick off Aug. 21 with a special revue that includes songs by Martin Charnin, George Stiles & Anthony Drewe, Wally Harper and Sherman Yellen, Owen Kalt and Elizabeth Doyle and many others.

Songs in the Key of Today will be presented Aug. 21, the first day of the nationally-known 16th annual Stages 2009, a three-day festival of "musicals in progress." The festival runs Aug. 21-23.

Songs in the Key of Today — coordinated by John Sparks, Cherie Coons and Dan Stetzel, directed by Henry Fonte and music-directed by Dan Stetzel — will be seen 7:30 PM Aug. 21 and 4 PM Aug. 22. The weekend also includes two presentations each of five musicals, plus two panel discussions.

Stages 2009 is billed as "a creative gathering of authors, actors, artists, theatre producers and musical theatre lovers who come together for one weekend, celebrating America's original art form, the musical."

Theatre Building Chicago welcomes media attention for Stages 2009, however, "all performances are works in progress and are considered not appropriate for critical review."

Here are the musical of Stages 2009, presented in concert readings: Girl Detective
Book and Lyrics by Alan Gordon
Music by Mark Sutton-Smith
Director: Tina Salamone
Music Director: Michael Sherman

Aug. 22 1 PM
Aug. 23 4 PM
"Murder is hard. Adolescence is harder. Casey Ames, a teenager transplanted from New York City to a small town in Pennsylvania, is obsessed with becoming a detective. This musical explores the full spectrum of teenage angst."

Hunger
Book and Lyrics by Scott Guy
Music by Karlan Judd
Director: Henry Fonte
Music Director: Patrick Holland

Aug. 22 7:30 PM
Aug. 23 1 PM
"This American drama reveals the true history of intrepid settlers who head west to fulfill their dreams but encounter a nightmare of challenges that test their faith, spirit and their very souls."

On the Brink
Book and Lyrics by John Sparks
Music by Thomas Adams
Adapted from On Borrowed Time by Paul Osborn and Lawrence Watkins
Director: Allan Chambers
Music Director: Jessica A. Hunt

Aug. 22 7:30 PM
Aug. 23 1 PM
"When an aging grandfather is confronted by Death in the form of Mr. Brink, he thwarts Mr. Brink's plans by trapping him up a tree. With Mr. Brink unable to do his duty, no one can die. Mr. Brink works through the grandfather's family and friends to try and convince the old man to free him and to restore the natural order."

Opening Day
Book and Lyrics by Steve Delchamps
Music by Doug Voegtle
Based on the play Strange Snow by Stephen Metcalfe
Director: Elizabeth Margolius
Music Director: Peter Storms

Aug. 22 1 PM
Aug. 23 4 PM
"A troubled Vietnam vet living with his sister is visited by an army buddy who dredges up the memories of a mutual comrade lost in a battle they both survived. This moving drama explores the themes of guilt, forgiveness, love and how we survive our own personal histories."

Song Poems Wanted! The Musical
Book by Larry Carpenter
Music by Arthur Kaufman
Lyrics by Helen Bates and Larry Carpenter and others
Director: John Sparks
Music Director: Jeff Bouthiette

Aug. 22 4 PM
Aug. 23 7 PM
"Song poems are the vanity publishing side of the music recording industry. The musical features dozens of actual song poems (such as 'Aliens Stole My Dog') and tells the stories of a song poem composer and the everyday people who submit their poetry for 'consideration.'"

Panel discussions will be:

"Writing Theatre for Young Audiences" Aug. 22 at 10 AM: "Learn what elements make imaginative and engaging theatre for children. What are the special considerations and specific responsibilities in writing material for young audiences? Writers and producers who specialize in this audience share their experiences, trade secrets and vision for the craft."

"Understanding Intellectual Property Rights" Aug. 23 at 10 AM: "Experts in the field will speak on the intricacies and legal issues regarding adaptations, obtaining rights, paying for the underlying rights and what is a reasonable fee. What is public domain? Privacy laws regarding what you can and cannot use regarding real people and events in new works."

For tickets call (773) 327-5252 or Ticketmaster (800) 982-2787 (www.ticketmaster.com).

Performances will be at Theatre Building Chicago at 1225 West Belmont Avenue at Racine in the heart of Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.

For more details visit TBC online www.theatrebuildingchicago.org.