Harada, Mayes, de Jesus, Huffman and More Will Give Voice to NAMT Musicals Oct. 7-8

News   Harada, Mayes, de Jesus, Huffman and More Will Give Voice to NAMT Musicals Oct. 7-8 Cast members and directors for most of the musicals to be seen in The National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 2007 Festival of New Musicals have been announced.
Ann Harada
Ann Harada Photo by Bruce Johnson

Hunter Bell, Will Chase, Robin de Jesus, Ann Harada, Cady Huffman, Christopher Sieber, Sally Mayes, Richard Maltby and Marc Robin are among artists who will shed light on dawning work — eight new musicals — in midtown Manhattan.

The 19th annual festival, in which shows are seen in excerpted concert reading form before an audience of producers and other industry folk, will be held Oct. 7-8 at New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St. between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

Admission to the Festival of New Musicals is for industry only. Industry professionals interested in attending should email festival@namt.org.

The general public can wait in a standby line for each presentation, but seating is not guaranteed.

The eight selected musicals and their respective directors and casts confirmed to date for the 2007 Festival include:

  • The Break Up Notebook: The Lesbian Musical
    Music and lyrics by Lori Scarlett
    Book by Patricia Cotter
    Director: Victoria Bussert
    Cast: Hunter Bell, Jodi Dominick, Donna English, Ann Harada, Christine Lakin, Beth Malone, Jacqueline Maloney, Kelly Sullivan
    It "examines a year in the life of the recently dumped Helen Hill. With her family of friends by her side she encounters: two-stepping 12-steppers, Paxil-popping lawyers, dental dams, grrrl bands, hot girl on girl action, and maybe…just maybe… the girl of her dreams."
  • Casey at the Bat
    Music by Gordon Goodwin
    Book and lyrics by Tom Child
    Director: Marilyn Magness
    Cast: Rachel Coliff, Holly Davis, Sarah Jane Everman, Matt Gumley, Curtis Holbrook, Eric Leverton, Adam Monley, Patrick Richman, Sarah Solie, Will Swenson, Tommar Wilson
    Based on the classic poem, and the book "Casey On the Loose" by acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, "Casey comes to bat for Mudville, U.S.A. in a big-hearted, small-town tale of humor, love, greed and the competitive spirit to learn that he can be a hero even when he strikes out."
  • The Chocolate Tree
    Music by Marshall Pailet
    Lyrics by A.D. Penedo
    Book by Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penedo
    Director: Igor Goldin
    Cast: Brian D'Addario, Danielle Freid, Curtis Holbrook, Cady Huffman, Felicia Ricci, Christopher Sieber, Jason Snow
    "A remarkable young girl stricken with a grave illness uses her rich fantasy world and indomitable spirit to bring the impossible to life, which takes her family and the audience on a powerful, transforming journey."
  • The Gypsy King
    Music and Lyrics by Randy Rogel
    Book by Randy Rogel and Kirby Ward
    Director: Marc Robin
    Cast: Arcellus Sebastian, more TBA
    "Two penniless entertainers stumble into a small town and land smack dab in the middle of a plot to assassinate the King. When it's discovered that one of them looks exactly like the doomed monarch, things get sticky."
  • Kingdom
    Music by Ian Williams
    Book and lyrics by Aaron Jafferis
    Director: Jose Zayas
    Cast: Robin de Jesus, Marisa Echeverria, Gerardo Rodgriguez, Jon Rua
    "Inspired by the true stories of current and former Latin Kings, Kingdom chronicles the journey of two kids from the barrio who join the Kings in search of power and respect. When tragedy strikes, a power struggle tears the two friends apart — with devastating results."
  • The Story of My Life
    Music and lyrics by Neil Bartram
    Book by Brian Hill
    Director: Richard Maltby
    Cast: Will Chase, Jeffrey Kuhn
    "A two-character musical about Thomas, a writer, and Alvin — lifelong friends, until life sent them in different directions. When suddenly faced with the task of writing Alvin's eulogy, Thomas digs through the cluttered collection of stories in his mind — with Alvin as his guide — to find a way to celebrate his friend's life and understand his untimely death."
  • Tinyard Hill
    Music by Mark Allen
    Book and lyrics by Thomas M. Newman
    Director: Casey Huhion
    Cast: Colin Donnell, Christine Dwyer, Michael Lanning, Sally Mayes
    "In South Georgia, 1964, a blacksmith and his son are desperate to keep the family's 200-year-old shop from becoming another 'pioneer' tourist joke. But as the Vietnam Conflict escalates and a summer romance blossoms, the world grows too large to ignore in this moving story about big love and small-town dreams."
  • Writing Arthur
    Book, music and lyrics by David Austin
    Cast and director: TBA
    "Arthur Danby has finally found the perfect woman. Problem is, she's a fictional character in his novel. When a very real woman steps into his life, his worlds collide. Will Arthur fall deeper into the world he's created or allow life to write itself?" *

    The Festival of New Musicals is funded by contributions to the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, a not-for-profit organization, and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.

    The 2007 Festival of New Musicals is produced by NAMT new works director, Kirsten Berkman.

    The eight selected shows, culled from a pool of more than 100 applicants, were selected by the NAMT festival committee, comprised of artistic directors and producers from NAMT member organizations.

    In addition to the eight festival shows getting a showcase, NAMT will present the "Songwriter Showcase" on Oct. 7. The "Songwriter Showcase" introduces eight new musicals with one song from each.

    Founded in 1985 and based in New York City, NAMT is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. NAMT has presented its annual Festival of New Musicals since 1989. The Festival brings together leading theatre producers and writers, with the goal of furthering the development and production of new musicals. NAMT membership includes not-for-profit and commercial theatres, presenting houses, universities, and independent producers.

    For more information, visit www.namt.org.