Musical Liberty Smith Sings of American Revolution, "Forrest Gump"-Style, in Sept. 22 NYMF Readings

News   Musical Liberty Smith Sings of American Revolution, "Forrest Gump"-Style, in Sept. 22 NYMF Readings Liberty Smith, a musical comedy about the American Revolution — and a forgotten figure in its cast of patriotic characters — will be presented in two concert readings during the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF).

The performances, directed by Joe Calarco, play 3 PM and 5 PM Sept. 22 at The Beckett Theatre in Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues.

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Betsy Ross, The Boston Tea Party and "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" are all mentioned in the musical. "Liberty Smith presents these characters and events to tell the story of the founding of America through an exciting mixture of song, dance, humor and heart," according to the creators. "This spirited new musical is American history...but with a 'Forrest Gump'-type twist, as Liberty Smith, an everyman hero and the 'forgotten' founding father, crosses paths with historical giants and influences great events in funny and unexpected ways."

Kevin Earley plays the title role in the show by composer Michael Weiner, lyricist Adam Abraham and co-librettists Marc Madnick and Eric R. Cohen.

The cast for Liberty Smith includes Derrick Baskin (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Danny Gurwin (Little Women), Mary Stout (Beauty and the Beast), Chris Hoch (Beauty and the Beast), Stacie Morgain Lewis (Wicked), Steve Rosen (Monty Python's Spamalot), Gregory Lee Harrell, Diana Kaarina, Kristin Maloney, Jonathan Monk, Frank Moran, Jake Speck and Danny Vaccaro.

Director Joe Calarco is the adaptor/director of Shakespeare's R&J (Lucille Lortel Award) Off-Broadway, as well as Boy (Primary Stages); in the absence of spring; Sarah, Plain and Tall; and The Summer of the Swans. He is currently represented by Urinetown at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, and The Mistress Cycle in the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Producer Jayson Raitt presents this latest reading of Liberty Smith.

Musical direction is by Gillian Berkowitz, casting by Tara Rubin and stage management by Daryn Brown.

Composer Michael Weiner is currently co-writing the score for the Broadway musical adaptation of Secondhand Lions with a book by Rupert Holmes.

Lyricist Adam Abraham co-wrote and developed a teen comedy for Warner Bros. and actress Lindsay Lohan, and he co-wrote and directed the award-winning independent feature "Man of the Century" for New Line Cinema. Abraham attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English and philosophy, before earning a master of arts degree in film at the University of Southern California.

Co-librettist Marc Madnick is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Final Draft, Inc., the top-selling scriptwriting software developer and manufacturer in the world.

After graduating from New York's School of Visual Arts, Eric R. Cohen headed west where he soon met co-librettist Marc Madnick. They embarked on a multi-year odyssey of writing everything from sitcoms to feature films to public-access cable shows. Along the way, Cohen helped Madnick form what was to become Final Draft, Inc, eventually rising to Vice President, a position he held until 2003. He has since decided to follow another passion — wine — becoming a partner in Waugh Cellars, a small Napa Valley winery that produces 2000 cases per year.

For more information about Liberty Smith, or to make reservations, call (212) 629-2077 or visit www.nymf.org.

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Liberty Smith had a New York City reading in 2002, with Richard Kind, Mary Stout, Dwayne Clark, Laurie Gamache, Eddie Korbich, Garrett Long, William Parry, Josh Prince, Fran Prisco, Thom Christopher Warren and Michael Winther. It was also presented in 2000 in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals.