NAMT Festival of New Musicals Puts Eight Dawning Shows in Producers Sights

News   NAMT Festival of New Musicals Puts Eight Dawning Shows in Producers Sights One the nation's major marketplaces for new musicals — the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's annual Festival of New Musicals — is open for business Oct. 7-8.

At the festival, a concentration of NAMT members including commercial producers, not-for-profit artistic directors and others from the international musical community congregates in the Manhattan theatre district to view 45-minute excerpts from new musicals.

Broadway stars and directors often take part in the fest, which is a way for songwriters and librettists to get their properties exposed — and sometimes picked up by producers.

The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie were seen in past NAMT festival presentations prior to their Broadway success.

The 2007 festival offers eight staged readings (each sponsored by a NAMT member) of emerging work, plus an Oct. 7 Songwriter Showcase, hosted by Nancy Anderson and Kevin Cahoon, to include songs from eight additional shows. The Songwriter Showcase writers include Laurelyn Dossett and Preston Lane, Dan Lipton and David Rossmer, Keith Gordon and Martin Casella, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, AnnMarie Milazzo, Richard Ouzounian and Marek Norman, Michael Mahler and Alan Schumuckler, Keith Herrmann and Barry Harman, performed by John Cariani, Matt Castle, Laurelyn Dossett, Montego Glover, Danette Holden, Jeff Madden, Michael Mahler, Marisa Michaelson, AnnMarie Milazzo, Kasey Marino, Alan Schmuckler, Michael Weiner and Gordon Joseph Weiss.

The 19th annual festival will be held at New World Stages, 340 West 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 eight selected musicals and their respective directors and casts confirmed as of Oct. 1 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: Scott Barnhardt, Rachel Coliff, Holly Davis, Sarah Jane Everman, Matt Gumley, Curtis Holbrook, John Jellison, Eric Leverton, Adam Monley, Patrick Richwood, Robb Sapp, 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, Richard True, Christopher Sieber, Jason Snow, Marlayna Syms

    "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: Sebastian Arcelus, Megan Arnoldy, Michael Daly, Mark Fisher, Kathy Fitzgerald, Stephanie Iannarino, Paul Kandel, Geoffery Lind, Christine Mild, John O'Creagh, Ed Romanoff, Nathan Scherich, Nathaniel Shaw, Max von Essen

    "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, Renoly Santiago, Gerardo Rodgriguez, Jon Rua, Ruth Pagán, Will Sierra, Renaldy Smith

    "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, Heather Ferguson, 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
    Musical director: Brian Nash
    Cast: Ana Gasteyer, Malcolm Gets, Kelli O'Hara, Pamela Myers, Tim Shew, Henry Hodges, Cassady Leonard, Colin Hanlon, Courtney Balan, Jason Dula, Michele Gray, Heather Hawkins, Victor Hawks, Kevin Kern, Sean McCourt, Michael Mendiola, Kate Pazakis, Sascha Peralta-Ramos, Halle Petro, Liz Power, Caesar Samayoa, Charly Seamon, Brian Sears, Tom Stuart

    "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.

    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.