Presented Oct. 17-18 in Manhattan, the annual weekend of musical theatre provides a platform for emerging and established theatre writers to showcase their works with casts featuring Broadway and Off-Broadway actors. Many of the new works find life at regional companies, as well as Off-Broadway and on Broadway. Betsy King Militello is the executive director of NAMT.
"As with all 24 that have gone before, our 25th festival will not only be an exciting, important event in itself, but will also be a launching point," Militello said in a statement. "Right now, all over the country, you can see and feel the influence of our Festival, the cornerstone of NAMT's year-round commitment to advancing the musical theatre art form: Nobody Loves You is now in performances at Second Stage Theatre; Southern Comfort and Funked Up Fairy Tales will premiere this summer at, respectively, Barrington Stage Co. in Massachusetts and Depot Theatre in upstate New York; Lizzie and See Rock City and Other Destinations have both released cast albums; and many other Festival shows are being read and workshopped around the country by our NAMT member theatres. This year, again, the Festival will be just the beginning. Please join us in welcoming these nine new, great shows!"
Here's a look at the 2013 selections:
Analog and Vinyl
Book, music and lyrics by Paul Gordon
"Harrison is obsessed with LPs from the sixties and the superior quality of analog. Rodeo Girl, a quirky Silver Lake hipster, is obsessed with Harrison but he barely notices. With his vintage record store about to go under, Harrison and Rodeo Girl are visited by a mysterious customer who makes them a devilish offer they can't refuse."
The Astonishing Return of…The Protagonists!
Book and lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila, music by Michael Shaieb
"The Protagonists was once a mighty group of superheroes battling the forces of evil. Twenty years later, they find themselves battling the forces of thinning hair and menopause. But when an old nemesis re-emerges with a sinister plan, can the former superfriends pull it together to save the world again?" The Boy Who Danced on Air
Book and lyrics by Charlie Sohne, music by Tim Rosser
"The Boy Who Danced on Air focuses on a tradition in Afghanistan called Bacha Bazi: wealthy men take in poorer boys and train them to dance. The boys perform at parties and are often sexually abused. This is the story of what happens when two of those boys fall in love."
Come From Away
Book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein
"Come From Away tells the true story of when seven thousand people landed on the doorstep of Gander, Newfoundland... and the people of Gander 'put the kettle on.' A rocking musical about when 38 planes from around the world were diverted to a small, Canadian community on September 11, 2001 — doubling its population in an instant. While the world witnessed the worst acts of humankind, the stranded passengers had their faith in humanity restored by the spirited people who comforted those who had come from away."
Book and lyrics by Andrew White
Music by Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman
"Early morning, July 24, 1915: Moored on the Chicago River, the S.S. Eastland overflows with passengers ready for their company picnic. The boat leans to port – and keeps leaning, until it tips completely over. By day's end, hundreds will perish, whole families will vanish and unexpected heroes will emerge."
My Heart is the Drum
Concept and msic by Phillip Palmer
Original Story and book by Jennie Redling
Lyrics by Stacey Luftig
"When Efua Kuti is pulled from school and forced to marry, she flees her village in Ghana to pursue her dream: an education. Guided by the spirit of her grandmother, she confronts life-threatening dangers—and discovers her own heart. A tale of modern Africa with driving rhythms and rich vocal harmonies, this big, coming-of-age musical celebrates the promise within us all."
The Sandman – a little nightmare musical
Music by Richard Oberacker
Book and lyrics by Robert Taylor & Richard Oberacker
Based on the disturbed scribblings of E.T.A. Hoffmann
"Germany, 1838. What if Clara's nutcracker had been built by a clockmaker whose children were held hostage by the Sandman? What if the clockmaker’s nanny had invited the Sandman in? What if the Sandman steals children’s eyes at night? Too ghastly to contemplate. Who dares put such horrors in a musical?"
The Single Girls Guide
Book by Gordon Greenberg, music and lyrics by Tommy Newman
"Jane Austen meets Helen Gurley Brown in the stylish world of 1964 Manhattan. Filled with the buoyant sounds and bright spirit of the mid-1960s, The Single Girl's Guide is a fizzy riff on 'Emma' and 'Sex and The Single Girl' that echoes the questions we continue to ask about marriage, sex and being single."
The Three Little Pigs
Book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, music by George Stiles
"Take three little superstar Piglets, their devoted single-parent Mom, a misunderstood Big Bad Wolf and the award-winning tuneful wit of Stiles and Drewe and you've got the perfect "Great Big Little Broadway Show" for audiences of three years old and up. This very curly musical tail will huff, puff and blow you away!"