Village Theatre in suburban Seattle has announced the six musicals in its 2005 Fifth Annual Festival of New Musicals.
The works, a mix of new titles and shows that have been in development for several years, will be seen in staged readings before invited guests Aug. 4-7 at First Stage Theatre in Issaquah, WA.
Some of Village Theatre's most popular new musicals got their start at the Festival. Girl of My Dreams, which will be part of Village Theatre's 2005-2006 Mainstage Season, made its Village Theatre debut at the Third Annual Festival in 2003. The Wedding Banquet made its first public appearance at the Second Annual Festival in 2002, before going on to performances in Asia, New York, and the Village Theatre Mainstage. Ya Got Trouble!, which had a developmental production at First Stage in May and June of 2005, was the opening reading at the Third Annual Festival in 2003.
Many recent Village Originals workshops and developmental productions, from Emma and Company to Bonnie and Clyde to Six Wives, all began at the Festival.
Admission to the Festival is free with a Village Originals membership. For more information, call the box office at (425) 392-2202.
The 2005 Festival will include:
Desperate Measures, book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music by David Friedman, 7:30 PM Aug. 4. "Outlaw Johnny Blood's been sentenced to death, and only his sister Isabella can save him. The Governor of the territory will spare Johnny's life if Isabella will give up her virtue! Can a bait-and-switch save the day? Laughs and love ride the range as Shakespeare's Measure for Measure is hilariously transported to the Wild West in this rollicking musical."
Stunt Girl, book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music by David Friedman, 7:30 PM Aug. 5. "Groundbreaking Gal Reporter Circles Globe! First Female War Reporter! Funny, Fresh New Musical on Life of Nellie Bly! Born Elizabeth Cochran, she would go on to become a groundbreaking investigative journalist, intrepid world traveler, and captain of industry—all in an age when women didn't even have the right to vote. A remarkable musical about a remarkable woman, Stunt Girl captures the adventure and romance, dreams and disappointments, thrills and sorrows of a true trailblazer."
Fairystories, book, music and lyrics by Paul Graham Brown, 2 PM Aug. 6. "Inspired by actual events, this gentle, graceful, gorgeous musical transports us to 1920s England, and into a tale of imagination and inner lives, grief and healing. A grieving young boy imagines elves speaking to him by a stream, and his precocious friend schemes to forge photographs of the magical creatures. When the photographs are 'authenticated' as real, attracting the attentions of the press and inquisitive author Arthur Conan-Doyle, the kids become a national sensation—but what will happen when their secret is found out?"
The Fabulist, book by Stephen Witkin, music and lyrics by David Spencer, based on the novel by John Vornholt. 7:30 PM Aug. 6. "How did Aesop get those fables anyway? A mute slave is given the magical gift of voice and a world is forever changed. Journey with the famous fabulist on his epic quest for freedom in this inventive, witty, wonderfully tuneful musical. Aesop matches wits with the Sphinx, disarms a tyrant king, falls for the Delphic oracle, and somehow survives it all — armed only with his gift for a great story."
Heaven's Balcony, book, music and lyrics by David Spangler and Jerry Taylor, 2 PM Aug. 7. "From the creators of Play It By Heart comes a very different, but also distinctly American story: the fascinating life of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science church. Suffering a life of chronic illness and determined to find a faith that could sustain her, she finally made her own—and from her days as a faith healer to the remarkable rise of her church, this fascinating, moving musical chronicles one woman's search for truth and belief, and how that search forever changed the face of American Christianity."
Blankity-Blank, music and book by Scott Warrender, lyrics by Scott Warrender and Tom Orr. 7:30 PM Aug. 7. "You're writing this one. Oh, relax—it’s easier than you think… and incredibly fun. Mad musical genius Scott Warrender has devised the 'Mad-Libs Musical.' Taking audience input for story points, character details, locales and even lyrics, Scott and his intrepid troupe of actors will spin a musical tale of adventure and romance that will be truly like no other. In history. Ever. With laughs aplenty, you won’t want to miss this inspired, innovative, improvisational evening. (It won't be the same without you!)" Village Theatre "is a leading producer of Musical Theatre in the Pacific Northwest." What began in 1979 with the vision of a small group of dedicated theatre artists "has grown into one of the region's best-attended resident theatres, with over 16,000 subscribers to the current season and 165,000 projected total attendance, performances on four stages in the Seattle area, youth education programs serving over 36,000 young people annually, and a nationally recognized program that has enabled the development of over 45 new musicals."
The prolific producer, along with frequent collaborator Neil Meron, was behind such musical-driven projects as Smash, NBC’s live musicals, and the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.