A weeklong showcase of live music, staged readings, panels and interactive technology, the "Peekaboo Festivals" will take over Columbus Circle April 2-April 8. The festival was devised and created by Ben Strouse, son of Broadway composer Charles Strouse.
Presented, noon to midnight over seven days, in cooperation with the City of NY Dept. Of Cultural Affairs, the event will showcase new songwriters and playwrights. Venues for the 60 musical acts and 8 plays/musicals will include the Mark Goodson Theatre, the City Gallery and Gauguin Lounge.
The idea of Festivals is to "allow music and theatre industry representatives to evaluate new talent in a comfortable, convenient atmosphere and to create common ground among a variety of music and theatre genres."
The eight plays/musicals chosen for the Fest -- each to receive three stagings -- are:
With And Without by Jeffrey Sweet (April 3-8)
Dementia Americana by Cheryl L. Davis (April 2-7)
Insomnia (one-act) by Maureen Fitzgerald (April 2-6)
The Exact Center Of The Universe by Joan Vail Thorne (April 6-8)
The Long Road Home by Barry Harmon & Kathy Sommer (April 2-8).
Me And Caesar Lee by I. B. Daniels & Pat Holley (April 2-7)
Gina's Parole by Corinne Aquilinia (April 3-8)
Mama's Pearls by Steve Ridgeway (April 3-7)
Sweet is the author of The Value Of Names and American Enterprise. Harmon is the author of Romance/Romance and Olympus On My Mind.
Panels will also be held on "The Big Business Of Broadway" (April 2), "Composer/Author/Lyricist Collaborations" (April 3), "Multimedia And Live Performances" (April 4), "Changing Roles Of Music & Theatre Membership Organizations" (April 5), "Marketing Theatre in The Information Age" (April 6), "Gender Perceptions: Shaping Theatre & Culture" (April 7) and "The Direction Of Musical Theatre" (April 8). Panelists expected include Stephen Schwartz (Godspell), Charles Strouse (Applause).
According to Peekaboo's website (http://www.peekaboofestivals.com), 1998 will introduce two more festivals featuring new works, and by the year 2000, Peekaboo, Inc. plans to establish a 24-hour, 21st Century music and theatre destination point in New York City. Two 499-seat theatres and five performance venues are planned.
For festival passes ($50), call TicketMaster (212) 307-7171. A complete schedule of events will be available as of Feb. 15; day passes will be available as of March 1.
--By David Lefkowitz