Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, which has hosted the pre-Broadway tryouts of several Tony-winning shows, has announced the musicals in development that will be showcased as part of its second annual NextFest: A Festival of New Musicals, running October 4-22.
Among the projects is a new musical from the writers of First Date and 17 Again, as well as the stage musical adaptation of the 1990 coming-of-age musical Pump Up the Volume, featuring lyrics by Jeff Thompson ([title of show]).
Each musical will receive a 29-hour reading culminating in a read and sing through of the material.
Here’s a look at the festival slate:
Havana Music Hall
Book: Carlos Murillo
Music and lyrics: Richard Kagan
“After Luis’ Cuban-exile father dies unexpectedly, a window to his past opens when he discovers an old flyer for a long-vanished Havana nightclub among left behind artifacts. Driven by a deep desire to connect with his Cuban roots, Luis embarks on a life-changing journey to Havana. He encounters the last living survivors of Havana Music Hall, the legendary nightclub that ignited Havana in the days before the revolution and is key to unlocking his own origin story. An epic, spectacular tale featuring a score that’s sure to make the audience shake their hips, Havana Music Hall crashes pre-Revolution Cuba up against the uncertain-yet-hopeful present, telling a universal tale of finding home.”
Book: Jerry Zucker
Music and lyrics: Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner
“The year is 1911. An auction is being held on the stage of the Paris Opera House. One of the items for sale is a music box with the figure of a mechanical monkey… Wait, no, sorry… that’s Phantom of the Opera. I always get them confused. Intermission! is more like the musical theater version of Airplane! It’s the story of two dim-witted brothers who make their way to Potku-Potku (a tiny monarchy located somewhere) after receiving an email from someone they don’t know claiming that money has been left to them by a relative they never even knew they had. Eventually (of course) they each fall in love, get caught up in a military coup, join a band of non-violent revolutionaries, and have to save the country. Don’t try to make sense of it; it’s not that kind of theater. Just tuck your brains under your seat and enjoy the show!”
The Long Game
Book and lyrics: Andrew Russell
Music and lyrics: Rich Gray
“The Long Game (formerly The Fourth Estate) is an unconventional new American musical that unpacks government secrets, questions American history, and celebrates the power of the press by imagining two female journalists and their controversial subjects on the same stage: Dorothy Kilgallen and Jack Ruby, and Laura Poitras and Edward Snowden.”
Pump Up the Volume
Book and lyrics Jeremy Desmon
Music: Jeff Thomson
“Pump Up The Volume centers on mild-mannered teenager Mark Hunter, who secretly moonlights as shock jock ‘Hard Harry’ on his FM pirate radio station. When Harry exposes corruption and discrimination in his local high school, he becomes a hero to his peers, and invokes the wrath of his principal and the authorities who try to silence him.”
Festival programming also includes a 10-minute musical project for teens, as well as a two-year Writers Group program that includes Cynthia L. West, Douglas Lyons, Ethan Pakchar, Reggie Jackson, Stephen Newby, Andrew Russell, Richard Andriessen, John Longenbaugh, Bruce Monroe, Brendan Healy, Orlando Morales, Keri Healey and Anne Eisendrath.
For further information visit 5thavenue.org.