The month-long festival nurtures New England musical theatre writers through a process of rehearsals, feedback and rewrites. The festival culminates in staged readings, which are open to the public. This year’s presentations will be held June 13 and 14 at the North Shore Music Theatre’s Studio One in Beverly, MA and June 27 and 29 at Suffolk University’s C. Walsh Theatre in Boston. In a statement, Michael Wartofsky, the Festival’s managing producer, said, “This festival offers the public a rare look into how a work for the musical stage is born . . . [bringing] together artist and audience at a crucial moment as a piece is taking shape. In a very real way, our audiences participate in the creative process by helping the artists understand their own work.”
This year’s works in development include The Lady from Maxim’s, based on Georges Feydeau’s French farce and featuring book and lyrics by Tim Banker and music and additional lyrics by David Reiffel; Public Domain — with book, music and lyrics by Rachel Peters — which examines “our tangled wires of communication”; and the romantic comedy A Time to Be Born, based on Dawn Powell’s novel of the same name. The latter features book and lyrics by Tajlei Levis and music by John Mercurio.
Guest artist Ricky Ian Gordon will take part in two special events. A free question-and-answer session with the composer will be held June 28 at noon at Suffolk University’s C. Walsh Theatre, and on June 28 (7 PM), that theatre will present An Evening with Ricky Ian Gordon, which will feature the composer performing selections from his repertoire. A gala reception, also open to the public, will follow Gordon’s 7 PM concert.
Ricky Ian Gordon’s My Life with Albertine was recently presented at Playwrights Horizons. His other works include Dream True, States of Independence, Stonewall/Night Variations, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Only Heaven, Autumn Valentine, Sweet Song and Morning Star. His songs have been recorded by such artists as Betty Buckley, Audra McDonald and Dawn Upshaw.
For more information about the Birth of a Musical events, call the North Shore Music Theatre at (978) 232-7200 or visit www.nsmt.org. A pass to all the events is available for $35.