Ring Bells, Sing Songs: NAMT Unveils Titles and Authors for 2007 Musicals Fest

News   Ring Bells, Sing Songs: NAMT Unveils Titles and Authors for 2007 Musicals Fest
 
The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has announced the selections for its 19th Annual Festival of New Musicals to be held at New World Stages in Manhattan Oct. 7-8.
Writing Arthur author, David Austin.
Writing Arthur author, David Austin.

At NAMT's Festival of New Musicals, theatre producers from across the world will come to Manhattan for an industry-only event to discover eight new musicals in staged reading presentations over two days. It's considered one of the major market places for new musicals, a bazaar where writers can meet producers and talk about future life for projects. The titles are sponsored by NAMT members theatres/producers, but could be snagged any interested party.

Since 1989 the festival has presented over 200 musicals and 300 writers. According to NAMT, 75 percent of these shows have found subsequent productions, tours and licensing agreements as a direct result of the festival.

Past festival presentations have included subsequent Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie; Off-Broadway's I Love You Because, Songs for A New World, Striking 12 and Summer of '42; and regionally-seen works such as Ace, Children Of Eden, Harold and Maude, Honk! and Meet John Doe.

The selections for the 2007 Festival of New Musicals are:

  • The Break Up Notebook: The Lesbian Musical, music and lyrics by Lori Scarlett, book by Patricia Cotter. The show "examines a year in the life of the recently dumped Helen Hill. With her family of friends by her side she encounters: two-stepping 12-steppers, Paxil-popping lawyers, dental dams, grrrl bands, hot girl on girl action, and maybe…just maybe… the girl of her dreams."
  • Casey at the Bat, music by Gordon Goodwin, book and lyrics by Tom Child. Based on the classic poem, and the book "Casey On The Loose" by acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, "Casey comes to bat for Mudville, U.S.A. in a big-hearted, small-town tale of humor, love, greed and the competitive spirit to learn that he can be a hero even when he strikes out."
  • The Chocolate Tree, music by Marshall Pailet, lyrics by A.D. Penedo, book by Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penedo. "A remarkable young girl stricken with a grave illness uses her rich fantasy world and indomitable spirit to bring the impossible to life, which takes her family and the audience on a powerful, transforming journey."
  • The Gypsy King, music and lyrics by Randy Rogel, book by Randy Rogel and Kirby Ward. "Two penniless entertainers stumble into a small town and land smack dab in the middle of a plot to assassinate the King. When it's discovered that one of them looks exactly like the doomed monarch, things get sticky."
  • Kingdom, music by Ian Williams, book and lyrics by Aaron Jafferis. Inspired by the true stories of current and former Latin Kings, Kingdom "chronicles the journey of two kids from the barrio who join the Kings in search of power and respect. When tragedy strikes, a power struggle tears the two friends apart — with devastating results."
  • The Story of My Life, music and lyrics by Neil Bartram, book by Brian Hill. "A two-character musical about Thomas, a writer, and Alvin — lifelong friends, until life sent them in different directions. When suddenly faced with the task of writing Alvin's eulogy, Thomas digs through the cluttered collection of stories in his mind — with Alvin as his guide — to find a way to celebrate his friend's life and understand his untimely death."
  • Tinyard Hill, music by Mark Allen, book and lyrics by Thomas M. Newman. "In South Georgia, 1964, a blacksmith and his son are desperate to keep the family's 200-year-old shop from becoming another 'pioneer' tourist joke. But as the Vietnam Conflict escalates and a summer romance blossoms, the world grows too large to ignore in this moving story about big love and small-town dreams."
  • Writing Arthur, book, music and lyrics by David Austin. "Arthur Danby has finally found the perfect woman. Problem is, she's a fictional character in his novel. When a very real woman steps into his life, his worlds collide. Will Arthur fall deeper into the world he's created or allow life to write itself?" The Festival of New Musicals is funded by contributions to the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, a not-for-profit organization, and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Admission to the staged readings in the festival is by invitation only and closed to the general public.

    For more information, visit www.namt.org.

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    Founded in 1985 and based in New York City, The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. NAMT membership includes not-for-profit and commercial theatres, presenting houses, universities, and independent producers.

    Located throughout 33 states and six countries, the 150 member organizations "share a commitment to nurture the creation, production, and recognition of new musicals and classics." Last season, NAMT members cumulatively staged over 23,000 performances attended by over 17 million people and reached revenues over $510 million.

    NAMT's executive director is Kathy Evans.

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    Of the eight festival shows presented in 2006, seven have secured developmental or full productions — The Boys Are Coming Home (2008 season at Chicago's Goodman Theatre); Dangerous Beauty (a coming developmental production at Northwestern University's American Music Theatre Project spring 2008); Emma (a full production at TheatreWorks in California in August 2007); Julian Po (Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in summer 2007); Piece (received a developmental reading at The Lark Play Development Center in winter 2006 and will be further developed at The Village Theatre in Washington state); Sunfish (a roundtable at The Lark Play Development Center in winter 2006); Vanities (a commercial option).

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