Rocket Science, Green Gables, Route 66, Take Me America, Cuban and Redhead Sing in WA Festival

News   Rocket Science, Green Gables, Route 66, Take Me America, Cuban and Redhead Sing in WA Festival Village Theatre, the Seattle-area company devoted to giving voice to new musicals, presents six musicals in reading format Aug. 13-16 in its Village Originals' Ninth Annual Festival of New Musicals.

Presentations will take place at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah, WA. Writers and producers from across the world travel to be part of the development process of new musicals in this invite-only event. Since 2001, the Village Originals Festival has developed over 50 new musical and worked with over 100 authors.

This year's Festival of staged readings — fully-sung presentations, performed with script-in-hand — includes:

Rocket Science
Book by Patricia Cotter
Music by Stephen Weiner
Lyrics by Jason Rhyne
Based on the HBO film of the same name by Jeffrey Blitz

"St-st-step into the shoes of Hal Hefner, a high school junior burdened with a surplus of family chaos and crazy teachers — not to mention the debilitating stutter that only recently came to join the party. Set to an upbeat rock score by Stephen Weiner (Once Upon a Time in New Jersey), Hal navigates the frenzied halls of high school — from his first attempt at romance, to the simple yet overwhelming task of ordering a slice of p-p-pizza, to the even more daunting prospect of competing in the state debate contest — and manages to keep both his dignity and his humor intact. This wryly-comical new musical will take you back to those high school years as you watch Hal discover the importance of friendship, trust, and self-confidence."

The Cuban and the Redhead
By Robert Bartley and Danny Whitman

"Everybody loves Lucy…but what happened before Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz took Hollywood by storm? In this affecting new musical, watch as a young Cuban boy and a starry-eyed redhead from Jamestown set sail on a turbulent journey that leads them all the way to Hollywood — and into each other's arms. But life in Tinseltown, they quickly discover, isn't all it's cracked up to be. Struggling to keep their careers, egos, and marriage afloat, these two starlets are about to discover what it takes to make it in show business, and in life." The Cuban and the Redhead was recently featured in the NAMT Festival of New Musicals in New York, the Festival of New American Musicals in Los Angeles and in a presentation at Off Broadway's York Theatre.

Green Gables
By Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman
Based on "Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery

"Charming readers for over 100 years, this beloved tale rises to the musical theatre stage with a spellbinding score. The Cuthberts expected to adopt a boy, so imagine their surprise when a talkative and clever young girl steps off the train instead. Witness Anne's transformation into a confident young woman as she works her way into the hearts of everyone she meets — despite a knack for getting into trouble. Be captivated by this endearing coming of age story, as it transforms into a moving musical for all ages." Route 66
Book by Jerold Goldstein and William Squier
Lyrics by William Squier
Music by Fred Stark

"This upbeat country musical is a toe-tapping, foot-stomping journey about love and the American spirit. Take a breathtaking ride on Route 66, the iconic highway that is the backbone of this unexpected love story. A struggling journalist is given an assignment no one else would take that paired her up with a free-spirited photographer. The turn events forces her to look at life from a new angle. Their assignment: Route 66. Come along as this duo learns that success is about the road taken, relationships developed, and the people you meet along the way."

Take Me America
Book and Lyrics by Bill Nabel
Music by Bob Christianson

"When Gary took his first job out of college at Immigration and Naturalization Services, he had no idea how trying his new career would become. Take Me America is an honest, striking, and sometimes-comical new pop/rock musical set in the single workday of three immigration agents. As Gary and his co-workers weigh the fear and integrity of each individual seeking refuge in America, they are forced to face the complicated space between right and wrong. Join them as they take in the extraordinary (and often befuddled) stories of those seeking refuge in America and struggle with the power they have been granted over the fate of others." The project was a finalist for the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2009 Richard Rodgers Prize.

The Man Who Would Be King
Book and Lyrics by DJ Salisbury
Music by Neil Berg
Based on the novella by Rudyard Kipling

"Featuring a soaring score, this tumultuous musical breathes vibrant life into Kipling's celebrated novella. Two con men in search of the ultimate jackpot embark on an exotic quest as they devise a plan to conquer a native culture in colonial India. Originally focused only on treasure, both men are surprised to find that this particular adventure has much more in store, and much more at stake, than they had ever dreamed. Blinded by greed, power, and love, the two adventurers struggle to regain focus as they realize that the past can never be undone, and their futures are dissolving before their eyes." Salisbury and Berg (Grumpy Old Men) partnered on the Off-Broadway musical The Prince and the Pauper. Village Originals' The Man Who Would Be King will be directed by Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal).

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The Festival of New Musicals also offers attendees a first look at potential upcoming Village Theatre Mainstage shows. Past Festivals have included shows that go on to be seen on Village Theatre's Mainstage such as Stunt Girl, Million Dollar Quartet, Little Women, Girl of My Dreams, The Wedding Banquet, Once Upon a Time in New Jersey, as well as the upcoming 2009-10 season's Chasing Nicolette and The Gypsy King. Village Originals has supported shows such as the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical Next To Normal (formerly Feeling Electric), Million Dollar Quartet and The Ark, all of which have gone on to regional productions after getting a great start within the Village Originals program.

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Village Theatre's nationally recognized Village Originals program is dedicated to every aspect of new musical development: workshops, readings, and full productions.

Based in Issaquah, WA, with operations in Everett, Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. Producing entertaining quality productions for the entire family since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the region's best-attended Equity theatres, with over 18,000 subscribers and 170,000 projected total attendance each season.

Visit villagetheatre.org.

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