Tony Award-nominee Sarah Stiles (Hand to God), Jake Epstein (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin), Emily Padgett (Side Show), Zell Steele Morrow (Fun Home) and Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton) are among the star-studded casts.
The musicals are presented as 45-minute staged readings over two days at New World Stages. Other Broadway actors included in the showcases are Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!), Emily Skeggs (Fun Home), Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening) and Margo Seibert (Rocky).
The line-up features a new musical by Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik, a show helmed by Tony nominee Sam Buntrock (Sunday in the Park with George) and Chicago's sold-out production of Othello: The Remix, a hip-hop adaptation of the Shakespearean classic.
In the festival's history, more than 85 percent of the musicals presented have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions and tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past shows include The Drowsy Chaperone, It Shoulda Been You, Striking 12, Ordinary Days and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among others.
NAMT also presents the Songwriters Showcase, an informal introduction to new musicals currently in development and hosted by Tony winner Victoria Clark, who interviews each creative team about their show. Following the interview, two songs from the project are performed by professional Broadway actors. The Songwriters Showcase is followed by the Sonwriters Cabaret Oct. 16, a program that gives songwriters the opportunity to highlight selections from their recent and in-progress shows in the intimate setting of the Green Room Lounge.
The updated NAMT line-up is outlined below:
Costs of Living with book, music and lyrics by Timothy Huang
Director: Marlo Hunter
Music Director: Rich Silverstein
Cast: Eric Badique, Jenni Barber, Kiet Cao, Briana Carlson-Goodman, Daniel J. Edwards, Ali Ewoldt, Raymond J. Lee, Kelvin Moon Loh and Marrick Smith.
Based on a true story, Costs of Living chronicles the lives of two immigrant cab drivers who come to New York for the American dream but instead find a nightmare scenario. Set to a rock and pop theatre score, featuring a predominantly Asian-American ensemble.
Imagine Harry with music and lyrics by Will Van Dyke, book and lyrics by Jeff Talbott
Director: Brandon Ivie
Music Director: Ian Weinberger
Cast: Ben Crawford, Brad Oscar, Zell Steele Morrow, William Parry, Preston Sadleir, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Taylor Trensch and Stephanie Umoh.
When Tucker was 8, Harry was his imaginary friend. Now Tucker’s grown up, and Harry has left the biz—two lost guys trying to figure out the little things. Like life. Can they help each other before it’s too late? Imagine Harry is a musical for grown-ups about the very tricky business of growing up.
The Last Queen of Canaan with a book by Harrison David Rivers, lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik, music by Jacob Yandura.
Director: Peter Rothstein
Music Director: Matt Gallagher
Cast: Tina Fabrique, Chasten Harmon, Kenita Miller, Jon-Michael Reese, Margo Seibert, Q. Smith and Melvin Tunstall.
Set in 1937 rural Virginia, The Last Queen of Canaan follows Cora Skye, an uncompromising landowner, and Ginny, her restless granddaughter. When Kay, a Northern do-gooder, descends on the property to collect Cora’s story for the WPA, she unwittingly instigates a confrontation that will leave all three women forever changed.
Legendale with music by Andrea Daly, book and lyrics by Jeff Bienstock, story by Bienstock and Daly.
Director: John Simpkins
Music Director: Vadim Feichtner
Cast: Gilbert L. Bailey, II, Jake Epstein, James Monroe Iglehart, Lauren Marcus, Emily Padgett, George Salazar, Ryan Vona, Jason SweetTooth Williams.
Andy’s favorite way to escape his humdrum life is an online game full of magic and monsters called “Legendale.” When a once-in-a-lifetime tournament is announced, Andy dreams of victory, but finds himself stuck competing as a cow maiden––the lowliest character in the game. He curses his fate, until the fantasy becomes real and Andy and his avatar must both discover their inner warrior. An original, contemporary musical comedy with a pop-infused score, Legendale blends romance, adventure and virtual reality.
lift, with book and lyrics by Daryl Lisa Fazio, music by Aaron McAllister
Director: Schele Williams
Music Director: Madeline Smith
Cast: Rachel de Benedet, Louisa Flaningam, Jonah Halperin, Adam Monley, Joel Perez, Alexandra Socha, Lauren Worsham.
In a blue collar Ohio town, 8-year-old Ethan falls through the ice and is miraculously saved with no known hero. When the boy, who not long ago lost his dad, insists it was a “birdman,” his family grapples with faith and hope as the community watches the mystery unfold.
Noir with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow
Director: Chloe Treat with Rachel Chavkin
Music Director: Jason Hart
Cast: Lilli Cooper, Daniel Everidge, Kevin Mambo, John Schiappa, Emily Skeggs, Theo Stockman, Adrienne Warren, with Foley Artist Jeremy Bloom.
A heartbroken man never leaves his apartment, consoled only by the music on the radio. Through the thin walls, he hears almost every word of the couple next door—and before long, his eavesdropping becomes an obsession. Soon he finds himself drawn into a web of lust, lies, deceit and danger. Noir is a lush and mysterious new musical inspired by radio plays and classic film noir.
On the Eve with music and lyrics by Shawn Magill & Seth Magill, book by Michael Federico, story by Michael Federico, Shawn Magill and Seth Magill
Director: Sam Buntrock
Cast: George Abud, Eric Anderson, Eddie Cooper, Will Connolly, Greg Hildreth, Katie Lee Hill, Brynn O’Malley, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Sarah Stiles and Ximone Rose.
As bombs explode outside, a theatre company staves off impending apocalyptic doom by performing a sci-fi musical about Marie Antoinette’s first time-traveling hot air balloon. As the dictatorial Talking Man turns the story into a celebration of stereotypes, the company fights back. Soon the play bleeds into reality, reviving hope for survival.
Othello: The Remix with a book, music and lyrics by The Q Brothers (GQ and JQ), developed with Rick Boynton
Director: Brian Hill
Cast: GQ (The Bomb-itty of Errors), JQ (The Bomb-itty of Errors), Postell Pringle (A Free Man of Color), Jackson Doran (A Q Brothers' Christmas Carol).
Following an acclaimed international tour and triumphant homecoming to sold-out audiences in Chicago, this fresh urban take on Shakespeare’s tragedy is spun out and lyrically rewritten over original beats by The Q Brothers—America’s leading re-interpreters of Shakespeare through hip-hop. Othello: The Remix delivers an intense, high energy spin like no other.
The public can receive passes to the festival through a donation to NAMT. There is also a day-of stand-by line for the general public for free admission, based on availability.