Tony Winner Hollmann's Wild Goat Musical Among Four Shows in Kansas City Fest

News   Tony Winner Hollmann's Wild Goat Musical Among Four Shows in Kansas City Fest
 
Four new musicals that have yet to make a wide splash will test the waters in front of audiences in Kansas City, MO, this June.

Theater League, Inc., the Kansas City-based national musical theatre presentation and production company in conjunction with Johnson County Community College, has named four titles to be presented in the newly renamed Kansas City Festival of New Musicals.

A new work by Urinetown composer Mark Hollmann, a 2002 Tony Award winner for Best Score, is on the slate.

Following last year's "Kansas City Crossroads Musical Theater Festival," which featured seven new works, Theater League will sponsor the second annual festival this summer. The freshly titled Kansas City Festival of New Musicals will take place at the Polsky and Black Box Theaters at the Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College June 9-10.

President and CEO Mark Edelman stated, "We were thrilled with Kansas City's response to last year's inaugural festival."

The change of venue for this year's festival offers audiences the chance to attend the festival in one place. "The Cultural Education Center at Johnson County Community College should serve the festival even better than the far-flung theatres we used last year — it's all under one roof and much closer to where most of our season members live. And the parking is easier, too."

Following a national call for submissions, the four new musical theatre pieces selected for staged readings for the festival are:

  • The return of Charles Leipart (last year's Frog Kiss and Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class) with his new work, Showgirl of 52nd Street, with music by John Kroner. In it, "Billie Shay, a panhandling baglady living on a bench in the public park at East 52nd Street, has a past that no one would imagine. In vivid memories, Billie confronts her younger self over the life choices she's made. Together they bring alive the glamour and betrayals of a lost career in the 1950s New York nightclub world and the heyday of Hollywood musicals."
  • Wild Goat by Urinetown composer Mark Hollmann, with a book by Jack Helbig, inspired by Menander's Dyskolos. "The small farming village of Phyle, on the outskirts of Athens, is in the grip of a terrible drought. Only Clemnon, the town's grouchiest, miserly resident, owns the only working well and charges ridiculous prices for water. His nemesis, Xanthippe, sets out to free the town from Clemnon's stronghold by offering a sacrifice to the gods. When Clemnon's daughter and Xanthippe's son fall in love, their forbidden romance is put through trials until half the cast find themselves at the bottom of Clemnon's well. This retelling of Menander's Dyskolos is refreshingly unique with a contemporary and creative score."
  • I Come for Love, "a musical tribute to the sci-fi films of the 1950s," by Terrence Atkins and Jeffrey Lyle Segal. "The year is 1947 and Scoop O'Reilly, a struggling newspaper reporter, needs a story. When strange lights are spotted in the skies over Roswell, NM, Scoop is sent to investigate. Rather than the big story he hoped for, he meets a town full of colorful characters including the beautiful and emotionally available, Aileen. She may be just the 'scoop' he is hoping for — in more ways than one. With a rollicking score, I Come for Love is an engaging romantic musical comedy."
  • Composer Gary Schocker and writer/lyricist Barbara Campbell's Far From the Madding Crowd, based on the novel by Thomas Hardy. "Bathsheba Everdene is an independent woman charged with running a family farm in the countryside of Wessex, England. Through her position, she meets three suitors: the shepherd Gabriel Oak, Farmer Boldwood, and Sergeant Troy. She follows her passion and marries Troy, but finds throughout the course of her life that his amorous ways were not merely reserved for her. After Troy's disappearance and a whirlwind of adventure, Bathsheba realizes who her match always was." Tickets for the Kansas City Festival of New Musicals are available now through the Carlsen Center Box Office at (913) 469-8500. Tickets are $16 for individuals and $11 for Theater League subscribers.

    Further information will soon be posted at www.theaterleague.com.

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