Composer Andrew Gerle and lyricist-librettist Maryrose Wood penned the original show, about "love, family, art and what it really takes to get into Princeton." In the show, a tormented young novelist named Edmund tutors rich kids with bad grades and anxious parents. Sweetie Finley, a pierced-nose teen with a bad attitude, becomes his muse.
The show was first developed at the O'Neill Music Theater Conference. A Rodgers-funded staged reading was presented by Premieres, Inc., and the Rodgers-supported studio production was staged at the York Theatre Company.
The 2004 Rodgers winners for Staged Readings were To Paint the Earth and Unlocked.
To Paint the Earth has book and lyrics by Daniel Frederick Levin and music by Jonathan Portera. The show offers a fictionalized account of the life of the Warsaw Ghetto through the eyes of a young painter, Chaim, and those around him.
Unlocked, with book and lyrics by Sam Carner and music by Derek Gregor, "is based on a mock-epic poem by Alexander Pope," set in 18th-century England." It tells the story of Belinda, "a young, beautiful an vacuous lady adored by all the gentlemen of the court." The three winning musicals will be performed later this year in New York City, in nonprofit theatres.
The Richard Rodgers Awards were endowed by the famed composer and are administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Winners were announced Feb. 12.