The Village Theatre, which initially developed the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal, presents the festival that runs through Aug. 14. Steve Tomkins is artistic director.
The festival offers five invitation-only, script-in-hand musical readings, as well as a fully staged, world-premiere production of Danny Larsen and Michelle Elliott's Cloaked. Read the Playbill.com story about Cloaked here.
Here's a look at the 2011 Festival of New Musicals presentations:
Book and lyrics by Nathan Christensen
Music by Scott Murphy
Based on the novel by Lois Lowry
"This stirring new musical, based on Lois Lowry’s much-loved novel, The Giver, reveals a glimpse of a colorless world without pain, sickness, or conflict, in which human contact is discouraged and love is a word neither understood nor spoken. Amidst robotically content inhabitants, a boy emerges with the capacity to see and feel much more than his society allows. Accompanied by haunting melodies and poetically layered vocals, his struggle to reconcile his new found emotions with a world that ignores them reminds us that maybe life is only real when it's raw."
Sundays at Tiffany's
Book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo
Music by Fred Thaler
"Step into the life of nine-year-old Jane, where her only escape from the shadow of her extravagant and successful mother is her not-so-imaginary friend, Michael. Despite Michael’s early attempt to give Jane a healthy childhood, he finds her 20 years later still struggling against her mother’s manipulative grasp, and drowning in the false promises of a fair-weather boyfriend. With fast-paced Manhattan as its backdrop and a cheeky big band score leading the way, this new musical tells a tale of friendship, fidelity, and showbiz, all the while reminding us that true love has the power to shock your senses and transform your soul." Hello! My Baby
Book and new lyrics by Cheri Steinkellner
New music and arrangements by Georgia Stitt
With songs by Berlin, Gershwin, Kern, Cohan and others
"Get ready to tap your toes and snap your fingers to a catchy ragtime score as this new musical takes you on a whirlwind ride through the classic American songbook. Follow Nelly and Mickey down the tenement lined streets of the lower east side, and into a world where neighbors are nosy, making rent is a struggle, and music is the business to be in! From cross-dressing to fleeing the local gangster, they find that talent takes a backseat to a little luck, a little pluck, and a lot of heart."
By Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt
"Long before Joan Jett, Lizzie Borden was the ultimate axe wielding rebel girl, who garnered fame, fortune, and two dead parents, all without a scratch on her criminal record. In this gripping new musical, a powerfully passionate rock score leads us deep into the darkness of the Borden house and gives us a glimpse of the silent suffering endured by its female residents. Though the tale of Lizzie’s dastardly deed is over a hundred years old, this production sheds light on a new angle, one that leaves us amazed by the limits of a desperate young woman with the strength to slaughter and the guile to get away with it."
Book by Christy Hall
Lyrics by Jordan Mann
Music by Jeff Thomson
"With love, loss, and 34 years behind them, two childhood buddies embark on a perilous adventure that will test their strength and stamina, but most of all their friendship. As they set out to hike the entire 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail, Mike and Seth find that Mother Nature isn’t the only woman between them and their future. With enchanting melodies and inspiring lyrics, this new musical wrestles with the concept of the elusive American Dream, but leaves us certain that time, love, and nature will never pay attention to your plans."