Running Aug. 14-17, the Festival of New Musicals will present a sneak peak at six developing works over one weekend. The Issaquah, WA, theatre company encourages new works through its year-round Village Originals series as well as the annual Festival of New Musicals. Festival presentations are open only to Village Originals members.
The festival will kick off with the David Friedman (music) and Peter Kellogg (book and lyrics) musical Chasing Nicolette Aug. 14. "In the year 1224, Aucassin, a young French lord, and Nicolette, a slave girl who is the long-lost Carthaginian princess, fall in love, despite the vast difference in their cultural and social statuses." Nicolette was previously seen in a run at the Westport Country Playhouse.
Killala Bay, penned by Chris Burgess (book and lyrics) and Denise Wright (music), will be presented Aug. 15. "American Grace O'Connor is searching for her roots in the town of her ancestors. She is surprised when she also finds friendship, love, and a home as she joins Mulcahy, a local artist, and the townspeople in exposing the corruption of a local mining company and rallies her new friends to take control of their town under the nose of the greedy mayor."
A stage adaptation of Dennis The Menace, by Ernie Chambers (book), Kevin Murphy (lyrics), David Manning and Nathan Wang (music), takes to the stage Aug. 16. The family-friendly musical "begins when the Mitchell family, including their rambunctious, blonde-haired, overall-wearing son Dennis, moves from the city to a small, quiet town—and things certainly don't stay quiet for long."
Also set for presentation on Aug. 16 is The Alchemists, created by the husband and wife team of Peter Mills (book, music and lyrics) and Cara Reichel (book). "In early 19th century England, childhood friends Stanley, Nicholas, Nathanial, Marcus, and Anne parted ways as they became adults. When Stanley and Anne announce their engagement, the four young men must confront their past and the tangled relationships among themselves and Anne, the woman who has been their muse, friend, sister, and beloved." The final two offerings on Aug. 17, The Gypsy King and The Yellow Wood, will also be presented as part of the National Alliance of Musical Theatre's 2008 Festival of New Musicals in New York later this fall.
First up is The Gypsy King, written by Randy Rogel (book, music and lyrics), and created and conceived by Kirby Ward and Randy Rogel. "Leo and Frederick, a father-son acting duo, are seriously down on their luck, and Frederick wishes only for a place to belong. But when he falls for a princess disguised as a peasant girl, and is then captured by the royal guard, Frederick very quickly gets a lot more than he bargained for."
Michelle Elliott (book and lyrics) and Danny Larsen (music and lyrics) will offer their Richard Rogers Award-winning musical The Yellow Wood. The Robert Frost poem inspired the musical that "gives us a glimpse into the world of Adam Davies, a high-school student with Attention Deficit Disorder who desires nothing more than to lead a 'normal' life. Faced with the constant pressure of friends, parents, a persistently present sister, and the need to memorize a poem by seventh period, Adam refuses to take his medication, believing that he must be able to go without it in order to fit in."
Previous musicals presented as part of the Village Theatre's Festival of New Musicals include Iron Curtain, The Last Starfighter, Saint Heaven and Stunt Girl. Both Saint Heaven and Stunt Girl will be presented as part of the 2008-2009 Village season.
The Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals is presented at First Stage, located at 120 Front Street North in Issaquah, WA.
For further information visit www.villagetheatre.org.