New York Musical Theatre Festival Announces 2010 Next Link Projects

By Adam Hetrick
01 Jun 2010

Above Hells Kitchen, POPart: The Musical, Things As They Are and Jay Alan Zimmerman’s Incredibly Deaf Musical have been selected for the New York Musical Theatre Festival's Next Link Project this fall.



A panel of judges, including Donna Lynne Champlin, Ken Davenport, Kimberly Grigsby, Beverley MacKeen, Thomas Meehan, Jack Viertel and Scott Wittman, selected the 12 musicals that will be presented. NYMF will run Sept. 27-Oct. 17 in Manhattan.

The musicals presented in the Next Link Project benefit from the Next Link dramaturg team, as well as writer support resources, including industry networking and producer "matchmaking" events, and a $4,500 production subsidy.

The 2010 Next Link productions follow:

Above Hell’s Kitchen
Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Spottiswoode
"As his appetite for women threatens to consume him, a tortured rock musician wrestles with his inability to stay faithful during a series of gothic therapy sessions. Jonathan Spottiswoode and his cult band, Spottiswoode & His Enemies, bring a sexy expressionist twist to Don Giovanni that is at once comic, tragic and lyrical, and tinged with jazz, blues, rock, gospel, classical and punk. They say love is a game – so who can you blame for playing?"

Cheer Wars
Book and lyrics by Gordon Leary, music by Karlan Judd
"As the former captain and current coach of the New London Lady Leopard Varsity Cheer Squad, Doretha Bolingbroke will do anything to keep the cheer bloodline intact. Her daughter Halle is poised to become captain, but when Doretha’s old rival Nuella Percy returns from exile with her own cheerleading-machine daughter Charmain, the women must wage an epic battle for control of the squad and cheerdom itself. Inspired by Henry IV, Part 1 and the true story of Wanda Holloway."

Frog Kiss
Book and lyrics by Charles Leipart, music by Eric Schorr
Based on the Stephen Mitchell novella "The Frog Prince"
"A very scientific princess meets a frog she is determined to turn into a prince – with the assistance of a troupe of Celestial Tap-Dancing Taoist Masters. In this saucy 'n' swingin' new musical, will Clementine get the Prince of her dreams, or will she find herself in bed with just another horny toad? It's a bedtime story with a bawdy twist!"

The Great Unknown
Book by William Hauptman, music and lyrics by Jim Wann
"Spring, 1869: one-armed Civil War hero John Wesley Powell seeks to unite a torn nation with an unprecedented expedition through the Grand Canyon. Powell and his brother Walter, an Andersonville POW survivor, sail down the perilous Colorado River with a crew of war veterans, while his wife Emma Dean becomes ensnared in expansionist politics. What lies in the undiscovered land ahead? With a score incorporating bluegrass, country, folk, and environmental elements, The Great Unknown is an American musical adventure."

I Got Fired: A Semi-Autobiographical Sort-of-True Revenge Musical
Book, music and lyrics by Keith Varney
"Aspiring writer Keith has been a temp in a wacky office's soul-crushing cubicle for six years. When an evil nemesis emerges to squash his coffee-stained hopes and dreams, Keith makes a decision that causes him to get summarily fired… with security escorts and everything! Naturally, he retaliates by writing a musical. Based on a true-ish story. Some names have been changed to protect the guilty."

Jay Alan Zimmerman's Incredibly Deaf Musical
Book, music and lyrics by Jay Alan Zimmerman
"When the noisy buzz of progressive deafness steals away his songs, Jay becomes one pissed-off composer. As Jay struggles to hold onto the disappearing notes, can his wife and son get him to strive for something other than fame or death? A wild pop-rock-rap-dance-classical-disco-experimental-sign language-multimedia mash-up, Jay Alan Zimmerman's Incredibly Deaf Musical is the heartwarming, booty- shaking autobiography of a man trying everything he can to keep the music flying."

The Kid Who Would Be Pope
Book, music and lyrics by Tom Megan and Jack Megan
"Billy's the new kid at Our Lady Of Perpetual Motion and he has a lot to learn about parochial school. When he meets his drama teacher Sister Katherine, a beguiling novice who jogs and sings like Julie Andrews, he falls hopelessly in love, resolving to become Pope and change the rules of the church so that they can one day marry. A charming musical about first loves, youthful obsession, and the search for miracles."

The Most Ridiculous Thing You Ever Hoid
Book by Andy Seiler, Jim Beckerman and Fred Wemyss, lyrics by Jim Beckerman and Andy Seiler, music by Jim Beckerman
Based on the "Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel" radio series by Nat Perrin, Arthur Sheekman, George Oppenheimer and Tom McKnight.
"Who can forget Groucho, Chico and Harpo, those three mirth-makers of the silver screen? No one, that's who! But when the Marx Brothers are let loose in an unsuspecting radio studio, the airwaves will never be safe for detergent commercials again! Featuring all new songs and bursting with mayhem, it’s a laugh-filled, tune-filled, lunacy-filled extravaganza!"

POPart: The Musical
Book and lyrics by Daryl Lisa Fazio, music by Aaron McAllister
"When 18-year old klutzy outcast, Kitty Katz, leaves her suburban gated community for the Ghetto Art School, she finds art’s underbelly to be both seamy and spectacular. With her new friends – an ultra-cool street artist and a kind-hearted boy-genius – Kitty forges through the school’s cutthroat and preposterous melée, yearning to be a true artist. Will she find fame? The ghost of Willem de Kooning? Or something real?"

The Tenth Floor
Book by Sara Cooper, music and lyrics by J. Sebastian Fabal
"Locked inside the Tenth Floor, the Miami-Dade Correctional Facility’s juvenile division, 16-year-old Victor Alvarez escapes into fantasy to escape the harsh realities of prison and his home life. Fueled by a contemporary rock, hip hop, and salsa-influenced score, this high-energy musical follows Victor as he struggles to come to terms with both the truth of his present and the ramifications of his past – or end up just another ruined kid."

Tess, a new rock opera
Book, music and lyrics by Annie Pasqua. Additional book, music and lyrics by Jenna Pasqua
Based on "Tess of the d’Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy
"Tess's spirited and innocent life unravels when her impoverished family's desperate need to connect to a once mighty bloodline results in an act of violence and shame. Desired by two men, forsaken by Victorian society, and burdened by secrets and duty, Thomas Hardy's dark heroine struggles to remain pure in a stained world as she is pulled towards her ultimate fate."

Things As They Are
Book and lyrics by John Dietrich, music by Jonathan Comisar
"This sweeping portrait of Dorothea Lange examines an artist's journey as complex as the history captured in her work. Best known as the photographer behind the iconic Depression Era image 'Migrant Mother,' Dorothea fights for the lives of the people she photographs, while constantly torn between the demanding roles of wife, mother, and artist. A woman ahead of her time, living during a tumultuous period in American history, will her relentless devotion to her subjects undermine all hope of keeping her world in balance?"

The three-week festival features musicals from around the world, culled from invitations and an open-submission process. Numerous Broadway veterans lend their talents to the promising new works, many of which have found commercial life on Broadway, Off-Broadway and regionally.

NYMF success stories include Next to Normal, [title of show], Altar Boyz, Yank!, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, The Big Voice: God or Merman, Captain Louie, Gutenberg! The Musical, Meet John Doe, Nerds:// A Musical Software Satire and Shout! The Mod Musical.

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