NAMT Festival to Showcase Musicals by David Javerbaum, Adam Gwon, Joe Iconis and Peter Mills

By Adam Hetrick
20 Jul 2011

Joe Iconis
Joe Iconis
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Adam Gwon-Julia Jordan musical Bernice Bobs Her Hair, Joe Iconis' Bloodsong of Love and Watt!?, a new musical from Tony-nominated Cry-Baby co-author David Javerbaum and Striking 12 co-writer Brendan Milburn, have been announced as part of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals.

The 23rd annual festival showcases 45-minute selections from eight musicals to an audience of industry professionals from across the country. It will take place Oct. 27-28 at New World Stages.

Here's a look at the selected works:

Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Book by Julia Jordan, music by Adam Gwon, lyrics by Jordan and Gwon
"Bernice Bobs Her Hair is based on the classic short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald as well as letters he wrote to his sister. It is a story of 'the shifting, semi-cruel world of adolescence' set in a time of transformation for American women. Young men and women dance and flirt and engage in character assassination in the time honored pursuit of romance and status. The story is retold with an eye to the future which Fitzgerald anticipates but could not have predicted."



Bloodsong of Love
Book, music and lyrics by Joe Iconis
"Bloodsong of Love is a rock 'n' roll musical theater interpretation of the Spaghetti Western film genre. It follows the story of a wandering guitarist known only as The Musician who is on a journey to reclaim his bride from the evil clutches of Lo Cocodrilo. The Musician navigates his way through a bizarre and hyper-stylized world of maimed prostitutes, one-eyed bartenders, shoot ‘em ups, midnight hallucinations, and lots and lots of blood."

Watt?!?
Book and lyrics by David Javerbaum
Music by Brendan Milburn
"Watt?!? is a balls-out rock musical telling the heroic true story of James Watt, Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior, who opened millions of acres of federal land for exploitation, banned the Beach Boys from July 4th festivities, and was ultimately fired for referring to a five-person panel as 'a black, two Jews, a woman and a cripple.'"

Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Dani Girl
Music by Michael Kooman
Book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond
"Dani Girl is the inspiring and humorous story of a young girl's battle with a life-threatening disease. Far from sitting back and accepting her condition, Dani transforms her struggle into a fantastical adventure. Together with her teddy bear, imaginary guardian angel, and movie-obsessed hospital roommate, she battles a personified Cancer across the realms of fantasy and reality as she attempts to get her beloved hair back. Told from a child's perspective, this provocative musical explores the universal themes of life in the face of death, hope in the face of despair, and the indomitable power of imagination."

The Dogs of Pripyat
Music by Aron Accurso, lyrics by Jill Abramovitz
Book by Abramovitz and Leah Napolin, based on the play by Napolin
"USSR, 1986. As all humans are evacuated from Chernobyl, their pets are left behind to fend for themselves. This is the story of those animals. Boychik is a gentle mutt who pines for his masters’ return. But when a corrupt Rottweiler takes control, Boychik learns how to hunt, kill and ultimately form a new kind of family. Based on true events, The Dogs of Pripyat asks what it means to be a family, a friend, and, ultimately, what it means to be a dog in our increasingly frightening post-Katrina, post-Fukushima world. It's a story about hope and survival when they seem least possible."

Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge
Music and lyrics by Peter Mills
Book by Mills and Cara Reichel
Adapted from J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World
"A pitch-dark comedy with the kick of moonshine, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge transplants J.M. Synge's classic The Playboy of the Western World to 1930s Appalachia. Bluegrass music and backwoods mayhem abound in this coming-of-age story about a slapdash murder, a whirlwind romance, and a most unlikely hero."

notes to MariAnne
By David Rossmer and Dan Lipton
"Sometimes we leave someone we love. At 12 years old, Johnny ran away from home, leaving behind his sister MariAnne -- a regret he can't shake. That was in 1952. Ten years later, the estranged pair are swept into a series of extraordinary events that will bring them to a pivotal reunion. The set is sparse yet the story stretches from Brooklyn to Kansas. The cross-country journey rides a wave of American pop music, from early '60s rock to '30s saloon songs to contemporary beats and melody. A modern fairy tale, notes to MariAnne explores the consequences of leaving those we love and finding new hope in the most unexpected places."

Pregnancy Pact
Book and lyrics by Gordon Leary
Music by Julia Meinwald
"Pregnancy Pact is a pop-rock musical inspired by the 2008 Time magazine article about a group of teens who made a pact to become single mothers together. 15-year-old Maddie is devoted to her three best friends and they are to her. So when Brynn gets pregnant, the friends all plan to have children, raising them together in a dream of a perfect life. Their pact grows as other girls find out and want in. The bubble finally bursts when their secret is revealed, leaving each of the girls to face the hard realities of love, responsibility and growing up."

"We have an especially brave and exciting festival this year," NAMT new works director and festival producing director Branden Huldeen said in a statement. "Following NAMT's recent commitment to providing leadership in the field, this group of shows will excite our members with the finest new musical work available, both pushing the art form forward and inspiring the field. From rock to bluegrass, tales of teen pregnancy to the importance of hair, guitar wielding outlaws to former Secretary of Interior James Watt, it is the most diverse and dynamic festival we have produced."

Musicals previously presented in NAMT's Festival of New Musicals include Vanities, Ordinary Days, Dangerous Beauty, Emma, The Gypsy King, The Story of My Life, Tinyard Hill, The Drowsy Chaperone, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Children of Eden, I Love You Because, Songs for A New World, Striking 12, Summer of '42, Ace, Children of Eden, Harold and Maude, Honk! and Meet John Doe.

For more information visit NAMT.