Billy Porter Stars in Funkentine Rapture at NAMT, Sept 25-26
By Matt Windman
23 Sep 2005
Photo by Aubrey Reuben
The soaring '70s, platform shoes, and skyhigh afros will return to New York next week when The Funkentine Rapture premieres at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals, September 25-26.
Directed by Lee Summers (author, From My Hometown), the reading will star Billy Porter (Ghetto Superstar) and Marva Hicks (Broadway Inspirational Voices). Music and lyrics are by Lee Summers, with book by Ben Blake and Summers.
The plot goes something like this: When an aspiring funkmaster reaches for the stars, he's caught in an uproarious battle between good and evil, funk and disco, Kentucky fried and Harlem's catfish surprise. Can he win the girl, gain the gig, and rescue the recipe from heinous hands?
According to a festival spokesperson, last year's event directly led to five of the eight shows securing productions. They were: The Drowsy Chaperone (to be done at the Ahmanson Theatre, November 2005), The Flight of the Lawnchair Man (Goodspeed Musicals, May 2005), The Girl in the Frame (Goodspeed Musicals, November 2005), Striking 12 (TheatreWorks Palo Alto, December 2004) and Winesburg, OH (The Arden Theatre Company, October 2005).
Admission is by invitation only and closed to the general public. For more information, visit www.NAMT.net.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.