Like You Like It, Inspired by Shakespeare But Set in an '80s Mall, Wins New Voice Prize | Playbill

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News Like You Like It, Inspired by Shakespeare But Set in an '80s Mall, Wins New Voice Prize The National Music Theater Network and The Theater for the American Musical have named the musical Like You Like It as the winner of the first New Voice Prize.

Winners Sammy Buck and Daniel S. Acquisto, the authors of the musical adaptation of Shakespeare's As You Like It, set in a suburban mall in the 1980s, will get money toward a production of the show as part of the inaugural New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) Sept. 13-Oct. 6, as well as a regional presentation, a studio cast recording and a promotional DVD.

The winning collaborators get a venue, promotions, tech staff and $2,000 toward performers in the new festival, NYMF executive director Kris Stewart told Playbill On-Line. Additional production costs for their festival run are assumed by their show's producer.

The slate of new musicals for the fall festival has not been announced, though producers of one show, The Altar Boyz, jumped the gun and announced its participation. The fest's Next Link initiative promises productions of 18 shows in a repertory format, with at least six performances each.

Technically, NYMF doesn't produce the shows, it invites shows into the festival and provides marketing, creative and tech support as well as a venue. Producers (or writers) of individual shows must come up with money to present full productions in the fest, though money can potentially be recouped in ticket sales.

Like You Like It was developed in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and has been seen in readings around Manhattan. "All the world's a mall in Like You Like It," according to the announcement. "This totally awesome mix of Shakespeare and John Hughes takes place at the brand new Arden Mall, where there's going to be a mondo high school dance. Straight-A babe Rosalind wants to go with varsity wrestler Orlando. Too shy to face him, Rosalind disguises herself as a frat dude named Corey and learns Orlando's true feelings for her. Things get tricky, though, when Corey complicates the lives of three other couples at Arden, and Rosalind must show up at the dance as both herself and Corey."

The development of Like You Like It includes the ASCAP Workshop (Stephen Schwartz, moderator) and the Dramatists Guild Jonathan Larson Fellowship program.

The authors are currently refining Like You Like It with director Scott Schwartz.

For more information about the programs of the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), visit

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