NYU to Workshop Beatsville by Menken Lyricist Glenn Slater, Starting Tonight

News   NYU to Workshop Beatsville by Menken Lyricist Glenn Slater, Starting Tonight
Two-time Tony nominee Glenn Slater, lyricist with composer Alan Menken on such hits as Sister Act and “Tangled,” will workshop a new musical, Beatsville, set in the world of 1950s beatniks, March 26-29. The workshop will be presented by NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Vocal Performance in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions in New York’s Greenwich Village, once the heart of beat culture.

Glenn Slater
Glenn Slater Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Slater will write the libretto. The “bebop-inflected” music and lyrics to Beatsville are being written by Wendy Leigh Wilf, an artist in residence at the William Inge Festival in Kansas.

Beatsville is directed by John Simpkins and choreographed by Richard Stafford. The cast consists of NYU Steinhardt students Kelsey Andridge, Catherine Ang, Aaron Banes, Hayley Biegel, Joe Conceison, Emma Davis, Josh Greenblatt, Naree Ketudat, Lauren Krauss, Brandon Nase, Javi Romero, Nikhil Saboo and Jake Satterfield.

The plot involves a “square” named Walter who accidentally kills a cat and hides the body in a lump of clay—only to find “Dead Cat” embraced by the beatniks as a genius work of art. As things escalate, Walter has to work ever harder to keep his secret.

“We are particularly excited about working with Wendy and Glenn,” said director John Simpkins. “This piece has one of the most unique sounds of the new musical theatre landscape and we are thrilled to help give it a first-ever staging.”

Slater supplied additional lyrics to the Menken musical The Little Mermaid, full lyrics to Menken's Leap of Faith and is currently collaborating with Andrew Lloyd Webber on his forthcoming Broadway musical, School of Rock.

The workshop of Beatsville is open to the public. It will be performed 8 PM March 26-28, and 3 PM March 28 and 29 at the Village’s legendary Provincetown Playhouse.

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