BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop Sets Spring Smoker for 4/26

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The BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop announces its Spring Smoker, a semi-annual showcase for new songs from Workshop writers. The event will be held in the 30th Floor Media Room of BMI's New York office at 7 World Trade Center/250 Greenwich Street on Thursday, April 26, at 5:30PM and is open to members of the entertainment industry as well as Workshop members. Reservations are a must: Ssantana@bmi.com or 212 220-3177. Running time is 70 minutes.

The Smoker, now in its fifteenth season, is modeled after informal social gatherings at Cambridge University where the Workshop's two time Tony® Award winning and 2010 Oscar® nominated writer Maury Yeston performed his songs during his undergraduate days. Previous smoker participants include Best Musical Tony® Award winners Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Avenue Q), Nancy Ford and Gretchen Cryer (I'm Getting My Act Together…), Eric Rockwell and Joann Bogart (The Musical of Musicals, The Musical) Amanda Green and Tom Kitt (High Fidelity, Hands on Hardbody) and Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal).

Recent and upcoming productions of musicals developed in the Workshop and by Workshop writers include See Rock City by Brad Alexander & Adam Mathais at Barrington Stage and at the Duke Theatre directed by Jack Cummings III for The Transport Group where it received six Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding music and won Outstanding Book for Adam Mathias and The Kid, by Jack Lechner, Andy Monroe and Michael Zam, directed by Scott Elliott, produced by The New Group off-Broadway where it received five 2011 Drama Desk nominations , including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding Book of a Musical. Wanda's World by Beth Falcone & Eric H Weinberger at AMAS directed by Lynn Taylor-Corbett (Kleban Award and Drama Desk nomination). Calvin Berger by Barry Wyner, directed by Kathleen Marshall at George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick , NJ. (Jerry Bock Award) Giant, based on the Edna Ferber classic novel, score by Michael John LaChiusa, directed by Jonathan Butterell at The Signature Theatre, Arlington, Virginia with an New York City run planned for The Public Theatre, The Story of My Life by Neil Bartram & Brian Hill, directed by Richard Maltby Jr. at Goodspeed's Norma Terris and on Broadway, Sammy Buck, Dan Acquisto and Eric Weinberger's And Then I Wrote a Song About It directed by Igor Goldin at Luna Stage,
BMI Foundation Harrington Award Winners Lyricist Raymond Bokhour ("Mr. Cellophane" in "Chicago") and Composer Simon Gray, are represented by "The Worker" from "The Suicide, A Musical Comedy," which recentely won an Anna Sosenko Trust Award. "A History of Summer", a new original musical, surveys the last century of summers of America's earliest established gay communities-Cherry Grove and the Fire Island Pines-and explores the residents' lives and loves, hopes and heartbreaks. Book and lyrics are by Adam Mathias who wrote the book and lyrics for See Rock City & Other Destinations (off-Broadway 2010; Drama Desk Award Winner-best book; Drama Desk Nominee-best lyrics, best musical; Richard Rodgers Award; Jerry Bock Award). Music is by Jonathan Monro composer of the musicals Elsa's Secret, Dream Vacation, Variations on a Nervous Breakdown, With a Twist, The Review, & A Mother in Time and scores for several productions at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, Cassie Slater, winner of NYMF's Next Broadway Sensation and Lee Aaron Rosen, ("Little House on The Prairie" Tour) lead the ensemble cast of 12 in " A Little Patch of Summer."

"The M & M Boys ," chronicles the 1961 home run race between New York Yankees Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Book and lyrics are by George Merrick and music is by Andy Roninson. . Merrick, who appeared in "High Fidelity" duets with Donna Vivino, currently in the Broadway company of Wicked, where she performs the role of Elphaba on select dates. Jeff Hardy, Jerry Bock Award winning composer for "A Visit from the Footbinder" teams with lyricist/librettist Tom Stuart with their song "A Secret Life." Tom Stuart's first New York Job was in "The Fantasticks" and has created leading rolls opposite Sutton Foster, Kristin Chenoweth, Emily Skinner and the romantic lead in Frank Wildhorn's "Dracula" before discovering lyric writing and BMI. British-born/NYC-based singer-songwriter Anna Dagmar will be releasing her fourth album, "Satellite," in June 2012. She and lyricist Caleb Damschroder are represented by the duet "A Republican," which will be sung by Damschroder and Brad Heikes (Pygmalion, w/ Claire Danes.)
"I Can't Believe I'm Here" is from the American Harmony prize finalist musical "Costs of Living" with book, music and lyrics by MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow Timothy Huang and features singers Marc De La Cruz and Jaygee Macapugay ("Yes! The Musical,"Duke Ellington Arts Center), "Fools for Love" (Prospect Theatre Company).
Amy Justman ("Company," "White Christmas)" performs "I Speak Music" from "Resident Alien," a story of a family of three immigrants from the Soviet Union in the early 1990's. Music and Lyrics are by MacDowell Colony Fellow Katya Stanislavskaya.

"Make Him Mine" from the musical Neurosis: The Musical has music by Ben Green (God Loves My People Best , Sage Theater) and lyrics By Greg Edwards, a Fred Ebb Award finalist and collaborator with Marvin Hamlisch. The song will be performed by Newsical's Christina Bianco "Your Chin" is from an untitled musical by lyricist Michelle Foor and music by juilliard's David Gaines and will be sung by Brittney Lee Hamilton, (MITF Best Leading Actress Nomination best for her performance in "Peg 'O My Heart, the Musical") Lyricist Kate Anderson and composer Elyssa Samsel are represented by their song "If There's a World." Veteran television writer Gary Apple will perform from his musical "The Comeback of Colby Clyman." Composer/Lyricist Eric March is represented by his song "Occupy This." "Prove It" is a new song from the songwriting team of Kathryn Hathaway and Benjamin Velez.

The event is co-produced by Frank Evans, Special Events Coordinator and Frederick Freyer,Workshop Coordinator. Freyer garnered an Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for Captain's Courageous, produced by Manhattan Theatre Club. Evans, whose musicals have been seen from Alaska to London is a Jerry Bock Award winning lyricist and his writing has been named on Best of The Year Lists in The Palm Beach Post, The Norwich Bulletin and TheatreWeek.
The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, recipient of a 2006 Tony honor, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, was founded in 1961 by the late Lehman Engel, dean of American musical theatre, to create a setting where new writers could learn their craft.
Now marking its 65th year in business, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of more than 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.


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