Directors Slate Announced for NAMT Festival of New Musicals

‚Äč

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) and Executive Director Kathy Evans announced the Directors Slate for its 17th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, to be held at Dodger Stages (340 West 50th St., between 8th & 9th Avenues) on Sunday, September 25 and Monday, September 26, 2005. The directors for the eight official show selections are: Joe Calarco, Will Frears, Steve Minning, Lonny Price, Lee Sankowich, Susan H. Schulman and Lee Summers.

Since 1989, NAMT's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS has introduced theatre producers to more than 170 musicals and 300 writers from around the world. More than three-fourths of these shows have found subsequent productions, tours and licensing agreements. Past festival highlights have included the Tony Award winner Thoroughly Modern Millie, Princesses, Honk!, Songs for a New World, Summer of '42 and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin.

As a direct result of last year's 16th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, held in October 2004, five of the festival's eight shows presented secured productions: The Drowsy Chaperone (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, Ohio. (The Arden Theatre Company, October 2005).

Culled from a pool of more than 100 applicants, the eight show selections and their respective directors for this year's festival are:

• ACE
Book and Lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker
Music by Richard Oberacker
DIRECTED BY: Steven Minning (Associate Director of Broadway's The Lion King)

• CARABOO, PRINCESS OF JAVASU
Book by Marsha Norman
Lyrics by Beth Blatt
Music by Jenny Giering
DIRECTED BY: Will Frears (Omnium Gatherum)

• THE FUNKENTINE RAPTURE
Book by Lee Summers and Ben Blake
Music and Lyrics by Lee Summers
DIRECTED BY: Lee Summers (Author, From My Hometown)

• I LOVE YOU BECAUSE
Book and Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham
Music by Joshua Salzman
DIRECTED BY: Daniel Kutner (The Harold Prince Organization)

• A LITTLE PRINCESS
Book and Lyrics by Brian Crawley
Music by Andrew Lippa
DIRECTED BY: Susan H. Schulman (Little Women)

• MEET JOHN DOE
Book by Andrew Gerle and Eddie Sugarman
Lyrics by Eddie Sugarman
Music by Andrew Gerle
DIRECTED BY: Joe Calarco (Shakespeare's R & J)

• PARTY COME HERE
Book by Daniel Goldfarb
Music and Lyrics by David Kirshenbaum
DIRECTED BY: Lonny Price (A Class Act)

• RIVER'S END
Book and Lyrics by Cheri Coons
Music by Chuck Larkin
DIRECTED BY: Lee Sankowich (Artistic Director, Marin Theatre Company, CA.)

"The NAMT Festival's mission is to nurture writers, develop new voices in theatre, present works diverse in style, subject and concept, and above all, to encourage the production of new musicals," says Evans. "In the same way that Cannes offers filmmakers a high profile platform to present their works to producers, studios and distributors, our FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS provides a unique opportunity for musical theatre writers to connect with our members, who are some of the top musical theatre producers in the world, as well as hundreds of theatre industry professionals with the resources and experience to move this work forward."

The FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is funded by contributions to NAMT, a not-for-profit organization, and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.

Also on Sunday, September 25, NAMT will present its "Songwriter Showcase" featuring an additional 8 to 10 emerging writers in musical theatre. The event will be hosted by Rachel Sheinkin, Tony Award winner for Best Book of a Musical for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and a writer of Striking 12, which was presented at NAMT's 2004 Festival of New Musicals.

Admission to the FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is by invitation only and closed to the general public.

ABOUT THE 2005 SHOW SELECTIONS:

ACE
Book and Lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker • Music by Richard Oberacker
In Saint Louis, in 1952, a troubled 10 year-old boy named Billy Lucas receives the gift of a model airplane from his foster parents. The plane unlocks a door to a mystical world of dreams and visitations. With an "Ace" fighter pilot as his guide, Billy embarks on a series of heroic and haunting World War I and World War II adventures, revealing his own true identity, the secrets of his past, and the key to his future. Mixing humor and heart, this musical chronicles the tragedy and transcendence of three generations of an American family.

CARABOO, PRINCESS OF JAVASU
Book by Marsha Norman • Lyrics by Beth Blatt • Music by Jenny Giering
Mary Baker didn't want to be a maid. But it was 1817 in England, and she was nobody, so what choice did she have? Go to America. And that journey is where we find her, on the dock in Bristol - she's put on a turban and is speaking a made up language. She soon attracts the attention of a smooth talking Irishman who "translates" for her, and an American patron. Mary Baker realizes they want a princess, and she becomes one, Princess Caraboo. Based on a true story, Mary Baker manages to fool the scientists who are sent to examine her, and convince the nobles who gather to celebrate her. It's about a girl who didn't want to stay where she was put, in her place, in her time. It's about a girl who wanted more. And got it.

THE FUNKENTINE RAPTURE
Book by Lee Summers and Ben Blake • Music and Lyrics by Lee Summers The soaring '70s. Platform shoes, skyhigh 'fros, and a beat to take you even higher. 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?

I LOVE YOU BECAUSE
Book and Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham • Music by Joshua Salzman
Set in New York City, I Love You Because follows Austin Bennet, a young greeting card writer whose life is turned upside down when he finds his girlfriend in bed with another man. Forced back out into the treacherous New York dating scene, Austin meets Marcy, whose spontaneity is matched only by her ability to drive him insane. A comedy that explores the rules and nuances of dating because sometimes love is learning how to love someone, not in spite of their differences, but because of them.

A LITTLE PRINCESS
Book and Lyrics by Brian Crawley • Music by Andrew Lippa
A Little Princess is the story of a little girl with a great big imagination. Separated from her father and the open-hearted Africans who have helped him raise her, young Sara Crewe is sent to boarding school in London. When things go badly for her there, her imaginative powers come to the rescue helping to transform a drab institution into a place of magic and mystery. As the girl wins the affection of the other boarders she draws the ire of Miss Minchin, the dour headmistress; Sara is made a servant to the institution when her father is reported dead, and his fortune seized. Sara counters all Miss Minchin's best efforts to degrade her with the grace and virtue of a little princess.

MEET JOHN DOE
Book by Andrew Gerle and Eddie Sugarman
Lyrics by Eddie Sugarman • Music by Andrew Gerle
Based on the classic Frank Capra film, this jazz-driven show tells the story of greed, lies, ideals and a media battle for the heart of the American people. When newspaper reporter Ann Mitchell loses her job at the height of the Great Depression, she uses her last column to print a phony letter from a "John Doe" who plans to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge to protest the state of the society. Ann never imagines her prank will spark a nationwide movement, leaving her and the country, forever changed.

PARTY COME HERE
Book by Daniel Goldfarb • Music and Lyrics by David Kirshenbaum
A nervous groom, a statue of Christ, and a 500-year-old Jewish caveman converge to make miracles happen during a tropical storm on one magical night in Rio. Part farce, part fable, Party Come Here tells the story of a collision of cultures as tantalizing as the sexiest city in the world. Mistaken identity, spirituality, hope, family, sex – all set to irresistible Latin rhythms. >From the author of Modern Orthodox and the composer of Summer of '42, this is an outrageous, original, outlandish, oddball, optimistic, ohmigod, one-of-a-kind show.

RIVER'S END
Book and Lyrics by Cheri Coons • Music by Chuck Larkin
River's End is based on the true story of Glen and Bessie Hyde, a daredevil couple who vanished on their honeymoon to the Grand Canyon in 1928, while attempting to run the entire length of the Colorado River in a boat they built themselves. River's End weaves together two completely different scenarios of what might have happened to the couple, with two pairs of actors playing Glen and Bessie Hyde.

NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MUSICAL THEATRE (NAMT)
The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2005, is the only national service organization dedicated to musical theatre. Based in New York City, NAMT has presented its annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS since 1989 as a unique platform to bring together top musical theatre producers and writers, with the goal of furthering the development of their work. NAMT membership includes theatre institutions, universities, and independent producers. Located throughout 33 states and six countries, members vary substantially in size and structure; yet all share a commitment to nurturing the creation, production, and recognition of new musicals and classics. Last season, NAMT members cumulatively staged over 23,000 performances attended by over 17 million people and reached revenues of over $510 million. For more information, visit

www.NAMT.net.

Related Articles



Comment & Share

About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts

BROADWAYWORLD TV