FOR TONIGHT to Play Special Concert at NYMF, 7/18
For Tonight, by creators Shenelle Williams, Spencer Williams and Whitney Rhodes, has extended its run at The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). This will be the first time in the history of the festival that a reading will add an additional performance to its run. They will be performing a concert version of this new original musical on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 9pm at Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036).
For Tonight's story is inspired by the life of the writer's great-great-great-grandfather in the 1830's in Northern Wales/Liverpool. With its indie-rock inspired score and a completely original book, this story focuses on the universal themes of love, family and acceptance.
"I am so excited that this talented cast gets this incredible opportunity to sing this score again," comments writer, Spencer Williams. "The reception at NYMF has been wonderful and we feel honored that NYMF has asked us to extend the run of For Tonight."
Joe Barros (Artistic Director of New York Theatre Barn) directs a cast of 12 including Hannah Berggren (PBS' Broadway or Bust), Sean Buhr, Heather Botts*, Colin Critchley* (Bway: Waiting for Godot, Kinky Boots), Patrick Dunn* (NYC: Madison Square Garden - A Christmas Carol), Hannah Elless*(Bway: Godspell and Papermill Playhouse: The Other Josh Cohen), Brandon Kalm (Nat. tour: American Idiot, NY Phil: Sweeney Todd), Kate Moore, CJ Pawlikowski* (NYMF: Bend in the Road), and Krista Pioppi* (Nat. tour: Spring Awakening) with Music Direction by Drew Wutke. Two of the writers, Shenelle Williams and Whitney Rhodes, will also be performing at the concert. *Appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.
When their parents die of a mysterious illness in their small Welsh village, surviving children Thomas, Haydon, and Nettie are forced to fend for themselves. Inspired by the gypsies who once shared their home, Haydon heads off to Liverpool, guitar in hand, to find what the world has to offer. There he meets Mirela who speaks to his wandering soul. When Haydon learns that his sister is ill, he is forced to choose between family and the life he left behind, or freedom and the love he has now found.
Concert Date: July 18, 2014 at 9pm at Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036
Joe Barros (Director) - Joe Barros is a director, an award-winning choreographer, and the Artistic Director of New York Theatre Barn. NYC Credits: Hard Times (NY IT Award Nominee/Best Choreography), I Married Wyat Earp (59E59 Theatres, Prospect/NYTB), Charlotte's Web (Theatreworks USA),Supersoldier (by HAIR co-creator Jim Rado), The Legend of Julie Taymor (Fringe NYC), McGoldrick's Thread (1st Irish Festival Award/Best Choreography). Regional: The Haunted Hotel and Brother Russia (DC's Signature Theatre). Upcoming: Carrie (MSU), Small Town Story, and The Boy Who Danced on Air. www.joebarros.com
Shenelle Williams (Book/Music/Lyrics) - Shenelle is a composer/arranger, music director and music educator whose recent work includes music directing the high school premiere of Duncan Sheik's Whisper House at Pinewood School where she teaches musical theatre, music theory and choir. Her compositions and arrangements have been heard on the Moose Math app, Gavin Kaufman's debut album Aura Symphonia, and Missus & Mister EP. Graduate of the University of the Arts, MAT: Music Education. Proud member of NAMT.
Spencer T. Williams (Book/Music/Lyrics) - Spencer Williams is a composer, educator, director, and producer. He currently is the Performing Arts Director at Pinewood School. His most recent work includes directing Les Miserables, producing Duncan Sheik, Live at Pinewood, and the high school premiere of Sheik's new musical, Whisper House. He produced/directed five seasons of the Bay Area High School Musical Theatre Awards. Proud member of NAMT and Mercury Musicals Development. Love to Shenelle and Thomas. www.spencertwilliams.com
Whitney Rhodes (Book) - Whitney works as a theatre performer, educator and administrator in the Twin Cities area. She has been seen on the stages of Theater Latte Da, Minnetonka Theatre, Children's Theatre Company, Minnesota Fringe Festival and Park Square Theatre. She is the creator and performer of a series of one-woman cabarets including Where's My Parade, The Could Be Project, Let Hope Win, and The Songs in My Head. Proud Drake University alum and homegrown Nebraskan.
Drew Wutke (Musical Director) Drew Wutke is a musical director, vocal coach, and accompanist (MM Vocal Coaching, OKCU). His work can be seen in Fiasco's upcoming Off-Bway Into the Woods, Rocky, Bridges of Madison County, Rock of Ages, and other Bway, Off-Bway, and regional/touring productions, as well as cabaret venues including 54 Below and the Beechman. Currently on staff at NYU Steinhardt/Gallatin, Pace Univ, and Rosie's Theatre Kids. Thanks to Spencer and Shenelle! Wutkemusic.com
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects; nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community; and connecting one of America's greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience.
Now in its eleventh year, the Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theatre fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in 48 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form."
NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2014 is presented in association with Fuzzrocket, TheaterMania, and Production Resource Group. NYMF is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating and tickets to individual events, are currently available for purchase at (212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org/member.
Photo by Michael Bonasio