NAMT Festival of New Musicals Includes Lippa, McBroom

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has announced the official selections for its 18th Annual Festival of New Musicals to be held at New World Stages (340 West 50th St between 8th and 9th Avenues) on Sunday, October 8 and Monday, October 9, 2006.

At NAMT's Festival of New Musicals, leading theatre producers from across the world come together for this industry-only event to discover eight new musicals over two days.   Since 1989, the Festival has presented over 175 musicals and 300 writers, and 75% of these shows had subsequent productions, tours and licensing agreements.  The Drowsy Chaperone, one of the 2004 Festival selections, opened on Broadway in May 2006, winning 5 Tony awards, 7 Drama Desk Awards (including Best Musical), and the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical.  Bob Martin, actor and book writer of The Drowsy Chaperone said:

"I would like to express our gratitude for the role that the NAMT Festival has played in our success.  When we were invited to the 2004 NAMT Festival, we knew we had a chance to reach an important audience, but none of us expected our development process to be accelerated to the extent that it was.  Only a year and a half (later), we opened at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway.  We cannot thank NAMT enough for the support and encouragement.  We believe that NAMT is an essential step in the development of any musical."

Of the 8 shows selected last year for the 2005 Festival, six have already secured world-premieres or developmental productions across the country including Ace (St. Louis Rep and Cincinnati Playhouse), Caraboo, Princess of Javasu (Goodspeed Musicals), I Love You Because (off-Broadway at Village Theatre), Meet John Doe (Carousel Dinner Theatre, The Hartt School, Goodspeed Musicals, and Ford's Theatre), Party Come Here (New York Musical Theatre Festival), and River's End (New York Musical Theatre Festival.  Other past Festival highlights include the Tony Award-winner Thoroughly Modern Millie, Children of Eden, Honk!, Princesses and Summer of '42.

The selections are:

--Dangerous Beauty, book by Jeannine Douminy, lyrics by Amanda McBroom (A Woman of Will, "The Rose"), music by Michele Brourman, based on Margaret Rosenthal's book The Honest Courtesan and the film Dangerous Beauty

"Dangerous Beauty is inspired by Renaissance courtesan and poet Veronica Franco. When Veronica's love, Marco, submits to a political marriage, her impoverished mother lays out her options: marriage, improbable without dowry; the convent; or becoming a courtesan. Veronica's beauty, wit, and skill with verse win her success, patronage, and the enmity of a rival poet."

--Emma, music, book and lyrics by Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre), based on Jane Austen's classic novel Emma

"In early 19th century England, Emma Woodhouse, endowed with wealth, beauty and prestige, attempts to arrange a wealthy marriage for her poor friend Harriet, a young girl with questionable origins. In the process she disregards her own feelings and everyone else's." 

--Jerry Christmas, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), book by Daniel Goldfarb

"It's 1961, and after three flops, funny man Jerry Barron is in need of a hit. His family is keeping secrets and losing patience. And he's wallowing in despair. Luckily, Maury Mintz calls and offers him the chance of a lifetime: to put his family on the air on live television in a Christmas special called 'Jerry Christmas!' Only problem is, they're Jewish."

--Julian Po, book and lyrics by Andrew Barrett, music by Ira Antelis, based on the book La mort de monsieur Golouja" by Branimir Šcepanovic and the film Julian Po by Alan Wade

The show is "a modern day musical myth. This rollicking, yet cautionary tale of Man's greatness combines the traditional musical theater form with the sounds of Americana blue-grass and mountain music. Julian Po begins with 'The Muses,' a four piece, strolling mischievous band invoking the day when a strange man mysteriously arrives in an even stranger middle-American town."

--One Step Forward, music and lyrics by Leslie Arden, book by Berni Stapleton with Leslie Arden and Timothy French, conceived by Timothy French

"It's 1945, World War II has just ended, and the battle-scarred boys are returning home to women who have had their first taste of independence. Bea and Ben are reluctant lovers, both unwilling to surrender their single status. Helen and Charlie find their love and trust tested by lies and accusations instigated by John, the boy thwarted in love and life."

--Piece, music and lyrics by Scott Alan, book by Tara Smith

"Upon returning to her childhood home following the passing of her mother, Katherine Mathews, finds herself clinging to the memories of her past; engaging in conversations she's had with her mother at the ages of 17, 26 and 35."

--Sunfish, book and lyrics by Michael L. Cooper, music by Hyeyoung Kim

"Based on a Korean folk tale, Sunfish is the magical story of Aheh and the fantastical lengths she will travel to restore her Blind Father's sight. Aheh's adventures take her to the bottom of the ocean and beyond, in a theatrical world where anything can – and does – happen."

--Vanities, book by Jack Heifner, music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, based on the original play Vanities by Jack Heifner

"Chronicling the comic journey of three vivacious Texas teens from cheerleaders to sorority sisters to housewives, liberated women and beyond, this tangy tale of coming-of-age in the '60s and '70s is a musical voyage racing through an era that had to be lived to be believed."

Visit www.namt.org for more information.

Photos--Andrew Lippa and Amanda McBroom

Related Articles



Comment & Share

About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts