Watkins and Bush Set for NYMF's 'Angle of the Sun'
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) and Bridge Club Productions will present The Angle of the Sun, a new musical by Rachel Lampert (book and lyrics) and Larry Pressgrove (music). Directed by Karen Azenberg, this production will play seven performances from September 17 - 29 at The Sage Theater (711 Seventh Avenue, between 48th and 49th Streets). The show's official opening, on September 17 at 7:30 PM, will mark the 100th show produced by The New York Musical Theatre Festival.
A 2007 Next Link production, The Angle of the Sun is about the seductive tug of art and love; ambition and sex; Soho lofts and Arkansas streams. With joie de vivre, reckless abandon and a compulsive need to laugh at life, painter Jan Frankel, played by Amanda Watkins (Urinetown, Cabaret), takes us from 1966 to 1986 as she moves through the fog of first love to the bracing clarity of honest artistic vision. Jan's various lovers are played by versatile Jesse Bush. The score spans a wide range of styles including a haunting country lullaby, a witty, acerbic urban duet and a sweeping celebration of new love.
Rachel Lampert (book and lyrics) has been the Artistic Director of the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, New York for the past ten years. With composer Larry Pressgrove, she wrote the book and lyrics for Tony & the Soprano and Comfort Food. Other original works include Precious Nonsense, I Have A Song to Sing O!, The Odyssey, The Mozart Mystery, The Book Club, an adaptation of The Trial and a three-character Frankenstein. Lampert's career began as a dancer/choreographer, and with her NYC-based company Rachel Lampert & Dancers she appeared at Jacob's Pillow, Dance Theater Workshop, NY Delacourte Dance Festival and toured across the US.
Composer Larry Pressgrove was the music director and arranger for the recent Off-Broadway hit [title of show]. Other composing credits include Comfort Food; Tony and the Soprano, presented at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, NY. As Music Director/Conductor: Cats (Broadway and nat'l tour); Les Miserables (nat'l tour); She Loves Me and Sweeney Todd (St. Louis Repertory Theatre); The Most Happy Fella (Cincinnati Playhouse); 42nd Street and A Little Night Music (Stages St. Louis).
Director Karen Azenberg helmed Rachel Lampert's play, The Soup Comes Last, at 59 E. 59 Theatre in 2004. Most recently she staged the regional theater premiere of Les Miserables at the Pioneer Theatre Company.
"The New York Musical Theatre Festival is," according to press notes, "the enormously popular three-week celebration that features the works of the newest generation of musical theatre writers. One of the fastest-growing theatre festivals in the country today, the New York Musical Theatre Festival has, in three short years, presented a total of 99 new musicals, many of which have gone on to subsequent productions at Off-Broadway and regional theatres around the country."
Hailed as 'the Sundance of Musical Theatre,' NYMF is widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF is a flagship program of The National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and is presented by BroadwayWorld.com and Microsoft Health Services, in association with amNewYork, Ars Nova, GSD Productions, King Displays, Panasonic Astrovision, Playbill and Verizon Wireless, and is proudly supported by Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Broadway Bullet, BroadwayBox.com, BroadwayInsider.com, Choice Signs, City Theatricals, Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos, HX Magazine, Port Authority of NY and NJ, Seasons of Savings, Tekserve, TheatreMania.com, TheMENevent, Virgin Megastore and Wybron. NYMF is made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at www.nymf.org or by calling (212) 352-3101. For more information, please visit www.NYMF.org and www.theangleofthesun.com.
Photo of Amanda Watkins by Linda Lenzi