Annaleigh Ashford, Heidi Blickenstaff, Terence Archie & More Set for NAMT's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

By: Oct. 02, 2014

The National Alliance For Musical Theatre (NAMT) just announced initial casting for the 26th Annual Festival of New Musicals. Michael Cassara Casting serves as the resident casting office for the 26th Annual Festival of New Musicals, taking place on Thursday, October 23, 2014 and Friday, October 24, 2014 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street).

Beautiful Poison will feature Terence Archie (Rocky), Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q), Sarah Davis (The Reckoning of Kit), Michelle Duffy (Heathers), Michael Lanning (Bonnie & Clyde), Brandon O'Neill (Aladdin), and Jesse Nager (Motown). Beautiful Poison will be directed by David Armstrong (Executive Producer and Artistic Director, The 5th Avenue Theatre), with Ian Eisendrath (A Christmas Story, Madison Square Garden) serving as musical director. Beautiful Poison features music by Brendan Milburn, lyrics by Valerie Vigoda, and a book by Duane Poole.

Cubamor will feature Janet Dacal (Wonderland), Doreen Montalvo (In The Heights), Javier Munoz (In The Heights), and Amirah Vann(Trouble In Mind). Cubamor will be directed by Kent Nicholson (9 Circles, Marin Theatre Company), with Jerome Korman (Music Director, National Dance Institute) serving as musical director. Cubamor features a book and lyrics by James D. Sasser and music and lyrics by Charles Vincent Burwell.

Great Wall will feature Cindy Cheung (The Civilians' The Great Immensity), Carrie Cimma (Lizzie Borden), Danielle Herbert (AfterMidnight), and Francis Jue (Kung Fu). Great Wall will be directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (Broadway's Newsies, South Pacific), with Marco Paguia (Peter and the Starcatcher) serving as musical director. Great Wall features music and lyrics by Kevin So, a book by Kevin Merritt, and creative consulting by David Henry Hwang.

How To Break will feature Adam Matta, Ruth Gottschal, and Amber Reauchean Williams. How To Break will be directed by Tamilla Woodard (La Ruta, The Working Theatre) with a book by Aaron Jafferis, lyrics by Aaron Jafferis and Rebecca Hart, and music by Rebecca Hart and Yako 440. The musical director will be Jon Spurney (Passing Strange).

Mary Marie will feature Kevin Earley (A Tale Of Two Cities), Colin Hanlon (Rags), and Emerson Steele (Violet). Mary Marie will be directed by Daniella Topol (When January Feels Like Summer, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Women's Project Theater) with Nathan Dame (Fly By Night) serving as musical director. Mary Marie features a book and lyrics by Chana Wise and music by Carl Johnson.

The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes will feature Andi Alhadeff (Jasper In Deadland), Courtney Balan (Finding Neverland), Todd Buonopane (R+H Cinderella), Natalie Charle Ellis (Les Miserables), Josh Grisetti (Red Eye Of Love), Alli Mauzey (Wicked), Sergi Robles (Cardboard Castles), and Kate Shindle (Legally Blonde). The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes will be directed by Tony Award nominee Lonny Price (Broadway's Lady Day At Emerson's Bar and Grill, 110 In The Shade). Andy Einhorn (Broadway's Bullets Over Broadway, R+H Cinderella) will serve as musical director. The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes has a book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman.

String will feature Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show]), Mallory Hawks (The White City), Kenita Miller (Merrily We Roll Along), Orville Mendoza (Found), Geoff Packard (Matilda), Q Smith (Barcelona), Katie Thompson (Giant), and Eugenio Vargas (The Wild Party).String will be directed by Marc Bruni (Broadway's Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) with Matt Castle (Found, Atlantic Theatre Company) as musical director. String features music and lyrics by Adam Gwon and a book by Sarah Hammond.

Stu For Silverton will feature Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take It With You), Kevin Kern (The Bridges of Madison County), Russell Arden Koplin (James Joyce's The Dead), Jeigh Madjus (Prison Dancer), Mary Testa (Xanadu), and Don Darryl Rivera (Aladdin). Stu For Silverton will be directed by Andrew Russell (Artistic Director, Intiman Theatre) with Meg Zervoulis (Rated P...For Parenthood) as musical director. Stu For Silverton has a book by Peter Duchan, music and lyrics by Breedlove, and is based on the story of Stu Rasmussen and the town of Silverton, Oregon.

The Festival of New Musicals attracts theatre producers from around the world for this industry-only event to discover eight new musicals presented in 45-minute reading presentations over two days. All production costs are underwritten by NAMT, at no cost to the writing teams. As a non-profit organization, NAMT funds the Festival entirely through donations and sponsorships.

For the 11th consecutive year, NAMT's Festival of New Musicals will be presented at the premiere Off Broadway facility New World Stages, located at 340 West 50th Street. A limited number of free seats will be available to the public on a standby basis. The public can also receive passes to the Festival through a donation to NAMT. Registration for Industry members is free and now open at

The Festival will also include The 46th Minute concert, featuring new material and cut songs from all of the musicals being featured at the festival. Directed by Victoria Bussert, the concert takes place on October 22, 2014 at 6pm at New World Stages. The 46th Minute is open to the public, with tickets starting at $25 and available for purchase at and at

Also part of the 26th Festival of New Musicals is The Songwriters Sessions, taking place on October 23rd and 24th at New World Stages and directed by Brandon Ivie; and the 2014 Songwriters Showcase on October 23rd at New World Stages and directed by Branden Huldeen. Tickets for both events are available at

The 26th Annual Festival of New Musicals is overseen by NAMT New Works Director and Festival Producing Director Branden Huldeen and Festival General Manager Lisa Dozier King.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos