James Monroe Iglehart, Joel Perez & More Join National Alliance for Musical Theatre's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS Lineup

National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced additional directors and casting for their 27th ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS. The Festival will take place on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).

Registration for Industry members is free (before October 1) and now open at www.namt.org/festival. The public can also receive passes to the Festival through a donation to NAMT. There is also a day-of stand-by line for the general public for free admission (based on availability).

Tony Award-winner James Monroe Iglehart, veteran actress Myra Lucretia Taylor, Fun Home star Joel Perez, Once's Will Connolly and Ryan Vona, Tony Award-nominee for Gentleman's Guide... Lauren Worsham, Kelvin Moon Loh from Broadway's The King and I and more join the previously announced cast and directors for this year's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS. The casting director for the NAMT Festival is Michael Cassara Casting.

The updated cast and creative team for this year's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS lineup are:

COSTS OF LIVING, book, music & lyrics by Timothy Huang
Director: Marlo Hunter (Callaway Award-winner for Unlock'd)
Cast: Jenni Barber (Broadway: The Nance), Kiet Cao, Daniel J. Edwards (Broadway: Anything Goes), Ali Ewoldt (Broadway: LES MISERABLES), Raymond Lee (Broadway: Anything Goes, Honeymoon in Vegas), and Kelvin Moon Loh (Broadway: The King and I)

Based on a true story, COSTS OF LIVING chronicles the lives of two immigrant cab drivers who come to New York for the American dream but instead find a nightmare scenario. Set to a rock and pop theatre score, featuring a predominantly Asian-American ensemble.

COSTS OF LIVING originated as a second-year project in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in 2010. It was a selection of the 2011 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop and the 2012 BMI Master Class moderated by Stephen Sondheim. It received a full workshop in 2012 through the New York Theatre Barn. Nominations: 2014 Jerry Bock Award, 2013 Weston New Musical Award, and the 2014 American Harmony Prize (Curtain Call). Finalist: 2012 Fred Ebb Award and 2011 American Harmony Price. Winner: 2015 New American Musical Award (B-Side Productions) and 2013 Jerry Harrington Award (BMI).

IMAGINE HARRY, music & lyrics by Will Van Dyke, book & lyrics by Jeff Talbott
Director: Brandon Ivie (Off Broadway: Jasper in Deadland)
Music Director: Ian Weinberger (TV: "The Sound of Music Live")
Cast: Ben Crawford (Broadway: Big Fish), Brad Oscar (Broadway: Something Rotten, The Producers), William Parry (Broadway: Passion, Gypsy), Preston Sadleir (National Tour: Next to Normal), Myra Lucretia Taylor (Broadway: Nine), Taylor Trensch (Broadway: Wicked; Off Broadway: Little Miss Sunshine)

When Tucker was 8, Harry was his imaginary friend. Now Tucker's grown up, and Harry has left the biz-two lost guys trying to figure out the little things. Like life. Can they help each other before it's too late? IMAGINE HARRY is a musical for grown-ups about the very tricky business of growing up.

IMAGINE HARRY was a semi-finalist for the 2015 O'Neill National Musical Theater Conference and a finalist for the 2014 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. This will be the first industry presentation of this show.

THE LAST QUEEN OF CANAAN, book by Harrison David Rivers, lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik, music by Jacob Yandura.
Director: Peter Rothstein (Power Balladz, Artistic Director of Minneapolis' Theater Latté Da)
Music Director: Matt Gallagher (Broadway: Doctor Zhivago, Hands on a Hard Body)
Cast: Chasten Harmon (Broadway: Hair), Kecia Lewis (Broadway: Leap of Faith, The Drowsy Chaperone), Kenita Miller (Broadway: The Color Purple), Jon-Michael Reese (National tour: The Book of Mormon), T. Oliver Reid (Broadway: Mary Poppins), Margo Seibert (Broadway: Rocky), Q. Smith (Broadway: Mary Poppins)

Set in 1937 rural Virginia, THE LAST QUEEN OF CANAAN follows Cora Skye, an uncompromising? ?landowner, and Ginny, her restless granddaughter. When Kay, a Northern do-gooder, descends on the property to collect Cora's story for the WPA, she unwittingly instigates a confrontation that will leave all three women forever changed.

THE LAST QUEEN OF CANAAN was developed as part of New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program (2011), Rhinebeck Writers Retreat (2011), the Yale Institute for Musical Theatre (2013), Northern Stages' New Works Now Series and Theater Latté Da's NEXT: New Musicals in the Making Series (2015).

LEGENDALE, music by Andrea Daly, book & lyrics by Jeff Bienstock, story by Bienstock & Daly.
Director: John Simpkins (Off Broadway: Bloodsong of Love at Ars Nova).
Music Director: Vadim Feichtner (Broadway: ...Spelling Bee)
Cast: James Monroe Iglehart (Broadway: Tony Award-winner for Aladdin), Lauren Marcus (Hello, Dolly at Paper Mill Playhouse), George Salazar (Broadway: Godspell), Ryan Vona (Broadway: Once), Jason SweetTooth Williams

Andy's favorite way to escape his humdrum life is an online game full of magic and monsters called "Legendale." When a once-in-a-lifetime tournament is announced, Andy dreams of victory, but finds himself stuck competing as a cow maiden--the lowliest character in the game. He curses his fate, until the fantasy becomes real and Andy and his avatar must both discover their inner warrior. An original, contemporary musical comedy with a pop-infused score, LEGENDALE blends romance, adventure and virtual reality.

After extensive meetings throughout 2012, the writing of LEGENDALE began in earnest in 2013. In December of the same year, Jeff and Andrea were invited up to East Haddam, Connecticut for a two-week residency at Goodspeed Musicals' Writers Colony. An informal reading of the first act took place at Goodspeed in February 2014. LEGENDALE's first full-length reading was presented at Ripley Grier studios in New York City in November 2014.

lift, book & lyrics by Daryl Lisa Fazio, music by Aaron McAllister
Director: Schele Williams (PBS's "Broadway or Bust")?
Music Director: Madeline Smith (Off Broadway: Futurity, An Octoroon)
Cast: Joel Perez (Broadway: Fun Home), Alexandra Socha (Broadway: Spring Awakening), Lauren Worsham (Broadway: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Tony Nom)

In a blue collar Ohio town, 8-year-old Ethan falls through the ice and is miraculously saved with no known hero. When the boy, who not long ago lost his dad, insists it was a "birdman," his family grapples with faith and hope as the community watches the mystery unfold.

lift began in 2007 as the first collaboration between playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio and composer Aaron McAllister. It took part in the York Theatre Company's Developmental Reading Series in 2008 and had an industry reading in NYC in 2010. It was also a semifinalist for the 2010 NYMF's Next Link Project and a finalist for the 2011 Fulton Theatre Discovery Project. In 2013, a dramatically new draft of lift was developed at Coastal Carolina University in a weeklong workshop that culminated in a fully staged public reading.

NOIR, music & lyrics by Duncan Sheik, book & lyrics by Kyle Jarrow
Director: Chloe Treat (Off Broadway: TheaterworkUSA's The Lightning Thief) with Rachel Chavkin (The Great Comet, Prelude)
Music Director: Jason Hart (Regional: Because of Winn Dixie; Whisper House)
Cast: Lilli Cooper (Broadway: Spring Awakening), Daniel Everidge (Broadway: Grease), Kevin Mambo (Broadway: Fela!), John Schiappa (Broadway: Rocky), Emily Skeggs (Broadway: Fun Home, Tony Nom.), Theo Stockman (Broadway: Hair, American Idiot), Adrienne Warren (Broadway: Bring It On), with Foley Artist Jeremy Bloom (Off Broadway: The Mysteries)

A heartbroken man never leaves his apartment, consoled only by the music on the radio. Through the thin walls, he hears almost every word of the couple next door-and before long, his eavesdropping becomes an obsession. Soon he finds himself drawn into a web of lust, lies, deceit and danger. NOIR is a lush and mysterious new musical inspired by radio plays and classic film noir.

NOIR was developed in part at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat and at the Joop van den Ende Academy in Hamburg, Germany. It received a reading at Playwrights Horizons and a workshop presentation as part of New York Stage & Film's Powerhouse Theatre season in Summer 2015.

ON THE EVE, music & lyrics by Shawn Magill & Seth Magill, book by Michael Federico, story by Michael Federico, Shawn Magill & Seth Magill
Director: Sam Buntrock (West End & Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George, Olivier Award and Tony Award noms)
With: Will Connolly (Broadway: Once) and Brynn O'Malley (Broadway: Honeymoon In Vegas)

As bombs explode outside, a theatre company staves off impending apocalyptic doom by performing a sci-fi musical about Marie Antoinette's first time-traveling hot air balloon. As the dictatorial Talking Man turns the story into a celebration of stereotypes, the company fights back. Soon the play bleeds into reality, reviving hope for survival.

ON THE EVE was first produced in a staged-reading workshop in 2011, advancing to a 10-show production at the Margo Jones Theatre in Dallas in 2012, earning year-end best mentions by D Magazine, Theatre Jones, Dallas Voice and Dallas Observer. The 2013 DFW Theatre Critics Forum awarded it "Best New Play or Musical" and "Best Creative Contribution for Score." In 2014, a 23-show professional premiere production was held at Theatre Three Dallas, reaching 2014 year-end best lists for D Magazine and Dallas Culture Map and receiving The Column Awards' "2014 Steve Lovett Award for Outstanding New Work by a Local Playwright."

OTHELLO: THE REMIX, book, music & lyrics by The Q Brothers (GQ and JQ), developed with Rick Boynton
Director: Brian Hill (Goodspeed Musicals' The Theory of Relativity)
Cast: GQ (The Bomb-itty of Errors), JQ (The Bomb-itty of Errors), Postell Pringle (Broadway: A Free Man of Color), Jackson Doran (A Q Brothers' Christmas Carol, Chicago Shakespeare's Funk It Up About Nothin')

Following an acclaimed international tour and triumphant homecoming to sold-out audiences in Chicago, this fresh urban take on Shakespeare's tragedy is spun out and lyrically rewritten over original beats by The Q Brothers-America's leading re-interpreters of Shakespeare through hip-hop. Whether you're looking for a rockin' night of rhythm and rhyme or a new way to think about Shakespeare, OTHELLO: THE REMIX delivers an intense, high energy spin like no other.

The Q Brothers' OTHELLO: THE REMIX was commissioned for the Globe to Globe Festival by Shakespeare's Globe, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Richard Jordan Productions. Since its world premiere as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, it has toured widely, captivating audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Australia, Germany, South Korea, Poland, New Zealand and United Arab Emirates. Over the years, it has garnered tremendous acclaim and honors, including Edinburgh's Musical Theatre Matters Awards for Best New Musical Theatre Show and Best Lyrics, as well as a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Ensemble.

Now in its 27th year, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 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, sponsorships and contributions.

The festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 228 musicals and 432 writers from around the world. As a direct result of the FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, more than 85% of the musicals presented have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions and tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past festival shows include The Drowsy Chaperone, It Shoulda Been You, Striking 12, Ordinary Days, Thoroughly Modern Millie, among many others.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. Their mission is to advance musical theatre by nurturing the creation, development, production and presentation of new musicals, and to provide a forum for musical theatre professionals to share resources and exchange information. Our 200 members, located throughout 34 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world and include theatres, presenting organizations, higher education programs and individual producers. Among the 228 musicals launched by NAMT's annual Festival of New Musicals are Thoroughly Modern Millie, Children of Eden, Honk!, The Drowsy Chaperone, It Shoulda Been You, Songs for a New World, I Love You Because, Striking 12, Vanities, Ordinary Days and many others, representing 420 writers.

NAMT's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is the cornerstone of NAMT's mission to nurture the creation, development and production of new musicals. The Festival presents eight musicals in 45-minute presentations before an audience of over 600 industry professionals. In the short run, the Festival's goal is to connect producers with writers, so that their shows can continue their development trajectory. The long-term goal is to expand the musical theatre repertoire, bringing new musical theatre to thousands of audience members around the world.

The 27th 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 with Line Producers Frankie Dailey and Natalie Gershtein.

NAMT thanks the following foundations, government agencies and organizations for their ongoing support of our programs: Anonymous, ABE Charitable Foundation, The Alhadeff Family Charitable Foundation, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York Creative Space Grant, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, BMI Foundation, The Dramatists Guild Fund, Friars Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, The Noël Coward Foundation, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation, Stacey Mindich Productions and The Shubert Foundation.



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