Kudisch, Butler, Testa, Hoty, Etc. Set for NAMT Festival

Casting and directors have been announced for The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT)'s 18th Annual Festival of New Musicals, which will be held at New World Stages (340 West 50th St. between 8th and 9th Avenues) on Sunday, October 8 and Monday, October 9, 2006.

Among the stars participating in NAMT will be Kerry Butler/>, Darius de Haas/>, Gregg Edelman/>, Dee Hoty/>, Marc Kudisch/>, Brian D'Arcy James/>, Douglas Sills/>, Amy Spanger/>, Mary Testa/> and Lillias White/>.

In addition to the eight Festival shows, NAMT will present the Songwriter Showcase on Sunday evening. The Songwriter Showcase introduces 10 new musicals with one song from each and brief interviews of the writing teams with hosts />Beth Leavel/> and />Richard Kind/>. Performers include />Liz Callaway/>, />Eden Espinosa/>, and />Sally Mayes/>.

Since 1989, NAMT's Festival of New Musicals has introduced theatre producers to more than 175 musicals and 300 writers. More than three-fourths of these shows have had further development, tours and licensing agreements, leading to thousands of subsequent productions. Past festival highlights have included The Drowsy Chaperone, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Songs for a New World and more.

Admission is for industry only and closed to the general public. Industry professionals interested in attending should email festival@namt.org.  The 2006 Festival of New Musicals is produced by />Jayson Raitt/>.

The eight selected shows, culled from a pool of more than 100 applicants, were selected by the NAMT Festival Committee, comprised of artistic directors and producers from NAMT member organizations. The eight selected musicals and their respective casts and directors for the 2006 Festival include:

 • Dangerous Beauty
Book by Jeannine Dominy, lyrics by />Amanda McBroom/>, music by Michele Brourman, adapted from the screenplay The Honest Courtesan written by Jeannine Dominy, released as the film Dangerous Beauty. Inspired by the scholarly book The Honest Courtesan by Margaret Rosenthal.
Directed by: Sheryl Kaller
With: Randy Blair, Christine Bokhour, Sean Elliot, />Dee Hoty/>, Joe Kolinski, Megan McGuinnis, Michael Minark, />Charlie Pollock/>, />Jenny Powers/>, />Tim Smith/>, />Paul Anthony Stewart/>, Havilland Stillwell

Music, Lyrics and Book by Paul Gordon
Directed by Kent Nicholson
With: Brian D'arcy James, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Suzanne Grodner, />Dani Marcus/>

• Jerry Christmas
Music and Lyrics by />Andrew Lippa/>, book by />Daniel Goldfarb/>
Directed by />David Warren/>
With: Kim Bromwell, />Stephen DeRosa/>, Tiffany Haas, />Jenn Harris/>, />Adam Heller/>, />Leslie Kritzer/>, />Janet Metz/>, />David Reiser/>, Steven Rosen, />Douglas Sills/>, />Lillias White/>

• Julian Po
Book and lyrics by Andrew Barrett, music by Ira Antelis
Directed by Coy Middlebrook
With: />Darius de Haas/>, Pat Duke, />Struan Erlenborn/>, Jeff Morrow,Jason Nettle, Peter Samuel, Judy Storey, Renee Veneziale, Cheryl Wilson, Lynne Wintersteller

• One Step Forward 
Music and Lyrics by Leslie Arden
Book by Berni Stapleton with Leslie Arden & Timothy French, conceived by Timothy French
Directed by David Petrarca
With: Ian Brennan, />Kerry Butler/>, />Merle Dandridge/>, />Gregg Edelman/>, />Marc Kudisch/>, />Andrew Rannells/>

• Piece
Music and Lyrics by />Scott Alan/>, book by Tara Smith
Directed by />Schele Williams/>
With: />Amy Spanger/>, Katie Thompson, />Kate Wetherhead/> and Tia Speros

• Sunfish
Book and Lyrics by Michael L. Cooper, book and music by Hyeyoung Kim
Directed by />Stafford Arima/>
With: Ma-Anne Dionisio, />Ward Billeisen/>, Eric Bondoc, />Mary Testa/>, Alton Fitzgerald White, />Tommar Wilson/>

• Vanities - A New Musical
Book by Jack Heifner, music and lyrics by />David Kirshenbaum/>, based on the original play Vanities by Jack Heifner
Directed by Jack Heifner
With: />Megan Hilty/>, />Leslie Kritzer/>, />Sarah Stiles/>

Songwriter Showcase
Hosted by />Beth Leavel/> and />Richard Kind/>
With: />Kathy Brier/>, />Liz Callaway/>, />Eden Espinosa/>, />Christopher Fitzgerald/>, />Jenna Leigh Green/>, />Colin Hanlon/>, Adam Jacobs, />Jeremy Kushnier/>, />Sally Mayes/>
Songwriters: Eleanor Albano, Anthony Barnao and />Ron Abel/>, />Barbara Anselmi/> and />Carla Rose Arnone/>, />David A. Austin/>, />Neil Bartram/> Margaret Dorn and Janie Barnett, Adam Gwon, />David Howard/> and Bret Simmons, Scott Logsdon and />Steve Marzullo/>, Robert Maddock and Reza Jacobs, Chay Yew and Fabian Obispo

For more information, visit www.namt.org.

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