Lineup for Second Kansas City Musical Fest Announced

Following last year's successful "Kansas City Crossroads Musical Theater Festival" that featured seven new works, Theater League, the Kansas-City based music theater production company,  will sponsor the second annual festival this summer. Renamed "the Kansas City Festival of New Musicals," the event will take place at the Polsky and Black Box Theaters at the Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 & 10. Four new musicals were selected for staged readings after a national call for submissions.

President and CEO Mark Edelman comments in the press release, "We were thrilled with Kansas City's response to last year's inaugural festival…The Cultural Education Center at Johnson County Community College should serve the festival even better than the far-flung theaters we used last year-- it's all under one roof and much closer to where most of our season members live. And the parking is easier, too."

Charles Leipart, whose Frog Kiss and Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class were featured in last year's festival, returns with his new work Showgirl of 52nd Street with music by John Kroner. The show, directed by Karen Paisley and with music direction by Daniel Doss, follows a baglady living on a bench in the public park at East 52nd Street, confronting her younger self to remember her glamorous, tumultuous life in the 1950s New York nightclub world.

Wild Goat, by Urinetown composer Mark Hollman with a book by Jack Helbig, and inspired by Menander's Dyskolos, follows the small
farming town of Phyle, outside of Athens. When the town is struck by a drought and the only man with a working well overcharges for water, he faces resistance by means of sacrifices to the God, forbidden romance, and other tribulations. The show is directed by John Staniunas and has music directed by Barbara Puckett.

I Come for Love, a musical tribute to 1950s sci-fi films by Terrence Atkins and Jeffrey Lyle Segal, focuses on a struggling newspaper reporter who finds a town full of colorful people, including a beautiful girl who may be everything he's looking for.  I Come for Love is directed by Rick Truman and music directed by Jerry Pope.

Finally, composer Gary Schocker and writer/lyricist Barbara Campbell's Far From the Madding Crowd, based on the novel by Thomas Hardy, is the story of an independent woman running a family farm in Wessex, England. She marries a man, only to realize years later who her passion really was for.  The show is directed by festival alum Amy Coady and features music direction by Lenora Remmert.

Tickets for the Kansas City Festival of New Musicals are available now through the Carlsen Center Box Office at 913-469-8500.  Tickets are $16 for individuals and $11 for Theater League subscribers.

Further information will soon be posted at
Music selections from this year's festival can be heard at

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