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NAMT's Starry 2015 FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS Kicks Off Today

National Alliance for Musical Theatre presents the 27th ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, which takes place today, October 15 and tomorrow, October 16 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).

Industry members can register at The general public can receive passes to the Festival through a donation to NAMT. Online registration closes on Friday, October 9. There is a day-of stand-by line for the general public for free admission (based on availability).

Tony Award-nominee Sarah Stiles (Hand to God, pictured), Jake Epstein (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Emily Padgett (Sideshow), Zell Steele Morrow (Fun Home), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton) and many more of Broadway's finest talents join the previously announced star-studded casts to bring eight new musicals to life over two days.

The updated lineup for the 2015 National Alliance for Musical Theatre's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is:

COSTS OF LIVING, book, music & lyrics by Timothy Huang
Director: Marlo Hunter (Callaway Award-winner for Unlock'd)
Music Director: Rich Silverstein
Cast: Eric Badique (Regional: The King and I at Dallas Summer Musicals, Jenni Barber (Broadway: The Nance), Kiet Cao, Briana Carlson-Goodman (Broadway: Doctor Zhivago. Hair), Daniel J. Edwards (Broadway: Anything Goes), Ali Ewoldt (Broadway: LES MISERABLES), Raymond J. Lee (Broadway: Anything Goes, Honeymoon in Vegas), Kelvin Moon Loh (Broadway: The King and I), and Marrick Smith (Broadway: Fun Home)

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), Zell Steele Morrow (Broadway: Fun Home), 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), and Stephanie Umoh (Broadway: Ragtime)

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: Tina Fabrique (Broadway: Ragtime; Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk), Chasten Harmon (Broadway: Hair), Kenita Miller (Broadway: The Color Purple), Jon-Michael Reese (National tour: The Book of Mormon), Margo Seibert (Broadway: Rocky), Q. Smith (Broadway: Mary Poppins), and Melvin Tunstall (Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)

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: Gilbert L. Bailey, II (Off Broadway: Pope! An Epic Musical at NYMF), Jake Epstein (Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), James Monroe Iglehart (Broadway: Tony Award-winner for Aladdin), Lauren Marcus (Hello, Dolly at Paper Mill Playhouse), Emily Padgett (Broadway: Sideshow), 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: Rachel de Benedet (Broadway: Catch Me if You Can), Louisa Flaningam (Broadway: Guys and Dolls), Jonah Halperin (Broadway: Doctor Zhivago, Kinky Boots), Adam Monley (Broadway: LES MISERABLES), 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)
Music Director: Emily Marshall
With: George Abud (Broadway: The Visit), Eric Anderson (Broadway: The Last Ship), Eddie Cooper (Off Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors at Encores! Off Center), Will Connolly (Broadway: Once), Greg Hildreth (Broadway: Cinderella, Peter and the Starcatcher), Katie Lee Hill (Off Broadway: Wanderlust at Ars Nova), Brynn O'Malley (Broadway: Honeymoon In Vegas), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Broadway: Hamilton), Sarah Stiles (Broadway: Hand to God, Tony nom), and Ximone Rose (Regional: Hairspray at Le Petit Theatre Du Vieux Carre)

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.

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 highlights 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.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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