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Sutton Foster, Natalie Venetia Belcon & More Join NAMT's 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has announced final casting for the 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals on Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street).

Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster (Anything Goes) and Kevin Smith Kirkwood (Kinky Boots) join The Astonishing Return of...The Protagonists!, an action-packed superhero comedy with book & lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila, music by Michael Shaieb.

Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q), Mel Johnson Jr., (Jekyll & Hyde) and Crystal Joy (Motown the Musical) join My Heart is the Drum, a coming-of-age musical of a young girl fleeing her African village, with book by Jennie Redling, concept & music by Phillip Palmer and lyrics by Stacey Luftig.

Graham Rowat (Mamma Mia!) and Julia Mattison (Godpsell) join The Single Girls Guide, which sets Jane Austen's Emma in 1964 Manhattan and features music & lyrics by Tommy Newman, book by Gordon Greenberg. Mattison replaces previously announced Ali Mauzey due to scheduling conflicts.

William Parry (Memphis national tour) and Melanie Vaughan (Parade) joins Eastland a musical about the S.S. Eastland boating disaster in Chicago, 1915, which features book & lyrics by Andrew White and music by Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman.

One of Broadway's Matildas, Bailey Ryon, joins The Sandman - a little nightmare musical, based on the disturbed scribblings of E.T.A. Hoffmann, featuring book, music & lyrics by Richard Oberacker & Robert Taylor. Ryon replaces previously announced Sadie Sink due to scheduling conflicts.

Bryan Fenkart (Nobody Loves You) joins Analog and Vinyl, a quirky romantic comedy set in a vintage record shop with book, music & lyrics by Paul Gordon.

Other shows in this year's Festival include: Come From Away, a musical about the thousands of people diverted to Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11, which features book, music & lyrics by David Hein and Irene Sankoff; The Boy Who Danced on Air, about an Afghanistan dancing ritual involving young boys, with book & lyrics by Charlie Sohne and music by Tim Rosser; and The Three Little Pigs, by George Stiles (music), Anthony Drewe (book & lyrics).

On Friday, October 18, NAMT will present the annual Songwriters Showcase at 1pm at New World Stages. This year's showcase will present some of NAMT's most well-known Festival Alumni writers presenting songs from their latest projects. Each team will invite on stage their favorite up-and-coming songwriting team to also share a song from their latest work and to chat about their projects.

This year's songwriters participating are:
Tony Award Best Score nominees for The Wedding Singer, Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar (both, NAMT Fest '94- Wicked City), will present a song from their untitled new project and have invited Jordan Mann and Jeff Thomson to share a song from their new project, Jawbreaker.

Tony Award Best Score nominees for Legally Blonde, Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe (both, NAMT Fest '03- Sarah, Plain and Tall) will present a song from their new project, Life of the Party, and they have asked Jill Abramovitz (NAMT Fest '11- The Dogs of Pripyat) and Brad Alexander (NAMT Fest '08- See Rock City and Other Destinations) to share a song from their new project, Bread and Roses.

Two-time Tony Award-winner for Memphis, Joe DiPietro (NAMT Fest '98- O. Henry's Lovers) will present a song from his new project with David Bryan, Chasing the Song, and he has asked Joe Iconis (NAMT Fest '11- Bloodsong of Love) to present a song from his untitled Hunter Thompson musical.

Tony Award-winner Lisa Lambert (NAMT Fest '04- The Drowsy Chaperone) will present a song from her new project with fellow Drowsy alumnus Greg Morrison, Miss Pettigrew, and she has invited Sam Willmott to share a song from his new project, Boy.

For the tenth 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. Registration for Industry members is free and now open at

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