Tonya Pinkins, Kerry Butler and More Complete NAMT Casts

By: Sep. 28, 2012
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The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has announced final casting for the 24th Annual Festival of New Musicals on Thursday, October 11 and Friday, October 12 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street).
Tony winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly’s Last Jam), Tony nominee Peter Friedman (Ragtime), Vanessa Ray (Hair), Katrina Diderickson (Weston Playhouse’s Pregnancy Pact), Olli Haaskivi (NAMT Bernice Bobs Her Hair), join Timothy Warmen (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Annie Golden (Xanadu/The Full Monty) and (reprising his previous role) Bryce Ryness (Hair/See Rock City….and Other Destinations) in Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin and Valerie Vigoda’s Sleeping Beauty Wakes, directed by Rebecca Taichman (Milk Like Sugar) with music direction by Brad Haak (MARY POPPINS).
Kerry Butler (Catch Me If You Can/NAMT’s The Dogs of Pripyat) joins Drew Aber (A Tale of Two Cities), Demond Green (Sister Act), Kenita Miller (Xanadu), Alysha Umphress (American Idiot) and Emily Walton (The Shaggs) in Kirsten Childs’s Funked Up Fairy Tales, a collection of delightfully twisted urban fairy tales for sophisticated children and grownup kids.  Jerry Dixon (who starred in Childs’ The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin) directs, with Steve Marzullo (Disaster) music director.
Chester Gregory (Sister Act), Bryce Pinkham (Ghost) and Michael Winther (33 Variations) join Tony nominee André De Shields (Play On) in Bonfire NightJustin Levine’smusical about the plot to blow up Parliament in 1605.  Also cast are Drama Desk nominee Jeremy Morse (Bloodsong of Love), Omar Lopez-Cepero (American Idiot), Eddie Wardel, Santino Fontana (Cinderella), Chris Hoch (Shrek) and Wade McCollum (Triassic Parq). Tony nominated Sam Buntrock (SUNDAY IN THE Park with George) will direct with Kimberly Grigsby (Spring Awakening) as music director.
Rachael Ferrara (Goodspeed Musicals’ Amazing Grace) and Steve Routman (The Shaggs) join two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster (currently starring in ABC’s Bunheads) in The Circus in WinterBen Clark and Beth Turcotte’s musical inspired by the Cathy Day novel where legend and lore collide under the big top. Brian Sutherland (1776), Steel Burkhardt (Hair) and Kate Rockwell (Bring It On!) also star. The ensemble includes Marie-France Arcilla (the revised Working), Emily Behny (Beauty and the Beast tour), Derrick Cobey (The Scottsboro Boys), Jonathan Jensen, Corey Mach (Godspell) and Jen Noble (Ghost). Victoria Bussert (Lizzie Borden and Factory Girls at NAMT) directs and Matt Webb will be the music director.
Nicolette Hart (Rent) joins Tony nominee Nancy Opel (Urinetown), Damon Daunno (Brief Encounter) Tony nominee Robin DeJesus (iN THE HEIGHTS and La Cage aux Folles), Sarah Stiles (Public’s Into the Woods) and William Ryall (Chaplin) in Bleeding Love, an original musical by Jason Schafer, Arthur Lafrentz Bacon and Harris Doran, a wickedly demented, post-apocalyptic fairy tale for grownups. Stephen Brackett directs. Jason Wetzel (Young Frankenstein) is music director.
Wayne Wilcox (Chaplin), Adam Heller (Elf) and Drama Desk nominee Carrie Cimma (Lizzie Borden/NAMT Bloodsong of Love) join Bryce Ryness (See Rock City…), Dana Steingold and Margot Siebert (both in Pregnancy Pact at Weston Playhouse) in Triangle by Curtis Moore, Thomas Mizer and Joshua Sher, directed by Meredith McDonoughwith James Sampliner (Legally Blonde) as music director. 
New to The Cast of Nobody Loves You is Carla Duren (110 in the Shade), who joins Adam Kantor (Rent), Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages), Nicole Lewis (Hair), Heath Calvert (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and NAMT’s Bloodsong of Love) and Kelsey Kurz (The Merchant of Venice), back in roles they created previously at The Old Globe.  Also in The Cast are Phoebe Strole (Spring Awakening) and Etai Ben Shlomo (Wicked). Mike Pettry joins the team as music director. Michelle Tattenbaum will direct Nobody Loves You, having directed the world premiere earlier this season at The Old GlobeItamar Moses and Gaby Alter’s musical is a behind-the-scenes look at a dating reality television show.
Erik Lochtefeld (Metamorphoses) will join Emmy Award (TV’s Smallville) and Academy Award nominee (Best Song for A Mighty Wind) nominee Annette O’Toole, Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown), Natalie Joy Johnson (Legally Blonde), Robin Skye (Parade), Allison Briner (Mamma Mia!), Lizzie Hagstedt (Sweeney Todd national tour), and Joel Waggoner,  Randy Redd (War Horse) and Andy Taylor (Once) in Southern Comfort.  Tom Caruso returns as director after directing the award-winning workshop at CAP21 last fall. Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis’s musical is based on the Sundance award-winning documentary about transgender friends living in rural Georgia.  Emily Otto is returning as music director. 
Held in New York City every fall over two days, the Festival presents 45-minute staged readings of eight new musicals before an industry-only audience with the experience and resources to move the work forward.
For the ninth consecutive year NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals will be presented at the premiere Off-Broadway facility New World Stages, located west of the Theatre District at 340 West 50th Street.    Registration for Industry members is free and now open at  Open registration closes on September 30 and any registrations received after that date will be subject to a $10 late registration fee. Online registration closes on October 8. A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public for free on a standby basis.
The 24th Annual Festival of New Musicals is overseen by NAMT’s New Work Director and Festival Producing Director Branden Huldeen and General Manager Lisa Dozier.  Alan Filderman is Casting Director for the Festival.  Betsy King Militello is the Executive Director of NAMT.
In 1989 the Festival of New Musicals was created to provide a forum to celebrate the new musicals that were being produced and presented around the country. Since then, the Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 270 musicals and 490 writers from around the world. More than 75% of these shows have gone on to subsequent productions and tours, been printed in publishers' catalogues, and recorded on cast albums.
Past Festival productions include Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days, Don McKellar, Bob Martin, Greg Morrison and Lisa Lambert's The Drowsy ChaperoneRichard Morris, Dick Scanlan and Jeanine Tesori's Thoroughly Modern Millie; Stephen Schwartz and John Caird's Children of Eden; Kirsten ChildsThe Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin; George Stiles and Anthony Drewes' Honk!Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World; and Hunter Foster and David Kirshenbaum's Summer of '42.
The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. Our mission is to advance musical theatre by nurturing the creation, development, production and presentation of new musicals. Our 150 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.
The FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is funded entirely by contributions to the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, a not-for-profit organization, and is supported in part by a generous award from the National Endowment for the Arts and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information about NAMT, please visit