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Festival of New American Musicals to Kick Off 5th Season Today, 5/1

The annual Festival of New American Musicals (FNAM) kicks off its 5th season today, May 1, 2012 with two MAJOR NEW INITIATIVES FEATURED...2012 SHOW SEARCH and FIRST LOOK as part of the 28 exciting musicals and events lined up.


Kicking off the season on May 3 at Mbar are Milburn & Vigoda, a theatrical songwriting team who perform their own material. They spent 15 years on the road with their band GrooveLily, and now divide their time between writing musicals and songs for movies and teen pop stars.

Starting June 3 is THE MARQUEZ MARATHON OF AMERICAN HISTORY MUSICALS, featuring the delightful American history students from Marquez Charter School in Pacific Palisades performing their musicals CARRY ON (June 3), an original musical about the civil rights movement happening at The Actors Gang; WATER & POWER (June 12 – 14), a musical about the Industrial Revolution will take place at Marquez School; and MIRACLE IN PHILADELPHIA (June 21), an inside look into the writing of the US Constitution at The Kirk Douglas Theatre. On June 9th, the festival will launch its own series of 2-hour musical theater radio shows in conjunction with KUSC 91.5. THE SHOW OF SHOWS, which will live stream Saturday Evenings at 8, will be a monthly 2-hour celebration of American musicals. Leading off the series will be Take Me to the World: The Lesser Known Music of ??1 Stephen Sondheim.

Premiering the same day is Earthbound, An Electronica Musical at T.U. Studios. The musical runs from June 9 – July 15. Another major event this season is FUTUREFEST (June 30). Schools from all over Southern California will come together to perform new American musical theater songs and scenes. This year Futurefest will be held at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. Participating high schools include: Community Charter, Santa Susana High, Moorpark High, Oak Park High, Notre Dame High, Champs Charter, Granada Hills High, LA Reina High, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Channel Islands and AMDA.

Returning for the 4th straight year is TH193, a summer college course in creating new musicals, which is to be presented at the College of the Canyons in conjunction with the Festival. This year?s new musical is GO-GO BEACH (July 26 – 29), a new musical fable about the shift in consciousness in America in the mid-sixties told in the style of the popular California beach party movies.

The Festival has been contracted, for a 2nd year, by the LA County Parks & Recreation to create an EAST SIDE INITIATIVE, running all summer long, designed to provide professional musical theater training and musical theater experiences to 300 young people. Again this year the Festival of New American Musicals presents the Shakespeare Musical Project.

Each year the students of Los Angeles? PUC Charter High School transform a Shakespeare play into a contemporary musical. This year students will perform TEMPEST TOSS?D (Aug. 7) at PUC - a contemporary musical take on Shakespeare?s Tempest. The students will bring the audience on a rollicking musical adaptation of The Tempest! Rounding out the Festival events in August is the premiere of Johnny Spots at Cal State Fullerton, August 18 – 19.

Launching in August is FIRST LOOK, one of FNAM?s major new initiatives of the season. First Look is an ambitious 2-week period of Staged Readings taking place in various theater venues in Hollywood-Los Feliz, including: ASPHALT BEACH (Aug. 15 – 16) & MY LESBIAN MOTHER?S JEWISH WICCAN WEDDING (Aug. 19 – 20) at Barnsdale Gallery Theater; World premieres of ON THE RECORD; Martin Scorsese and THE EXISTENTS at Show at Barre; a world premiere new musical work at the Skylight Theatre, and ASCAP?s 3rd annual SONGWRITER?S SHOWCASE at Gardenia in Hollywood, hosted by Andrea Marcovici (Aug. 15-16). Earlier in the year FNAM launched it?s other newest initiate, 2012 Show Search - a national search for the best 10-minute musical written by 13 - 25 year olds.

Glee?s Darren Criss is the official spokesperson for Show Search. More than 150 young 2
writers from 40 states have entered to create 70 new musicals, with a final submission deadline of September 1, 2012. The Festival of New American Musicals will also be recommending new musicals playing in Southern California venues, which include: CLOUDLANDS at South Coast Rep now through May 6; HELLO, MY BABY (May 4 – 6) at The Lobero Theatre; Susan Egan, THE BELLE OF BROADWAY (May 6) at Carpenter Center; CRESCENT CITY (May 10 – 27), a Hyperopera, at Atwater Crossing; HANDS ON A HARD BODY (April 27 – June 17) at the La Jolla Playhouse; SCOTTSBORO BOYS (April 29 – June 10) at The Old Globe; JANE OF THE JUNGLE (May 25 – June 10) at South Coast Rep; AMERICAN IDIOT (May 29 – June 3) at Segerstrom Center for the Arts; and BOOK OF MORMON (September 5 – November 25) at the Pantages.

About the Festival of New American Musicals

Since 2008, the Festival of New American Musicals has curated an annual festival of new musicals throughout Southern California, performed by Professionals, Communities, and Schools. We will be celebrating our 5th Festival Year from April 2012 - August 2012. Our Mission: To ENTERTAIN audiences in Southern California with exciting new musical theatre, To EDUCATE the next generation of theatre goers, creators, and performers, To DEVELOP new shows for American Musical Theatre.

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