NYMF's Go-Go Beach Announces Cast & Creative Team

New York City: The New York Musical Theatre Festival and Kevin F. Harrington's Plaza Theatrical Productions Inc. will present the world premiere of an original new musical, GO-GO BEACH, at 37 ARTS THEATRE from September 14th - 23rd. GO-GO BEACH is an official juried Next Link selection of the 2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival, one of only 15 shows chosen from over 350 submissions.

GO-GO BEACH is a new musical fable told in the style of the popular beach party movies of the 1960s. It's a coming-of-age story about a surfer who gets into trouble with his girlfriend when he falls for a runaway teen pop star, and the flower child who helps him discover the true meaning of life. GO-GO BEACH features an original score inspired by the surf sound, girl groups, go-go music, and a little flower power as well.

GO-GO BEACH has book and lyrics by John Wimbs, the playwright who won Canada's top theatre honor (Dora Mavor Moore Award) for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production for Molly Wood; and music by composers Michael Shaieb and Brent Lord, both alumni of the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, whose work is currently represented in the Vh1 documentary "Last Days of Left Eye."

Direction is by John Simpkins, a member of the music theatre faculty at NYU, who has directed many regional productions including Cabaret (Sacramento Music Circus), tick tick...BOOM!, Godspell and Chicago; and who has recently directed Things to Ruin: The Songs of Joe Iconis at Ars Nova.

Choreography is by Michele Lynch, the choreographer for the upcoming Jason Robert Brown/Dan Elish musical 13 at the Mark Taper Forum this winter directed by Todd Graff; Associate Choreographer for Hairspray!; and Assistant Choreographer for The Full Monty and Urinetown on Broadway.

Production designer is Michael Schweikardt (James Taylor's One Man Band tour, and Ella, an upcoming musical based on the life of Ella Fitzgerald); costumes designed by Philip Heckman (Shout! The Mod Musical); lighting by Chris Dallos (Off-Broadway Mrs. Klein, Kiki & Herb); sound by Ken Travis (The Threepenny Opera, Hurlyburly, Kiki & Herb: Coup de Theatre); music direction by Karl Mansfield (Assoc. Conductor B'way Dracula, Off-Broadway Grey Gardens); wigs, hair and makeup by ROBERT MORGAN. Casting by Stuart Howard Associates.

Austin Miller, who created the role of Link Larkin for the 1st National Tour and Las Vegas productions of Hairspray! creates the role of California surfer Woody, opposite his three leading ladies: Erin Leigh Peck (I Love You, You're Perfect…, Dance of the Vampires, Grease) as J.J., the Annette Funicello-inspired girlfriend; Coleen Sexton (Broadway Jekyll and Hyde, National Tour Chicago) as runaway teen pop star Mindy Chinchilla; and Chandra Lee Schwartz (Penny Pingleton in the 1st National Tour and Las Vegas productions of Hairspray!, 2005 NYMF citation Best Leading Actress in But I'm a Cheerleader!) as flower child Bulldog. TIMOTHY SMITH, recently on Broadway in Sweet Charity and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, as B-movie producer Sammy Leech Jr.

The cast also includes some of the hottest new talent in musical theatre: DAVID A. AUSTIN (I Love You Because…) as Fingers, Michael Buchanan (Kennedy Center's Mame) as Einstein, Amy Goldberger as the Ann-Margret-inspired Kitten, newcomer Colt Prattes as muscle-bound Rip, Shelley Thomas (Zanna, Don't!) as Honey, and Savannah Wise as Baby.

GO-GO BEACH was first presented in New York as a staged reading in June 2001. It was staged at the Kennedy Center by the CAPPIES (a national youth theater organization), and won the Audience Choice Award at Toronto's SummerWorks Festival in 2003. The show was further developed at University of Northern Colorado, and was given a commercial Korean-language production at the National Arts Center in Seoul.

KEVIN F. HARRINGTON, president of Plaza Theatrical Productions, Inc., has been producing and directing for over 25 years throughout the tri-state area. In partnership with his wife, Phyllis, the Plaza organization presents over 250 live performances a year. Co-producer JONATHAN SCHWARTZ has had a long association with GO-GO BEACH, having produced several developmental productions since its inception in 2001.

GO-GO BEACH will be performed at 37 ARTS THEATRE, 450 West 37th Street (between 9th & 10th), for six performances only:

Thurs. Sept. 14th at 8:00 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 16th at 1:00 p.m.
Sun. Sept. 17th at 4:30 p.m.
Mon. Sept. 18th at 1:00 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 22nd at 8:00 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 23rd at 1:00 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on-line at www.nymf.org or by calling (212) 352-3101. For more information, please visit www.nymf.org and www.gogobeach.com

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