BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop Announces New Showcase 1/31

The BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop announces its Winter Smoker, a semi-annual showcase for new songs from Workshop writers. The event will be held in the 30th Floor Media Room of BMI's New York office at 7 World Trade Center/250 Greenwich Street on Thursday, January 31 at 5:00PM and is open to members of the entertainment industry as well as Workshop members. Reservations are a must: or 212 220-3177. Running time is 70 minutes.

The Smoker, now in its fifteenth season, is modeled after informal social gatherings at Cambridge University where the Workshop's two time Tony Award winning and 2010 Oscar nominated writer Maury Yeston performed his songs during his undergraduate days. Previous smoker participants include Best Musical Tony Award winners Robert Lopez ( AVE Q, BOOK OF MORMON) and Jeff Marx (AVENUE Q), Nancy Ford and Gretchen Cryer (I'M GETTING MY ACT TOGETHER...), Eric Rockwell and Joann Bogart (THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS, THE MUSICAL) Amanda Green (BRING IT ON, HANDS ON A HARDBODY) and Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (NEXT TO NORMAL).

Writing team Kate Anderson & Elyssa Samsel are represented by their musical, CAMP WISH-NO-MORE, a comedy about a camp for delusional girls. Last October, their songs were featured in the New York Theatre Barn's "D-Lounge" Series at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square. Kate and Elyssa also recently penned "LLAMAZE 101" for the Steinhardt School of Music.

Willa Bassen and Nick Robertson are represented by two songs from their original musical, HAPPY TEXAS. Ms. Bassen is the co-author of the title song for the John Waters film "Hairspray," and co-author of the theme song and underscoring for the Nickelodeon TV series "Clarissa Explains It All." She and Robertson are also writing an original musical about animators and their oh-so-fantastic cartoons in 1930's Hollywood. Michael Shapiro, Workshop Member and co-writer of COOKIES, will perform will perform their song "Keep on Looking."

Lyricist Raymond Bokhour ("Mr. Cellophane" in Chicago) & composer Simon Gray are represented by two songs from two songs from THE SUICIDE, A MUSICAL COMEDY. The show has been seen in presentations in New York at Musical Mondays and Barrington Stage, both directed by Tony Award winning director, John Rando (URINETOWN, A CHRISTMAS STORY.)

Drama desk nominee Lauren Cregor Devine is composer-lyricist for the off-Broadway company Waterwell and is represented by the song "Bite Your Teeth," from her new musical LA GRANDE NOTTE. Kathryn Hathaway and Benjamin Velez are presenting a song from their new musical, AFTERLAND. Hathaway's plays and musicals have been performed and developed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New Dramatists, NYMF, Joe's Pub and The Flea. Velez, a recent Columbia graduate, has had work presented in the NEO Concerts and is winner of the BMI Foundation Jerry Harrington Award for excellence in writing for the Musical Theatre.
Composer Jonathan Monro and lyricist Kaley McMahon are represented by two songs. Monro is a classical pianist (Carnegie Hall), has composed over 20 original scores for theatre and had work performed at the most recent NEO concert. McMahon, a Bennington Graduate, wrote Fred Phelps: The Musical! (book by Savannah Dooley) and It Started in Staples.

Composer/ Lyricist Stuart McMeans' comedy songs are frequently performed in the NYC cabaret scene and around the country, most recently by Broadway performers at 54 Below, Triad Theater, Joe's Pub "Songs of Spirit," and "Songs by Stuart and Stuart" at the Laurie Beechman. Becca Ayers will be performing his song "Fearless." Ayers' Broadway credits include THE ADDAMS FAMILY and the original revival casts of both SOUTH PACIFIC and LES MISERABLES.

Andy Monroe composed the music for THE KID (2010 Outer Critics Circle Award winner, 2009 Jerry Bock Award recipient) as well as the score for THE TRAGIC AND HORRIBLE LIFE OF THE SINGING NUN (NYMF, 2006). Recipient of a 2011 American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson grant, the BMI Foundation 2001 Jerry Harrington Musical Theatre Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement and was a 2007-8 Dramatist Guild Fellow. Tom Stuart and Raissa Katona Bennett will perform "I Don't Want To Hear a Word" from his 5 character musical "Drive," recently seem at Musical Mondays at the Snapple Theater Center.

Composer/Lyricist Tracy Sallows will perform the opening number "Gotta Wanna" from A HEAD FOR BUSINESS. Sallows has been seen on Broadway in SHIMADA, THE MISER and YOU NEVER CAN TELL and on HBO'S "Boardwalk Empire" as Mrs. Kathryn Bader.
The event is co-produced by Kleban Award Winner Frederick Freyer, Artistic Coordinator of the Workshop and Frank Evans, Special Events Coordinator. Patrick Cook, Director of Musical Theatre and Jazz at BMI emcees. Freyer and Cook garnered an Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for CAPTAIN'S COURAGEOUS, produced by Manhattan Theatre Club. Evans, whose musicals and plays have been seen from Alaska to London is a Jerry Bock Award winning lyricist. His work has been named on Best of The Year Lists in The Palm Beach Post, The Norwich Bulletin and TheatreWeek.

The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, recipient of a 2006 Tony honor, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, was founded in 1961 by the late Lehman Engel, dean of American musical theatre, to create a setting where new writers could learn their craft.

Now marking its 65th year in business, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of more than 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.

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