BWW Feature: 17TH ANNUAL VILLAGE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS at Village Theatre

Well, Dear Readers, it's my favorite weekend of the year again. The weekend when Village Theatre gathers together all the best musical theater talent and presents readings of five up and coming new musicals. Yes, it's the 17th Annual Village Originals Festival of New Musicals or as I like to call it, Musical Theater Nerd Paradise. They presented us with some really outstanding works and while I can't review them, I can still tell you about the shows themselves.

BWW Feature: 17TH ANNUAL VILLAGE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS at Village Theatre
The cast of Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat at
The 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals
Photo credit: © 2017 Sam Freeman
Property of Village Theatre.

NIKOLA TESLA DROPS THE BEAT
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead

A misunderstood genius. A rivalry for the ages. A dream that would change the world forever. Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat is an Electronic Dance Musical that turns the volume up on one of the world's most influential yet overlooked inventors and his struggle to realize his vision of the future. In the anachronistic universe of NTDB, Tesla is a genius DJ whose sounds push the limits of what his audience can handle. The innovative score translates his electric obsessions into electronic music: alternating current loop-pedal soundscapes, wireless dance-floor frequencies, and mad-scientist dubstep breakdowns. Come feel the beat drop.

BWW Feature: 17TH ANNUAL VILLAGE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS at Village Theatre
The cast of Hart Island at The 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals
Photo credit: © 2017 Sam Freeman
Property of Village Theatre.

HART ISLAND
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Danny Larsen and Michelle Elliott

Hart Island is the story of two people on the fringe of society - Charles, an incarcerated man, and Marielena, an undocumented young woman. Their lives intersect on Hart Island, New York City's public burial ground. Although Charles and Marielena are marginalized by the rest of the world, they come to appreciate each other's humanity - a powerful action in a world that elevates division and isolation over compassion and respect.

BWW Feature: 17TH ANNUAL VILLAGE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS at Village Theatre
The cast of Afterwords at The 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals
Photo credit: © 2017 Sam Freeman
Property of Village Theatre.

AFTERWORDS
Music and Lyrics by Zoe Sarnak
Book by Emily Kaczmarek

When an accomplished war reporter is killed on assignment, his diaries are left to his protégé, Jo. But their pages provide her with more questions than comfort, chronicling his turbulent midlife love affair and pointing mysteriously toward Kali and Simone, artist sisters mourning the loss of their volatile mother. As entanglements deepen and past collides with present, Kali, Simone, and Jo relay three sides of one story through the show's music, set, and book. Afterwords is a new musical about three women bound by notes scribbled down on paper, and the art we make from the love that makes us.

BWW Feature: 17TH ANNUAL VILLAGE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS at Village Theatre
The cast of Howl's Moving Castle at
The 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals
Photo credit: © 2017 Sam Freeman
Property of Village Theatre.

HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE
Book by Diana Wynne Jones
Adapted by Myra Platt
Music and Lyrics by Justin Huertas

When Sophie unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, she finds herself turned into an old woman. To break the enchantment, she must strike a bargain with a fire demon and seek the help of the frightening sorcerer Howl - before she can face the Witch head-on. Justin Huertas, whose Lizard Boy, the Musical has become a cult favorite, crafts the songs for this new musical. Based on the award-winning 1986 novel-post-J.R.R. Tolkien and pre-J.K. Rowling- Howl's Moving Castle inspires each of us to trust in our own powers of transformation.

BWW Feature: 17TH ANNUAL VILLAGE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS at Village Theatre
The cast of ZM at The 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals
Photo credit: © 2017 Sam Freeman
Property of Village Theatre.

ZM
Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann
Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis

ZM takes place in a remote American town where a fast-food franchise is test-marketing a new sandwich that, apparently, turns people into zombies. ZM follows Barnabas Young and Mercy Rider, two teenage lovers/fast-food workers, who are separated during the outbreak. Barnabas searches for the franchise president to warn him about the sandwich while Mercy stays behind to look after the president's wounded son. The lovers eventually reunite, but not before committing unspeakable acts that change them forever. In the end, the two learn the terrible truth about the source of the plague and the outcome it was designed to create.

For more information on the Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals visit them online at www.villagetheatre.org.

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From This Author Jay Irwin

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