For the past 4 winters, I have spent a January weekend in Connecticut catching a show at The Spirit of Broadway Theater and attending Goodspeed Musicals’ Festival of New Artists. It is one of my favorite annual excursions to see great new musicals and catch up with members and writers.
I started out my trip with a visit to see The Spirit of Broadway
‘s production of the new musical The Boy in the Bathroom
by Michael Lluberes and Joe Mahoney. This beautiful and touching production was directed by Brett Bernardini. The three-person show tells the story of a young man who chooses to live locked in the bathroom of his mother’s house while he finishes his dissertation. It is a quirky story rendered wonderfully in this production. The show is running through February 5.
It was then off to Goodspeed
‘s 7th Festival of New Artists
in partnership with The Hartt School and Boston Conservatory. This year there were 3 staged readings of new musicals, 2 cabarets and a sneak peek at one of the new musicals Goodspeed will present this season. The readings this year were:
Harmony, Kansas by Anna K. Jacobs and Bill Nelson (a past recipient of a NAMT Writers Residency Grant at Barrington Stage Co.)
Not Wanted on the Voyage by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill (the writers of NAMT Fest ’07 show- The Story of My Life)
Also in residency that weekend working on other shows were Jeremy Desmon (NAMT Fest ’04-The Girl in the Frame) and Jeff Thomson, NAMT Fest ’11 (Dani Girl) writers Michael Kooman and Chris Dimond, and the team of Marcy Heisler, Zina Goldrich and Hunter Bell working on The Great American Mousical which was the special sneak peek musical that weekend.
As you can see, there were a whole lot of NAMT connections throughout the weekend with Festival alumni involved throughout. I had seen previous incarnations of all of the shows and was really excited to see all of the great work the writers have done on them. All of the shows have grown so much, and I hope that they all find great futures across the membership.
Post-show evenings were spent in cabarets in which the uber-talented writers listed above would entertain us with other songs from shows they are working on. Goodspeed knows how to pack a weekend with the perfect amount of art, fun, music and cocktails!
I love my January trip to Connecticut each year. I get to chat with members, see work from alumni and other great writers, but, most of all, I get a chance to spend a great weekend immersed in a community of new musicals. Not a bad way to spend a cold winter weekend!