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Overview

October 20 - 21

New World Stages 340 W 50th Street, New York, NY

The 20th Annual Festival of New Musicals was held in New York City on Monday, October 20 and Tuesday, October 21 for an invited audience of NAMT members and musical theatre producers.

Musicals

Barnstormer

Director
Jerry Dixon

Cast
Stu James, Julia Lema, Norm Lewis, Kenita Miller, C.E Smith, Glenn Turner and Rema Webb

Synopsis

Before Amelia Earhart, there was Bessie Coleman — the first Black aviatrix who rose from the cotton fields of Texas and the barbershops of Chicago to finally conquer the skies of France. Her brief but dynamic life inspired the disenfranchised to pursue their dreams, including her own nephew who became a Tuskegee Airman.

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Beatsville

Director
Robert Longbottom

Cast
Cameron Barnett, Steve Buntrock, Todd Buonopane, Stephen DeRosa, Hilary Gardner, Joe Kenosian, Beth Malone, Marla Mindelle, Richard Roland and Tommar Wilson

Synopsis

Greenwich Village, 1959—Playground of bohemians, beatniks and jazzbos. Tragically square Walter Paisley finds that his clay figures, sculpted nudes, and papier-mché busts bring him the acceptance he desperately yearns for. But what if the world discovers that Walter’s body of work consists of actual bodies? A bebop-inflected black comedy/satire.

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The Cuban And The Redhead

Director
Robert Bartley

Cast
Michelle Blakely, Jessica Carter, Miguel Cervantes, Jenn Colella, Philip D'Amore, Hattie Davis, Eileen Galindo, Morgan James, Eliseo Roman, Roland Rusinek, Jay Russell, Tim Salamandyk, Cheryl Stern, Kirsten Wyatt and Tony Yazbeck

Synopsis

Escaping the bloodshed of his native Island, a young Cuban boy sets sail on a turbulent journey that leads him all the way to Hollywood and into the arms of a fiery, redheaded movie star named Lucille Ball. At the climax of The Cuban and The Red Head, Desi and Lucy put their money, their trust and their dreams on the line in a gamble to save one thing—their marriage. They risk it all on an untested medium called television. Can these two star crossed lovers blaze a path that defies Hollywood and history to be together? (formerly known as Dance With Me).

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The Legend Of Stagecoach Mary

Director
Christopher Gattelli

Cast
Madeline Doherty, J. Austin Eyer, Danielle Lee Greaves, Joshua Henry, Lauren Kennedy, Jose Llana, Sarah Saltzberg, Jason Patrick Sands and Nick Wyman

Synopsis

Ex-slave Mary Fields turns the idea of the real Wild West hero on its head when she travels to 1880’s Montana to find freedom, adventure and her long-lost best friend. Along the way, she discovers a gaggle of square-dancing nuns and a town full of cowboys in need of a little lesson in the American Dream.

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Ordinary Days

Director
Matt Toronto

Cast
Jared Gertner, Adam Jacobs, Kate Shindle and Kate Wetherhead

Synopsis

When Deb loses her most precious possession—the notes to her graduate thesis—she unwittingly starts a chain of events that turns the ordinary days of four New Yorkers into something extraordinary. Told through a series of intricately connected songs and vignettes, Ordinary Days is an original musical about growing up and enjoying the view.

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Pamela's First Musical

Director
David Zippel

Cast
Allison Blackwell, Stephen Bogardus, Dan Bogart, Lila Coogan, Adam Jacobs, Carrie Johnson, Deborah Lew, Karen Mason, Dan Petrotta, Daniel Reichard, Devin Richards, Lewis J. Stadlen, Allison Walla and Karen Ziemba

Synopsis

Pamela’s First Musical is the story of a young suburban girl who feels out of place. Her mother has passed away and she lives with her father and two brothers who don’t understand her. Pamela’s active fantasy life and infatuation with Broadway keeps her from being too sad or lonely. On the occasion of her 11th birthday she learns that her father is about to re-marry. Just when Pamela thinks her entire world is going to crash, her eccentric Aunt Louise arrives. Aunt Louise is a New York fashion designer who sweeps Pamela off to New York City and her first Broadway musical. There, she meets producers, writers, actors, directors and choreographers and discovers the world of Broadway Theater and its off-stage and on-stage magic. As Aunt Louise says “A Broadway Musical can cure anything.” Pamela’s trip to New York inspires her to write and direct her own musical and to “collaborate” with her blended family, which, ultimately, brings them all together.

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See Rock City And Other Destinations

Director
Kevin Del Aguila

Cast
Jill Abramovitz, Skylar Astin, Hunter Foster, John Jellison, David Rossmer, Wesley Taylor and Cassie Wooley

Synopsis

Fueled by a brilliant pop-rock score, See Rock City & Other Destinations ventures to tourist destinations across America, mapping out stories of sightseers who need to get a little lost in order to find themselves. From Coney Island to Mt. McKinley, the Alamo to Niagara Falls—get ready to take the leap! Winner of the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre

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The Yellow Wood

Director
Brian Yorkey

Cast
Melinda Bass, Randy Blair, Bob De Dea, MaryAnn Hu, Diana Huey, Danny Larsen, Amy Linden and Morgan Weed

Synopsis

17-year-old Adam is frantically trying to memorize Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” before English, but because he didn’t take his Ritalin, he can’t get much farther than the “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…” before a fantastic wood begins coming to life in his school. Desperate to prove he can turn his life around, Adam struggles to get beyond his ADD, his cultural heritage and his unique but unruly imagination. Adam is pulled deeper and deeper into the Yellow Wood, where he must face the reality of who he is and decide who he will ultimately become.

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Songwriters Showcase

A SUPERHERO by Marty Johnson & Jonathan Waller
ADAM LIVES by Rob Baumgartner
HAVING IT ALMOST by David Goldsmith, John Kavanaugh, & Wendy Perelman
HOMEMADE FUSION by Chris Dimond & Michael Kooman
HOSTAGE SONG by Kyle Jarrow & Clay McLeod Chapman
PEOPLE ARE WRONG by Robin Goldwasser & Julia Greenberg
UNLOCK’D by Sam Carner & Derek Gregor
GREAT WALL by David Henry Hwang, Kevin Merritt & Kevin So

Writers & Artists

Brad Alexander

Music, See Rock City And Other Destinations

Brad Alexander is the composer of SEE ROCK CITY & OTHER DESTINATIONS, which received the 2011 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, six Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Music, the Richard Rodgers Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Jerry Bock Award from The BMI Foundation. He wrote the music and orchestrations for Theatreworks USA’s CLICK, CLACK, MOO (Drama Desk and Lortel Award nominee), the music for JUST SO STORIES and MARTHA SPEAKS and songs for DUCK FOR PRESIDENT, IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE, and WE THE PEOPLE: AMERICA ROCKS! (Lortel Award nominee). Brad’s music has also been featured on VH1, Sony Records, SiriusXM’s STAGE DOOR SUPPER CLUB and web series SUBMISSIONS ONLY. He is a member of Nashville Songwriters Association International, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, The Dramatists Guild of America and BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. bradalexander.com

Douglas J. Cohen

Music, Barnstormer

Douglas J. Cohen is the composer/lyricist of the Broadway bound The Big Time, an original musical with a book by Douglas Carter Beane, directed by Chris Ashley, and produced by Robert Ahrens. He was awarded two Richard Rodgers Grants and the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation Award for writing No Way to Treat A Lady (optioned for Broadway and previously produced twice off-Broadway at the Hudson Guild and York Theatre Co.) and The Gig (MTC Stage II, Goodspeed, California Musical Theatre, NAMT, York Theatre Company concert now on Jay Records CD). Nominated for a 2005 Drama Desk Award for Oustanding Lyrics for Children’s Letters to God (off-Broadway’s Lamb Theatre), Doug is composer/lyricist/co-librettist for The Opposite of Sex (Williamstown Theatre productions, NAMT), librettist-lyricist of the upcoming Valentino’s Tango, and composer-lyricist of off-Broadway’s Boozy, created by the Obie award winning Les Freres Corbusier.

Cy Coleman

Music, Pamela's First Musical

Cheryl L. Davis

Book & Lyrics, Barnstormer

Her work has been read and performed nationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Kennedy Center. She is a co-recipient of the 2005 Kleban Award for her work as a librettist, and her play about the desegregation of the nations-school system, The Color of Justice, which was commissioned by Theatreworks/USA, received critical acclaim, including excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News. Her play Cover Girls, which is an adaptation of the Bishop T.D. Jakes novel, was produced and toured by ClearChannel Entertainment. She is a practicing attorney in Manhattan and is a partner with the firm of Menaker & Herrman LLP.

Michelle Elliott

Book & Lyrics, The Yellow Wood

Michelle Elliott (bookwriter & co-lyricist) graduated from New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program in 2005. With her longtime collaborator, Michelle has written The Yellow Wood (Richard Rodgers Development Award and Daryl Roth Award) and Cloaked, which received a Jonathan Larson Grant. Michelle was the recipient of the 2011 Kleban Prize for Most Promising Librettist for Cloaked. Danny and Michelle have written an online musical for teens that is a response to the spate of suicides by gay youth. This new work, entitled The Hinterlands, was released online at HinterlandsTheMusical.com and can be viewed via Youtube. While at NYU, Michelle was the recipient of the Tisch Achievement Award. Michelle also has a Master’s in Directing from the University of Wisconsin – Superior, where she received the Excellence in Directing Award. Her first full-length play, Promising, will be produced in New York City in November/December 2015.

Adam Gwon

Lyrics & Music, Ordinary Days

Musicals include Ordinary Days (NAMT Fest ’08, Roundabout, London’s West End, and more), Cloudlands (South Coast Repertory), The Boy Detective Fails(Signature Theatre) and Bernice Bobs Her Hair (NAMT Fest ’11).His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and more, by such luminaries as Audra McDonald and Kelli O’Hara. Honors include the Kleban, Ebb, and Loewe Awards, Second Stage Theatre’s Rosen Award, ASCAP’s Harold Adamson Award, the MAC John Wallowitch Award, and commissions from Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, SCR, Signature, and Broadway Across America. Adam is proud to be making his third appearance in the NAMT Festival.

Adam Mathias

Book & Lyrics, See Rock City And Other Destinations

Thomas Mizer

Book & Lyrics & Music, The Legend Of Stagecoach Mary

Thomas Mizer has written lyrics and collaborated on the book for musicals including The Legend of Stagecoach Mary (NAMT Fest ‘08), The House of the Seven Gables (ASCAP Workshop) and The Bus to Buenos Aires (EST). An honors graduate of Northwestern University, he received a 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant and has twice been an artist in residence at the National Music Theater Conference. In addition to his theater work, he is a copywriter at Comedy Central, edits The Broadway Blog and writes features for national travel magazines. www.thomasmizer.com

Curtis Moore

Book & Lyrics & Music, The Legend Of Stagecoach Mary

Curtis Moore recently returned from conducting and performing in Sam Mendes’ production of Richard III starring Kevin Spacey.   With lyricist Thomas Mizer, he was awarded a Jonathan Larson Grant in 2009; together, they wrote The Legend of Stagecoach Mary (NAMT Fest ‘08) and The Bus to Buenos Aires (EST). His new musical Venice (with Matt Sax and Eric Rosen) will be produced next spring at The Public Theater in New York, where he recently composed the score for Timon of Athens.  He wrote and performed songs in the Todd Solondzʼs film Palindromes and composed the score for Clear Blue Tuesday.

Glenn Slater

Book, Beatsville

Glenn Slater (librettist) was nominated for a 2008 Tony Award (Best Score) for The Little Mermaid. Recent work: Disney’s animated Western: Home on the Range; MTC’s Obie Award-winning revue newyorkers. Upcoming: Sister Act (Lyricist, West End, 2009), and Leap of Faith (Lyricist/Co-librettist, Broadway 2009), with Alan Menken; Phantom of the Opera II (Lyricist/Librettist, West End 2009), with Andrew Lloyd Weber; and The Hudsucker Proxy (Lyricist/Lirettist, Broadway 2010), with Stephen Weiner. Awards: Kleban Award for Lyrics, ASCAP/Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, Jonathan Larson Award. Glenn lives in NYC with his wife, composer/lyricist Wendy Leigh Wilf and sons Benjamin and Daniel.

Wendy Wasserstein

Book, Pamela's First Musical

Danny Whitman

Book & Lyrics & Music, The Cuban And The Redhead

Wendy Wilf

Lyrics & Music, Beatsville

Wendy Leigh Wilf (Music & Lyrics) is a composer, lyricist and jazz musician. Her theatre music has been performed in NYC (That Time of Year, York Theatre), The Berkshires (Many Moons), and at the Inge Festival in Independence, Kansas (Splendor In The Grass) where she served as Artist-In-Residence. Her songs have been recorded by numerous artists, most recently Susan Egan (on her her album Winter Tracks). As a performer, Wendy has played in jazz clubs worldwide. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, a BMI Workshop alumnus, and she holds an MM in Jazz Piano from the Manhattan School of Music.