20th Annual Festival of New Musicals
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.Festival Program
Stu James, Julia Lema, Norm Lewis, Kenita Miller, C.E Smith, Glenn Turner and Rema Webb
Genre & Style:
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.
Cameron Barnett, Steve Buntrock, Todd Buonopane, Stephen DeRosa, Hilary Gardner, Joe Kenosian, Beth Malone, Marla Mindelle, Richard Roland and Tommar Wilson
Genre & Style:
Greenwich Village, 1959â€”Playground of bohemians, beatniks and jazzbos. Tragically square Walter Paisley finds that his clay figures, sculpted nudes, and papier-mchÃ© busts bring him the acceptance he desperately yearns for. But what if the world discovers that Walterâ€™s body of work consists of actual bodies? A bebop-inflected black comedy/satire.
The Cuban And The Redhead
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
Genre & Style:
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 thingâ€”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).
The Legend Of Stagecoach Mary
Madeline Doherty, J. Austin Eyer, Danielle Lee Greaves, Joshua Henry, Lauren Kennedy, Jose Llana, Sarah Saltzberg, Jason Patrick Sands and Nick Wyman
Genre & Style:
Ex-slave Mary Fields turns the idea of the real Wild West hero on its head when she travels to 1880â€™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.
Jared Gertner, Adam Jacobs, Kate Shindle and Kate Wetherhead
Genre & Style:
When Deb loses her most precious possessionâ€”the notes to her graduate thesisâ€”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.
Pamela's First Musical
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
Genre & Style:
Pamelaâ€™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 donâ€™t understand her. Pamelaâ€™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 â€œA Broadway Musical can cure anything.â€ Pamelaâ€™s trip to New York inspires her to write and direct her own musical and to â€œcollaborateâ€ with her blended family, which, ultimately, brings them all together.
See Rock City And Other Destinations
Kevin Del Aguila
Jill Abramovitz, Skylar Astin, Hunter Foster, John Jellison, David Rossmer, Wesley Taylor and Cassie Wooley
Genre & Style:
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 Fallsâ€”get ready to take the leap! Winner of the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre
The Yellow Wood
Melinda Bass, Randy Blair, Bob De Dea, MaryAnn Hu, Diana Huey, Daniel Haengil Larsen, Amy Linden and Morgan Weed
Genre & Style:
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.
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
Music, See Rock City And Other Destinations
Brad Alexander (composer)
Theater: DOGMAN (book and lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila), summer 2019 at the Lucille Lortel, SEE ROCK CITY & OTHER DESTINATIONS (book and lyrics by Adam Mathias), recipient of The Richard Rodgers Award, The BMI Foundation Jerry Bock Award, and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical; BREAD AND ROSES (book and lyrics by Jill Abramovitz), featured in NYMF as a Developmental Reading (2016) and in Amas Musical Theatre’s “Dare To Be Different” series (2017); TheatreworksUSA’s CLICK, CLACK, MOO (Drama Desk, Lortel nom), JUST SO STORIES, MARTHA SPEAKS and songs for DUCK FOR PRESIDENT, FLY GUY, WE THE PEOPLE (Lortel nom). TV: five episodes of PBS’s Emmy Award-winning PEG + CAT; VH1’s “Celebreality” campaign. Currently: LIKE A BILLION LIKES (book by Erik Jackson, lyrics by Jill Abramovitz), in development at Musical Theatre Factory. Member of NAMT, The Dramatists Guild and BMI Workshop. bradalexander.com
Book & Lyrics & Music & Director, The Cuban And The Redhead
With Danny Whitman, Robert co-created Broadway Backwards, for which he serves as Writer/Director/Choreographer. He recently directed The Cuban and the Redhead in the Festival of New American Musicals in L.A. and a presentation at the York Theatre which also hosed Sailing Against the Current: the songs of Bartley and Whitman. Robert’s work has been featured in the York’s first NEO concert, The Music of Broadway: The Next Generation, SPF Composer Exposure, and Gypsy of the Year. As a Director, Robert was represented last season by The Family Fiorelli (NYMF), Hair in Peculiar Work’s Obie-winning sequel Off Stage: East Village Fragments and The Tales of Custard the Dragon (Algonquin Theatre), which he will remount this November off Broadway at DR2. Prior to writing, Robert was a performer for many years on and off Broadway, at Carnegie Hall, in national tours and with symphony orchestras worldwide.
Douglas J. Cohen
2010 Fred Ebb Award, two Richard Rodgers Awards and Drama Desk Award nominee. Off-Broadway: THE EVOLUTION OF MANN (with collaborator Dan Elish @ The Cell Theatre); NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY (Hudson Guild Theatre and York Theatre Company, nearly 200 productions worldwide); THE GIG (MTC Stage 2, NAMT Festival 1994, five NYMF Awards); THE BIG TIME (book by Douglas Carter Beane, Drama Dept. workshop, NYMF 2005, 2020 McCarter Theatre concert starring Santino Fontana, Debbie Gravitte, Will Swenson, Laura Osnes); BOOZY (The Culture Project, directed by Alex Timbers); CHILDREN’S LETTERS TO GOD (Lamb’s Theatre). Doug also penned scores for THE OPPOSITE OF SEX (Williamstown Theatre Festival), GLIMMERGLASS (Goodspeed, 2000 NAMT Festival). With collaborator Cheryl Davis: DON’T STAY SAFE (Prospect Theater Company), BRIDGES (Richard Rodgers Finalist, Ignite Series@Times Center; Berkeley Playhouse) and BARNSTORMER (Jonathan Larson Grant for Lark Theatre; 2008 NAMT Festival). Member of The Dramatist Guild and ASCAP. Website: douglasjcohen.com
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.
Book & Lyrics, The Yellow Wood
Michelle Elliott has written seven musicals with collaborator Danny Haengil Larsen, including Cloaked, for which she was the recipient of the Kleban Prize for Most Promising Librettist. Michelle and Danny also received a Jonathan Larson Award for Cloaked, as well as a Richard Rodgers Development Award for their first musical, The Yellow Wood, which was also featured in NAMT’s 2009 Festival of New Musicals. Michelle is a graduate of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. www.elliottlarsenmusicals.com. Michelle and Danny are currently working on a new musical, Country Radio, with Emily Saliers, one of the Indigo Girls.
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.
Book & Lyrics, See Rock City And Other Destinations
Adam Mathias is a Drama Desk award winning musical theatre writer. His musical See Rock City & Other Destinations, music by Brad Alexander, enjoyed an extended run Off Broadway in 2010 and earned him the 2011 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical (also nominated for Outstanding Lyrics, Outstanding Music, Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Lighting and Outstanding Musical.) The show received the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award and 2007 Jerry Bock Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre. It received workshop productions from Barrington Stage Company and New York City’s Transport Group. See Rock City… has been featured in the 2008 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival, Merkin Hall’s Bound for Broadway Series, and BMI’s Musical Mondays and is available for licensing from Samuel French, Inc. The Original Off Broadway Cast Recording is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.
His new musical A History of Summer, music by Jonathan Monro, received workshop productions from Summerworks Festival in Toronto, Canada and from Pride Films & Plays in Chicago. As a playwright, Adam has written several short plays and crafted Hamlet: What Dreams May Come—a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic for four actors in ninety minutes. Adam is a graduate of The Theatre School, DePaul University and Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. He is a Steering Committee member and frequent moderator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop (Jerry Herrington Award winner) and a member of the Dramatist Guild.
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
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 (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.
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.