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Overview

October 21 - 22

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

The 22nd annual Festival of New Musicals was held in New York City on Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22, 2010, introducing a select audience of NAMT members, producers and other musical theatre industry professionals to eight new musicals in 45-minute presentations. According to American Theatre Magazine, “It’s an industry-only event, and it happens for only two days, but it makes a major impact in the world of musical theatre.”

NAMT was honored to return to New World Stages for our 7th consecutive year to present this Festival.

Musicals

Big Red Sun

Director
Peter Flynn

Cast
Eric Anderson, Derrick Baskin, Stephen Berger, Rachel Coloff, Bradley Dean, Danielle Ferland and Parker Pogue

Synopsis

A teenage boy unearths a dark family secret as he searches for his long-lost father through the bewildering landscape of post-WWII America… where innocence has vanished, and the simple melodies of Kern and Berlin have been replaced by the dizzying energy of jazz and the birth of rock-and-roll.

More about Big Red Sun

The Bowery Boys

Director
Dominic Missimi

Music Director
Brad Haak

Cast
Brian Bohr, John Cudia, Curtis Holbrook, Adam Kantor, Morgan Karr, Nate Lewellyn, Carrie Manolakos, Jill Paice, Max Quinlan, Andrew Redlawski, Culllen R. Titmus and Kathy Voytko

Synopsis

A musical that follows the journey of Dick, a streetwise kid, and his gang of bootblacks trying to “Make It Through The Day.”  The backdrop of the show is Five Points, New York in 1884. Dick rescues a young English girl, who through a series of unfortunate circumstances, is abandoned by her devious step-father and his compatriots. Despite being faced with many dangerous adventures, the two never lose hope of realizing a brighter future. The show follows Dick and the boys trying to protect Jenny and reunite her with the only family she has left, her Grandfather. Loosely based on the writings of American writer Horatio Alger, this musical deals with the great distance between the American mythology and the much darker and more ominous truth about life in the tenements of the time.

More about The Bowery Boys

The Giver

Director
Pam Berlin

Music Director
Vadim Feichtner

Cast
Stanley Bahorek, Vivienne Cleary, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Jaimie Kelton, Justin Keyes, Terrence Mann, Mike Masters, Heather Matarazzo, Eliseo Roman and Hannah Sielatycki

Synopsis

12-year-old Jonas lives in a perfect world, without pain, conflict or loneliness. But after being assigned to carry the memories of life before “Sameness,” an ability learned from a mysterious man called the Giver, Jonas must choose between his perfect community and a world that contains both beauty and pain.

More about The Giver

Heartbreakers

Director
Christopher Ashley

Music Director
Eric Stern

Cast
PJ Benjamin, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Roy Harcourt, Christian Hoff, Patricia Holbrook, Kevin Ligon, Patti Murin, Nancy Opel, T. Oliver Reid, Lisa Marie Rothauser, Jason Michael Snow, Zakiya Young and Rachel de Benedet

Synopsis

Sexy female con artist Max Connor has created a perfect scam: she’ll marry eligible bachelors, deny them sex, and then discover them in a compromising position with another, younger woman – leading to hefty annulment settlements. But Max’s sex-starved husbands don’t know that the “other woman” is actually Max’s 22 year-old daughter Page, who’s in on the con. Page wants independence, but when Max finds out the IRS wants back taxes, she convinces Page to come with her to Palm Beach for one last job.  All goes according to plan, until Page breaks the most important rule: she falls in love. 

More about Heartbreakers

Lizzie (fka Lizzie Borden)

Director
Victoria Bussert

Music Director
Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Matt Hinkley

Cast
Marie-France Arcilla, Carrie Cimma, Jenny Fellner and Beth Malone

Synopsis

A rock show retelling of the bloody legend of America’s first and favorite axe-wielding double-murderess and Victorian hometown girl, Lizzie Borden. Featuring four fierce rocker girls and a live band, this driving musical reveals why Lizzie took up that axe and how she became an American folk hero.

More about Lizzie (fka Lizzie Borden)

Play It Cool

Director
Sharon Rosen

Music Director
Joe Baker

Cast
Michael Buchanan, Jenn Colella, Chris Hoch, Sally Mayes and Michael F. McGuirk

Synopsis

Everyone’s got a secret at Mary’s Hideaway, an underground nightclub in sexy, sultry, repressive 1953 Hollywood.  Inspired by film noir and driven by a sizzling jazz score, this story of five very ambitious people is about finding the courage to be who you are. You just need to… Play It Cool.

More about Play It Cool

Red Clay

Director
Jerry Dixon

Music Director
Aron Accurso

Cast
Chauncey Allen Bellamy, J. Bernard Calloway, Michael Genet, Ben Harney, William Jackson Harper, Marcie Henderson, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Herndon Lackey, Kenita Miller and C. Kelly Wright

Synopsis

Set in the six months leading up to Rosa Parks’ historic ride on a Montgomery bus, Red Clay uses a new jazz and gospel-infused score to tell the story of the ordinary Americans who changed this nation in extraordinary ways.

More about Red Clay

The Trouble With Doug

Director
Victoria Clark

Music Director
Greg Brown

Cast
Matthew Hydzik, John Jellison, Emily Jenda, Lindsay Mendez, Barbara Walsh and Jason "Sweet Tooth" Williams

Synopsis

The Trouble With Doug is a contemporary, comedic reimagining of Kafka’s Metamorphosis in which a happy, healthy young man transforms inexplicably into a giant talking slug.  Thrust together awkwardly under the same roof, Doug, his family, and his fiancée all struggle to understand and respond to this strangest of crises.

More about The Trouble With Doug

Songwriters Showcase

THE DAUGHTERS by Shaina Taub
FALLING by Hyeyoung Kim & Dina Gregory
FORWARD by Jonathan Reid Gealt
MORGAN STREET by Jeremy Alan Richards, Anika Noni Rose, Eugene Gwozdz
REDHAND GUITAR by Evan & Mike Yionoulis
RUNNING BACK by Marcus Gardley & Michael Watofsky
THE SIXTH BOROUGH by Will Reynolds and Eric Price
TAMAR & THE RIVER by Marisa Michelson and Joshua H. Cohen

Writers & Artists

Jim Andron

Additional Music, Play It Cool

Will Aronson

Book & Music, The Trouble With Doug

Will Aronson is the composer of The Trouble With Doug (CAP21) and My Scary Girl, winner of last year’s Outstanding New Musical award at NYMF. My Scary Girl also earned Best Small Stage Musical at Korea’s 2009 Musical Awards, after a five-month limited run in Seoul.  Other work includes music for Mary Testa’s Sleepless Variations and William Finn’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, as well as vocal arrangements for the upcoming Finn/Lapine musical Little Miss Sunshine.  Will is the recipient of a Fulbright grant, an ASCAP Loewe Scholarship, and a Baryshnikov Fellowship; he holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.F.A. from Tisch/NYU. 

David H. Bell

Book & Lyrics, The Bowery Boys

His work in Chicago Theatre, where he is associated with the Marriott Theatre (over 30 Productions) and the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (The Three Musketeers, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, The Comedy of  Errors), has earned him 35 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations (winning the coveted award 10 times) and 2 After Dark Awards. David served as the Artistic Director of Historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and Associate Artistic Director of Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre. David’s work has earned him 4 Carbonall nominations (Florida), a Dramalogue Award (L.A), 5 AJC Awards (Atlanta), an Atlanta Circle of Dramatic Critics Award, a Laurence Olivier Nomination (London), 2 National Endowment Awards, 3 Helen Hayes nominations (winning 1), (Washington D.C.), The Mac and Bistro Awards (NYC), and several National and International writing awards for creating Hot Mikado. He has worked On Broadway, Off Broadway, London, Paris, Berlin, Carnegie Hall, National and International tours, The Kennedy Center, Long Wharf Theatre, and, done the Atlanta sequence of the closing ceremonies of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  David is currently a professor of Music Theatre at Northwestern University.

Robert Cary

Book & Lyrics, Heartbreakers

Robert Cary is co-author of the book and lyrics for Flashdance (West End 2010, UK National Tour, 2008-9); lyricist and co-author of the book for Palm Beach, written with longtime collaborators Ben Feldman and David Gursky (introduced at NAMT and produced at La Jolla Playhouse, directed by Des McAnuff); co-author with Ben Feldman of Inventing Avi (Off-Bway, 2009); and director of the feature films Ira and Abby, Save Me, Anything But Love.  Upcoming projects include Sharp Dressed Man, Stax, and the feature film My Owner’s Wedding, written with Jonathan Tolins.  Thanks to Jonathan, Ben, David, and Susan Weaving.

Martin Casella

Book, Play It Cool

Plays: The Irish Curse (Off Broadway, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, FringeNYC- Outstanding Playwriting Award); Scituate, George Bush Goes To Hell, Grand Junction, Desert Fire, Beautiful Dreamer, Paydirt, Mates (L.A. Weekly, Drama-Logue Awards).  Musicals: Saint Heaven, Paper Moon (NAMT Festival 1995), Happy Holidays, Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll, DOO-DAH!. Screenplays: One Night Stand.  Upcoming: Free Money¸ musical about the invention of credit cards; Miss Maude, a play about photographer Eugene Smith; Tom’s Dad, a film for director Lass Hallstrom starring Patrick Dempsey; and film Busted Jesus Comix.  Taught playwriting at Cal Arts and Harvey Milk High School in NYC.  WGA, Dramatists Guild, SAG and AEA.

Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer

Lyrics & Music, Lizzie (fka Lizzie Borden)

Steven Chelsik-DeMeyer has worked as a writer, composer, and filmmaker for three decades. Through the 1980s and ’90s in New York, he wrote and performed music in several experimental productions, including adaptations of Frankenstein and The Scarlet Letter. From 1992 to 2002, he wrote and performed with the neo-vaudeville queer country duo, Y’all, which performed in coffeehouses, churches, and clubs across the U.S. and in Europe and appeared on MTV and Comedy Central. Steven made a documentary about the final years of Y’all, Life in a Box, which premiered in the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2005.

Nathan Christensen

Book & Lyrics, The Giver

Nathan Christensen is a bookwriter/lyricist from Bartlesville, OK. He received his BA in theater from BYU, and an MFA in musical theater writing from NYU. With composer Scott Murphy, he has a received a Jonathan Larson Award, a Richard Rodgers Award, a Daryl Roth Award and a Dramatists Guild Fellowship. Their first musical, Broadcast, had a reading at Playwrights Horizons, and was produced at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Nathan lives in Tucson, AZ, where he studied entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona. He teaches playwriting, is a theater critic for Tucson Weekly and works as a freelance writer.

Jeremy Cohen

Music, The Bowery Boys

As a composer, arranger, music director and actor, he has worked at the Kennedy Center, Alliance Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, New York’s La MaMa Theatre and the New York Music Theatre Festival, among others.  Most recently, Jeremy served as the musician for the Kennedy Center’s production of Master Class.  Jeremy is a native of New York and a proud graduate of Northwestern University. www.jeremy-cohen.com.

Benjamin Feldman

Book, Heartbreakers

Benjamin Feldman wrote Danny and Faye (produced w/Tovah Feldshuh), and co-wrote NAMT Festival 2001 show Palm Beach.  Also an Entertainment Attorney — clients from Rabbit Hole (upcoming, w/Nicole Kidman) to Memphis (B’way, winner Best Musical Tony Award), Ars Nova, and many theaters, producers and artists in television, theater and film.    Published in the CTI Guide to Producing.  Producer credits:  Mae West’s Sex, Trouble in Paradise and The Stand In on stage; Film: The Cutting Room, Another Gay Movie, Another Gay Sequel and The Understudy.  Yale grad.  Boards: The Hourglass Group, the Chase Brock Experience.

David Gursky

Music, Heartbreakers

David Gursky is the composer of THE FABULOUS FITCHES (NAMT Festival 2001) and HEARTBREAKERS (NAMT 2010). Film: “Ira & Abby.” In addition to his composing work, David has conducted the Broadway productions of DAMES AT SEA, THE NANCE, ANYTHING GOES, FINIAN’S RAINBOW, WHITE CHRISTMAS, THE PRODUCERS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, JANE EYRE, and DAME EDNA: THE ROYAL TOUR. Tours: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE PRODUCERS, BIG. Television: “The Wonder Pets.” Pianist: many NYC shows, Radio City, several ENCORES! productions, “The Kennedy Center Honors,” and four N.Y. cast recordings. Education: B.A. Yale College. www.davidgursky.com.

Larry Dean Harris

Book & Conceived, Play It Cool

Marilyn Harris

Additional Music, Play It Cool

Alan Stevens Hewitt

Music, Lizzie (fka Lizzie Borden)

Spring Awakening—Bass (Orig. B’way Prod. & 1st Natl Tour);  Everyday Rapture—Bass (Second Stage);  Lizzie Borden—Composer, Musical Director, Orchestrator, Bass, Piano (Living Theatre);  Brecht’s Baal—Composer, Musical Director, Piano, Guitar (Looking Glass Theatre);  The Signal Corps (myspace.com/thesignalcorps);  Big Mess Cabaret/Orchestra—Bass  (bigmessorchestra.com);  The Low Road (myspace.com/thelowroad).  BM in Composition from Mannes/The New School where he studied with Robert Cuckson.  ASH is originally from Philly and lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  Thanks to Pete and Hillary for their vision and support, Steven and Tim for their trust and dedication, and all the actors, musicians, designers, crew and extended family who helped make Lizzie ROCK!  ash@alanstevenshewitt.com

Jeff Hughes

Book & Lyrics, Red Clay

Jeff Hughes was the recipient of the 2009 Richard Rodgers Award for new musical theatre as the bookwriter/lyricist of Red Clay.  He is the author of the plays Shore Points, A Good Tavern and In the Jersey City Moonlight, which will receive its world premiere in June 2011.  He is a former member of the BMI Workshop and was a Dramatists Guild Fellow in 2005-2006.  He is the writer of DaBearsBlog.com, currently under the auspices of the Chicago Tribune.  He is from Kearny, New Jersey and damn proud of it.

John Jiler

Book & Lyrics, Big Red Sun

John Jiler’s plays have been seen coast to coast, from the O’ Neill to the Kennedy Center to Seattle Rep.  Jiler received both the Richard Rodgers Award and the Kleban Librettists’ Award for his musical Avenue X, and the Weissberger Prize from New Dramatists for his play Sour Springs.  Literary works include, Sleeping With The Mayor (a New York Times “Most Notable Book’) and Dark Wind, called “a classic” by the Village Voice.  His current projects are a one-man show, Explicit Vows (Playwrights HorizonsThe Flea Theatre), and two new plays; Channel, in development with Labyrinth Theatre, and Sirocco, at The Actor’s Studio. 

Tim Maner

Book & Lyrics & Music, Lizzie (fka Lizzie Borden)

Tim Maner has written, directed, musical directed and produced over 20 original music/theater works including Frankenstein, with composer Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer; The Hawthorne Project, a trilogy of multi-layered multi-media events adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s three American novels, with writer/adaptor Elizabeth Banks; and The Opera Project, a trilogy of new wave operas, with composers Matthew Pierce and Fred ho and writer Ruth Margraff. He is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Tiny Mythic Theatre Company and the award-winning arts center HERE. With them, his theatrical producing/presenting history spanned hundreds of productions over 10 years.

Daniel Maté

Book & Lyrics, The Trouble With Doug

Daniel Maté wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book for The Trouble With Doug.  He is also the composer-lyricist and bookwriter for The Longing and the Short Of It  (Barrington Stage Company, 2009, William Finn dir.;  ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop, 2010, Stephen Schwartz dir.)  Daniel’s work as a composer was included in the York Theatre’s NEO (‘New, Emerging, Outstanding’) Concert.  He runs a successful custom gift song service (www.startspreadingthemuse.com) and teaches songwriting to young people.  Daniel received a 2010 Jonathan Larson Foundation Grant for music and lyrics.  He lives near Sunset Park, Brooklyn, home to many charming slugs.   www.danielmate.com

Scott Murphy

Music, The Giver

Scott Murphy received his MFA in musical theatre writing from NYU in 2004. He is currently writing music and lyrics for Meanwhile…on the other side of Mount Vesuvius, a musical commissioned by Yale Rep, with book by Jay Reiss, as well as songs for Magnus, a feature film. With Nathan Christensen, Scott is currently writing music for a new work for The Old Globe. In 2005, Scott was selected by Stephen Sondheim to receive the Marian Seldes/Garson Kanin award from the Theatre Hall of Fame. With Nathan Christensen, he received the Richard Rogers award, the Jonathan Larson award, and the 2004 Dramatist Guild Fellowship. Scott works as a teaching artist for Lincoln Center.

Emilio Palame

Additional Music, Play It Cool

Larry Steelman

Additional Music, Play It Cool

Georgia Stitt

Music, Big Red Sun

Georgia Stitt wrote the musicals The WaterSing Me A Happy Song and Mosaic, and is currently writing Hello! My Baby with Cheri Steinkellner and Devil In A Blue Dress with Walter Mosley.  Her album, This Ordinary Thursday, and her song cycle, Alphabet City Cycle, are both available from PSClassics and iTunes.  Georgia has published several choral pieces and wrote two songs for the MTV movie The American Mall.  She is represented on the solo albums of Susan Egan, Lauren Kennedy, Daniel Boys, Kevin Odekirk and Caroline Sheen.  She has music degrees from Vanderbilt and NYU and currently lives in Los Angeles.  www.georgiastitt.com.

Phillip Swann

Music, Play It Cool

Phillip Swann is the composer of The People vs. Friar Laurence, The Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet (nominated for three Jeff awards), and DeLEARious (2009 Garland Award winner for Best New Score).  Other musicals include In a Booth at Chasen’s, Trombone, Neil Simon’s FoolsThe Musical and Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits.  A former staff songwriter and producer for DreamWorks, Swann’s songs have been heard on television, film and have been recorded by such artists as Clay Aiken, Lee Ann Womack, Blake Shelton and Lee Greenwood.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, theatre educator, Amanda Swann.

Aaron Thielen

Conceived, The Bowery Boys

Aaron Thielen is the Artistic Director for the Marriott Theatre. He recently wrote a musical adaptation of For The Boys; the popular 1991 Fox film starring Bette Midler. This new musical will get its world premiere at the Marriott Theatre in August of 2011. Joining forces with Michael Mahler (NAMT 2009 author), Aaron also wrote a new musical titled Hero, which had a staged reading at The Marriott and is slated to be presented there in summer of 2012. He co-wrote and Artistic Directed the Marriott Theatre’s Jeff Award winning hit The All Night Strut- A Fascinating Rhythm. Associated with the Marriott Theatre since 1995, he was a featured actor in more than 20 productions, choreographed Marriott’s hit production of Forever Plaid, and was instrumental in facilitating the theatre’s expansion in 2001.

Mark Winkler

Lyrics, Play It Cool

Mark Winkler is a platinum award winning singer/lyricist who has had over 150 of his songs recorded by such artists as Dianne Reeves, Lea Salonga and Liza Minnelli.  He is the co-writer of the musical review Naked Boys Singing! in its 11th year playing Off Broadway.  He is the creator/co-writer of Too Old for the Chorus which is now being published by Samuel French and he is the co-writer/bookwriter of the musical Bark! which is now touring the country. His CD of original jazz songs Till I Get It Right was named one of the best CDs of 2009 by “Jazz Times Magazine.”