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Overview

October 27 - 28

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

The 23rd Annual Festival of New Musicals was held in New York City on Thursday, October 27 and Friday, October 28, 2011, 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 8th consecutive year to present this Festival.

Festival Program

Musicals

Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Director
Joe Calarco

Music Director
Andy Einhorn

Cast
Steven Booth, Josh Breckenridge, Demi Fragale, Olli Haaskivi, Brynn O'Malley, Olivia Oguma, Will Reynolds, Courtney Stokes, Derrick Trumbly, Casey Tuma and Kate Wetherhead

Ideal Cast Size: 13

Ideal Band Size: Piano + TBD

Style: Musical Comedy

Genre & Style:

Synopsis

Bernice Bobs Her Hair is based on the classic short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald as well as letters he wrote to his sister.  It is a story of “the shifting, semi-cruel world of adolescence” set in a time of transformation for American women. Young men and women dance and flirt and engage in character assassination in the time honored pursuit of romance and status. The story is retold with an eye to the future which Fitzgerald anticipates but could not have predicted.

More about Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Bloodsong Of Love

Director
John Simpkins

Music Director
Brian Usifer

Cast
Carrie Cimma, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jeremy Morse, Lance Rubin and Jason "Sweet Tooth" Williams

Ideal Cast Size: 4 Fellas, 2 Ladies

Ideal Band Size: 5 Musicians

Style: Rock ‘n’ Roll Spaghetti Western

Genre & Style:

Comedy/Drama/Spaghetti Western/Exploitation

Synopsis

Bloodsong of Love is a musical theater interpretation of the Spaghetti Western film genre. It follows the story of a wandering guitarist known only as The Musician who is on a journey to reclaim his bride from the evil clutches of Lo Cocodrilo. The Musician navigates his way through a bizarre and hyper-stylized world of maimed prostitutes, one-eyed bartenders, shoot ‘em ups, midnight hallucinations, and lots and lots of blood.

More about Bloodsong Of Love

Dani Girl

Director
Scott Schwartz

Music Director
Vadim Feichtner

Cast
River Alexander, Rozi Baker, Chris Hoch and Kate Shindle

Ideal Cast Size: 4

Ideal Band Size: 3

Style: Dark Musical Comedy

Genre & Style:

Synopsis

Dani Girl is the inspiring and humorous story of a young girl’s battle with a life-threatening disease. Far from sitting back and accepting her condition, Dani transforms her struggle into a fantastical adventure. Together with her teddy bear, imaginary guardian angel, and movie-obsessed hospital roommate, she battles a personified Cancer across the realms of fantasy and reality as she attempts to get her beloved hair back. Told from a child’s perspective, this provocative musical explores the universal themes of life in the face of death, hope in the face of despair, and the indomitable power of imagination.

More about Dani Girl

The Dogs Of Pripyat

Director
Peter Flynn

Music Director
Brad Haak

Cast
Alex Brightman, Kerry Butler, Chris Hoch, Gwen Hollander, Eliseo Roman, William Ryall and Kate Shindle

Ideal Cast Size: 8 or 10

Ideal Band Size: 1-6

Style: A fable for adults

Genre & Style:

Synopsis

USSR, 1986. As all humans are evacuated from Chernobyl, their pets are left behind to fend for themselves. This is the story of those animals. Boychik is a gentle mutt who pines for his masters’ return. But when a corrupt Rottweiler takes control, Boychik learns how to hunt, kill and ultimately form a new kind of family. Based on true events, The Dogs of Pripyat asks what it means to be a family, a friend, and, ultimately, what it means to be a dog in our increasingly frightening post-Katrina, post-Fukushima world. It’s a story about hope and survival when they seem least possible.

More about The Dogs Of Pripyat

Golden Boy Of The Blue Ridge

Director
Gordon Greenberg

Music Director
Eli Zoller

Cast
Kenneth Cavett, Joanna Glushak, Anika Larsen, Kyle Dean Massey, Spencer Moses and Dan Sharkey

Ideal Cast/Band Size: 11 (6 actors, 4 actor/musicians, 1 music director)

Style: Black Comedy

Genre & Style:

Synopsis

A pitch-dark comedy with the kick of moonshine, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge transplants J.M. Synge’s classic The Playboy of the Western World to 1930s Appalachia. Bluegrass music and backwoods mayhem abound in this coming-of-age story about a slapdash murder, a whirlwind romance, and a most unlikely hero.

More about Golden Boy Of The Blue Ridge

Notes To Marianne

Director
Jeremy Dobrish

Music Director
Chris Fenwick

Cast
Stephen Bogardus, Haley Bond, Charlie Brady, Will Erat, Santino Fontana, Megan Lawrence, Vasthy Mompoint, Rachel Stern and Ken Triwush

Ideal Cast Size: 8

Ideal Band Size: 6

Style: American Family Drama

Synopsis

Sometimes we leave someone we love. At 12 years old, Johnny ran away from home, leaving behind his sister MariAnne — a regret he can’t shake. That was in 1952. Ten years later, the estranged pair are swept into a series of extraordinary events that will bring them to a pivotal reunion  The set is sparse yet the story stretches from Brooklyn to Kansas. The cross-country journey rides a wave of American pop music, from early ’60s rock to ’30s saloon songs to contemporary beats and melody. A modern fairy tale, notes to MariAnne explores the consequences of leaving those we love and finding new hope in the most unexpected places.

More about Notes To Marianne

Pregnancy Pact

Director
Robert Mark Brokaw

Music Director
Richard Silverstein

Cast
Krystina Alabado, Ally Bonino, Robi Hager, Emma Hunton, Phoebe Strole, Stephanie Umoh and Emily Walton

Ideal Cast Size: 7-8

Ideal Band Size: 6

Style: Pop/Rock-infused Teen Drama

Genre & Style:

Synopsis

Pregnancy Pact is a pop-rock musical about a group of teens who make a pact to become single mothers together. 15-year-old Maddie is devoted to her three best friends and they are to her. So when Brynn gets pregnant, the friends all plan to have children, raising them together in a dream of a perfect life.  Their pact grows as other girls find out and want in. The bubble finally bursts when their secret is revealed, leaving each of the girls to face the hard realities of love, responsibility and growing up.

More about Pregnancy Pact

Watt?!?

Director
Steven Cosson

Cast
Liz Callaway, Ryan Duncan, John Treacy Egan, Trent Armand Kendall, Ken Marks, Emily Rossell and Pearl Sun

Ideal Cast Size: 7-10

Ideal Band Size: 4

Style: Satirical Rock Comedy

Genre & Style:

Synopsis

Watt?!? is a balls-out rock musical telling the heroic true story of James Watt, Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, who opened millions of acres of federal land for exploitation, banned the Beach Boys from July 4th festivities, and was ultimately fired for referring to a five-person panel as “a black, two Jews, a woman and a cripple. ”

More about Watt?!?

Songwriters Showcase

NEXT THING YOU KNOW by Ryan Cunningham & Joshua Salzman
FEBRUARY HOUSE by Seth Bockley & Gabriel Kahane
BLOOD MAGIC by Aaron Jafferis & Ian Williams
SAINT-EX by Sean Barry & Jenny Giering
LOVE KILLS by Kyle Jarrow
SNOW by Sean Hartley
POST OFFICE by Michael Friedman & Melissa James Gibson

Writers & Artists

Jill Abramovitz

Book & Lyrics, The Dogs Of Pripyat

Jill Abramovitz BMI Workshop (Harrington Award), Dramatists Guild Fellow, Weston Playhouse New Musical Award (Dogs of Pripyat).  Contributing lyricist on It Shoulda Been You, past NAMT selectee now headed for the George Street Playhouse and The Village Theatre.  Currently adapting  Martha Speaks for Theatreworks USA with composer/husband Brad Alexander, with whom she is also adapting the film Bread and Roses.  Acting credits include 9 to 5 and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me on Broadway, and many off-Broadway and regional credits including past NAMT shows See Rock City (Barrington Stage) and Band Geeks (Goodspeed).

Aron Accurso

Music, The Dogs Of Pripyat

Composer/Additional Lyricist: Nona (commissioned by Weston. Six productions including The Atlantic Theatre and a National Tour by Maximum Entertainment.);Training: Dramatists Guild Fellow, BMI Workshop (Harrington Award). B’way: Sister Act (Assistant Conductor), Little Mermaid (Keyboard 1), Billy Elliot (Casting, Rehearsal Pianist). Regional: Calvin Berger at George Street (Incidental Music/Music Director). Workshops: Aladdin, Up Here, Newsies, Addams Family, Hello My Baby, Red Clay. TV: Regis and Kelly, and Wendy Williams with American Idol Finalists. Education: BA in Music Composition with distinction from St. Olaf College.

Christopher Dimond

Book & Lyrics, Dani Girl

Christopher Dimond and Michael Kooman received the 2013 Fred Ebb Award, a 2010 Jonathan Larson Grant and are the first recipients of the Lorenz Hart Award. Between them, they have received the Burton Lane Award, the Harold Adamson Award, the KC/ACTF Musical Theatre Award, a NYFA Fellowship, and numerous ASCAP Plus awards. Their musicals include Dani Girl(NAMT Fest ’12, licensed by Samuel French), Judge Jackie Justice (Pittsburgh CLO), Orphie & the Book of Heroes (The Kennedy Center), Golden Gate(Williamstown Theatre Festival), Homemade Fusion (London’s Ambassadors Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and Junior Claus (licensed by Dramatic Publishing).They are currently working on several new projects, including a commission from the Canadian Musical Theatre Project. Michael and Chris are members of the Dramatists Guild and ASCAP, and are proud alumni of Carnegie Mellon University. They were Dramatists Guild Fellows, received a fellowship at the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, and attended the Johnny Mercer Songwriting workshop. In addition, they are the founders of The ASCAP Musical Theatre Songwriting Workshop, a program dedicated to training young songwriters. Their debut album, OUT OF OUR HEADS, featuring an all-star lineup of Broadway performers, is now available on iTunes.

Adam Gwon

Lyrics & Music, Bernice Bobs Her Hair

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.

Joe Iconis

Book & Lyrics & Music, Bloodsong Of Love

Joe Iconis has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, and is the proud recipient of an Ed Kleban Award and a Jonathan Larson Award.  He is the author of Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits, ReWrite, The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks and We The People.  His concert act, The Rock and Roll Jamboree, frequently plays The Laurie Beechman Theater and Joe’s Pub and the Original Cast Recording of Things To Ruin, Joe’s theatrical rock concert, is available on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight records.  Joe is greatly inspired by Robert Altman, Dolly Parton, The Rolling Stones, whiskey, The Muppets, and The Family of artists he frequently surrounds himself with.  www.MrJoeIconis.com

David Javerbaum

Book & Lyrics, Watt?!?

David Javerbaum has won 11 Emmys for his work as head writer and executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He was a principal author of its best-sellers America (The Book) and Earth (The Book). He is also a Kleban Award-winning lyricist whose work includes 2008’s Cry-Baby, for which he was Tony-nominated; eight original Christmas songs for the 2008 television special, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!  for which he won a Grammy; and “Broadway: It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore!”, the opening number to the 2011 Tonys. He also collaborated with God on His upcoming memoir, The Last Testament.

Julia Jordan

Book & Lyrics, Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Julia Jordan musical books include Sarah Plain and Tall (NAMT Festival 2003)and The Mice, both written with Larry O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Upcoming musicals: Storyville and Murder Ballad.  . Plays include Smoking Lesson, Tatjana in Color, St. Scarlet, Boy, Dark Yellow, and Jones.  Currently in development, the film Tell Me Something I Don’t Know with Glen Luchford slated to direct. Kleban Award, Francesca Primus Prize, Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, Manhattan Theater Club Fellowship, Jonathan Larson Award, Heideman Award and LeComte Nouy Award. She is one of the founders of The Lilly Awards and sits on the Council of the Dramatists Guild.

Michael Kooman

Music, Dani Girl

Michael Kooman (music) and Christopher Dimond (book & lyrics) received the 2013 Fred Ebb Award, a 2010 Jonathan Larson Grant and are the first recipients of the Lorenz Hart Award. Between them, they have received the Burton Lane Award, the Harold Adamson Award, the KC/ACTF Musical Theatre Award, a NYFA Fellowship, and numerous ASCAP Plus awards. Their musicals include Dani Girl(NAMT Fest ’12, licensed by Samuel French), Judge Jackie Justice (Pittsburgh CLO), Orphie & the Book of Heroes (The Kennedy Center), Golden Gate(Williamstown Theatre Festival), Homemade Fusion (London’s Ambassadors Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and Junior Claus (licensed by Dramatic Publishing).They are currently working on several new projects, including a commission from the Canadian Musical Theatre Project. Michael and Chris are members of the Dramatists Guild and ASCAP, and are proud alumni of Carnegie Mellon University. They were Dramatists Guild Fellows, received a fellowship at the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, and attended the Johnny Mercer Songwriting workshop. In addition, they are the founders of The ASCAP Musical Theatre Songwriting Workshop, a program dedicated to training young songwriters. Their debut album, OUT OF OUR HEADS, featuring an all-star lineup of Broadway performers, is now available on iTunes.

Gordon Leary

Book & Lyrics, Pregnancy Pact

Gordon Leary has written the book and lyrics for THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (2018 Diversionary Theatre premiere, 2016 NAMT Festival, 2015 Polyphone Festival, 2014 Ars Nova OutLoud Series), REB+VoDKa+ME (2017 Tisch New Musical Workshop, 2017 Yale Institute, 2016 Civilians’ FINDINGS Series), SOMETHING BLUE (2020 Diversionary Theatre/NAMT Frank Young Fund Workshop, 2019 Page 73, 2019 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival), PREGNANCY PACT (2012 Weston Playhouse premiere, 2011 NAMT Festival, 2011 Yale Institute, 2011 Weston New Musical Award), CHEER WARS (2015 York Theatre Company, 2009 Richard Rodgers Award), and ACROSS THE RIVER (2013 Seoul Musical Festival, 2009 Daegu International Musical Festival.) Gordon has developed work with the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, Ars Nova Uncharted, The Civilians’ R&D Group, Fresh Ground Pepper, Musical Theatre Factory, and Page 73’s Interstate 73. MFA, NYU/Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. www.omfgordon.com

Dan Lipton

Book & Lyrics, Notes To Marianne

Dan Lipton and David Rossmer are longtime collaborators who have created several original musicals, jointly writing all music, book and lyrics. Their musical comedy The Blonde Streak was commissioned by Broadway Across America and developed at the Orchard Project. Their form-bending musical satire JOE! (NAMT Festival 2000) was seen at the Kennedy Center’s Theater Lab and Chicago’s Equity Library Theatre.  JOE! is currently in development as a 3-D movie musical.  Rossmer & Lipton are currently working for Araca Group on adapting a bestselling memoir, with playwright Jessica Provenz.  Their sketch comedy musical Rated P… for Parenthood, written with Sandy Rustin, premiered at SOPAC in NJ and is optioned for production off-Broadway.  Other projects include:  a Depression-era book musical with television writer Janis Hirsch, a futuristic concept musical with Kirsten Guenther, and a biographical show about B-movie king Roger Corman with Wayne Rawley.  Lipton & Rossmer have written special material for singers including Kelli O’Hara (“Always” album, Lincoln Center, Town Hall) and Sutton Foster (Joe’s Pub).  And the duo co-created, with Steve Rosen and Sarah Saltzberg, the comedy improv variety show Don’t Quit Your Night Job, which began at Joe’s Pub and ran off-Broadway.

Julia Meinwald

Music, Pregnancy Pact

Julia is composer for musical theatre (and the occasional film and computer game score.) Her musicals include PREGNANCY PACT, REB + VoDKa + ME, and THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD. She and her collaborator Gordon Leary write aggressively empathetic shows that help them understand completely foreign points of view, like Anita Bryant’s anti-gay-rights crusade, online fan communities around high school shooters, and teenage girls who decide to get pregnant together. Julia’s work has been produced at the Weston Playhouse and Diversionary Theatre, and developed through groups like Page 73, Ars Nova, the Civilians, 92Y, and exciting acronyms like MTF, NAMT, NYMF, and YIMT. She is a Larson, Rodgers, and Billie Burke award finalist, and her work has received grants from the Anna Sosenko trust, Opera America, the Dramatists Guild Foundation and the NEA. Julia holds a BA in Music from Yale and an MFA from NYU’s GMTWP. www.juliameinwald.com.

Brendan Milburn

Music, Watt?!?

Brendan Milburn writes songs for theatre and film (mostly with wife Valerie Vigoda), produces records, and is a stay-at-home dad when he’s not off rewriting the opening number at some regional theatre somewhere. Musicals: Striking 12(NAMT Fest ’04, Off Broadway & regional), Sleeping Beauty Wakes (NAMT Fest ’12, CTG, McCarter, La Jolla), Wheelhouse (TheatreWorks), Toy Story: The Musical (Disney), Fantasy Faire (Disneyland), Long Story Short (regional),Midsummer Night (in development), Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (Balagan/Seattle Rep/ACT), WATT?!? (NAMT Fest ’11, Trinity Rep, Village Theatre), The Behavior of Broadus (CTG, Sacred Fools). Film: four movies about Tinker Bell (Disney). Proudest production: nine-year old son, Mose.

Peter Mills

Book & Lyrics & Music, Golden Boy Of The Blue Ridge

Peter Mills is a composer/lyricist whose shows include ILLYRIA, THE TAXI CABARET, THE FLOOD, and GOLDEN BOY OF THE BLUE RIDGE. He wrote lyrics for IRON CURTAIN, with composer Stephen Weiner and bookwriter Susan DiLallo. Peter has won the Kleban Prize, the Fred Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, the Cole Porter Award, a grant from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, the Donna Perret Rosen Award, and received two Drama Desk Award nominations for his show THE PURSUIT OF PERSEPHONE (Best Music, Best Orchestration.) He received a fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy to develop his show, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES. He is a member of ASCAP and a graduate of NYU’s Musical Theater Writing Program. He teaches musical theater writing at Princeton University and New York University. His most recent show, THE HELLO GIRLS, premiered off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in December 2018.

Leah Napolin

Book, The Dogs Of Pripyat

Leah Napolin made her Broadway playwrighting debut in 1975 with Yentl, produced by Cheryl Crawford and the Chelsea Theatre Center.  In 2003, Yentl returned to New York for a successful run at the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater. In 1979, Ms. Napolin completed her second play Lost Island, about monks and nuns in the eleventh century, followed by Trash and Treasures (1981); Aristophanes’ Retreat (1985); Split at the Root, a Novel in Three Acts (2010); and Twister (2011).  She is a member of P.E.N. and the Dramatists Guild, and the winner of the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award for The Dogs of Pripyat (2004).

Cara Reichel

Book, Golden Boy Of The Blue Ridge

Cara Reichel is a stage director and creator of new musical theater, and the founding Artistic Director of NYC’s acclaimed Prospect Theater Company (recipient of a 2016 OBIE Award grant), dedicated to the development and production of new American musicals by emerging artists. She collaborates frequently with composer/lyricist Peter Mills, bringing musicals from concept to production, including ILLYRIA, THE ROCKAE, THE UNDERCLASSMAN, and DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES. She collaborated with Mills, Susan DiLallo, and Stephen Weiner on IRON CURTAIN (NYC’s 2006 Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Production) and with many other writers both in NYC and across the US on projects. In 2015 she received a prestigious Bogliasco Fellowship in Genoa, Italy. She has received “New Directors / New Works” Grants from the Drama League, and the “Lucille Lortel Award” from the League of Professional Theatre Women, which honors promising emerging artistic directors. Member: Stage Directors and Choreographer’s Society. www.carareichel.com

David Rossmer

Book & Lyrics & Music, Notes To Marianne

Dan Lipton and David Rossmer are longtime collaborators who have created several original musicals, jointly writing all music, book and lyrics. Their musical comedy The Blonde Streak was commissioned by Broadway Across America and developed at the Orchard Project. Their form-bending musical satire JOE! (NAMT Festival 2000) was seen at the Kennedy Center’s Theater Lab and Chicago’s Equity Library Theatre.  JOE! is currently in development as a 3-D movie musical.  Rossmer & Lipton are currently working for Araca Group on adapting a bestselling memoir, with playwright Jessica Provenz.  Their sketch comedy musical Rated P… for Parenthood, written with Sandy Rustin, premiered at SOPAC in NJ and is optioned for production off-Broadway.  Other projects include:  a Depression-era book musical with television writer Janis Hirsch, a futuristic concept musical with Kirsten Guenther, and a biographical show about B-movie king Roger Corman with Wayne Rawley.  Lipton & Rossmer have written special material for singers including Kelli O’Hara (“Always” album, Lincoln Center, Town Hall) and Sutton Foster (Joe’s Pub).  And the duo co-created, with Steve Rosen and Sarah Saltzberg, the comedy improv variety show Don’t Quit Your Night Job, which began at Joe’s Pub and ran off-Broadway.