The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) announced today the eight musicals selected to be part of the 23rd Annual Festival of New Musicals on Thursday, October 27 and Friday, October 28 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street).
The Festival selections are:
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Book by Julia Jordan, Music by Adam Gwon,
Lyrics by Julia Jordan and Adam Gwon
Bloodsong of Love
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Joe Iconis
Music by Michael Kooman, Book & Lyrics by Christopher Dimond
The Dogs of Pripyat
Music by Aron Accurso, Lyrics by Jill Abramovitz, Book by Jill Abramovitz and Leah Napolin,
based on the play by Leah Napolin
Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge
Music & Lyrics by Peter Mills, Book by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel,
Adapted from J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World
notes to MariAnne
Book, Music and Lyrics by David Rossmer & Dan Lipton
Book & Lyrics by Gordon Leary, Music by Julia Meinwald
Book & Lyrics by David Javerbaum, Music by Brendan Milburn
Over 160 musicals were submitted earlier this year by theatres, producers and agents from around the world to the 15-member Festival Selection Committee, composed of new works leaders from across the NAMT membership. The Committee uses a blind review process to select eight new musicals that are exciting, thought-provoking and represent the future of Musical Theatre.
This year's NAMT's Festival of New Musicals will present works by 16 award-winning writers, including four Ed Kleban Award winners (Gwon, Jordan, Iconis, Mills, and Javerbaum), three Jonathan Larson Award winners (Jordan, Kooman and Dimond), two Richard Rodgers Award winners (Mills and Leary), two Fred Ebb Award winners (Gwon and Mills), two BMI Harrington Award winners (Accurso and Abramovitz), and an 11-time Emmy Award winner (Javerbaum). Five writers are returning to this year's Festival: Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days, 2008), Julia Jordan (Sarah, Plain and Tall, 2003), Dan Lipton & David Rossmer (JOE!, 2000), and Peter Mills (Iron Curtain, 2009).
"I am thrilled by the eight shows our Festival Committee has selected," said NAMT Board President Marilynn Sheldon. "As the primary service organization for musical theatre, NAMT has recently rededicated its efforts in advancing the art form and leading the field. The distinctive voices featured in this year's Festival represent our commitment to great art. This line-up will not only benefit our members and the industry at large, it will welcome eight fresh and exciting works to the musical theatre canon."
The musical theatre festival attracts theatre producers from around the world for this industry-only event to discover eight new musicals presented in 45-minute staged readings over two days. All production costs are underwritten by NAMT, with no cost to the songwriting teams. Since 1989, the Festival has presented over 250 musicals and 470 writers, and almost 75% of these shows have found subsequent productions, tours, licensing agreements, and/or cast albums as a direct result of the Festival.
"We have an especially brave and exciting Festival this year," said Branden Huldeen, NAMT New Works Director and Festival Producing Director. "Following NAMT's recent commitment to providing leadership in the field, this group of shows will excite our members with the finest new musical work available, both pushing the art form forward and inspiring the field. From rock to bluegrass, tales of teen pregnancy to the importance of hair, guitar wielding outlaws to former Secretary of Interior James Watt, it is the most diverse and dynamic Festival we have produced."
The 23rd annual Festival of New Musicals is overseen by Mr. Huldeen and General Manager Lisa Dozier. For the eighth consecutive year NAMT's Festival of New Musicals will be presented at the premiere Off-Broadway facility New World Stages, located west of the Theatre District at 340 West 50th Street. A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public for free on a standby basis. Registration for Industry members is free and now open at www.namt.org.
Among the most well-known Festival highlights are the Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie; off-Broadway successes such as See Rock City & Other Destinations (The Transport Group), Vanities-A New Musical, Ordinary Days, I Love You Because, Songs for A New World, Striking 12, Summer of '42; and regional successes like Ace, Children Of Eden, Emma, Harold and Maude, Honk!, Meet John Doe and Tinyard Hill. 2010's Play it Cool will be presented at Off-Broadway's Acorn Theatre in September 2011. 2009's Iron Curtain was recently presented at the Village Theatre in Washington and will be presented Off-Broadway this fall by the Prospect Theatre Company; and It Shoulda Been You will receive two regional mountings - the first at NJ's George Street Playhouse this fall directed by Tony winner David Hyde Pierce and starring Tony winners Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris, followed by another production at the Village Theatre in Washington.
NAMT's 23rd ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS to be presented in October are:
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Book by Julia Jordan, Music by Adam Gwon, Lyrics by Julia Jordan and Adam Gwon
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.
Bernice Bobs Her Hair has had readings at Primary Stages in NYC 2008, American University in DC 2009, the University of Nebraska in 2010 and The Irish Rep in NYC 2010.
Adam Gwon's musical Ordinary Days (NAMT Festival 2008) made its NYC premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company, and has since been seen in London's West End and across the U.S. His musicals The Boy Detective Fails (book: Joe Meno) and Cloudlands (book/co-lyrics: Octavio Solis) will premiere this season at Signature Theatre (Arlington, VA) and South Coast Repertory, respectively. Adam's honors include the Kleban, Ebb, and Loewe awards, the ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and the MAC John Wallowitch Award, as well as commissions from Signature Theatre, South Coast Rep, Broadway Across America, and the EST/Sloan Project. Recordings: Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records). Fellowships: MacDowell Colony, Dramatists Guild. Education: BFA, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Adam is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. www.adamgwon.com
Julia Jordan's 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.
Bloodsong of Love
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Joe Iconis
Bloodsong of Love is a rock ‘n' roll 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.
Bloodsong of Love was commissioned by Ars Nova, and was produced there in the spring of 2010 for limited run. It was nominated for three Drama Desk Awards: Best Music, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Jeremy Morse).
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
Music by Michael Kooman
Book & Lyrics by Christopher Dimond