The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has announced the official selections for its 18th Annual Festival of New Musicals to be held at New World Stages (340 West 50th St between 8th and 9th Avenues) on Sunday, October 8 and Monday, October 9, 2006.
At NAMT's Festival of New Musicals, leading theatre producers from across the world come together for this industry-only event to discover eight new musicals over two days. Since 1989, the Festival has presented over 175 musicals and 300 writers, and 75% of these shows had subsequent productions, tours and licensing agreements. The Drowsy Chaperone, one of the 2004 Festival selections, opened on Broadway in May 2006, winning 5 Tony awards, 7 Drama Desk Awards (including Best Musical), and the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical. Bob Martin, actor and book writer of The Drowsy Chaperone said:
"I would like to express our gratitude for the role that the NAMT Festival has played in our success. When we were invited to the 2004 NAMT Festival, we knew we had a chance to reach an important audience, but none of us expected our development process to be accelerated to the extent that it was. Only a year and a half (later), we opened at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway. We cannot thank NAMT enough for the support and encouragement. We believe that NAMT is an essential step in the development of any musical."
Of the 8 shows selected last year for the 2005 Festival, six have already secured world-premieres or developmental productions across the country including Ace (St. Louis Rep and Cincinnati Playhouse), Caraboo, Princess of Javasu (Goodspeed Musicals), I Love You Because (off-Broadway at Village Theatre), Meet John Doe (Carousel Dinner Theatre, The Hartt School, Goodspeed Musicals, and Ford's Theatre), Party Come Here (New York Musical Theatre Festival), and River's End (New York Musical Theatre Festival. Other past Festival highlights include the Tony Award-winner Thoroughly Modern Millie, Children of Eden, Honk!, Princesses and Summer of '42.
The selections are:
--Dangerous Beauty, book by Jeannine Douminy, lyrics by Amanda McBroom (A Woman of Will, "The Rose"), music by Michele Brourman, based on Margaret Rosenthal's book The Honest Courtesan and the film Dangerous Beauty
"Dangerous Beauty is inspired by Renaissance courtesan and poet Veronica Franco. When Veronica's love, Marco, submits to a political marriage, her impoverished mother lays out her options: marriage, improbable without dowry; the convent; or becoming a courtesan. Veronica's beauty, wit, and skill with verse win her success, patronage, and the enmity of a rival poet."
--Emma, music, book and lyrics by Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre), based on Jane Austen's classic novel Emma
"In early 19th century England, Emma Woodhouse, endowed with wealth, beauty and prestige, attempts to arrange a wealthy marriage for her poor friend Harriet, a young girl with questionable origins. In the process she disregards her own feelings and everyone else's."
--Jerry Christmas, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), book by Daniel Goldfarb
"It's 1961, and after three flops, funny man Jerry Barron is in need of a hit. His family is keeping secrets and losing patience. And he's wallowing in despair. Luckily, Maury Mintz calls and offers him the chance of a lifetime: to put his family on the air on live television in a Christmas special called 'Jerry Christmas!' Only problem is, they're Jewish."
--Julian Po, book and lyrics by Andrew Barrett, music by Ira Antelis, based on the book La mort de monsieur Golouja" by Branimir cepanovic and the film Julian Po by Alan Wade
The show is "a modern day musical myth. This rollicking, yet cautionary tale of Man's greatness combines the traditional musical theater form with the sounds of Americana blue-grass and mountain music. Julian Po begins with 'The Muses,' a four piece, strolling mischievous band invoking the day when a strange man mysteriously arrives in an even stranger middle-American town."