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NAMT’s 32nd Annual Festival Of New Musicals Has Tickets Available to the Public

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The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (Betsy King Militello, Executive Director) is thrilled to announce that the public can attend NAMT’s 32nd Annual Festival Of New Musicals by making a  donation to NAMT ($30 donation for one day / $50 donation for both days). Passes are available after making a free account on Broadway on Demand. NAMT’s Festival Of New Musicals will take place on Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November 20, 2020, with the opportunity to view the Festival through November 29.  

Selected from 349 submissions, this year’s Festival of New Musicals includes: Co-Founders (Book & Lyrics by Beau Lewis, Adesha Adefela & Ryan Nicole Austin, Music by Jodie Ellis, Brian Watters & Budo), Cowboy Bob (Co-Created by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips & Annie Tippe, Music & Lyrics by Phillips, Book & Additional Lyrics by Murphy, Additional Music by Alex Thrailkill), The Consoling Mechanism (Book, Music & Lyrics by Josh Franklin), Eastbound (Book & Music by Cheeyang Ng, Book & Lyrics by Khiyon Hursey), Hart Island (Book & Lyrics by Michelle Elliott, Music & Lyrics by Danny Haengil Larsen), Lizard Boy (Book, Music & Lyrics by Justin Huertas), Obeah Opera (Book, Music & Lyrics by Nicole Brooks) and On This Side of the World (Music and Lyrics by Paulo K Tiról, developed with Noam Shapiro). 

This year’s NAMT Festival of New Musicals features an impressive line-up of directors and musical directors including: Nicole Brooks (Film: The Orisha Suite, A Linc In Time), Marc Bruni (Broadway: Beautiful The Carole King Musical), Desdemona Chiang (Regional: Hold These Truths), Steven Cuevas (Broadway: Once on This Island), Melanie DeMore (Music: Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir), Andrea Grody (Broadway: The Band’s Visit), James Nathan Hopkins (Broadway: Bandstand), Brandon Ivie (Regional: A Christmas Story, The Musical), Jamil Jude (Regional: Skeleton Crew), Raja Feather Kelly (NY: UGLY (Black Queer Zoo)), Jonathan McCrory (NY: Dead and Breathing), Noam Shapiro (Off-Broadway: On This Side of the World), Annie Tippe (Off-Broadway: Octet), Alex Thrailkill (NY: The Living Record Collection), Steven Tran (NY: Crazy Fierce Asians), P. Jason Yarcho (Broadway: Falsettos) and Meg Zervoulis (Broadway: The Prom)

This year’s performers include Austin Dean Ashford (International: (I)sland T(rap)), Ryan Nicole Austin (Off-Broadway: #BARS), Cheo Bourne (NY: Church of Holy Glory), Karen Burthwright (Broadway: Jesus Christ Superstar), Nicole Brooks (Canada: Obeah Opera), Jeb Brown (Broadway: Beautiful The Carole King Musical), Gerard Canonico (Broadway: Be More Chill), Krystle Chance (North American Tour: We Will Rock You), Ya Han Chang (Off-Broadway: Sayonara), John Clay III (Broadway: Choir Boy), Carrie Compere (Broadway: The Color Purple), Marc delaCruz (Broadway: Hamilton), Amanda DeFreitas (Broadway: Hairspray), Saphire Demitro (Canada: Into the Woods), Natascia Diaz (Broadway: Man of La Mancha), Ashley Pérez Flanagan (Broadway: Freestyle Love Supreme), Deidrey Francois (Music: Spirit in Bloom), Nickeshia Garrick (Dance: No Woman’s Land), Kirsten deLohr Helland (Regional: The Sound of Music), Arinea Hermans (Canada: The Adventures of Pinocchio), Rodney Hicks (Broadway: Come from Away), Justin Huertas (Regional: Howl’s Moving Castle), Amber Iman (Broadway: Shuffle Along), Jawan M. Jackson (Broadway: Ain’t Too Proud), Gizel Jiménez (Broadway: Wicked), Raymond J. Lee (Broadway: Groundhog Day), Simon Longnight (National Tour: Hamilton), Jaygee Macapugay (Broadway: School of Rock), Aline Mayagoitia (Off-Broadway: Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation), Grace McLean (Broadway: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet Of 1812), Cheeyang Ng (Music: Vocalosity), Tu Nokwe (TV: Ifalahke), Diane Phelan (Broadway: The King and I), Dana Jean Phoenix (Music: Pixeldust), Zachary Noah Piser (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Michelle Polak (Canada: Avaricious), Michael Protacio (Regional: West Side Story), Tanner Quirk (National Tour: Matilda), Tringa Rexhepi (Canada: Ring of Fire), Vincent Rodriguez III (TV: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Bronwyn Tarboton (Broadway: Frozen), Ryan Gregory Thurman (NY: Disney’s The Little Mermaid), Daryl Tofa (Broadway: Mean Girls), Kay Trinidad (Broadway: Hadestown), William A. Williams (Regional: Of Mice and Men), Joy Nicole Woods (Off-Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors), Jessica Tyler Wright (Broadway: War Horse), Shuyan Yang (Off-Broadway: Comfort Women) and Jessy Yates (TV: Speechless). The casting director for the Festival is Michael Cassara, CSA.

This year’s class of observers for the Festival Observership for Early-Career Directors are Karishma Bhagani, J Travis Cooper, Miranda J. Cornell, Tamanya Garza, Zhiyi Vanna Han, Emmanuel Kikoni, Lamar Perry and Leah Vicencio.

For the industry, the NAMT Fall events will kick off on Tuesday, November 17, with the Fall Conference, followed by the Festival of New Musicals on November 19 & 20. Festival registration for industry members is free and is open at www.namt.org/festival

Now in its 32nd year, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival Of New Musicals attracts theatre producers from around the world to discover eight new musicals over two days. Production costs are underwritten by NAMT. As a non-profit organization, NAMT funds the Festival entirely through donations and sponsorships. 

The Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 268 musicals and 512 writers from around the world. As a direct result of the Festival Of New Musicals, more than 85% of the musicals presented have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions, tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past Festival shows include Klook and Vinette, Benny & Joon, Come From Away, Darling Grenadine, The Drowsy Chaperone, Gun & Powder, Interstate, It Shoulda Been You, Lempicka, Ordinary Days, Striking 12 and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among many others. 

Co-Founders Book & Lyrics by Beau Lewis, Adesha Adefela & Ryan Nicole; Music by Jodie Ellis, Brian Watters & Budo

Director: Jamil Jude (Regional: Skeleton Crew)

Musical Director: Andrea Grody (Broadway: The Band’s Visit)

Cast: Austin Dean Ashford (International: (I)sland T(rap)), Ryan Nicole Austin (NY: #BARS), Jeb Brown (Broadway: Beautiful the Carole King Musical), Gerard Canonico (Broadway: Be More Chill), Amber Iman (Broadway: Shuffle Along)

Co-Founders is the story of two unlikely partners chasing impossible entrepreneurial dreams. Esata, a black woman from Oakland, and Conway, a small town college dropout, take on the most competitive startup accelerator in Silicon Valley—where the privileged make a killing while the people across the bridge grind to survive. 

Beau Lewis is an Emmy-winning writer, producer, viral media expert and entrepreneur from Seattle. Lewis’ music videos have over 250-million views online and his work has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Fortune and on Good Morning America. He is the CEO of Rhyme Combinator, the media company dedicated to championing positive entrepreneurial culture. He co-founded and sits on the board of GoldieBlox, the award-winning children’s multimedia company challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. Lewis graduated from Stanford with a BS in Engineering and a focus in international relations from Oxford. 

Ryan Nicole Austin is a Grammy-nominated polymath who finds her most fulfilling experiences at the intersection of art and activism. Her California State Assembly-recognized career in music and media empowers community. Ryan is featured on TEDx San Francisco, ESPN’s NBA at Christmas with Daveed Diggs, and has performed for Google, Sony, LinkedIn, Apple and Barack Obama. Ryan has led workshops, directed and been the playwright-in-residence at New York’s Public Theater (BARS workshop), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, California Shakespeare Theater and American Conservatory Theater. Ryan holds a BA in Sociology and Political Science from San Diego State University. 

Adesha Adefela started acting in musical theater at age five, starring alongside her mother Deltrina Johnson, a Beach Blanket Babylon alum. She continued starring in musicals produced by community theaters in her hometown, Oakland, CA. As a teen, she was to sign with Atlantic records, but in an effort to uphold her personal values, she became an independent artist. That decision led to nominations, sold-out shows in the San Francisco Bay Area, co-starring in a reality TV show produced by Warner Brothers, becoming a Billboard-charted artist, and sharing the stage with famous acts Jazmine Sullivan, Carl Thomas, Ledisi, Goapele and more. 

Cowboy Bob Co-Created by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips & Annie Tippe; Music & Lyrics by Phillips; Book & Additional Lyrics by Murphy; Additional Music by Alex Thrailkill

Directed by Annie Tippe (Off-Broadway: Octet)

Music Directed by Alex Thrailkill (NYC: The Living Record Collection)

Cast: Grace McLean (Broadway: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet Of 1812), 

Ashley Pérez Flanagan (Broadway: Freestyle Love Supreme)

You wouldn’t look twice at Peggy Jo. She was a good daughter, always tipped well at restaurants, but disguised as “Cowboy Bob” in a fake beard and a ten-gallon hat, she was the slickest bank robber Texas has ever known. Making her get-away in a sky blue 1975 Pontiac Grand Prix, she was a modern-day bandit stealing thousands and evading detection for more than a decade. With a score that’s equal parts Riot Grrrl rage and Texas two-step twang, this tale of a small-town legend spurs a discontented chain-restaurant waitress to buck routine, take life by the reins and let it ride. 

Molly Beach Murphy’s plays include The Air Got Thick; IKE; Big Ben in the Red Dirt Desert. With core collaborators Annie Tippe and Jeanna Phillips, Molly co-creates experimental musicals such as Cowboy Bob, with two new pieces in early development. Molly’s work has been developed with New York Theatre Workshop, New York Stage & Film, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ars Nova, the Alley Theatre, Page 73, The Civilians’ R&D Group, The Orchard Project, Ucross Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals, Pipeline Theatre Company. Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship Semi-finalist; Drama League Beatrice Terry Resident; New Georges Affiliated Artist. Published works in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Hairpin, Santa Ana River Review, and American Theatre Magazine. www.mollybeachmurphy.com

Jeanna Phillips makes and performs music and theatre for folks of all ages. Music for theatre: Cowboy Bob, with Molly Beach Murphy and Annie Tippe (Village Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Ars Nova, NYTW Adelphi Residency, Polyphone Festival); what’s this called, this spirit? with Alex Thrailkill (Ars Nova, Dixon Place); Cooking to me is Poetry with New Saloon (Galapagos Art Space); POE (The Morgan Library). She was selected as a 2019/2020 New Victory Labworks artist and was a member of Fresh Ground Pepper’s 2019/2020 Playground PlayGroup. Her clown-cabaret alter ego Andréa Lloyd Webber has wreaked havoc at Caveat, Ars Nova, La MaMa, Dixon Place, Littlefield, and Liberty Hall at the ACE Hotel. Alumna: The Civilians R&D Group, Yale Institute of Music Theatre. BFA NYU Experimental Theatre Wing. jeannaphillips.com

Annie Tippe is a director and creator of new work, film and music theatre. Recent: Premiere of Dave Malloy’s Octet at the Signature Theatre (Lortel Award for Best Direction, SDC Callaway Award Finalist) and Ghost Quartet (Premiere, The Bushwick Starr, etc…), Leslye Headland’s Cult of Love (Premiere, IAMA Theatre Company), Bess Wohl’s Continuity (Goodman Theatre), Molly Beach Murphy + Jeanna Phillips’ Cowboy Bob (Village Theatre; New York Stage and Film), James + Jerome’s INK (w. Rachel Chavkin, Under the Radar/Met Museum) and The Conversationalists (Bushwick Starr). Former Ars Nova Director-in-Residence, Drama League Directing Fellow, Williamstown Directing Corps. www.annietippe.com

The Consoling Mechanism Book, Music & Lyrics by Josh Franklin

Director: Marc Bruni (Broadway: Beautiful The Carole King Musical

Musical Director: Meg Zervoulis (Broadway: The Prom)

Cast: John Clay III (Broadway: Choir Boy), Raymond J. Lee (Broadway: Groundhog Day), Tanner Quirk (National Tour: Matilda), Bronwyn Tarboton (Broadway: Frozen), Daryl Tofa (Broadway: Mean Girls), Joy Nicole Woods (Off-Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors), Jessy Yates (TV: Speechless)

Can our deepening commitment to technology also strengthen the bonds of human connection? In a world increasingly intertwined with artificial intelligence and virtual reality, The Consoling Mechanism‘s dynamic pop score, and the poignant-yet-humorous book pulls back the curtain on a family struggling to recover from unexpected loss.

Josh Franklin is an accomplished and well-rounded artist. He is the composer/lyricist for Royal Blood, a hip-hop Vampire musical comedy; Jack: A Moral Musical Tale, and is the sole writer of The Consoling Mechanism, a story about a girl struggling with her new reality as a person with disabilities. His acting credits include: Broadway: The Prom, Anything Goes, Ghost, Legally Blonde and Grease; Off Broadway: Cyrano with Peter Dinklage. Tours: Bob Gaudio (Jersey Boys), Danny Zuko (Grease), Chad (All Shook Up) and Billy Crocker (Anything Goes), which garnered him a Helen Hayes Award nomination. Albums: Josh Franklin and Spent.

Eastbound Book & Music by Cheeyang Ng; Book & Lyrics by Khiyon Hursey

Director: Desdemona Chiang (Regional: Hold These Truths)

Musical Director: James Nathan Hopkins (Broadway: Bandstand)

Cast: Ya Han Chang (Off-Broadway: Sayonara), Cheeyang Ng (Music: Vocalosity), Zachary Noah Piser (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Jessica Tyler Wright (Broadway: War Horse), Shuyan Yang (Off-Broadway: Comfort Women)

Eastbound is a new bilingual musical about the unexpected meeting of two brothers from opposite sides of the world, their quests for survival, and the power of choice. The musical is told through the soundscape of a contemporary score amalgamated with traditional Chinese folk music and Mandopop.

Born and raised in Singapore, Cheeyang Ng is an award-winning singer-songwriter who writes at the intersection of queer, Asian and immigrant stories. They have performed around the world and are the first Singaporean to headline a concert at Joe’s Pub and Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center. Creator of The Lunar Collective and podcast East Side Story, they have won multiple vocal awards across Asia. Other works in development include MĀYĀ (Live & In Color, Hypokrit) with Eric Sorrels. Select credits: Eric H Weinberger Librettist Award, Eugene O’Neill National Musical Theater Conference Finalist, ASCAP Foundation Lucille & Jack Yellen Award. www.cheeyang.com. @cheeyangmusic

Khiyon Hursey is a writer and composer based in Los Angeles and New York. He is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Irving Burgie Scholarship, Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship, and the Lucille and Jack Yellen award, a 2016 NAMT Writers Residency Grant, a 2016-2017 Dramatists Guild Musical Theater Fellowship, 2017 Space on Ryder Farm Residency, 2018 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project residency, 2019 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop with Stephen Schwartz, 2019 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, the 2020 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals and the 2020 Stephen Schwartz Award. 

Hart Island Book & Lyrics by Michelle Elliott; Music & Lyrics by Danny Haengil Larsen

Director: Raja Feather Kelly (NY: UGLY (Black Queer Zoo))

Musical Director: Jason Yarcho (Broadway: Falsettos)

Cast: Cheo Bourne (NY: Church of Holy Glory), Carrie Compere (Broadway: The Color Purple), Natascia Diaz (Broadway: Man of La Mancha), Rodney Hicks (Broadway: Come from Away), Jawan M. Jackson (Broadway: Ain’t Too Proud), Gizel Jiménez (Broadway: Wicked), Simon Longnight (National Tour: Hamilton), Aline Mayagoitia (Off-Broadway: Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation), Ryan Gregory Thurman (NY: Disney’s The Little Mermaid)

Hart Island is an inspiring tale of an immigrant woman fighting for her child and the unexpected compassion of a disillusioned inmate who is the only person who can help her. This hauntingly beautiful musical observes two people on the edge of society as they change each other’s lives forever.

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.

Danny Haengil Larsen is a composer, lyricist, librettist, and orchestrator. His musicals, co-written with Michelle Elliott, include Hart Island, Maiden Voyage, Cloaked, The Yellow Wood, and several musicals for young audiences. Awards include The Jonathan Larson Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, NYMF Best Music Award, the Daryl Roth Award, and the Kleban Prize. Their musical web series The Hinterlands was nominated for 4 IAWTV awards. Danny is currently working on a new semi-autobiographical show, The Pain in My Gay-Mormon, Half-Korean Ass. His orchestrations have been professionally produced. MFA from The Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU. www.elliottlarsenmusicals.com

Lizard Boy Book, Music & Lyrics by Justin Huertas

Director: Brandon Ivie (Regional: A Christmas Story, The Musical)

Music Director: Steven Tran (NYC: Crazy Fierce Asians

Cast: Kirsten deLohr Helland (Regional: The Sound of Music), Justin Huertas (Regional: Howl’s Moving Castle), William A. Williams (Regional: Of Mice and Men)

Trevor feels like a freak—which is not helped by the green lizard skin he grew after a bizarre childhood accident. When one fateful night sets him on a journey of mythic proportions, Trevor must decide if he’ll become the hero of his own story in this thrillingly original musical.

Justin Huertas is an award-winning playwright, composer-lyricist and actor. His first original musical Lizard Boy world-premiered at Seattle Rep, toured to San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre, and had two industry readings in NYC. Justin then wrote The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion (additional music by Steven Tran) for ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery and Lydia & the Troll (co-created by Ameenah Kaplan) for Seattle Rep. He composed music and lyrics for The Lamplighter (co-authored by Sara Porkalob and Kirsten “Kiki” deLohr Helland) and for Book-It Repertory Theatre’s adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle. Justin is currently under commission at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Obeah Opera Book, Music & Lyrics by Nicole Brooks

Co-Directors: Nicole Brooks, Jonathan McCrory (NY: Dead and Breathing)

Music Director: Melanie DeMore (Grammy nominated Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir) 

Cast: Karen Burthwright (Broadway: Jesus Christ Superstar), Nicole Brooks (Canada: Obeah Opera), Krystle Chance (North American Tour: We Will Rock You), Amanda DeFreitas (Broadway: Hairspray), Saphire Demitro (Canada: Into the Woods), Deidrey Francois (Music: Spirit in Bloom), Nickeshia Garrick (Dance: No Woman’s Land), Arinea Hermans (Canada: The Adventures of Pinocchio), Tu Nokwe (TV: Ifalahke), Dana Jean Phoenix (Music: Pixeldust), Michelle Polak (Canada: Avaricious), Tringa Rexhepi (Canada: Ring of Fire)

Obeah Opera is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, spirit-lifting, magical musical sensation unlike any other opera before. Steeped in Black music, sung entirely a cappella by a powerful all-female cast, Obeah Opera reveals the story of the legendary Salem witch trials from the fascinating perspective of Caribbean slave women. 

In the performing arts world, Nicole Brooks is beyond a triple-threat. Her extensive accomplishments include: filmmaker, director, performer, singer, playwright, composer, curator, teacher and ‘art-ivist.’ Brooks has devoted over 20 years producing innovative content (for the stage and screen), with a focus on narratives that illuminate the peoples of the African Diaspora. In 2012, Brooks officially added playwright to her list of talents. Her debut theatrical work Obeah Opera—which she created, wrote, composed and performs in—has received critical acclaim and several award nominations throughout its various incarnations in Toronto, Canada between 2009 and 2019. 

On This Side of the World Music & Lyrics by Paulo K Tiról

Director: Noam Shapiro (Off-Broadway: On This Side of the World)

Music Director: Steven Cuevas (Broadway: Once on This Island)

Cast: Marc delaCruz (Broadway: Hamilton), Jaygee Macapugay (Broadway: School of Rock), Diane Phelan (Broadway: The King and I), Michael Protacio (Regional: West Side Story), Vincent Rodriguez III (TV: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Kay Trinidad (Broadway: Hadestown)

Stories of overseas workers, young lovers, and gossipy church ladies. Snapshots of undocumented immigrants, millennial princesses, and first-generation Americans. In On This Side of the World, six actors give voice to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, as a one-way ticket sends them on a journey 8,000 miles from home.

Paulo K Tiról is a composer, lyricist, and book writer from Manila, Philippines. He is currently a Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow and was an artist-in-residence at Access Theater with director Noam Shapiro. His projects include music and lyrics for On This Side of the World (NAMT Festival 2020, Prospect Theater Company’s IGNITE series, Access Theater); book, music and lyrics for Called; and orchestrations for Ma-Yi Theater Co.’s Felix Starro. His work has been presented at Joe’s Pub, Barrington Stage and more. Training: Berklee, NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (full-tuition scholarship), BMI. www.paulophonic.com.

Noam Shapiro is a New York-based director and the Producing Artistic Director of Three Hares. He is the SDC Foundation’s 2020 Kurt Weill/Harold Prince Directing Fellow, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a former MTC Directing Fellow, a Drama League First Draft Resident Artist, and a winner of OPERA-America’s Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize. Noam has developed work with the Drama League, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Access Theater, The Lark, New Dramatists and Fresh Ground Pepper. He also has guest directed at Yale, Johns Hopkins and Columbia. BA Yale. www.noamshapiro.com

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. Their mission is to be a catalyst for nurturing musical theatre development, production, innovation and collaboration. Their 245 members, located throughout 33 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world and include theatres, presenting organizations, higher education programs and individual producers. 

NAMT’s FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is the cornerstone of NAMT’s mission to nurture the development and production of new musicals. The Festival presents eight musicals before an audience of over 800 industry professionals. In the short run, the Festival’s goal is to connect producers with writers, so that our shows can extend their development trajectory. The long-term goal is to expand the musical theatre repertoire and advance the musical theatre art form.

The 32nd ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is overseen by NAMT New Works Director Ciera Iveson and Festival General Manager Dailey-Monda Management. 

The 2020 Festival Committee is co-chaired by Dana Harrel, formerly of Disney Parks Live Entertainment (CA), and Yuvika Tolani, Director of Producing, The Public Theater (NY). Committee members include: Brannon Bowers, Producing Director, American Music Theatre Project (IL); Taneisha Duggan, Producing Associate, TheaterWorks Hartford (CT); Charles Duke, Musician and Music Director (NY); Rick Edinger, Associate Teaching Professor of Music Theatre, Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama (PA); Kate Galvin, Artistic Director, Cardinal Stage Company (IN); Marguerite Hannah, Associate Producer, Horizon Theatre (GA); Branden Huldeen, Artistic Producer, Barrington Stage Company (MA); Tim Kashani, Co-Founder/CEO, Apples and Oranges Arts (CA); Jonathan McCrory, Artistic Director, National Black Theatre (NY); Dan Murphy, Managing Director, Broadway Rose Theatre Company (OR); Danielle Karliner Naish, General Manager, RCI Theatricals (NY); Olivia O’Connor, Manager of New Work Development, Pittsburgh CLO (PA); Patrick Parker, Associate Artistic Director, Paper Mill Playhouse (NJ); Lisa Rubin, Artistic & Executive Director, Segal Centre for Performing Arts (QC); Phil Santora, Executive Director, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (CA); Alexis Williams, Associate Artistic Director, Playwrights Realm (NY); Pamela Adams, General Manager, Atlantic Theater Co. (NY), Chair Emerita; and Michael Kooman (Alumnus Writer Representative), writer of Dani Girl (Fest ’11) and The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes (Fest ’14).

NAMT thanks the following foundations, government agencies and organizations for their ongoing support of our programs: The Alhadeff Family Charitable Foundation, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York Creative Space Grant, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, The Austin Community Fund, BMI Foundation, The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, The Hargrove Pierce Foundation, The Hollywood Pantages, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Lucille Lortel Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Noël Coward Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Ted Snowdon Foundation, and Anonymous donors.

Broadway On Demand is the principal industry-led livestream platform housing performance and theatre education programming, and the preferred choice of top Broadway artists, producers, educators and professionals. In addition to a growing list of live-captured Broadway shows that can be viewed on demand, Broadway On Demand is partnering with individual artists, concert series, brick-and-mortar performance venues, and producing entities around the world to be able to continuously offer the widest array of archived and live streaming events, including everything from exclusive performances to backstage access to masterclasses, and much more. Thanks to a unique licensing interface, ShowShare, approved middle school, high school, college, community and professional theatre productions utilize the platform to stream to their audiences.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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TODAY Show Celebrates 30 Years With Its 2024 Citi Concert Series

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The TODAY Show is celebrating 30 years so its 2024 Citi Concert Series lineup is pretty spectacular. Rockefeller Plaza will have country music with Wallows kicking things off. Chris Stapleton, Lainey Wilson and Thomas Rhett, as well as fan favorites Meghan Trainor, LL COOL J and Chance the Rapper.

Mark Your calendars:

May

Friday, May 24 — Wallows *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, May 31 — Anitta *Register for a Fan Pass

June

Friday, June 7 — Meghan Trainor *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, June 21 — Kehlani *Register for a Fan Pass

Tuesday, June 25 — Lainey Wilson *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, June 28 — Gracie Abrams *Register for a Fan Pass

July

Thursday, July 4 — Bleachers *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, July 12 — Rauw Alejandro *Register for a Fan Pass

August

Friday, Aug. 9 — Maggie Rogers *Register for a Fan Pass

Monday, Aug. 12 — Little Big Town and Sugarland *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, Aug. 16 — Chance the Rapper *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, Aug. 23 — Thomas Rhett *Register for a Fan Pass

September

Friday, Sept. 27 — Chris Stapleton *Register for a Fan Pass

Date to be announced 

LL COOL J *Check back for Fan Passes

TODAY concerts are free and open to the public. The shows take place on the TODAY Plaza in Rockefeller Center, located at 48th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, in New York City.

The closest subway stop to our TODAY Plaza concerts is the 47th — 50th Streets — Rockefeller Center station on the B, D, F, M trains. 24/7 parking is also available nearby at the Rockefeller Center Parking Garage at 53 West 48th Street. The garage is operated 24/7 and accepts reservations in advance. Hourly and daily parking rates apply.

Fan Passes are limited and available by advance request. Guests who receive them will be notified by email before the scheduled concert date.

Guests who do not obtain a Fan Pass can still attend the General Admission line the morning of the concert, and those fans will be let in if space allows. Other answers to commonly asked questions about the series can be found here.

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Memorial Day Weekend Sips That Sizzle

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Summer, summer time is here!

Get ready for days in the sun that sizzle this Memorial Day Weekend with these amazing sips. Mix a cocktail or have it easy, breezy and straight from the can or bottle. All of these options will bring joy and delight to your picnic on the beach to your backyard BBQ!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.

For Tea Lovers with a Twist – Lipton Hard Iced Tea

 Lipton Hard Iced Tea is the tangy twist on a classic that you will love. Crafted from a triple-filtered, premium malt base and real brewed Lipton tea, it’s a perfect way to enjoy the best tea with a level of sweetness that will dazzle your senses. Whether you’re firing up the grill, hitting the beach, or simply enjoying some outdoor fun, Lipton Hard Iced Tea has you covered. With flavors like Lemon, Peach, Strawberry, Citrus Green Tea and Half & Half, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

For Wine Lovers Who Love Sophistication – Miraval

Miraval Rosé is a perfect summer day in a glass. With blend of fruits aromas and freshness, made on an exceptional terroirs in Provence.

Attractive bright and translucent colour,  its divine aromatic bouquet combines fresh fruit, freshly cut currants and roses, seasoned with a zest of lemon. A glass can be perfectly enjoyed with a luxurious meal with friends as the sun sets.

For the Traditional Lovers – Jefferson’s Bourbon

Cover art by Lucas Sankey on Unsplash

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In the News

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May has been a busy month with so many busy things. Here are some of our favorite highlights.

2024 SI Rookie + Founder of Mama Mantra, Sharina Gutierrez graced the red carpet of the “Sports Illustrated” Swimsuit 60th Anniversary Celebration at Hard Rock Hotel in New York.  She wore a Marc Jacobs dress, Alexis Bittar jewelry and Saint Laurent shoes.

(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Sonya Sklaroff is a contemporary American painter born and raised in New York City, she holds a true understanding of New York City and its essence. This May she has teamed up with the NoHo Business Improvement District to display 76 pieces of her artwork in 19 different NoHo business’s.

 

 

 

 

Her latest collection is called “Outside In” featuring paintings that capture the city at dusk, with architecture silhouetted against a vibrant evening sky and colorful windows. Within the scenes, viewers glimpse intimate moments of everyday life – a women prepping for bed, a couple sharing a quiet moment, friends dining together, etc. Until May 28th viewers can immerse themselves in Sklaroff’s captivating paintings as they explore the diverse businesses that define the NoHo neighborhood or better known as Sonya Sklaroff’s new art gallery.

 

 

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The Abbot of Athos and The Consulate Midtown A Tale of How Food Can Bring Peace

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Greece and Macedonia, have had decades of tension, but yesterday at The Consulate Midtown, 44 West 56th Street The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos and Kiril Mihajlov, showed how great food and conversation can give way to peace.

The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos, Kiril Mihajlov

I met the Abbott in Greece last summer and he graciously agreed to have lunch with me and some guests I invited, before he returned to Greece.

Margarita Parlionas, Captain John Woodall

Margarita Parlionas is a business owner, who brought with her Captain John Woodall who runs Camp4Heroes, a place where Vets can get some much needed help.

Suzanna Bowling, The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos, Kiril Mihajlov and George Tower

George Tower, is contributing writer for the, T2C, and speaks fluent Greek.

The Abbot, Margarita and Captain Woodall all supped on the Hangover Burger ($28) 8oz grilled patty, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, topped with a fried egg on a brioche bun, which they all claimed was the best burger they had ever had.

George had the Salmon Eggs Benedict ($26) poached eggs, smoked salmon, toasted brioche, espelette hollandaise sauce and was completely happy.

T2C’s Suzanna Bowling had her favorite Avocado Toast with Bacon ($24) scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon and mixed greens. If you want sensational food with a elegant atmosphere, I highly recommend The Consulate Midtown.

The Abbot gifted a book about his life written in both Greek and English to the guests.

The Abbott has been in America since April visiting Boston, Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Queens and NYC. His message is of gratitude, love and healing. He has been raising funds to expand and offer more to men who want a spiritual retreat, which is what Mount Athos does.

T2C’s Suzanna Bowling and The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos

If you wish to know more you can go to Athonite Foundation.

 

 

 

 

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

RASCALS AT SONY HALL — The Rascals long-awaited return to NYC proved to be a sensational evening of music. Their 16-song set, backed up by a terrific band -including bassist John Billings from Micky Dolenz’s band- was rocking from the start with their “Do You Feel It” and “”Beautiful Morning.” Felix Cavaliere’s vibrant vocals were just a joy. Face it, for people of a certain age, we grew up with this voice … just magical.

Micky Dolenz

Their cover of the Jackie Wilson-chestnut “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) High” set the SRO crowd afire.

Felix then brought his daughter Aria out for two selections. Clearly, she’s inherited by father’s dynamic vocal prowess. She was just terrific and a nice surprise.

Cavaliere then brought out guitarist Gene Cornish who was just wonderful. Gene has had some health issues, but his presence brought the show to a magnificent high-point.

Oddly, there was no mention of the rumored “My Hawaii” from Cavaliere with vocals from Dolly Parton. He mentioned it in a recent interview with Medium, but was mum about it on last Monday’s WOR-interview with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. I hear that the release has been held up several times. Sad … can’t wait to hear it.

The show ended with their signature classics “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “People Got To Be Free” and Good Lovin’.” The Rascals’ music is ingrained and it was a joy to hear it once again. Truth be told, it sounded better than ever!

Seated in a corner booth by the stage was none other than Bill Murray – a huge fan. Great night sensational set. Also, there were Rascals-PR man David Salidor; Dan Zelinski; Billy Amendola; Magda Katz from Times Square Chronicles; and Susan Nuzzi Russo. Thanks to SONY Hall’s Peter Abraham for his assistance.

David Sanborn

DAVID SANBORN — We don’t usually re-print tributes, but this, from David Sanborn’s wife Alice Soyer was so heartfelt.  Take a read:

Dave, my love, my warrior, my soulmate, my unique bird, my everything. I cannot believe what I’m writing right now but what I know is that you changed my life, because of you I know what true love is, I had and have it all. I have it all. Although I’m going to miss you every single minute of my life, I know that the pain you were enduring was not right, those pains are now released and you are completely free. You are and will be in every note, in every breath, in every sound that touches the soul, in every sun beam, in every cloud, in every beat of my heart. Dave you are an inspiration. Your courage to be yourself, to reveal this true voice screaming from inside, oh my love you are a true warrior, a pure artist, an extraordinary being.I will honor you every step on the way, I will represent you, us. I love you madly.

Dave forever

Don Grolnick

SHORT TAKES — First off, I left off one very important member when I referenced The Brecker Brothers last time: keyboardist-genius Don Grolnick: terrifically talented and much-missed …

George Harrison

One of the best parts of watching Let It Be(again!) was seeing John & Yoko dancing to George Harrison’s stunningly-beautiful “I Me Mine.” Awesome…  From Roger Friedman’s SHOWBIZ 411:Barbra Streisand just released a new a beautiful new single called “Love Will Survive,” for the closing credits of the upcoming series “The Tattooist of Auschwitz.” It’s maybe Streisand’s best new vocal in years thanks to producers Walter Afanasieff (Mariah Carey’s classics) and Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor classics). So now I’m told Streisand has booked the producing duo for her next album of duets. Barbra has a couple of these under her belt over her six decade career. But this one sounds like a powerhouse … Great interview with Micky Dolenz in advance of his Surf Ballroom show Friday in Clear Lake, Iowa: https://littlevillagemag.com/monkee-micky-dolenz-surf-ballroom/?fbclid=IwAR2jXAYYYCJ_19ovY4yT8DU8OfdaTU-GYdYhXahF-rvYj3yERRW_K5MmgrI

Francis Ford Coppola

With this year’s Cannes  Film Festival underway, the first big movie screened was Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and it generated some of the craziest reviews I’ve ever seen.

Mostly positive. Coppola’s a genius, so you know to expect the unexpected. I think my favorite was from the UK’s Daily Telegraph which gave the movie four stars, saying, “Coppola’s latest is like Succession crossed with Batman Forever and a lava lamp… Aubrey Plaza is fantastic in this full-body sensory bath movie which follows a struggle for power among the elites of New Rome.” Me? I can’t wait to see it. The guy’s a bloody genius … 17-year-old wunderkind Kjersti Long -co writer of Vanessa Williams’ current return to music “Legs (Keep Dancing)”- heads to NYC for the Tribeca Festival in 2 weeks … And Apple TV’s Sugar -with Colin Farrell- ended its run. The first few episodes were great; very LA Confidential, but then, it turned into a sci-fi adventure. Odd? You bet. The ending left room for a second season, but I highly doubt it. Farell was great, but the topsy-turvy plot twist was brutal.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — August Darnell; Coati Mundi; Jeff Vogel; Kent Kotal; Bruce Grakal; Ringo Starr; Danny Fried; China Club; Tony King; Peter Brown; Mark Bego; Kent & Laura Denmark Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Peter Abraham; Peter Lubin; Steve Plotnicki; Profile Records; Joe Cocker; Lush Ice; Anthony Pomes; Terry Jastrow; and BELLA!

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