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National Alliance for Musical Theatre (Betsy King Militello, Executive Director) announces  casting for the 29th Annual Festival of New Musicals, which takes place on Thursday, October 19 and Friday, October 20, 2017 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues). The Festival kicks-off on Wednesday, October 18 with its celebrated concert, The 46th Minute.

Registration for industry members is free until October 11 at which point a late registration fee will apply. Registration is open at www.namt.org/festival. Online registration closes for the Festival on October 16. The public can also receive passes to the Festival through a donation to NAMT. There is also a day-of standby line for the general public for free admission (based on availability).

Casting for the 29th Annual Festival of New Musicals includes English Bernhardt (National Tour: If/Then), Melody Betts (National Tour:  The Sound of Music), Cat Brindisi (Regional: South Pacific), Brennan James Caldwell (NY: Money Talks, Baghdaddy), Lincoln Clauss (Regional: Burn All Night), Jon-Viktor Corpuz (Broadway: The King and I), Laura Dadap(NY/ National Tour: Voca People), Rachel De Benedet (Broadway: Catch Me if You Can), Trista Dollison (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Alphonse Gonzales, Danielle Lee Greaves (Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, Hairspray), Alan H. Green (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Mallory Hawks (NY: Suessical), John Hillner (Broadway: La Cage aux Folles), Bre Jackson (Broadway: The Color Purple), Emily Jenda(Broadway: The Book of Mormon), Taylor Iman Jones (Broadway: Groundhog Day), Esco Jouléy (NY:The Demise), Chilina Kennedy (Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Nikko Kimzin (National Tour: West Side Story), Andrew Kober (Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George), Janine LaManna(Broadway: The Drowsy Chaperone, Seussical – Drama Desk nominee), Chris McCarrell (Broadway: Les Misérables. NY: The Lightning Thief), Samia Mounts, Kevyn Morrow (Broadway: Bandstand, Ragtime- Olivier Award nominee), Mike Nappi (Regional: The Wildest, Chicago), Larry Owens (NY: Spamilton, Gigantic), John Rubinstein (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pippin, Children of a Lesser God- Tony Award), Isabella Russo(Broadway: The School of Rock- The Musical), Jennifer Sanchez (Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George), Ian Saraceni (Broadway: The King and I), Hannah Shankman (Broadway: Side Show, Wicked), Iris Sharp, Antoine L. Smith (Broadway: Miss Saigon, The Color Purple), Shelley Thomas(Broadway: Brooklyn),  David Shih (NY: KPOP), Jenna Ushkowitz (Film: Hello Again, TV: “Glee”. Broadway: Waitress), Ryan Vona (Broadway: Paramour), Akron Watson (Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong, The Color Purple), Max Wilcox (NY: Gigantic), NaTasha Yvette Williams (Broadway: A Night with Janis Joplin), and Kevin Zak (NY: Clinton The Musical).

They join previously announced Broadway talent including Felicia Boswell(Broadway: Shuffle Along, MOTOWN), Adam Chanler-Berat (Broadway: Next to Normal, Peter and the Starcatcher, Amélie), Juwan Crawley (Broadway: Aladdin), Alyse Alan Louis (Broadway: Amélie), Ken Marks (Broadway: Spiderman: Turn off the Dark), Ben Mayne (NY: The View Upstairs), Eric William Morris (Broadway: Coram Boy, Mamma Mia), Ciara Renée (Broadway: Big Fish, Pippin), Will Roland (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), George Salazar (Broadway: Godspell. NY: The Lightning Thief, Drama Desk nom) and Emily Walton (Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher, August: Osage County).  The casting director for the Festival is Michael Cassara, CSA.

Now in its 29th year, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals attracts theatre producers from around the world for this industry-only event to discover eight new musicals presented in 45-minute concert presentations over two days. All production costs are underwritten by NAMT, at no cost to the writing teams. As a non-profit organization, NAMT funds the Festival entirely through donations, sponsorships and contributions.

The Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 244 musicals and 460 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 and tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past Festival shows include this year’s Best Musical Tony Award-nominee Come From Away, The Drowsy Chaperone, It Shoulda Been You, Striking 12, Ordinary Days, Thoroughly Modern Millie. Recent Festival shows that have gone on to regional and Off-Broadway productions include Benny & Joon, The Mad Ones, When We’re Gone and The Loneliest Girl in the World, among many others.

DARLING GRENADINE book, music & lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik
Director: Kristin Hanggi (Broadway: Rock of Ages, Tony Nomination)
Music Director:  David Gardos (Assoc. Conducted: Falsettos, Finding Neverland)

Cast includes: Melody Betts (National Tour: The Sound of Music), Adam Chanler-Berat (Broadway: Next to Normal, Peter and the Starcatcher, Amélie), Laura Dadap (NY/ National Tour: Voca People), Nikko Kimzin (National Tour: West Side Story), Mike Nappi (Regional: The Wildest, Chicago), Ben Mayne (NY: The View Upstairs), Emily Walton (Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher, August: Osage County) and Kevin Zak (NY: Clinton The Musical)

Darling Grenadine is a seriocomic musical about Harry, a fanciful jingle composer, and his precarious relationships with his girlfriend Louise, his brother Paul, and his Labrador Retriever (…also named Paul).  Told with a rich contemporary score and a wink to the classic MGM musical style, Darling Grenadine explores the friction between romance and reality, bitter and sweet, serving something magical, moving, and boldly new.

DANIEL ZAITCHIK is a composer-playwright, singer-songwriter, and actor. He is the recipient of the 2017 Kleban Prize for most promising musical theatre lyricist. His projects include Picnic at Hanging Rock (book/music/lyrics), Darling Grenadine (book/music/lyrics), and Suprema (with Jordan Harrison). Zaitchik’s musicals have been selected three times for development at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference, and have been workshopped at Lincoln Center Theater, Ars Nova, New Dramatists, The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, and Goodspeed Musicals. Darling Grenadinewill premiere at Goodspeed in 2017. As a singer-songwriter, Zaitchik’s albums include Summer of the Soda Fountain Girls and Bad Dancer. As an actor, he has worked at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, and others. Honors include The Esther B. Kahn Career Entry Award from Boston University, the Frederick Loewe Award (Suprema) and The Georgia Bogardus Holof Lyricist Award (Picnic at Hanging Rock.)

FALL SPRINGS music & lyrics by Niko Tsakalakos, book & lyrics by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Director: Stephen Brackett (NY: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Buyer & Cellar)
Music Director: Emily Marshall (Nat’l Tours of A Chorus Line and We Will Rock You)

Cast includes: Jon-Viktor Corpuz (Broadway: The King and I), Trista Dollison(Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Alan H. Green (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Alyse Alan Louis (Broadway: Amélie, A New Musical, Disaster!), Janine LaManna (Broadway: The Drowsy Chaperone, Seussical – Drama Desk nominee), Ken Marks (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Will Roland (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), and David Shih (NY: KPOP)

Fall Springs is a semi-charming, cash-strapped town that sits directly on top of America’s largest reserve of cosmetic essential oils. It has big dreams, but at what cost? With new fracking techniques being recklessly implemented, the ground beneath Fall Springs is crumbling. Boulders, sheds, and the occasional bartender are being swallowed into the ground. And that’s only the beginning.

PETER SINN NACHTRIEB is a San Francisco-based playwright whose work has been seen Off-Broadway and across the country. Plays include The Totalitarians, boom (TCG’s most produced play 2009-10), BOB (2011 Humana Festival for New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award), House Tour of the Infamous Porter Family Mansion with Tour Guide Weston Ludlow Londonderry, T.I.C. (Trenchcoat In Common), Hunter Gatherers (2007 ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, 2007 Will Glickman Prize), Colorado, and Litter: The True Story of the Framingham Dodecutuplets. His newest piece, The Making of a Great Moment, premiered at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in 2017. Peter holds a degree in Theatre and Biology from Brown and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Peter is a member of New Dramatists and is Playwright in Residence at Z Space in San Francisco. He likes to promote himself online at www.peternachtrieb.com.

NIKO TSAKALAKOS is a New York-based singer-songwriter and composer-lyricist whose debut solo album, The First Snow, embodies his unique, edgy blend of theatre and pop. He’s writing a new musical with Janet Allard, Into the Wild, based on the book by Jon Krakauer, commissioned by Perseverance Theatre, scheduled for a workshop production at The Encore Musical Theatre Company in April. Pool Boy, the musical he co-wrote with Janet Allard, premiered at Barrington Stage Company in the summer of 2010 and was produced by NYU Steinhardt at Provincetown Playhouse in 2012.   His concerts have been performed at Joe’s Pub, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Birdland, Ars Nova, The Zipper Factory, Barrington Stage Company, and Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium, among others. 2015 Composer Fellow at Sundance Retreat at Ucross, Wyoming. Finalist Kleban Prize 2014, ASCAP Plus Award (2013), NAMT Writers Residency Grant for Pool Boy with NYU Steinhardt (2012), Playwrights Center Writing Grant (2009), MFA Tisch Tuition Scholarship (2006-2008), and UCLA Barry Manilow Scholarship (2003/2004). www.nikosongs.com

GIRL SHAKES LOOSE
Music & lyrics by Imani Uzuri, book & lyrics by Zakiyyah Alexander, poetry by Sonia Sanchez
Director: May Adrales (MTC’s Lortel Award-winning production of Vietgone)
Music Director: Brian Whitted

Cast includes: Felicia Boswell (Broadway: Shuffle Along), Juwan Crawley(Broadway: Aladdin), Danielle Lee Greaves (Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, Hairspray), Esco Jouléy (NY:The Demise), Ciara Renée (Broadway: Big Fish, Pippin), Antoine L. Smith (Broadway: Miss Saigon, The Color Purple), Shelley Thomas (Broadway: Brooklyn), and NaTasha Yvette Williams (Broadway: A Night with Janis Joplin)

GIRL Shakes Loose is a three-city coming of age journey. Girl finds herself in New York, unemployed, suddenly single and must figure out where she’s going and why she keeps making the same mistakes. It’s up to Girl to figure out where home is and how (and if) she’ll get there.

Composer and vocalist IMANI UZURI was a 2015-2016 Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence. She has performed at a myriad of international venues and festivals and has collaborated with a cross-section of noted artists traversing many artistic disciplines. Her most recent album, The Gypsy Diaries, draws on her rural North Carolina roots. The Village Voice says, “Imani Uzuri is a constant surprise…seamlessly combining jazz, classical, country and blues motifs into highly personalized compositions.” Uzuri is a 2015-2017 Map Fund Grantee as composer for her contemporary opera Hush Arbor. Uzuri is currently a 2016-2017 Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow. She recently made her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut and appeared as a featured performer on Black Girls Rock. Recent theater credits, Public Theater: composer for Public Works Troy and Mobile Unit’s Hamlet.

ZAKIYYAH ALEXANDER’s plays include: GIRL Shakes Loose (Penumbra Theatre 2017), Sick? (Summer Play Festival), The Etymology of Bird (Central Park Summerstage; Hip Hop Theater Festival; Providence Black Repertory Theatre), Blurring Shine (Market Theatre, Johannesburg; NY International Fringe Festival), Sweet Maladies (Brava Arts Center; Rucker Theatre; Bay Area Playwrights Festival), something new (commissioned by Philadelphia Theatre Company), and (900). A former resident of New Dramatists, her work has been developed at The O’Neill Musical Theater Conference, The MacDowell Colony, The Lark, etc. Past commissions: Second Stage, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, and the Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama (MFA playwriting), Zakiyyah has taught television writing for Columbia’s MFA program, formerly an associate professor at Bard College. She is a co-founder of The Kilroys, and her work has been included on the 2015 Kilroys List. Currently, she is a story editor on the Fox show “24 Legacy.”

SONIA SANCHEZ. Poet. Mother. Professor. National and international lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation, Peace and Racial Justice. Sponsor of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Board Member of MADRE. Sonia Sanchez is the author of over 16 books includingHomecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I’ve Been a Woman, A Sound Investment and Other Stories, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Under a Soprano Sky, Wounded in the House of a Friend (Beacon Press, 1995), Does Your House Have Lions? (Beacon Press, 1997), Like the Singing Coming off the Drums (Beacon Press, 1998), Shake Loose My Skin (Beacon Press, 1999), and most recently, Morning Haiku (Beacon Press, 2010). She is the subject of the 2016 PBS featured documentary BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez.

KLOOK’S LAST STAND book by Ché Walker, music by Omar Lyefook & Anoushka Lucas,
Lyrics by Ché Walker & Anoushka Lucas
Director: Jonathan McCrory (NY: HandsUp, Blacken the Bubble, Enter Your Sleep)
Music Director: Charles Duke

Cast includes: Bre Jackson (Broadway: The Color Purple) and Kevyn Morrow(Broadway: Bandstand, Ragtime- Olivier Award nominee)

Klook is a drifter who’s gotten too old to drift. Vinette is on the run but she doesn’t know what’s chasing her. Together they make a tentative stab at happiness, before the past they are evading begins to catch up with them. Tough, tender, funny and poignant, Klook’s Last Stand will grab you from the inside out. Soulful music and a lyrical text make this a mesmerizing theatre experience.

ANOUSHKA LUCAS is a singer/songwriter and actress based in London. Since graduating from Oxford, she has released two self-produced EPs of her own jazz compositions. In 2013 she won the Jazz FM Love Supreme Competition and opened the inaugural Love Supreme Festival. She is currently completing an album due for release in 2017, supported by Jamie Cullum at Radio 2 and produced by Martin Terefe at Kensaltown Studios. She has co-composed the music for two original musicals written by Ché Walker, Klook’s Last Stand (Park Theatre, 2014) and The Etienne Sisters (Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2015), as well as playing in the band of Ché Walker and Arthur Darvill’s The Lightning Child at The Globe in 2013.  In 2016 she played Mary Magdalene in the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

CHÉ WALKER is an award-winning playwright and director. Since graduating from the Webber Douglas Academy in London, Ché has worked with Edward Bond, Dennis Potter, Philip Ridley, Mark Ravenhill and Ricky Gervais, among others. His first play, Been So Long, premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 1998 and was runner-up for both the Meyer-Whitworth and the John Whitting Award before being translated and performed in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. His play, Flesh Wound, premiered at the Royal Court in 2003 and won the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright. Ché has won the Peter Brook Award for his plays Crazy Love and Burnt Up Love. Ché’s musical version of Been So Long was a nominee for The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2009.

Considered by many to be the father of British Neo-soul, OMAR LYEFOOK is a singer and multi-instrumentalist graduate of Guildhall School of Music who has written and performed with Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, and Angie Stone to name but a few. To date Omar has recorded and released seven albums and continues to tour extensively around Europe and America. In 2006, Omar was the recipient of both the Best Neo Soul Act and Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Urban Music Awards. In 2012, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Birthday Honours for services to music.

PERSEPHONE, book & lyrics by Marcus Stevens, music by Oran Eldor
Director: Andy Sandberg (NY: Straight, Application Pending)
Music Director: Ian Axness (NY: Clown Bar)

Cast includes: Brennan James Caldwell (NY: Money Talks, Baghdaddy), Rachel De Benedet (Broadway: Catch Me if You Can), Emily Jenda(Broadway: The Book of MormonAndrew Kober (Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George), Samia Mounts, Eric William Morris (Broadway: Coram Boy, Mamma Mia), Larry Owens (NY: Spamilton, Gigantic), Hannah Shankman (Broadway: Side Show, Wicked), Jenna Ushkowitz (TV: “Glee”. Broadway: Waitress), and Akron Watson (Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong, The Color Purple)
In Persephone, a myth is raised from the dead, the gods are celebrities hounded by the paparazzi, and their saga is set to a pop/rock score. Teenage Persephone longs for independence from her mother Demeter, but her wish gets distorted when she finds herself trapped in the Underworld by Greece’s perennial bad boy, Hades. What follows is an off-beat, emotionally-charged coming-of-age story for ancient and modern times.

ORAN ELDOR: Orchestrations and arrangements: Fiddler on the Roof (Dance Arrangements), John Legend, Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Chenoweth, Hugh Jackman, Deborah Voigt, New York Philharmonic, Disney Parks, L.A Philharmonic, New York Pops, Alan Menken, Chaplin (European Tour), My Life is a Musical, The Great American Mousical, “Ring Them Bells” (PBS), “From Dust to Dreams” (PBS). Composer: “Sesame Street” (Israel), “Peg+Cat” (PBS), and several musicals in development. Composer in Residence: Salome Chamber Orchestra, Park Avenue Synagogue. Composition Fellow at the Royal Opera House, London. BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Berklee College of Music. Awards: Rokem Composition Award, Esterhazy Quartet Award. His liturgical music is sung regularly in synagogues in New York, Washington D.C, Miami, Los Angeles and London. oraneldor.com

MARCUS STEVENS is a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild, and is the recipient of the 2005 Richard Rodgers Award for his musical, Red (written with composer, Brian Lowdermilk). He participated in the 2011 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project held at Northwestern University, and New York Theatre Barn produced a showcase of his lyrics in the spring of 2013. Marcus has written book and lyrics to Red, Eastburn Avenue, Elliot and the Magic Bed, Persephone, and Yo, Vikings!(written with composer Sam Willmott), which has recently been published by Samuel French, Inc. He is currently writing material for Dragons Love Tacos, soon to be produced by Theatreworks USA. Marcus is also an actor who has performed Off-Broadway in two editions of Forbidden Broadway. He can be heard on two original cast recordings of this award-winning franchise.

THE PASSAGE book, music & lyrics by David Darrow
Director: Shelley Butler (NY: The Most Deserving, Regional: A Doll’s House Part 2)
Music Director: Mark Hartman (NY: The Dead, 1904, Pageant- The Musical)

Cast includes: Cat Brindisi (Regional: South Pacific), Devin Ilaw, John Rubinstein (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pippin, Children of a Lesser God- Tony Award), Isabella Russo (Broadway: The School of Rock-The Musical), Ian Saraceni (Broadway: The King and I), George Salazar(Broadway: Godspell. NY: The Lightning Thief, Drama Desk nom), and Jennifer Sanchez (Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George)

Albert, a sixth grader, has a monster living in his basement. When it captures his father, he enlists his brave new friend, Cassie, and together they embark on an epic journey to save his Dad and his family. The Passage is a coming-of-age story about two imaginative children confronting a reality stranger than anything they could imagine.

DAVID DARROW is a composer, lyricist and playwright. His latest musical, The Passage, received its premiere at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in a production by 7th House Theater. David has provided music and lyrics for five musicals, three of which also debuted at the Guthrie. He co-wrote music and lyrics for Jonah and the Whale (with Blake Thomas), which will receive its second professional production this February at Stoneham Theatre in Massachusetts. David is a graduate of Albright College, a former Acting Apprentice at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and is a founding company member at 7th House Theater.

PROM QUEEN book by Kent Staines, lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal, music by Colleen Dauncey
Director: Lonny Price (Broadway: Sunset Boulevard) and Matt Cowart (Asst Dir: Broadway: Sunset Boulevard)

Cast includes: English Bernhardt (National Tour: If/Then), Alphonse Gonzales, John Hillner (Broadway: La Cage aux Folles), Taylor Iman Jones(Broadway: Groundhog Day), Chilina Kennedy (Broadway:  Beautiful), Chris McCarrell (Broadway: Les Mis. NY: The Lightning Thief), Iris Sharp, Ryan Vona and Max Wilcox (NY: Gigantic)

Prom Queen is inspired by the incredible, true story of Marc Hall, the Canadian teenager who took the Catholic School Board to court when they refused to let him attend prom with his boyfriend. In this fun and uplifting musical, Marc has to learn to be his own hero and fight for the right to be himself.

KENT STAINES has been working in the Canadian entertainment industry for 25 years as an actor, director and writer. His playwriting credits include Hero Bound, Tina’s Room and his hit one-person show Lana Lust: The Bitch Stops Here!  His television writing credits include: co-creator and writer of the series “MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives” (CBC), “Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story” (Tapestry Pictures / CTV), “Moose TV” (Rezolution Pictures / Showcase), and “Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story” (Screen Door / CTV) which won the Audience Choice award at the Sprockets International Children’s Festival in Toronto. Recent writing credits include the web series “Anxietyville” and the upcoming BravoFact short film Chateau Laurier. In 2016 Kent was the recipient of the Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) New Musical Award for Prom Queen(with Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey).

After a decade-long career as a set and costume designer, AKIVA ROMER-SEGAL transitioned to writing songs with collaborator Colleen Dauncey. Together they have written the scores to The Subway Songs, Scenes from the Bathhouse, Bremen Rock City, and Prom Queen: The Musical as well as numerous stand-alone songs for cabaret performers, recording artists and Broadway stars. They are currently developing the musicals Offline and Rumspringa Break! An Am-ish Musical. Akiva was selected to participate in a William Finn masterclass, Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project, Theatre 20’s Composium, Acting Up Stage’s Noteworthy, The Cutting-Edge Composers series in New York, and the Johnny Mercer American Songwriters Project in Chicago. Colleen and Akiva received grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records (FACTOR) and were recipients of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s New Musical Award for Prom Queen. Find out more at colleenandakiva.com.

COLLEEN DAUNCEY is a Toronto-based composer who has collaborated with lyricist Akiva Romer-Segal on several musicals: The Subway Songs, Scenes from the Bathhouse, Bremen Rock City, Prom Queen: The Musical, and Rumspringa Break! An Am-ish Musical. Colleen and Akiva are alumni of Theatre 20’s Composium, Acting Up Stage’s Noteworthy program, and the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project at Northwestern University in Chicago, where they were mentored by Craig Carnelia, Marcy Heisler and Lari White. The duo workshopped their musicals Prom Queen and Rumspringa Break!through the Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College. Colleen has received grants from FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Records), the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts for her compositions with Akiva as well as for pop recordings with her former band Petty Victories and her current solo project. Colleen’s music has been featured on TV and films both nationally and internationally.

SAM’S ROOM book by Dale Sampson with Trey Coates-Mitchell,
music & lyrics by Caitlin Marie Bell, Marc Campbell & Dale Sampson
Director: Jaki Bradley (Regional:  Row. Good Men Wanted. NY: Playing Hot,I’ve Been to Sea Before)

Cast includes: Lincoln Clauss (Regional: Burn All Night), Mallory Hawks (NY: Suessical)

This pop concert dramedy follows Sam, a teenager in 1998 with nonverbal special needs, on his path to find a way to communicate. Shifting between cruel reality and pop star fantasy, Sam’s Room powerfully reveals the universal struggle with communication by giving a voice to someone who’s never had one.

DALE SAMPSON is a Grand National Champion in public speaking. Dale is the creator and star of his first written work, Sam’s Room, the 2017 inaugural recipient of New York Theatre Barn’s IMPACT Award. National Tour: Seussical(Cat in the Hat), NYC productions: Rent (Mark), Evita (Che), Propaganda! The Musical (Rookie, lead) at NYMF and workshop at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Kingdom Come (Freddy/Michael) winner: Best Musical at DUTF, Best Imitation at FestivALL, Emerging Artists, and Midtown International Theatre Festival, Regional: The View UpStairs regional premiere (Wes), The Last Five Years (Jamie), Cinderella with the American Pops Orchestra (Fairy Godmother/King/Step Sister).

TREY COATES-MITCHELL: Directing credits: Sam’s Room at The Cell (New York Theatre Barn’s New Works Series).  Choreographer credits: The Pirates of Penzance and Hairspray at Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, Wonderful Town at The Gallery Players, Harold Pinter’s The Lover at Gamut Theatre, Goodnight Moon and Nine at Hollins University, and Product Test for Sideways Contemporary Dance Company. Associate Choreographer credits: A Little Night Music at The Gallery Players (NYIT Nominee for Outstanding Production of a Musical), RentDreamgirls, and Evita.  As an Acting for Dancers guest artist: Joffrey Ballet School, Project HEAL, Broadway Boot Camp, Troy University, and NYCDA’s Summer Dance Intensive.

MARC CAMPBELL is a member of indie rock band MisterWives, dubbed by MTV as “the golden children of pop.” They currently have over 250 million streams and counting on Spotify and their first single was certified gold. The band recently played a sold out show at Madison Square Garden playing with Brendon Uri (Panic! at the Disco). Marc has made numerous television performances, including Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden, Seth Meyers, MTV, Good Morning America and The Today Show. The band has also received prominent billing in major U.S. music festivals including Bonnaroo, Firefly, Lalapalooza, Outside Lands, Bottle Rock and more.

CAITLIN MARIE BELL studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she received her BM in vocal performance. She then moved to NYC and reconnected with her Americana roots in the Greenwich Village singer-songwriter circuit. There, she found her musical soulmates, forming Bell the Band. This summer, Caitlin travelled the country supporting fellow NYC group MisterWives. The tour supported her debut EP. The five-song set gained early support from Spotify, and was featured on the cover of the New Roots playlist, contributing to the 300,000+ plays and 35,000 monthly listeners. Caitlin also plays keyboards and sings back-up vocals on tour with pop band Handsome Ghost.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. Their mission is to advance musical theatre by nurturing the creation, development, production and presentation of new musicals, and to provide a forum for musical theatre professionals to share resources and exchange information. Their 213 members, located throughout 32 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. Among the 244 musicals launched by NAMT’s annual Festival of New Musicals are  Come From Away, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Children of Eden, Honk!, The Drowsy Chaperone, It Shoulda Been You, Songs for a New World, I Love You Because, Striking 12, Vanities, Ordinary Days and many others, representing 460 writers.

NAMT’s FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is the cornerstone of NAMT’s mission to nurture the creation, development and production of new musicals. The Festival presents eight musicals in 45-minute presentations before an audience of over 600 industry professionals. In the short run, the Festival’s goal is to connect producers with writers, so that their shows can continue their development trajectory. The long-term goal is to expand the musical theatre repertoire, bringing new musical theatre to thousands of audience members around the world.

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

Broadway

Theatre News: Teeth, Soft Power, Redwood, BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical and Pre-Existing Condition

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Jenna Rose Husli, Wren Rivera, Alyse Alan Louis, Phoenix Best and Helen J Shen in Teeth (Photo: Chelcie Parry)

Teeth is coming back to New World Stages in the fall for an open-ended run. The transfer begins on October 31, Halloween night, as its official opening. While casting for the commercial remount is yet to be announced, the Playwrights Horizons cast featured Alyse Alan Louis, Steven Pasquale, Will Connolly, Jason Gotay, Jared Loftin, Courtney Bassett, Phoenix Best, Jenna Rose Husli, Lexi Rhoades, Wren Riveras and Helen J. Shen.

The off-Broadway cast album for Teeth, written by written by Pop! creator Anna K. Jacobs (book and music) and Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop creator Michael R. Jackson (book and lyrics), is now available to stream on all major music platforms. The physical CD will be released August 30. Teeth opened its off-Broadway world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in March with direction by Sarah Benson and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.

Based on Mitchell Lichtenstein’s screenplay for the cult-classic 2007 horror comedy, Teeth is a tale of revenge and transformation that tears through a culture of shame and repressed desire one delightfully unhinged song at a time. The musical follows Dawn O’Keefe, an evangelical Christian teen struggling to be an exemplar of purity amongst her community of fellow Promise Keeper Girls. As Dawn’s desires become tested and twisted by the men in her life, she discovers a deadly secret not even she understands: when men violate her, her body bites back—literally.

I loved Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang’s SoftPower when it appeared at The Public, now it’s coming to the Signature Theatre in Washington  D.C., newly revised production and directed by Signature Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard. The show opens August 6 and runs until September 15. Could NYC be next? The cast will feature Steven Eng as DHH, Daniel May (Flower Drum Song) as Xue Xing, and Grace Yoo (Hadestown) as Hillary Clinton with Eymard Cabling (Miss Saigon national tour) as Randy Ray and others, Andrew Cristi (A Christmas Story) as Chief Justice and others, Jonny Lee Jr. as Bobby Bob and others, Quynh-My Luu as Waiter and others, Christopher Mueller as VEEP and others, Ashley D. Nguyen as Jīng and others, Chani Wereley as Betsy Ross and others, Nicholas Yenson as Holden Caulfield and others, and Sumié Yotsukura as Flight Attendant and others. Olivia Clavel-Davis, Brian Dauglash, Emily Song Tyler, and Joey Urgino are swings.

After the 2016 election, when a Chinese American playwright is attacked by an unknown assailant, he hallucinates a Golden Age musical comedy about a Chinese theater producer and Hillary Clinton falling in love. Hilarious and biting, this political satire dares to ask: Does American Democracy still work? And is it worth believing in?

An exhilarating ride through political absurdity with a faceoff between Chinese and American exceptionalism, Soft Power makes an electric debut in the nation’s capital.

Idina Menzel, will open at the Nederlander Theatre in Redwood. This new Broadway musical starts previews January 24,  with a February 13 opening. Written and directed by Tony Award nominee Tina Landau, Redwood features music by Kate Diaz and lyrics by Diaz and Landau. The show is conceived by Landau and Menzel, with additional contributions by Menzel. The musical premiered earlier this year at La Jolla Playhouse. “I made my Broadway debut at the Nederlander Theatre in Rent almost 30 years ago, so to be returning there with Redwood is very emotional for me as it feels like a real homecoming. It has been such a gift to collaborate with Tina and Kate on this show, and I’m so proud to bring it to Broadway” stated Menzel. Redwood follows Jesse (Menzel), a successful businesswoman, mother and wife who seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind, gets in her car and drives. Thousands of miles later, she hits the majestic forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever.

BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical has found is set to open at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre on April 5, 2025. Tony Award®-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell brings the Queen of the Animated Screen to the theater  with celebrated multiple Grammy® Award-winning composer David Foster, Tony Award®-nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead and Tony Award®-winning book writer Bob Martin. This score is fabulous and we can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

Edie Falco Photo by Emilio Madrid

Today, producers O’Henry Productions, The Cohn Sisters, Jessica Chase, Taylor Williams, David Blum, Jesse Eisenberg and Charlie Kaufman announced that Pre-Existing Condition by Tony Award® nominee Marin Ireland will extend for two weeks through August 17 and will star Emmy Award® winner Edie Falco in the rotating role of “A” beginning on August 6

Pre-Existing Condition, directed by Maria Dizzia, is currently playing at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th St.) in the intimate 60-seat Upstairs space. The play was originally set to close on August 3.

Pre-Existing Condition is a play exploring the challenges, shared community, and everyday indignities of learning to move forward after a life-altering, harmful relationship.

About the play, Ms. Falco said, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of something that moved me so much as a spectator. It involves an intimacy and vulnerability that I’ve sorely missed in the theater. I can’t wait to work with these people who I deeply respect so that hopefully more people can see and feel what I did when I saw the play.”

The role of “A” has rotated throughout the production and is currently played by Tony Award® winner Deirdre O’Connell (Dana H.). Tavi Gevinson (“American Horror Story”) will play the role from July 24-August 3 with Ms. Falco starting August 6-August 17. Previously, the role was played by Emmy Award® winner Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), Julia Chan (Uncle Vanya) and Tony Award® nominee Maria Dizzia (In the Next Room).

The cast also includes Sarah Steele (“The Good Fight”), Dael Orlandersmith (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Yellowman), Greg Keller (Alliance); with Raquel Chavez (Uncle Vanya) and Gregory Connors (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window), understudies.

Tony Award® nominee Anne Kauffman (Mary Jane) serves as Creative Consultant on the production. In addition to Ms. Kauffman, the creative team includes Louisa Thompson (A Simulacrum), Set Designer; Tony Award® nominee Enver Chakartash (Stereophonic), Costume Designer; Tony Award® nominee Isabella Byrd (Enemy of the People, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club), Lighting Designer; Tony Award® nominee Palmer Hefferan (The Skin of Our Teeth), Sound Designer. Taylor Williams is Casting Director, Ashley-Rose Galligan is Production Stage Manager, Eric Nolan Mattingly is Assistant Stage Manager with Wagner Johnson Productions serving as General Management.  Associate Producer is Joe Meyer. David Manella at Loeb & Loeb LLP serves as Production Counsel.

For information on performance dates, ticketing lottery information please visit preexistingconditionplay.com. Tickets start at $49.

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Hell’s Kitchen And New York Liberty Host Block Party At Block Party

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The new musical Hell’s Kitchen will be the presenting sponsor of the New York Liberty’s game today July 16th. As a celebration of New York culture, Hell’s Kitchen and the New York Liberty will host a free open-to-the-public Block Party for fans on Tuesday, July 16 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on the Ticketmaster Plaza at Barclays Center. The New York Liberty continue to underscore their intentional focus to bring together its passionate community and fanbase.

To emphasize the unique intersection of sport and theater, the Block Party will include a meet and greet with select cast members of Hell’s Kitchen, special performances from the New York Liberty Entertainment team and the Brooklyn Elite Jumpers Double Dutch, exclusive giveaways from Keys Soulcare and American Express, food vendors and more!

The festivities will continue during the New York Liberty’s game against the Connecticut Sun, where the Liberty aim to build upon the historic momentum experienced throughout the 2024 WNBA season. During the game, there will be a special halftime performance choreographed by Hell’s Kitchen’s choreographer Camille A. Brown and associate chorographer Rickey Tripp featuring the New York Liberty mascot, Ellie the Elephant, and dance team, as well as an on-court giveaway where two fans will have the chance to win tickets to an upcoming Hell’s Kitchen performance.

Ali is a 17-year-old girl full of fire – searching for freedom, passion and her place in the world. How she finds them is a New York City coming-of-age story you’ve never felt before – Hell’s Kitchen, a new musical from 16-time Grammy® Award winner Alicia Keys, whose songs and experiences growing up in NY inspire a story made for Broadway.

Rebellious and stifled by an overprotective single mother, Ali is lost until she meets her mentor: a neighbor who opens her heart and mind to the power of the piano. Set to the rhythm of the 90s, Hell’s Kitchen is a love story between a mother and daughter.  It’s about finding yourself, your purpose, and the community that lifts you. Come remember where dreams begin.

The “powerhouse cast” is led by Tony Award® winner Maleah Joi Moon, Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tony Award® winner Kecia Lewis and Chris Lee. Hell’s Kitchen is directed by four-time Tony Award® nominee Michael Greif, with choreography by four-time Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown, a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Kristoffer Diaz – and the music of Keys, featuring new songs and her greatest hits.

The Hell’s Kitchen Original Broadway Cast Recording is available now via Alicia Keys Records/Interscope Records on streaming and digital platforms worldwide with a physical release to follow.

Hell’s Kitchen lottery tickets are available through a digital lottery the day before the performance at rush.telecharge.com. The digital lottery opens at rush.telecharge.com at 12AM (ET) one day before the performance with winners announced that same morning at 10AM (ET), with a second announcement of additional winners that afternoon at 3PM (ET). Winners may purchase up to two tickets at $39 each (inclusive of $5 service fee), subject to availability. Seats may be partial view.

A limited number of in-person Hell’s Kitchen rush tickets will be available on the day of each performance for $39 per ticket when the Shubert Theatre box office opens. Maximum of two tickets per person, subject to availability. Seats may be partial view. The box office opens Monday through Saturday at 10AM (ET) and Sunday at 12PM (ET).

Tickets for Hell’s Kitchen are available at HellsKitchen.com and Telecharge.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Shubert Theatre box office. Ticket prices range from $59-199.

Season ticket memberships and single game tickets for New York Liberty home games at Barclays Center are on sale now via Ticketmaster. To learn more and view additional ticketing options such as group tickets and ticket plans, visit liberty.wnba.com/tickets.

The performance schedule for Hell’s Kitchen is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7PM, Wednesday at 7:30PM, Saturday at 8PM, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2PM, and Sunday at 3PM.

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Broadway in Bryant Park And You Are There With Hell’s Kitchen, Water For Elephants, The Wiz and More

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July 11, 106.7 LITE FM’s Broadway in Bryant Park kicked off its 2024 program, bringing the best of Broadway back together for free performances, every Thursday in July.

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker, Charity Arianna , Destiny David, Ailadis Hernandez De Leon, Nyjair Wilkerson and Jackson Bateman

This week’s performances included: a preshow featuring students from AMDA

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte and Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte, Ali Louis Bourzgui and Adam Jacobs

Ali Louis Bourzgui, Bobby Conte,

Lily Kren, Alexandra Matteo, Daniel Quadrino, Jenna Nicole Schoen, Nathan Lucrezio, Reagan Pender, Bobby Conte, Tyler James Eisenreich, Mark Mitrano, Haley Gustafson, Afra Hines, Dee Tomasetta, Adam Jacobs, Ali Louis Bourzgui, David Paul Kidder, Jeremiah Alsop, Andrew Tufano and Ronnie Bowman, Jr.

The Who’s Tommy (Ali Louis Bourzgui, Adam Jacobs, Bobby Conte, Haley Gustafson and more)

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Isabella McCalla

Water for Elephants (Isabelle McCalla, Ken Wulf Clark, Asa Somers, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul)

Avery Wilson

Kyle Ramar Freeman and Nichelle Lewis

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Melody A. Betts

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Nichelle Lewis

Nichelle Lewis, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Polanco Jones Jr., Nichelle Lewis, Melody A. Betts and Avery Wilson

The Wiz (Avery Wilson, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Melody A. Betts, Nichelle Lewis, Polanco Jones Jr.)

Jelani Remy

JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, Katie Laduca, JJ Niemann and Aaron Alcaraz

Hannah Kevitt and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy and The Cast of Back To The Future that includes Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy, Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Back to the Future (Jelani Remy, JJ Niemann, Evan Alexander Smith)

Gianna Harris and Lamont Walker II

Lamont Walker II

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino, Gianna Harris, Lamont Walker II, Jade Milan and Jackie Leon and Jackie Leon

and Hell’s Kitchen (Gianna Harris, Vanessa Ferguson, Jackie Leon, Donna Vivino, Lamont Walker II)

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little is joined by Co Host Kyle Ramar Freeman

with host Helen Little and co-host Kyle Ramar Freeman.

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Get Ready For Broadway in Bryant Park

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The most popular shows on and off Broadway will perform their biggest hits in the park starting this Thursday the 11th! Head to the the lawn at Bryant Park and enjoy Broadway for lunch. The performances will happen on four summer Thursdays, hosted and presented by LiteFM.

This week from 12:30pm-1:30pm 106.7 LITE FM Host: Helen Little will host. For the pre-show: A special performance by the students of AMDA College of the Performing Arts. Then get ready for performances by Back to the Future, Hell’s Kitchen, The Who’s TOMMY, The Wiz and
Water For Elephants.

In coming weeks look from The Outsiders, SIX: The Musical, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Wicked, Chicago and & Juliet.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway:​ Happy Birthday Audra McDonald

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On July 3rd, Audra McDonald celebrated her 54th birthday. The 1970 American Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning theatrical and operatic singer, and stage and screen actress (Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Sweeney Todd; Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; TV Private Practice, The Good Wife), was born in West Berlin, West Germany (now Berlin, Germany)

As been announced six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this fall, as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Performances begin Thursday, November 21st, at Broadway’s newly renovated Majestic Theatre. Happy Thanksgiving! The show will open on Thursday, December 19th. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.

The last show to play the Majestic Theatre was The Phantom of the Opera, which concluded its 35 year-run on April 16, 2023.

This upcoming revival will be directed by the legendary five-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe. The choreography will be by four-time Tony Award nominated Camille A. Brown.  Additional casting and creative team members will be announced at a later date.

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