Theatre Reviews Limited
Anyone with fears that there is a dearth of new musicals on the horizon can stop worrying: the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has been hard at work since 1989 introducing writers and their new musicals to significant theatre industry leaders. The nine new musicals introduced at this year’s Festival garnered overwhelming support from those leaders who packed Stages 2 and 4 at New World Stages in New York City to develop a working relationship with the new musicals and their writers.
The nine musicals that were seen in 45-minute stage readings were Analog & Vinyl (Book, Music and Lyrics by Paul Gordon), The Boy Who Danced on Air (Book and Lyrics by Charlie Sohne/Music by Tim Rosser), Come From Away (Book, Music and Lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein), Eastland (Book and Lyrics by Andrew White/Music by Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman), My Heart is the Drum (Book by Jennie Redling/Music and Concept by Phillip Palmer/Lyrics by Stacey Luftig), The Astonishing Return of…The Protagonists! (Book and Lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila/Music by Michael Shaieb), The Sandman (Book and Lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker), Single Girls Guide (Book by Gordon Greenberg/Music and Lyrics by Tommy Newman), and The Three Little Pigs (Book and Lyrics by Anthony Drewe/Music by George Stiles).
Industry leaders introduced each team of writers who then introduced their new musical and how they chose to present their work: some used the 45-minute segments to run through an entire act while others used the time to showcase songs from the entire musical with a narrator filling in important details of exposition, setting, and story line. Each of the nine presentations featured outstanding casts of Broadway and Off-Broadway actors and musicians.
The energy was high at the Festival as industry leaders and NAMT members lined up for each musical either anticipating what they were about to see or commenting on what they had previously seen. There was no doubt that the new musicals would garner support from not only New York producers but from the Regional Theatres in the United States and professional theatres from around the world.
The Festival also featured a “Songwriters Showcase” on the second day with seasoned writers and newcomers sharing their thoughts (talk show style) on their most recent projects in progress.
For further information on the National Alliance of Musical Theatre and its important work, please visit http://www.namt.org/