Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reflections on the Festival

A guest blog entry from Rob Taylor, writer of The Sandmanpresented last weekend at the Festival of New Musicals.  

Now a mile high and two hours behind, the weeks just past in New York in preparation for the NAMT Festival presentations of our little nightmare musical "The Sandman" feel less as if they occurred in a distant time zone, and rather more as if they happened within a time warp.

Can it be over already? Did we actually find and rehearse a cast, slice and shrink an entire Act into a 45 minute cliffhanger, and convey the essence of the macabre little world of our imagining to all those people? Impossible.

And it all would have been impossible - were it not for the surreally magical way in which a dream cast and creative team seemed to materialize around us, and were it not for the outstanding and intuitive support NAMT seemed ready to provide at every turn.

Eight years ago, Richard and I participated in another NAMT Festival. As happy as we were to have been included in those 2005 proceedings, the organizational improvements put

Sunday, October 20, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: We Don't Wanna "Show Off!"

Day 25

It's finally here! SHOW OFF! is tonight at 7pm! Do you have a ticket?

In honor of this event, let’s look at the show this title is borrowed from—The Drowsy Chaperone, which appeared in our 2004 Festival. Refresh your memory of the show with a video feature about the Original Cast Recording…and if you attend SHOW OFF! tonight, you may even see an original cast member recreating one of the performances shown below:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: "It Takes All Sorts" of Shows to Make NAMT

Day 24

This Festival show has had over 4000 productions in the US and Canada alone---but it has also been translated into many different languages and performed all across the world. (Including, albeit in English, in London, where it won the Olivier Award for Best Musical!)

Check out this fun clip from a Norwegian-language production of Stiles & Drewe's Honk! at Stavanger kulturskole in Stavanger, Norway:

What Honk! song do you hope to see in SHOW OFF? 

Friday, October 18, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: "A New World" of Musical Theatre

Day 23

Songs for a New World put Jason Robert Brown on the map, and appeared in the Festival in 1997. As this composer gears up for a Broadway run in January with his newest show, The Bridges of Madison County, why not look back at the show that started it all?

Watch and listen to Audra McDonald singing the popular song “Stars and the Moon:”

 Buy tickets today to SHOW OFF!, where there a sure to be world-class performances like the one above.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: "Gimme Gimme" a Great Musical

Day 22

Today we look at the 2002 Best Musical Tony Award winning Thoroughly Modern Millie! Speaking of Tony's, have you seen the award night performance of the literally-toe-tapping number, “Forget About the Boy?” Watch below:

Might another exciting number from Millie be featured in SHOW OFF? Attend to find out!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: This Show is a "Spark of Creation"

Day 21

Only 5 days left until SHOW OFF! (It's not too late to buy a ticket!
These last five days will feature some of our biggest and most successful, dazzling Festival shows!

We begin with John Caird and Stephen Schwartz’s Children of Eden, which appeared at the Festival in 1996. Watch an interview with Mr. Schwartz below, where he discusses the genesis of the show and names it as his favorite!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: Broadway Baby

DAY 20

A handful of NAMT shows have gone on to Broadway—and even more shows by our alumni authors have had this great privilege. Here are some of their shows to play the Great White Way! Can you name some others?

Top to Bottom, First Column: Wicked (Stephen Schwartz – Fest ‘96), Little Shop of Horrors (Alan Menken – Fest ‘03), Pippin (Stephen Schwartz – Fest ‘96), Big Fish (Andrew Lippa – Fest ’05 & ‘06), Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Mel Marvin – Fest ’93, ’93 & ‘01)

Second Column: Everyday Rapture (Dick Scanlan – Fest ’96), Legally Blonde: the Musical (Laurence O’Keefe – Fest ‘03), Sweet Smell of Success (Craig Carnelia – Fest ‘01), Beauty and the Beast (Alan Menken – Fest ’03; Tim Rice – ‘ Fest ‘94), First Date (Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner – Fest ‘06)

Third Column:  Parade (Jason Robert Brown – Fest ‘97), City of Angels (David Zippel- Fest ’03 & ‘08; director of SHOW OFF), Jane Eyre (Paul Gordon – Fest ’06 & ’13; John Caird – Fest ‘96), Grey Gardens (Michael Korie – Fest ‘89), 13 the Musical (Jason Robert Brown – Fest ’97) 

Monday, October 14, 2013


A guest blog entry from David Hein, writer of Come From Away to be presented at this year's Festival of New Musicals.  

I grew up listening to Newfoundland folk music – bands like Great Big Sea, Shanneyganock and The Navigators playing instruments like accordion, mandolin, bodhran, tin whistle and “ugly sticks.” They sang sea shanties with thirty verses that you couldn’t understand all the words to about drinking, shipwrecks, drinking, lost loves, drinking, loneliness and more drinking. In kitchen parties along the coast, people would dance until they fell down or drank until they fell down or a little of both. Raucous and rowdy, Newfoundland folk is passionate music and, like Newfoundland itself, it’s a looooong way away from the musical theatre of New York (which we also love – it’s just that, until Once, that kind of music wasn’t heard much in these here parts).

We first workshopped Come From Away at The Canadian Musical Theatre Project with a four piece band: (1) acoustic guitar, (2) fiddle/viola/cello, (3) accordion/mandolin/guitar and (4) bodhran/drums/mandolin/low whistle. We were trying to represent not only this amazing original style of music, but also to represent through music what happened in Newfoundland after 9/11 when so many passengers were stranded there – a fusion of many diverse cultures. So we not only needed to play Newfoundland folk, but ambitiously, we decided to also add a little Texan country, some African drums, Moldovan choral chanting, Hebrew and Hindu prayers and more…

But when we brought Come From Away to Goodspeed, we were told we could only use a piano – and that it would be played by our music director who was assigned to us – some guy named Dan Pardo. Honestly, we were

25 DAYS OF NAMT: A Sneak Peek

DAY 19

Today we take a break from looking at Festivals past and jump ahead to this year’s! Here is a sneak peek at our 2013 Festival program—front page, back page, and inside page about how the festival runs. Will you be joining us later this week for the live festivities?  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: Beyond the Festival

Day 18

Since 2002, the Festival of New Musicals also features a concert performance called The Songwriters Showcase. These shows are chosen for many different reasons, from being National Fund recipients to ones being developed by NAMT Members to Festival runner-ups. One thing that never changes is how great the shows are—some have even moved on to Broadway!

Learn about some of their big and recent successes below:
First Date by Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary was featured in 2012 and is currently running on Broadway.

Spring Awakening by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik was featured in 2005 and opened on Broadway in 2006.

High Fidelity by David Lindsay-Abaire, Amanda Green and Tom Kitt was featured in 2004 and opened on Broadway in 2006.

Memphis by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan was featured in 2002 and opened on Broadway  in 2009.

Fly By Night by Will Connolly, Michael Mitnick and Kim Rosenstock, which was featured in 2012, has an upcoming run at member theater Playwrights Horizons, and recently played at another member theatre, Dallas Theatre Center.

Next Thing You Know  by Ryan Cunningham & Joshua Salzman was featured in 2011 and recently released a cast album!

Tamar of the River (f.k.a. Tamar & the River) by Marisa Michelson and Joshua H. Cohen was featured in 2010 and is currently running in New York City, produced by Prospect Theater Company.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: Ready to Perform...Part 2!

DAY 17

Part 2 in our series on licensed NAMT Festival shows is here!

Today we discover what the licensing houses MTI & Theatrical Rights Worldwide have to offer. Check it out below!

MTI: Band Geeks!, Children of Eden, The Drowsy Chaperone, Honk!, A Little Princess, Mirette, Phantom of the Country Opera, Songs for a New World, The Story of My life, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Western Star. TRW: Ace, Captain Courageous, Enter the Guardsman, Flight of the Lawnchair Man, The Girl in the Frame, I Love You Because, Love Comics, Striking 12
Will any of these shows be featured in SHOW OFF? Buy tickets now and find out soon!

Friday, October 11, 2013

25 DAYS OF NAMT: How Do You Say 'Bromance' in Korean

DAY 16

The Story of My Life by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill appeared in the 2007 Festival and ran on Broadway 2009. One of its next stops: South Korea, for a full production translated into Korean!

Check out one of the show’s stand-out numbers “Mrs. Remington” sung by the original Korean cast.

Click here for an English version, to compare.

Will a song from The Story of My Life be featured in SHOW OFF....possibly this very one? Buy tickets today!