Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Musical Gift Giving this Holiday Season

The holidays are here and 'tis the season of giving. After you are done giving to your favorite not-for-profits (like NAMT) this year, why not spread your love of musical theatre!

Over the last few years, many of our Festival shows have released albums. They are all great gifts and run the gamut from rock (Lizzie) to bluegrass (Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge), something for everyone!

Or maybe you want an album devoted to just one artist?  We have a few of those, too, from NAMT Festival alumni writers who have put out non-show albums of their work: 


All of these albums and more (including scripts, piano scores and mp3 downloads) can be bought at NAMT's Amazon store!  And when you shop on our store, NAMT receives a portion of the profits from Amazon, so it is like you are giving twice!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


An interview with Ann-Carol Pence, Associate Producer of Aurora Theatre, about their upcoming production of The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk.  

Sam is a girl who has what every teenager wants: brains, a boyfriend, functional parents and an acceptance letter to the college of her choice. Yet, she sits in her car with her bags packed and can’t turn the key in the ignition. At a crossroads, Samantha must come to terms with her parents’ expectations, her first love and a lost friendship before she can start the car, drive away and find freedom!

How did Sam Brown find her way to Aurora?
Anthony [Rodriguez] and I are avid new musical followers; moreover, I am personally excited by composers, so I have followed Brian Lowdermilk pretty closely. He is just a powerhouse songwriter. Some of his songs are the type of great new material that singers are singing for cabarets so I already knew tunes like “Run Away with Me.” When I heard “Freedom,” I can remember weeping in my office. It was unbridled joy of two girls in a car singing at the top of their lungs. How I remember when I was that girl!

We immediately contacted them and then came a long two-year journey of agents and producers that I will not bore you with. Suffice it to say, the way you get to do new musicals is that you must be very persistent and confident beyond belief that you can make a difference. 

What drew you to the show?
It is a story of possibility. I love shows that look at the world from a young person's view and shine a light on what could be. Kait & Brian are on that same precipice. They have the opportunity to be the next great musical writing team of this generation. Anthony & I want to bank on those composers that have limitless possibility!

Has anything changed on the show since it was produced at Goodspeed Musicals two summers ago?

New Work in Progress: THE OTHER JOSH COHEN

An interview with Paper Mill Playhouse's Mark Hoebee about their upcoming production of The Other Josh Cohen by David Rossmer (NAMT Fest '10- notes to MariAnne, '00- Joe! The Musical) and Steve Rosen.

The Other Josh Cohen is more than an original new musical comedy. It's the true story of a good guy who is trying to break a streak of incredibly bad luck. He's single, broke, and just a few days before Valentine's Day his apartment is robbed of everything but one Neil Diamond CD. Six days later a mysterious letter arrives in his mailbox which changes his life forever. Will his Jewish guilt allow him to enjoy his good fortune? Will he ever be able to stop kicking himself if he doesn't? And will there ever be a time when nice guys finish first? Yep.

How did Josh Cohen find his way from his Off Broadway productions to Paper Mill?
I have known NY producer Kevin McCollum since we did summer stock together the year we both graduated college. Kevin and I have kept in touch over the years and have discussed several projects that he had which might be appropriate for Paper Mill including White Christmas which was wildly successful here last season. After Josh Cohen ran at SoHo Rep, Kevin spoke to me about the show and sent me the materials. I found the piece incredibly funny, charming, entertaining and was most impressed by the company of actor/musicians that bring the show to life - two of whom are the authors of the piece David Rossmer and Steve Rosen.

What drew you to the show and why is it a good fit for your audience?
I was most excited about this show playing at Paper Mill because it speaks to the new demographic of audience members here. Paper Mill's audience has been shifting and changing over the last six or so years. We now have a subscriber base of over 20,000 with an annual attendance of more than 200,000. The segment of audience with the largest growth has been patrons in the 35-50 age demographic. They are mostly urban transplants who have moved to the area to enjoy the benefits of living in the suburbs and to start families, but they retain their younger, hipper sensibilities. We have found that they are looking for contemporary, slightly edgier, more sophisticated musical options, and that is exactly what this show offers.

Paper Mill has a history of developing large new musicals like your recent hit, Honeymoon in Vegas, but this show is a smaller show in topic and size. Will the show get bigger for your stage or stay small and quirky?