MINNEAPOLIS: Theater Latté Da is bringing new work to the Twin Cities with NEXT: New Musicals in the Making, a series presenting three new shows in various stages of development. Each workshop culminates in three public performances at the Ritz Theatre. The series begins April 30 and concludes on May 16.
“We believe strongly in the importance of fueling the creative journeys of artists and to engage audiences in the development process,” Theatre Latté Da artistic director Peter Rothstein said in a statement. “It is our hope to use NEXT: New Musicals in the Making as a vehicle to nurture musical theatre writers and to make a significant contribution to future of the great American musical.”
The first offering will be Lullaby, a play with music by Michael Elyanow, to be directed by Jeremy Cohen, artistic director of Minneapolis’s Playwrights’ Center. The story follows a widowed mother who forms an unlikely bond with a lesbian guitar tutor. The show will feature singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke, who also music-directs, and Adelin Phelps, and will have public performances on April 30–May 3.
Next up is The Last Queen of Canaan by Harrison David Rivers, with music by Jacob Yandura and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik. Rothstein will direct the story about a 92-year-old sharecropper and her 22-year-old great-granddaughter on a farm in rural Virginia in 1937. Regina Williams, Nathan Barlow and Shinah Brashers will appear in performances that run May 7–May 10.
The final musical is Stu for Silverton by Peter Duchan, with music by Breedlove, the opening act for Lady Gaga’s recent artRAVE tour. Andrew Russell, producing artistic director at Intiman Theatre, will direct. Featuring Dieter Bierbrauer, Melissa Hart, Kim Kivens, Kersten Rodau and Max Wojtanowicz, the show tells the true story of Stu Rasmussen, the nation’s first openly transgender mayor (of Silverton, Ore.). Performances will run May 13–May 16.