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NAMT members, artists, and other festivalgoers attend the 2015 NAMT festival at New World Stages in New York City. (Photo by Ric Kallaher)

NAMT Announces Lineup for 28th Festival of New Musicals

Eight new shows to be presented at the NYC festival.

NEW YORK CITY: The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has announced the lineup for the 28th Festival of New Musicals, which will run Oct. 27-28 at New World Stages. The festival, which presents 45-minute concert presentations of eight new musicals over a two-day period, is aimed at industry members, though the public can also buy passes through a donation to NAMT.

“This year’s selection of musicals are wonderfully diverse and truly highlight the changing world we live in and the rich voices that inhabit that world,” said NAMT executive director Betsy King Militello in a statement. “Our selection committee has worked tirelessly to make sure that this year’s festival showcases some of the best talent musical theatre has to offer.”

The eight-musical lineup is as follows:

  • Benny & Joon, book by Kirsten Guenther, music by Nolan Gasser, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. The story follows Benny, a mechanic in his early 30s, as he takes care of his psychologically troubled younger sister, Joon. The plot involves them taking in a young man named Sam, who is described as a “modern Buster Keaton.”
  • Joe Schmoe Saves the World, book, music, and lyrics by Brett Ryback. The musical tells the parallel stories of an American indie rock duo and a pair of Iranian students in Tehran.
  • Lempicka, book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, music by Matt Gould.  Set in pre-World War II Paris, the musical follows Tamara, a 19-year-old Russian bride who flees the Russian Revolution to become a renowned Parisian artist—and to begin a forbidden love affair.
  • The Loneliest Girl in the World, book and lyrics by Gordon Leary, music by Julian Meinwald. The story follows Anita Bryant, a beauty queen, singer, and cultural crusader, and Tommy, an old fan of hers, as they find themselves on opposite sides of the battle for gay rights.
  • Mortality Play, book and lyrics by Alana Jacoby, music by Scotty Arnold. The show is a rock musical about Todd, a 16-year-old in 1349 London. After the plague breaks out and his bandmate John dies, the ghost of John becomes a guide as Todd tries to balance his responsibilities as a son, boyfriend, doctor’s apprentice, and aspiring rock star.
  • Soho Cinders, music by George Stiles, lyrics and book by Anthony Drewe, book by Ellitor Davis. The story follows Robbie, an impoverished launderette owner, as he embarks on a secret romance with a high-profile, engaged mayoral candidate.
  • The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, book, music, and lyrics by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. Centered around Samantha Brown, an 18-year-old between high school and college, the show sees Brown looking back on a traumatic childhood event and relearning how to take risks.
  • We Live in Cairo, book, music, and lyrics by Patrick and Daniel Lazour. The show is about the youth movement during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, and follows six young Cairenes as they gather to celebrate the homecoming of their friend from the United States.

In addition the eight selected musicals, the festival will present “The 46th Minute,” a concert featuring selected songs from festival shows that did not make the final presentation cut. The concert will be on Oct. 26, the evening before the main presentations.

Founded in 1985, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre is a national service organization dedicated 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.

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