In Tuesday’s blog, Timothy Huang talked about his show, COSTS OF LIVING, which is one of eight musicals being presented at the NAMT Festival of New Musicals which opens today! (click here to read Timothy’s blog). Below are sneak peaks into four more NAMT shows.
We asked these writing teams to share a little about their shows, their path to NAMT, and what they hope to get out of the experience.
Show: IMAGINE HARRY
Synopsis: When Tucker was 8, Harry was his imaginary friend. Now Tucker’s grown up, and Harry has left the biz— two lost guys trying to figure out the little things. Like life. Can they help each other before it’s too late? Imagine Harry is a musical for grown-ups about the very tricky business of growing up.
Who we interviewed: Jeff Talbott (book & Lyrics) and Will Van Dyke (music & lyrics)
Tell us a little about you and your show’s history: We were semi-finalists for the 2015 O’Neill Conference; released an EP called A View of the River.
How did the idea of your musical come about? We thought using imaginary friends as a springboard to talk about growing up would be surprising.
What kinds of changes are you making as you prepare your show for NAMT? Many. The challenge of brevity also reminds you of its necessity.
What specifically are you hoping to achieve from this incarnation of the show beyond the opportunities and exposure NAMT provides? We are anxious to work with a director/actors to start to get a bead on what works and doesn’t!
Synopsis: In a blue collar Ohio town, 8-year old Ethan falls through the ice and is miraculously saved with no known hero. When the boy, who not long ago lost his dad, insists it was a “birdman,” his family grapples with faith and hope as the community watches the mystery unfold.
Who we interviewed: Daryl Lisa Fazio (book & lyrics)
Tell us a little about you and your show’s history: Aaron McAllister’s and my first show together was LIFT. The first draft was eight years ago.
How did the idea of your musical come about? From the nugget of a character-driven show about a community shaken up by a mysterious event.
What kinds of changes are you making as you prepare your show for NAMT? Figuring out what the heart of the show is in order to be able to represent in it a 45-minute cut.
What specifically are you hoping to achieve from this incarnation of the show beyond the opportunities and exposure NAMT provides? Art is never finished when it’s about family, connection, change—the things that make up life.
Synopsis: A heartbroken man never leaves his apartment, consoled only by the music on the radio. Through the thin walls, he hears almost every word of the couple next door—and before long, his eavesdropping becomes an obsession. Soon he finds himself drawn into a web of lust, lies, deceit and danger. Noir is a lush and mysterious new musical inspired by radio plays and classic film noir.
Who we interviewed: Kyle Jarrow (book & Lyrics)
Tell us a little about you and your show’s history: I began working on NOIR with composer Duncan Sheik two summers ago, at the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Since then, we’ve been lucky enough to get to develop it through an acting grad school in Hamburg Germany (!), a reading at Playwrights Horizons, and a staged workshop at New York Stage & Film this past summer.
How did the idea of your musical come about? Duncan and I are both fans of film noir, as well as fans of the awesome German movie “The Lives of Others.” Those are some of the big influences for this story, as are classic radio plays. (Our show has sound effects created live by a foley artist, as many of those old radio plays did.) We also liked the idea of doing a mystery musical – it felt like ripe, and seldom explored, territory.
What kinds of changes are you making as you prepare your show for NAMT? We’re exploring some adjustments in musical arrangements as well as a bunch of writing tweaks throughout. It’ll be a great opportunity to see how these changes work, with an awesome bunch of actors performing them!
What specifically are you hoping to achieve from this incarnation of the show beyond the opportunities and exposure NAMT provides? We’re excited about the opportunity to put the piece in front of some of the best theaters and producers in the country… and we’re excited about the possibilities that might open up for the future of the show.
How can our readers find out more about you?
www.landoftrust.com and www.duncansheik.com
Show: ON THE EVE
Synopsis: As bombs explode outside, a theatre company staves off impending apocalyptic doom by performing a sci-fi musical about Marie Antoinette’s first time-traveling hot air balloon. As the dictatorial Talking Man turns the story into a celebration of stereotypes, the company fights back. Soon the play bleeds into reality, reviving hope for survival.
Who we interviewed: Michael Federico (book & story)
Tell us a little about you and your show’s history: After presenting On the Eve as a staged reading at The Margo Jones Theatre in the Magnolia Lounge in Dallas in late 2011, we committed to doing a full production of the show. It premiered about a year later at the same space. The success of that run led Theater Three in Dallas to produce the “professional world premiere” of On the Eve in early 2014.
How did the idea of your musical come about? Years ago, Seth Magill, Shawn Magill, and I were at a Christmas party in Dallas. We lived in different cities, but we got to see each other over the holidays. They mentioned they’d been thinking about a musical involving Marie Antoinette and the first hot air balloon. Whenever we saw each other over the next couple of years, we’d kick around ideas. Eventually, we ended up in Dallas at the same time, and got serious about working together. Then, time travel and a semi-deranged leader of a theater troupe came up, and On the Eve started coming together.
What kinds of changes are you making as you prepare your show for NAMT? Cutting the show to fit the time requirements has been the biggest change leading up to the festival. Before we submitted, though, we made changes and incorporated elements from both productions that developed organically through rehearsal or performance that might not have been in the original script.
What specifically are you hoping to achieve from this incarnation of the show beyond the opportunities and exposure NAMT provides? With a development process that included a critically acclaimed workshop and full production, we look forward to continuing to develop On the Eve with theaters that champion new plays and “non-traditional” musicals.
How can our readers find out more about you?
While the NAMT Festival is only open to industry, keep your eye on these shows and these writers. You’re bound to hear more about them soon.
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