September 01, 2006

ASCAP Songwriters in the Spotlight at the
18th Annual Festival of New Musicals

Six of the eight new musicals to be presented at the 18th National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) Annual Festival of New Musicals will feature the works of ASCAP songwriters Scott Alan, Ira Antelis, Andrew Barrett, Michele Brourman, Paul Gordon, David Kirshenbaum and Andrew Lippa.

Held every fall over two days in New York City, the Festival showcases a select group of new musicals before an invited audience of NAMT members and industry professionals. This year's event will be held at New World Stages (340 West 50th St between 8th and 9th Avenues) on Sunday, October 8 and Monday, October 9, 2006. Admission to the Festival of New Musicals is by invitation only and closed to the general public. For more details, please visit http://namt.org.

The ASCAP-represented selections for the 2006 Festival of New Musicals are:

DANGEROUS BEAUTY
Music by Michele Brourman

Dangerous Beauty is inspired by Renaissance courtesan and poet Veronica Franco. When Veronica's love, Marco, submits to a political marriage, her impoverished mother lays out her options: marriage, improbable without dowry; the convent; or becoming a courtesan. Veronica's beauty, wit, and skill with verse win her success, patronage, and the enmity of rival poet Maffio. Veronica and Marco reconcile, only to be pulled apart by war, jealousy, and duty. As Venice is ravaged by hardship and plague, popular sentiment, seeking a scapegoat, turns against the courtesans. The Inquisition arrests Veronica for witchcraft. Refusing the hypocrisy of false repentance and confession, Veronica defies the court, making an impassioned plea for the equality of women, and the sacredness of love. Dangerous Beauty features music by Johnny Mercer Songwriter award winner Michele Brourman (I Married Wyatt Earp, Heartbeats: NAMT Festival 1992).

EMMA
Music, Lyrics and Book By Paul Gordon

In early 19th century England, Emma Woodhouse, endowed with wealth, beauty and prestige, attempts to arrange a wealthy marriage for her poor friend Harriet, a young girl with questionable origins. In the process she disregards her own feelings and everyone else's. A series of scheming escapades ensue as Jane Austen's characters deliver us delicious irony while the seemingly trivial events provide social observation and profound moral significance. Creator Paul Gordon was nominated for a 2000 Tony Award for composing the music and lyrics to the Broadway musical Jane Eyre.

JERRY CHRISTMAS
Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

It's 1961, and after three flops, funny man Jerry Barron is in need of a hit. His family is keeping secrets and losing patience. And he's wallowing in despair. Luckily, Maury Mintz calls and offers him the chance of a lifetime: to put his family on the air on live television in a Christmas special called JERRY CHRISTMAS! Only problem is, they're Jewish. As Jerry wrestles with his career, his family, his identity, and his faith, one major question looms - will the special put Jerry back on top? Jerry Christmas features music and lyrics by Drama Desk and Richard Rodgers Award winner Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, A Little Princess: NAMT Festival 2005)

JULIAN PO
Book & Lyrics by Andrew Barrett
Music by Ira Antelis

Julian Po is a modern day musical myth. This rollicking, yet cautionary tale of Man's greatness combines the traditional musical theatre form with the sounds of Americana bluegrass and mountain music. Julian Po begins with "The Muses," a four piece, strolling mischievous band invoking the day when a strange man mysteriously arrives in an even stranger middle-American town. His presence causes the sleepy lives of the Townspeople to awaken; from the Town Mayor to the Town Barber to the youngest Town member, no one's life is ever the same once they meet Julian Po. Book and lyrics are by television writer Andrew Barnett. Music is by pop and theatre composer Ira Antelis.

PIECE
Music and Lyrics by Scott Alan

Upon returning to her childhood home following the passing of her mother, Katherine Mathews, finds herself clinging to the memories of her past; engaging in conversations she's had with her mother at the ages of 17, 26 and 35. In a soaring musical full of unexpected recollections, Katherine pieces together the patterns of a life filled with promise and compromise, third strikes and second chances, and always, a mother's unconditional love. Piece has a score by Scott Alan (Detour).

VANITIES - A New Musical
Music and Lyrics by David Kirshenbaum

Chronicling the comic journey of three vivacious Texas teens from cheerleaders to sorority sisters to housewives, liberated women and beyond, this tangy tale of coming-of-age in the '60s and '70s is a musical voyage racing through an era that had to be lived to be believed. With a tunefully evocative score by David Kirshenbaum (The Summer of '42: NAMT Festival 1999, Party Come Here: NAMT Festival 2005), Vanities - A New Musical offers a snapshot-sharp portrait of the lives, loves, disappointments, and dreams of best friends caught up in times that are a-changin'.