So much NAMT news to report before we start rehearsals on Monday!
In addition to the already announced director Michael Berresse, we’re excited to have music director Rich Silverstein back at the festival with us.
And we have a cast! (Look at those headshots!) We’re so excited to have Sam Heldt and Dana Steingold back as Tommy and Sandra/Mary Ann, respectively. And we’re beyond thrilled to have Brynn O’Malley playing Anita – she’s been on our dream casting list for a while now. After admiring them both in other shows for years, I can’t wait to finally work with Eric William Morris (as Bob) and Pearl Sun (as Kay.) And we’re so happy to get to know Robert Ariza and welcome him into the team as Kyle.
If that was enough to make you want to check out the show, you’ll have two chances: Thursday, October 27 at 4:50pm and Friday, October 28 at 1:30pm. Both performances will take place at New World Stages’ Stage 3 (on the set of Avenue Q!) There will be standby line for those not officially registered for the festival, and chances are very good that you’ll be able to see it. And, while you’re at it, check out some of the other shows in the festival! The full schedule is available on the NAMT website.
And if you want even more NAMT and The Loneliest Girl in the World, come on by The 46th Minute concert on Wednesday, October 26 at 6:30pm to hear songs from all of the festival shows that didn’t make the 45-minute cut. We’ll be sharing a song from the second act of TLGITW, and throwing back to our 2011 NAMT experience with a song from Pregnancy Pact, too!
In the lead-up to NAMT, festival writers have been asked to contribute blog posts about the whole process – from application to presentation. I contributed a post about that most daunting of tasks – finding the right 45 minutes. Give it a read, and be on the lookout for some casting announcements very soon!
If you want a sneak peek at the work Julia and I have been doing on The Magnificent Seven, come on down to Dixon Place on Thursday, October 6 at 7:30pm. We’ll be sharing 5 songs from the show, and sharing the bill with the wonderful Adam Stasiw!
We’ve assembled our dream cast – with Ally Bonino, Amy Linden, Ellen Macy, Elexis Morton, Gillian Munsayac, Dana Steingold, and Emily Walton as the 1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Gymnastics team, alongside Lynne Marie Rosenberg, Dustin Sullivan, and Collin Batten as the nefarious announcers. We heard the songs for the first time a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t be more excited to share them for the first time.
Julia and I are thrilled to be working with Michael Berresse on the NAMT Festival presentation of The Loneliest Girl in the World!
After seeing him perform onstage in A Chorus Line and The Light in the Piazza, I first encountered Michael’s directing on Broadway with [title of show], but I was also lucky enough to travel up to Weston, VT to see his beautiful 2013 production of Next to Normal with Heidi Blickenstaff and Margo Seibert. The production was so sensitive and deeply felt, and a complete departure from the original. In addition to being the best sung version I’ve ever seen, it convinced me just how beautiful the color grey can be!
Julia and I are thrilled to get back to work on REB + VoDKa + ME, this time with the Musical Theatre Factory! We’ll be spending the next ten months in their new writers group working our way to a full draft. We’re so happy to be back at the Factory after our wonderful experience in their 4×15 series a few years ago, and excited to be writing among so many friends and colleagues in the group! Stay tuned for more updates on the show…
First it was PIED!. Then it was I Love You, Anita Bryant. And now it’s The Loneliest Girl in the World!
Mark your calendars for October 27 & 28, 2016. We’ll be sharing the first 45 minutes of the show! And we’re lucky to do it alongside so many wonderful friends like Mindi Dickstein & Kirsten Guenther (Benny & Joon), Brett Ryback (Joe Schmoe Saves the World), and Scotty Arnold & Alana Jacoby (Mortality Play.)
Be on the lookout for more information over the next few months!
Back in 2013, a workshop production of Across the River was presented as part of the Seoul Musical Festival. It’s been almost three years, but I’m so happy to now be able to share highlights from the show!
The video features performances of the songs “Not Me,” “You Gotta Do It,” “Baby Boy,” “If I Ran the Moon,” and “River on Fire.” The cast and design are phenomenal!
This was the only presentation of a work of mine that I wasn’t able to see live, and I’m so happy that I finally get to see some of the show now. Enjoy!
We’ve got an amazing group of singers joining us to share the first material from REB + VoDKa + ME!
Come on up/down/over** on Friday, May 20 to see Ally Bonino, Hanako Greensmith, Sam Heldt, Kelsey Lake, Evan Maltby, Lauren Marcus, Elexis Morton, Matthew Oster, Allison Posner, Libby Servais, Rich Silverstein, and Emily Walton! (It means a lot to have all these people, from all along our writing journey, back with us to try out something new. And we’re thrilled to work with a few new folks at the same time!)
And if you can’t make it next Friday, fear not! This whole crew will head into the studio to record the new material, so be on the lookout for a link soon.
**Don’t be afraid of the waitlist! Once you’re confirmed, it’s first-come, first-served at the door.
Ben, Julia, and I are so excited to have our first chance to share material from our new show, REB + VoDKa + ME in The Civilians’ Findings Series. On Friday, May 20 at 7pm, we’ll share a dozen or so songs with a glorious, almost-finalized cast of 13! Read all about the other shows from the R&D Group and reserve your seats now.
I’m thrilled that Julia and I have been selected for Fresh Ground Pepper‘s 2016 Playground Playgroup. As FGP says:
The PlayGround PlayGroup is a year-long, collaborative workshop culminating in the PlayGround Festival, realizing Fresh Ground Pepper’s mission to prompt and provoke the artist to make art. It is a place where writers and creators of varying mediums convene to convert their pages, projects, and ideas into fresh new works.
We’re excited to be writing and working alongside old and new friends – and especially excited that it means we finally get to start work on the show I’ve been waiting seventeen years to write…
The Magnificent Seven will tell the story of the 1996 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team and their road to winning the gold medal. Seven girls – Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps, and Kerri Strug – were on their home turf in Atlanta and caught the imagination of the world in the first truly post-Cold War games. It resulted in one of the most iconic Olympic images: Kerri Strug’s final vault, landed on an injured ankle, that clinched the gold medal.
Check back for updates, and be on the lookout for a December presentation of work from the show!
Julia and I have contributed a song to the next installment of The Civilians’ Let Me Ascertain You on Tuesday, February 23 at 9:30pm at the Metropolitan Room. LET ME ASCERTAIN YOU: Flops, Failures, and Fiascos is a night of new music and true stories that celebrate artistic and relationship disasters as told by those who have survived the shame, horror, and glory of failing big. The evening is being directed by our fellow R&Ders Colette Robert and Sanaz Ghajar, with material by friends like Eric March and Sam Chanse. The ever-glorious Ally Bonino is singing our song about being lost and found (and nuns and boats.)
I’m feeling very lucky to be spending the week at Goodspeed in the Johnny Mercer Writing Colony working on REB + VoDKa + ME with Julia! It’s a cold and snowy week in East Haddam, CT – just the kind you want to spend bundled up and writing.
We’re halfway through the week and we’ve been productive so far – writing and researching and planning and scheming… There are six other wonderful writers/teams up here with us this week, and we’ve had the pleasure of hearing their work at our nightly sharing sessions. During the day, I’ve taken breaks by raiding the amazing Goodspeed library for rare cast recordings and demos. And the whole time I’ve been nostalgic for my old NYU classmates, remembering the week we spent here almost exactly nine years ago!
Thanks to Colony dramaturg Michael Bush, Mercer Foundation VP Jonathan Brielle, and Colony coordinators Hunter Bird and Max Schwager.
All in all, it’s been a fruitful week in a beautiful place – what could be better?
The Goodspeed Opera House.
Our cozy housing.
The famous East Haddam Swing Bridge, the longest truss bridge in the world, over the Connecticut River.