by Don Church & Tony Schillaci, Critics On The Aisle™
The Sixth Annual Festival of New Artists, produced by Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Connecticut, launches its three-day event of original new musical works, new artists in cabarets, and other entertainment programs Friday, January 14 through Sunday, January 16.
Goodspeed’s popular Festival Package ($79) covers the full weekend of special events and includes admission to all three staged readings; the New Musical Preview, a short preview of a new musical headed to The Norma Terris Theatre in 2011; the Friday Night and Saturday Night cabarets, the Symposium panel discussion with musical theatre luminaries; “Pick-Three” festival seminar sessions, a Saturday evening pre-show dinner at the Gelston House with an engaging post-dinner discussion hosted by a special guest speaker; and a Meet the Writers Reception.
For both Festival Package and single ticket holders (details below), Goodspeed Opera House tours will be offered throughout the weekend along with the following events.
Friday, January 14
7:30 p. m. A reading of the musical “Room 16,” on the Goodspeed stage. A fast-paced and darkly comedic look inside American political history.
10:00 p. m. Festival Cabaret showcasing new songs by new artists in the main dining room of the Gelston House, next door to the Goodspeed Opera House.
Saturday, January 15
10:00 a. m., 11:00 a. m., and 12:15 p. m. “Break-out Sessions” in the Gelston House have been expanded this year. Choose from two breakout sessions in each of the above time slots:
Famous Flops, Part II. A continuation of last year’s most popular session – with musical historian John Pike.
Back on Broadway: Why “Annie?” Why Now? Broadway general manager/producer Wendy Orshan discusses the upcoming revival from the producer’s perspective.
“Dreamgirls:” From Stage to Screen and Back Again. Composer Henry Krieger discusses his experience with the show from its inception to the present day, among other things!
How Do You? Create a New Character. Broadway vets John Bolton (“Curtains”) and Kate Wetherhead (“Legally Blonde”) discuss the challenges of originating roles in new musicals.
How Do You Invest In a New Musical? Broadway general manager/producer Alan Williams gives the inside story about the financial side of new musicals.
How Do You Create the Look? An accomplished Broadway set designer discusses creating the physical world of a new musical.
4:00 p.m. Musical Theatre Symposium in the GoodspeedOpera House is sponsored by the Noel Coward Foundation. This event is free and open to the public.
5:30 p.m. Festival Dinner at the Gelston House. Enjoy a three course meal with fellow festival goers.
7:30 p.m. is the debut of a new-fashioned musical “Hello! My Baby” From debutante balls to Delancey Street, it puts a new-fashioned spin on the great American songbook musical.
10:00 p. m. A Festival Cabaret at the Gelston House featuring Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda, composers of Striking 12, the first GrooveLily concert-musical that was nominated for the 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical will perform songs from their hit shows.
Sunday January 16
1:00 p.m. “Nobody Loves You” in the Goodspeed Opera House A romantic comedy about the search for meaningful relationships in a culture dominated by the quest for popularity.
3:30 p. m. Meet the Writers Reception. Gelston House. Gain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.
The Festival of New Artist also includes seniors from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford for real-world experience in new musical development and performing new musicals along with students from the Boston Conservatory.
For the Festival Weekend Package, $79, and single tickets, $15 a show, $10 for students, contact Goodspeed Musicals at 860.873.8668 or online, which also list lodging and dining on- your-own information, at www.goodspeed.org.
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