Fest cues fresh musicals

The 2009 lineup of the National Alliance for Musical Theater’s annual fest of new tuners includes developing works from Kyle Jarrow (“A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant”), Stephen Weiner (“The Hudsucker Proxy”) and Gordon Greenberg (helmer of the recent Florida revival of “Working”).

The 21st annual Festival of New Musicals, an industry showcase that presents excerpts of eight musicals to a sizeable audience of legit producers and presenters, regularly results in future life for its entries, which have included Tony winners “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” “Vanities” and “Ordinary Days,” two more alums, are both set for Gotham productions this season.

Lineup for the latest fest, running Oct. 19-20 at a Gotham location yet to be confirmed, includes:

  •  “Band Geeks!,” about the misfit members of a high school marching band, with book by Tommy Newman and Greenberg, lyrics by Gaby Alter and Newman, and music by Mark Allen, Alter and Newman;

  • “Factory Girls,” by Creighton Irons and Sean Mahoney, a musical with rock and folk tunes about a woman who works in a Massachusetts textile mill in the mid-1800s;

  •  “Hostage Song,” centering on two captives in a war zone, with book by Clay McLeod Chapman and music and lyrics by Jarrow;

  •  Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler’s “How Can You Run With a Shell on Your Back?,” in which Aesop’s fables are told to students stuck in detention;

  •  “Iron Curtain,” a farce about American songwriters kidnapped by the KGB to act as show doctors for a communist propaganda musical, with book by Susan DiLallo, music by Stephen Weiner and lyrics by Peter Mills;

  •  “It Shoulda Been You,” a wedding comedy from book writer and lyricist Brian Hargrove and composer Barbara Anselmi (with additional lyrics credited to a handful of other creatives);

  •  “Memory Is the Mother of All Wisdom,” billed as a “comic tragedy” by Sara Cooper (book and lyrics) and Zach Redler (music) about a woman with Alzheimer’s and the daughter who takes care of her;

  • Duane Nelsen’s “Ripper,” a Victorian thriller about a reporter investigating a series of murders.
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