'Clear' among three musicals to get readings
“Clear,” a new musical from “Passing Strange” composer Stew — with an assist from “Next to Normal” composer Tom Kitt — is among three shows on tap for a developmental workshop this summer at the O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference.Annual fest in Waterford, Conn., is close enough to New York to be a regular blip on the radar of Gotham legiters. “Clear” has music by Stew and Paul Oakley Stovall with lyrics by Stovall and additional music by Kitt, Irv Johnson and Stephen Goers. Far-ranging story of a spiritual quest stretches from Ghana to Sweden to Seoul to Lake Michigan. Also on the docket is “Eden,” about six people whose lives intersect between hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq. It has music by Mel Marvin (“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”) and book and lyrics by Jonathan Levi. Kicking off the conference is “Buddy’s Tavern,” by composer Kim Oler, lyricist Alison Hubbard with book by Raymond De Felitta (“City Island”). Show is based on “Two Family House,” the 2000 pic De Felitta wrote and directed. Plot follows an Italian-American factory worker on Staten Island. Development process at the O’Neill includes rehearsals and public readings, which are often attended by industry people on the lookout for new product. Last year the tuner adaptation of “Tales of the City” (bowing next year in San Francisco) was seen at the confab, while Broadway offerings “In the Heights,” “Avenue Q” and “Nine” also are among alumni. Tuner conference will run June 26-July 16. Lineup for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, a separate but related event also held every summer on the theater center’s campus, remains to be announced.