Festival of New Arts slates new musicals
New musicals about a gay men’s chorus in Kansas, a family surviving a great flood and the dogs of Chernobyl will make up Goodspeed Musicals’ seventh annual Festival of New Arts, running Jan. 13-15 in East Haddam, Conn.Fest at the Goodspeed Opera House unspools with a staged reading of “Harmony, Kansas,” music by Anna Jacobs, book and lyrics by Bill Nelson. Tuner centers on a farmer in rural Kansas and his city-born partner who join a new gay men’s chorus and the challenges they and the choir encounter going public. “Not Wanted on the Voyage,” music and lyrics by Neil Bartam, book by Brian Hill (Rialto’s “The Story of My Life”), is based on a novel by Timothy Findley about a housewife, her husband, three sons and a talking cat who learn that they alone will survive the coming Great Flood. “The Dogs of Pripyat,” music by Aron Accurso, lyrics by Jill Abramovitz and book by Leah Napolin and Abramovitz, is based on a play by Napolin. It’s set in 1986 Chernobyl, where pets are left to fend for themselves after humans are evacuated. Casey Nicholaw, Tony Award-winning co-helmer of Broadway’s “Book of Mormon,” will lead a panel discussion on the tuner during a series of talks Jan. 15, which also includes a Noel Coward symposium. The festival will host late night cabarets Jan. 13 and 14.