Festival gigs for Fontana, O'Toole, others
The National Alliance for Musical Theater has lined up actors including Annette O’Toole, Robin DeJesus, Sarah Stiles and Santino Fontana, as well as directors including Sam Buntrock, for the 24th Festival of New Musicals, the org’s annual showcase of developing tuners.O’Toole (“Smallville”) will appear alongside Jeff McCarthy (“Urinetown”), among others, in “Southern Comfort,” Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis’ tuner based on the 2001 doc about transgender friends in rural Georgia. Tom Caruso directs. Buntrock (“Sunday in the Park With George”) helms Fontana, one of the stars of the upcoming Broadway production of “Cinderella,” in “Bonfire Night,” Justin Levine’s musical about the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up Blighty’s Parliament, while DeJesus (“In the Heights”) and Stiles (“Into the Woods”) are in the cast of post-apocalypse fairy tale “Bleeding Love.” Stephen Brackett directs the tuners by Jason Schafer, Arthur Lafrentz Bacon and Harris Doran. Also among creatives on tap are Demond Green (“Sister Act”) and Kenita Miller (“Xanadu”) appearing in Kirsten Childs’ “Funked Up Fairy Tales,” helmed by Jerry Dixon; and Lauren Molina, Nicole Lewis and Adam Kantor in the Michelle Tattenbaum-helmed “Nobody Loves You” by Itamar Moses and Gaby Alter. Rebecca Taichman (“Milk Like Sugar”) directs Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin and Valerie Vigoda’s “Sleep Beauty Wakes.” Annual fest attracts NAMT’s membership of legit producers and presenters to check out eight developing tuners, each seen in 45-minute excerpts. Past NAMT alums include “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Fest runs Oct. 11-12 at Off Broadway’s New World Stages.