A tuner incarnation of the Jake Gyllenhaal pic “Bubble Boy” and a Willa Cather-inspired pioneer tale are two of four new musical works hitting center stage at the 13th annual ASCAP Foundation/Disney Musical Theater Workshop in Los Angeles, beginning April 7.
The workshop, helmed by composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz , will put the spotlight on musical theater writers, whose works were selected from more than 160 applicants. They will make short presentations of their original works-in-progress for critique from a panel of legit producers, directors and composers.
“How the Nurse Feels,” with book by David Green, lyrics by Green and Debbie Lamedman and music by John Glaudini, kicks off the workshop. Tuner centers on a high school production of “Romeo and Juliet” that’s been left to the football coach after the drama teacher leaves town. Show plays April 7 and 30.
“Willoughby Tree” follows on April 7 and May 1. With book and lyrics by Jason Mayland and music by Mayland and Greg Chun, “Willoughby” tells the story of two elm trees that catch the Hollywood bug after being planted outside a drive-in theater in the Midwest.
Based on the 2001 pic of the same name, “Bubble Boy” follows Jimmy Livingston, who was born without immunities and is confined to a plastic bubble room. After he finds out the girl of his dreams is getting married, he builds a bubble suit and sets off on a cross-country quest to stop the wedding. Tuner, with a book by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio and music and lyrics by Paul, bows April 9 and is presented again on April 28.
The final presentation, “Heartland,” was inspired by Cather’s “O Pioneers!” and tells the story of immigrants who settled in Nebraska in the mid-19th century. With music by Philip Westin and a libretto by Burt Peachy, perfs will be held April 9 and 29.
In addition to Schwartz, panelists for this year’s presentation will include lyricist Michael Korie (“Grey Gardens”). Past panelists have included Jason Alexander, composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens (both of “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life”).
The workshop is part of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ “ASCAP I Create Music Week,” a week of events in L.A. to celebrate music creators. The four tuners will be presented at the Disney Feature Animation Studio Lot in Burbank.