New York’s National Alliance for Musical Theatre has set the slate for its 2017 NAMT Festival of New Musicals, the 29-year-old event that has served as a Broadway stepping stone for titles including “Come From Away,” “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” among others.
The festival brings in hundreds of NAMT members and other theater pros to peruse a lineup of eight developing musicals, showcased in 45-minute segments over the course of two days. The fest can often bring key exposure to a project, as was the case with current Broadway success “Come From Away,” which was picked up by its commercial producers after they first saw it as part of the 2013 fest.
This year, 16 theater professionals selected the festival’s lineup from a pool of 240 submissions. The 2017 roster includes:
- “Darling Grenadine,” Daniel Zaitchik’s seriocomic musical about a jingle composer and the relationships in his life;
- “Fall Springs,” by composer/co-lyricist Niko Tsakalakos and book writer/co-lyricist Peter Sinn Natchtrieb, centering on a hard-luck American town that sits atop the country’s biggest reserve of cosmetic essential oils;
- “Girl Shakes Loose,” a coming-of-age tale about a woman named Girl with music and lyrics by Imani Uzuri, book and lyrics by Zakiyyah Alexander and poetry by Sonia Sanchez;
- “Klook’s Last Stand,” about the romance between a drifter and a woman on the run, penned by Che Walker (book, lyrics), Omar Lyefook (music) and Anoushka Lucas (music, lyrics).
- “Persephone,” a teen take on the Greek myth with a pop-rock score by Marcus Stevens (book and lyrics) and Oran Eldor (music);
- David Darrow’s “The Passage,” about a sixth grader who teams up with a new friend to rescue his father from the monster who lives in his basement;
- “Prom Queen,” the true story of a Canadian teen’s legal crusade for the right to go to prom with his boyfriend at his Catholic school, by book writer Kent Staines, lyricist Akiva Romer-Segal and composer Colleen Dauncey; and
- “Sam’s Room,” a late-90s story of a nonverbal teenager with special needs learning to communicate, with book by Dale Sampson (with Trey Coates-Mitchell) and music and lyrics by Caitlin Marie Bell, Marc Campbell and Sampson.
This year’s NAMT fest runs Oct. 19-20 at New World Stages, the Off Broadway theater complex in midtown Manhattan.