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Michael Friedman, Mark Hollmann, David Zippel, and More to Participate in 2009 Festival of New American Musicals

David Zippel
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
The line-up has been announced for the 2009 Festival of New American Musicals, a four-month musical theatre festival, to be held April through July, throughout Southern California. The Festival encompasses full productions, staged readings, workshops of musicals in progress, cabaret events, concerts, master classes, and other events.

Events will include That Beautiful Laugh, conceived and directed by Orlando Pabotoy; The Los Angeles premiere of No Way To Treat A Lady by Douglas J. Cohen; the West Coast premiere of The Girl, The Grouch and The Goat, featuring a book by Jack Helbig, with music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann; the developmental production of The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk; the world premiere of Set Up And Punch, with book by Mark Saltzman, and original songs by Berton Averre and Rob Meurer; the first public reading of The Water by Tim Werenko, Jeff Hylton, and Georgia Stitt; Everyman -- The Musical by Bill DeLuca, directed by Naomi Buckley; the West Coast premiere of the William Finn revue Make Me A Song; Fools In Love, performed and created by students from the PUC Charter Schools; Dirty Dancing -- The Classic Story On Stage, adapted by Eleanor Bergstein, directed by James Powell, and choreographed by Kate Champion; and the world premiere of Peter Pan: A New Musical, written by Jordan Beck with music by Jonathan May and orchestration by Nolan Livesay.

Additional performances will include the world premiere of The Green Room; the premiere of Plymouth 2.0, with book and lyrics by Jeff Lantos and music by Bill Augustine; the premiere of The Brand New Kid, with music by Michael Friedman, book by Melanie Marnich, lyrics by Michael Friedman and Melanie Marnich, and direction by Shelley Butler; Forbidden Broadway" 25th Anniversary Special Edition, created and written by Gerard Alessandrini; the first broadcast of the complete recording of Ricky Ian Gordon-Michael Korie musical adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath; Ring of Fire, a jukebox musical of Johnny Cash songs conceived by William Meade and created by Richard Maltby, Jr.; the premiere of Water And Power, with book and lyrics by Jeff Lantos, music by Bill Augustine; Violet, featuring book & Lyrics by Brian Crawley, and music by Jeanine Tesori; and a first reading of Prodigy, with book, lyrics and direction by Ken Cazan; music and additional lyrics by Billy Pace.

In addition, the festival will include The Annual 15 Minute Musicals from writers from the Academy for New Musical Theatre Core Curriculum program; iGhost, with book by Doug Haverty, music by Adryan Russ, lyrics by Adryan Russ & Doug Haverty; the world premiere of The Best Is Yet To Come featuring the music of Cy Coleman adapted and directed by David Zippel with musical direction by Billy Stritch, choreography by Christopher Gatelli, and featuring Lillias White; and We Still Can't Stand Still, featuring kids age 2-12 at the William Grant Still Center in their own original musical.

Participating venues and institutions include Orange County Performing Arts Center, Pantages Theatre, Alex Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, El Portal Theatre, La Mirada Theatre, Colony Theater, Rubicon Theatre, Boston Court Theatre, Blank Theatre, The University of Southern California, Fullerton College, and Marquez Elementary School.

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