NAMT Festival of New Musicals, Featuring Annaleigh Ashford, Heidi Blickenstaff, Josh Grisetti and Mary Testa, Begins Today | Playbill

News NAMT Festival of New Musicals, Featuring Annaleigh Ashford, Heidi Blickenstaff, Josh Grisetti and Mary Testa, Begins Today The National Alliance for Musical Theatre presents the 26th Annual Festival of New Musicals Oct. 23-24 at New World Stages.

Annaleigh Ashford Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The annual musical theatre event provides a platform for emerging and established theatre writers to showcase a 45-minute presentation of their works with casts featuring Broadway and Off-Broadway actors. Many of the new works find life at regional companies, as well as Off-Broadway and on Broadway.

Beautiful Poison will feature Terence Archie (Rocky), Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q), Sarah Davis (The Reckoning of Kit), Michelle Duffy (Heathers), Michael Lanning (Bonnie & Clyde), Brandon O’Neill (Aladdin) and Jesse Nager (Motown). Directed by David Armstrong with Ian Eisendrath serving as musical director, Beautiful Poison features music by Brendan Milburn, lyrics by Valerie Vigoda and a book by Duane Poole.

Cubamor will feature Janet Dacal (Wonderland), Doreen Montalvo (In The Heights), Javier Muñoz (In the Heights) and Amirah Vann (Trouble In Mind). Directed by Kent Nicholson with Jerome Korman serving as musical director, Cubamor features a book and lyrics by James D. Sasser and music and lyrics by Charles Vincent Burwell.

Great Wall will feature Cindy Cheung (The Great Immensity), Carrie Cimma (Lizzie Borden), Danielle Herbert (After Midnight) and Francis Jue (Kung Fu). Directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, South Pacific), with Marco Paguia serving as musical director, Great Wall features music and lyrics by Kevin So, a book by Kevin Merritt and creative consulting by David Henry Hwang.

How To Break will feature Brandon Gill (Holler If You Hear Me), Adam Matta and Amber Reauchean Williams. Directed by Tamilla Woodard with a book by Aaron Jafferis, lyrics by Aaron Jafferis and Rebecca Hart, and music by Rebecca Hart and Yako 440, the musical director is Jon Spurney. Mary Marie will feature Kevin Earley (A Tale Of Two Cities), Colin Hanlon (Wicked) and Emerson Steele (Violet). Directed by Daniella Topol with Nathan Dame serving as musical director, Mary Marie features a book and lyrics by Chana Wise and music by Carl Johnson.

The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes will feature Andi Alhadeff (Jasper In Deadland), Courtney Balan (Finding Neverland), Todd Buonopane (Cinderella), Natalie Charle Ellis (Les Miserables), Josh Grisetti (Red Eye Of Love), Alli Mauzey (Wicked), Sergi Robles (Cardboard Castles) and Kate Shindle (Legally Blonde). Directed by Tony Award nominee Lonny Price (Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill, 110 In The Shade), Andy Einhorn (Bullets Over Broadway, Cinderella) serves as musical director. The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes has a book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman.

String will feature Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show]), Mallory Hawks (The White City), Kenita Miller (Merrily We Roll Along), Orville Mendoza (Found), Geoff Packard (Matilda), Q Smith (Barcelona), Katie Thompson (Giant) and Eugenio Vargas (The Wild Party). Directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) with Matt Castle as musical director, String features music and lyrics by Adam Gwon and a book by Sarah Hammond.

Stu For Silverton will feature Tony nominee Annaleigh Ashford (You Can’t Take It With You, Kinky Boots), Kevin Kern (The Bridges of Madison County), Russell Arden Koplin (James Joyce’s The Dead), Jeigh Madjus (Prison Dancer), Mary Testa (Xanadu) and Don Darryl Rivera (Aladdin). Directed by Andrew Russell with Meg Zervoulis as musical director, Stu For Silverton has a book by Peter Duchan, music and lyrics by Breedlove, and is based on the story of Stu Rasmussen and the town of Silverton, OR.


A list of additional events follows:

The 46th Minute
Oct. 22 at 6 PM

Directed by Victoria Bussert (five-time director for the NAMT Festival)
Hosted by Lindsay Mendez (Godspell, Wicked).
Performing songs from the writers behind the 26th Festival of New Musicals will be Heidi Blickenstaff, Kevin Earley (A Tale of Two Cities), Rebecca Hart, Aaron Jafferis, Doreen Montalvo (Giant), Mamie Parris (Ragtime), Bryce Ryness (First Date), Kevin So, Emerson Steele (Violet), Yako 440, Corey Mach (Godspell) and Kate Shindle (Legally Blonde).

2014 Songwriters Showcase
Oct. 23 at 2 PM

Directed by Branden Huldeen (Festival producing director)
The showcase will feature performances from Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Daniel Breaker (Shrek), Marc de la Cruz (If/Then), Katrina Lenk (Once), Liz McCartney (Annie), Hansel Tan, Courtney Wolfson (Kinky Boots), EJ Zimmerman (Avenue Q), Mach, Jeremy Morse, Emily Walton, Shannon O’Boyle (Once), PigPen Theatre Co. (The Old Man and The Old Moon) and more.

Costs of Living
By Timothy Huang

The Hunter and the Bear
By PigPen Theatre Company

October Sky
By Michael Mahler
Aaron Thielen

By Lisa de Spain
Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Julia Jordan

The 2014 Songwriters Showcase is part of the 26th Festival of New Musicals and is open to the public via a standby line. For more information, visit

The Songwriters Sessions
Oct. 23-24 (times vary)
Directed by Brandon Ivie (Jasper in Deadland)
"The Songwriters Sessions will feature four different songwriting teams presenting new material from their various projects in the intimate Green Room Lounge at New World Stages."

Performers include Daniel Berryman (Rent), Brian Gallagher (Jekyll & Hyde), Molly Hager (Heathers), Katie Thompson (Giant), Mykal Kilgore (Motown), Ashley Blanchet (Beautiful), Anastasia McClesky (Violet), Sarah Beth Pfeifer, Ashley Moniz (Sister Act) and more.

The lineup and schedule includes:

Oct. 23
Michelle Elliott and Danny Larsen
Rob Rokicki

Oct. 24
Will Aronson

Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar 

For more information visit

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