Monday, January 7, 2013

GOODSPEED LAUNCHES WEEKEND FESTIVAL OF NEW ARTISTS





Forget falling off fiscal cliffs or falling on the January sheets of ice and seek the warm creative juices percolating at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam.  For the entire weekend of January 18-20, Goodspeed's Eighth Annual Festival of New Artists will ignite your imagination and fire up your engines as brand new musical works are unveiled for the first time.

Earn bragging rights around the water cooler at work when you reveal seeing the debut staged reading at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 18 of "Nine Wives," music and lyrics by Douglas Cohen, book and lyrics by Dan Elish.  Commiserate with bachelor Henry whose ex-fiancee has invited him to her wedding.  He can't go dateless so how is he supposed to find the perfect woman of his dreams before the rose petals flutter down the aisle?  At 10 p.m., head next door to the Gelston House for a fabulous festival cabaret showcasing new works by new artists.

Get up early on Saturday, January 20 for a full day and evening of musical surprises, starting at 10 a.m. with a series of three seminars on all things theatrical, or a tour behind the curtains of the Opera House that dates back to 1876.  At 2:30 p.m. one of a trio of new musicals to debut at Chester's Norma Terris Theatre next season will be unveiled, followed by a 4 p.m. musical presentation as part of the Noel Coward Symposium.

If you purchased the gold package for $89, it will include a 5:30 p.m. three-course dinner at the Gelston House.  At 7:30 p.m., the second new musical "Come From Away" by David Hein and Irene Sankoff, book, music and lyrics will be featured.  Based on a true event on September 11, 2001, a tiny community in Canada opens its welcoming arms to greet the passengers on dozens of planes diverted by the unspeakable tragedy of 9/11.  Once again at 10 p.m., the Gelston House will rock with new musical compositions.

On Sunday, January 20 at 11 a.m., a tour of the Chauncey Stillman Production facility will reveal the behind-the-scenes details of scenery, painting and props.  At 1 p.m. the final musical "Princesses: A New Rock Musical" by Janece Shaffer, Emma Lively and Tyler Beattie, book, music and lyrics by Emma Lively and Tyler Beattie will be revealed.  Imagine what might happen if a quartet of outrageously unconventional young ladies, who just happen to hold the title of princess, escape their confining castle walls and scandalize the fairy tale world.

To complete this exciting three day marathon, at 3:30 p.m. at the Gelston House, all the composers will gather for conversation and complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar for a "Meet the Writers Reception."

Two Festival packages are available:  the Silver package for $69 includes a ticket to each staged musical reading, choice of three seminars, the symposium, new musical preview and meet the writers reception while the $89 Gold package includes all that plus the two festival cabarets and a festival dinner on Saturday night.  Call the Goodspeed box office at 860-873-8668 for reservations.  Single tickets are $15, students $10.  Go online to www.goodspeed.org.

Plan to be there at the birthing process when students from The Hartt School and The Boston Conservatory join the talented teams from Goodspeed Musicals and the Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre to "deliver" a trio of brand new "babies" for your viewing delight.  Musical theatre is clearly alive and well and kicking up its heels thanks to the Goodspeed Opera House.

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