Monday, December 14, 2015



If you ski, skate, sled or snowboard, then you watch for the skies to bring ice crystals of fun.  For most of us, however, winter spells inconvenience,  cold,  slippery sidewalks and perilous road conditions.  One way to guarantee that the heart of the season, in January, spells warmth and enjoyment is to book tickets for Goodspeed's Festival of New Musicals, number 11, in a long lineup of entertainment joys.

Mark your calendars now for the weekend of January 15-17 when three brand new musicals will light up the East Haddam skies.  Be at the cutting edge of the excitement as Goodspeed unveils these latest offerings in staged reading presentations. Students form the Hartt School of Music in Hartford and the Boston Conservatory of Music will do the honors at the trio of new musicals and the pair of Cabarets.

Ryan Scott Oliver offers up "We Foxes" on Friday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. with a Southern Gothic tale of a tough and feisty orphan girl Willa who is taken in by the sheriff's wife and what happens when she discovers secrets literally hidden beneath the floorboards.  Following this new story of redemption, a Cabaret will be held at the Gelston House next door at 10 p.m. featuring new musical selections never shared before by new and established artists.

Hold on to your argyle socks for Saturday, the 16th, is a fully stuffed day of theatrical surprises, starting at 10 a.m. with workshops featuring the likes of playwright Alfred Uhry who has garnered two Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award; The Razzle Dazzle World of Broadway commentator Michael Riedel; the writing team of Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary dishing on how you can write musical theater (like their "First Date") and make a living; Press Agent to the stars Rick Miramontez explaining his role in a new musical's life; Goodspeed's own orchestrator Dan DeLange telling the secret to making a minimum of instruments sound mighty; and, John Pike sharing his knowledge of dance history as a noted theater historian.

In the afternoon, a preview of a new musical coming soon will be revealed, followed by a free 4 p.m. challenge of what its like pitching ideas for a new musical to secure funding, with Colin McEnroe as moderator.  At 7:30 p.m, "Milo at the Movies," with book by Tom Diggs and music and lyrics by Mark Gaylord will be presented as two brothers, Milo and Dexter, cope with the discouraging fact that silent movies may have crushed their vaudeville career.  Will an unexpected and lucrative gig save their bacon or will they ultimately be fried for breakfast?  A second Cabaret of new musical material will follow at 10 p.m. at the Gelston House.

On Sunday at 1 p.m., an updated version of Jane Austen's classic novel "Persuasion" will hit the moors in "Only Anne," with book and lyrics by John Dietrich and music by Will Buck.  Set in the Jazz Age of 1920's Britain, Anne once again meets the man she was forced to abandon.  Once penniless, Admiral Frederick Wentworth is now ready for reconciliation, or is he?  The exciting weekend culminates at 3:30 p.m. at the Gelston House with a Meet the Writers Reception, when the three teams of composers reveal their insights about the creative process.

The Gold Packages are $119 and are virtually sold out and included all the activities, plus a Saturday night dinner at either the Gelston House or La Vita.  Silver packages for $80 include the three musicals, the symposium and new musical preview and are still available.  Single tickets are a great option at $25 each show or $15 for students.  RisCassi and Davis PC are the lead sponsors.  Call 860-873-8668 or online at for more information.

Reserve your rights to brag at the water cooler come Monday morning after skating through the wonderful theatrical offerings on the weekend of January 15-17 at Goodspeed Musicals. See you in the front row.

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