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BMI Workshop to Showcase New Musicals at Manhattan Theatre Club June 5

Posted in News on May 31, 2006
The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop will present a showcase of new musical works on Monday, June 5 at the Manhattan Theatre Club (131 W. 55th Street). The show will start at 6 p.m. and run until approximately 7:45 p.m. Limited tickets are available free of cost to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to request tickets. Members of the entertainment industry can reserve seats by calling 212-830-8360. This showcase is made possible by a grant from the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation, the second awarded to the BMI Workshop.

The event will be directed by the Manhattan Theatre Club's Michael Bush; producers are Workshop Artistic Coordinator Patrick Cook and Workshop Special Events Coordinator Frank Evans. BMI will host a reception immediately following the performance.

Deemed "the Harvard of musical theatre" by The New York Times, the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop was founded in 1961 by BMI and the late Lehman Engel, dean of American musical theatre, to create a setting where new writers could learn their craft. It is the birthplace of such classic musicals as A Chorus Line, Nine, Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, and current Broadway favorite Avenue Q. The Workshop was recently honored with a special 2006 Drama Desk Award for "nurturing, developing and promoting new talent for the musical theater," and also received the 2005 Drama League Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre.

The showcase will feature new works and writers including Calvin Berger, a hip update of Cyrano by Barry Wyner, winner of the BMI Foundation's 2005 Jerry Bock Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre. The story is about 12th grader Calvin Berger, who grapples with his insecurity about the size of his nose. Lacking the courage to ask out the girl of his dreams, he instead communicates his feelings to her through the handsome new kid in school, which only makes him want her more. The new musical will have a full production at Gloucester (Maine) Stage this summer.

The Third Miracle by Jeff Hughes and Scott Ethier, is based on the film of the same name and examines the spiritual awakening of a priest who is beginning to doubt his faith when he is sent to investigate a "miracle" in the borough of Queens. The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, by Andy Monroe and Blair Fell, is a paean to Jeanine Deckers, the Belgian nun known as Soeur Sourire, who became a chart-topping one-hit wonder with the song "Dominique" in 1963, and how her singing career - and her life - devolved into a nightmare of addiction, depression, betrayal by the church, and a tragic end in 1985.

Rhonda, Queen of the Amazon, by Peter Morris and Mat Eisenstein, is a musical comedy about a New York City "princess" who finds herself selling cosmetics door-to-door in the jungles of South America. Wanda's World, by Beth Falcone, the BMI Foundation's 2006 Harrington Award winner, and Eric Weinberger (Class Mothers) is a "tween" musical set in a contemporary high school setting. 2005 Harrington Award winners Jill Abramovitz and Aron Accurso are writers of The Dogs of Pripyat, based on the play by Leah Napolin. The musical is set in a town less than two miles from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Tony-nominated actor/composer/lyricist Jeff Blumenkrantz (Urban Cowboy) will perform "Toll" from his recently published "Jeff Blumenkrantz Song Book."

The showcase will also feature two songs from Iznogoud - The Musical, based on the French comic books by Goscinny and Tabary, written by Marc Schubring and Phoebe Kreutz. Carried Away, based on the play The Curious Savage, is a new musical comedy with book, music and lyrics by Jim Coleran. The Fisher King, by Steve Routman and Joy Son, is based on the film of the same name.

Dysfunctional Fables has lyrics by Sean Hartley (2004 Drama Desk nominee for Cupid and Psyche) and Sam Davis. Queen Esther is from 2006 Drama Desk nominees Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, the writing team of I Love You Because.... How to Murder Your Wife is an adaptation of the film by Alisa Klein and Stephen Sislan, composer of Slut! The Musical, which played earlier this season Off-Broadway. Children's Hospital is by Larson Award-winning lyricist Alison Loeb and composer Bob McDowell.