26
Oct
10

New Musicals Australia – The Shortlist

NMA

New Musicals Australia is a fab new initiative from the very clever Kris Stewart, whom you know from The New York Musical Theater Festival, The Sydney Fringe Festival and Wicked (Australia) and his amazing team of some of our most talented and passionate industry people, who cannot bear to see musical theatre brilliance left in the bottom drawer.

There is brilliant new musical theatre happening already, all over the country – look at the shortlisted Handle With Care by Megan Shorey, with a successful Brisbane season under their belts and an original cast album launched just last week. Look at the shortlisted A Little Touch of Class by James Millar and Peter Rutherford, which was commissioned by WAAPA to be performed as part of their 30th birthday celebrations. Look at this creative team’s previous works, Lovebites (nominated for Best Cabaret in the 2008 Sydney Awards) and The Hatpin (official selection for the NYMF).

Okay we will. We’ll look at them. In a minute. The important thing now, having been shortlisted for this workshop series, is that these pieces will get the additional attention they deserve, and with a bit of kind support from the movers and shakers in this country, rather than the artists themselves having to devote their time and energy into playing Producer as well as putting on their many other hats, such as Director, Musical Director, Composer, Lyricist, Performer, Performing Arts Grants Writer…and the list goes on – never say an artist is master of just one craft – Australian audiences get to see great Australian work.

Also, the fact that these artists are already supported on some level and they have been confident enough in their work to be sharing it with main stream audiences, cannot have escaped the attention of the advisory panel. Just saying.

Case in point. James Millar is a modest, multi-talented-beyond-belief-writer-singer-actor-you-name-it-he-can-do-it kinda guy, who wrote a couple of shows several years ago with Peter Rutherford. I bet there are more, probably to be found in somebody’s bottom drawer, in time for an intense rehearsal stint and a Sydney run before next year’s NMA deadline.

LOVEBITES

N.B. Lazy bit – copying and pasting this from Sonia Allan’s review: australianstage.com.au

Four voices team with one piano to create a delightful night of fun, breezy musical entertainment.

LoveBites is a “quirky song cycle about love and relationships” which tells the story of six different relationships – from the cute, blushing beginning of flirtation and romance, to the pointy-end of the relationship, where the connection between lovers has either grown deeper over time, or has been worn thin by frustration and hurt.

The music-and-lyrics team that created ‘The Hatpin’ which opened to audiences earlier this year to great success, has once again joined forced to write a song-cycle on the theme of Love. Or Lurrrve, as the case may be.

Among other stories, there is the film star and flight attendant who arrange some ‘personal entertainment’ mid-flight, a twittering dame who valiantly pretends to love rockclimbing to impress her new beau, and (a personal favourite) the story of two members of a bookclub, startled to be left alone to chat over the merits of George Orwell when nobody else shows.

The production is small-scale, with a simple open stage, a slide-show of projected images, and a piano to one side where composer Peter Rutherford accompanies the four singers, Octavia Barron-Martin, Tyler Burness, Sarah Croser and James Millar, who co-wrote the show with Rutherford, supplying the lyrics. While occasional vocal shrillness from Barron-Martin marred an otherwise entertaining performance, overall each of the performers displayed great comic timing, heartfelt engagement with the more tender, sorrowful stories, and a strong command of the music.

This is a sweet, fun, modest show that sets itself a simple concept and executes it sharply, cleverly and with high entertainment value.

But be warned – after seeing this show, you may find yourself fighting the urge to carry out every conversation you have the next day in song.

THE HATPIN

The Hatpin. You may have heard of it. Or you may not have heard of it…yet. The Hatpin was nominated in 2009 for 3 Sydney Theatre awards (Michelle Doake won Best Actress in a Musical), after a successful season at the 2008 NYMF with the following cast (you may have heard of some of them)

Amber Murray – Alexis Fishman

Harriet Piper – Caroline O’Connor

Charles Makin – Paul Kandel

Agatha Makin – Cyrilla Baer

Clara Makin – Gemma-Ashley Kaplan

Justice Stephens / James Hanoney – Michael A. Pizzi

Marianne Leonard – Casey Erin Clark

Minnie Davis – Mary Catherine McDonald

Rebecca Rigby – Sharone Halevy

Edward Cleary – Matt Leisy

Thomas Williamson – Billy Clark Taylor

 

 

 

To enquire about performance rights for The Hatpin in Australia and New Zealand, contact the good people at Hal Leonard.

 

And now, another quick copy and paste so that, without further ado, you may see who else is on the Shortlist and what happens next! Stay tuned!

NMA cont’d…
Our inaugural call for submissions unveiled a wealth of new and exciting work. The NMA office received almost 50 new Australian musicals ranging from rock to classical – from fantasy to history. The NMA evaluation panel has reviewed the submissions and we are proud to announce our shortlist for the 2010/11 workshop season.

WORKSHOP SHORTLIST


Carnival Joe(by Mark Jones & Anthony Crowley)
A broad, exuberant Australian musical comedy, set during the spring racing carnival of 1933.

Handle With Care (by Megan Shorey)
A collection of four short musicals celebrating both the beauty and bitch of being a woman.

Houdini- The Man From Beyond (by Russell Bauer & Dr Bruce Dawe)
Through vaudeville performance and recreations of some of his signature illusions, we’re shown the final 15 years in the life of Harry Houdini.

Kells (by Stefan Cassomenos & Nick Musgrove)
A symphonic musical inspired by the true story of the killer whales of Eden.

La Creole (by Julia Plummer, Nicholas Gentile & Cheryl Sawyer)
A revenge tale set in 1755 where a slave from Martinique runs away to Paris and Versailles determined to destroy her cruel Master.

A Little Touch of Chaos (by Peter Rutherford & James Millar)
Through different characters and intersecting timelines, the experience of growing-up for a parent echoes the experience of growing-up for their child.

Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life (by Amity Dry)
A tale of modern marriage and motherhood, seen through the experiences of four close friends.

Prix D’Amour (by Paul Dion)
A sweeping historical drama, spanning from Manila during the Vietnam War to Perth in the 1980s.

Refrakting (by David Peake)
It’s Saturday night in Melbourne, and the city’s youth are converging to get trashed. To forget. But there’s something that Jaydn can’t forget.

Showtrain(by Andrew Worboys & Zvonko Jovicic)
A tall yarn spun by a mysterious vagabond minstrel as a travelling sideshow try desperately to save their way of life on the showtrain.

Three Weeks in Spring (by Russell Tredinnick & Ian Gerrard)
Private John Simpson and his donkey sit at the centre of a contemporary imagining of the origins of Anzac Day.

A Woman’s Eyes (by Paul Keelan & Gary Young)
The story of an ordinary Australian woman’s life set against extraordinary events of the twentieth century.

All shortlisted works now receive further consideration by NMA artistic staff, representatives of the Australia Council Music Board and other industry professionals.  From this shortlist, works are selected to receive workshopping opportunities within the New Musicals Australia initiative.

Advisory panel members who read submitted works included Peter Casey, Will Conyers, Kellie Dickerson, Rodney Dobson, Neil Gooding, Roger Hodgman, Karen Johnson Mortimer, Guy Noble, Jennifer Murphy, Peter Ross and Darren Yap.


New Musicals Australia has three key workshop initiatives: The Musical Snapshot, which presents a twenty to forty minute extract of the musical in concert alongside other new works, The Developmental Reading, which sees a new work rehearsed and performed in concert and the Workshop Presentation, which allows a musical to be rehearsed and performed book-down with staging and some production elements.  New Musicals Australia also supports a variety of other initiatives targeted at developing new works, establishing networks and providing support for independent writers.

 

About these ads

5 Responses to “New Musicals Australia – The Shortlist”


  1. 1 L Peters
    November 17, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Hmm… yes a great initiative but certainly not original. have you heard of magnormous down in Melbourne – and the work they have been doing for nearly 10 years? They’ve been supporting australian musicals on a biscuit crumb back when chris stewart was swanning around the usa. I certainly think it’s great he’s managed to get the money – but really, it’s a bit sad that the govt didn’t recognise an initiative that was ALREADY doing it. So what do we have, another kookaburra on our hands? Just think it’s unfair to be saying this is ‘new’ and to be uninformed that it’s actually a rip off of someone else’s idea. Chris actually worked for that company, and they were the first aussies to send a work to the festival in new york – joe starts again back in 2004, which i saw and it was fab.

  2. November 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Hi, thanks for mentioning Magnormous, of whom you are obviously proud and with whom I was familiar as primarily, producers of lesser known works and also, of one of my favourite original pieces, Life’s a Circus, which co-incidentally, Kris Stewart supported from inception.

    As you seem to assume, perhaps I’m misinformed. Or perhaps there are no new, truly original ideas. There are, however, those who end up garnering support and broader public appeal for their VISION (as I understand, an idea with which one can inspire others to action) because of the contacts they’ve made and the way they’ve gone about promoting the work they do, particularly with regard to their online presence and the professional look and functionality of their websites etc. Also, I’ve never had the full Kookaburra story told to me so I can’t comment on what it is you’re implying (nor do I even hazard a guess anymore at why one project gets govt funding over another)!

    Do you not think it possible for both these entities to continue to support and promote new Australian work? Can we ever have too many supporters of new Australian work? I don’t think so! Instead, I like to think that we have enough talent to HAVE to have more than one of these types of development programs. It’s not about rivalry or one-upmanship (or who had the idea first), it’s about getting these shows up and running, within a sustainable, scaffolded structure, in front of audiences and producers who are craving more and more new work. Let’s allow all those who are able to support and promote it to do just that, without having a go at them. Just saying.

  3. 4 L Peters
    November 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Yeah i hear what you’re saying.

    I think the concern is that we may lose Magnormos after all the hard work as its my understanding that arron, the guy who runs it does it all on his own money without support. who should be expected to do that? They’ve had a great history, and were doing this at the time when no one was supporting aussie theatre. NO ONE. now that they’ve made all the doors open, created opportunities and single-handedly proven that there is great aussie theate, someone comes along and gets a heap of funding and pretends its their idea! There is a lot of anger about it in the industry, because people have been very supportive of arron and know he does it for the right reasons, and that he has sacrificed so much to make it happen without the support of the government. I think they should have supported him first before launching something else. it’s a bit of a kick in the face to someone who has paved the way.

    you should look further into magnormos. not just producers, they’ve developed heaps of aussie works. they’ve done a showcase concert every year to develop new musicals, they’ve produced readings, workshops and concerts. all without funding, though my understanding is they try every year. it just doesn’t all add up that’s what i’m saying.

  4. 5 Kate
    February 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Guys,
    Check out the shorts from the OzMade 2010 Melbourne showcase for La Creole. You won’t be disappointed! La Creole is one of the works selected for the New Musicals Australia snapshots evening.

    Composers: Julia Plummer & Nicholas Gentile
    Book/script: Cheryl Sawyer

    If you like what you hear please feel free to join the facebook group for further details on upcoming events:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=262197117299


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,223 other followers

%d bloggers like this: