Monday, August 2, 2010

The Official Announcement


ROOFLESS is one of 30 musicals selected from nearly 500 entries to this year’s festival.  The New York Musical Theatre Festival, now in its seventh year, has premiered more than 200 new musicals since 2004, including last year’s Broadway hit “Next to Normal” (3 time Tony winner, including “Best New Musical” - also awarded the Pulitzer Prize,  2010.) The largest musical theater event in America, NYMF has been hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," and is widely regarded as the key source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Jury members: Donna Lynne Champlin (OBIE winning performer), Ken Davenport (Producer- Broadway & Off-Broadway). Kimberly Grigsby (Music Director, multiple Tony winning Broadway shows), Beverly Mackeen (Exec Dir. New World Stages), Thomas Meehan (Tony winning Bookwriter for Annie, The Producers, Hairspray, etc.) Jack Viertel (Producer, Artistic & Creative Director, dramaturg, shepherded many hit shows to Broadway) Scott Wittman (Director, Lyricist for Hairspray, etc.)

“There’s a freshness in the writing, an interesting urban poetry. Characters are smart – even when they feel like they’re about to turn into the usual stereotypes (abusive gangsta, soulful underprivileged urban artist), something surprising or playful is revealed.”

“The music ranges from R&B to Hip-Hop, Beat Box to Musical Theater - it's brilliant and just when you think there are no more surprises, the music flips to another genre. People may find it disjointed - but I loved every second of it.”

“This is real hip hop, with a strong grasp of the wide range of rapping styles within the genre. Instead of the crappy singsong beat that frequently tries to pass for rap in musicals, these writers understand hip hop flow, playing with inverting rhythms and mixing up the beat so that 4/4 monotony never sets in.  They also throw in proper melodies, frequently employing tight a cappella harmonies to underscore the “real songs,” which range from R&B to gospel to theatre pop.”

“Reminds me a lot of what Lil Wayne does which is intelligent, thought-provoking and fitting hip-hop lyrics. It's genius.”

“'Roofless' is a very well done piece and deserves a chance. The songs are well placed and each one has a purpose and a reason for being there. The narrative structure is interesting and the story is enough to engage you the whole time… Overall, a very strong piece that I'd highly recommend. It's something I haven't seen before - a hip-hop musical? Could work, right? As for the songs, Lil Wayne should watch his back, he's not the only rap artist packing heat.”

“Score is wonderful— it’s got a really great overall tone and the tunes suit the moments and the characters….and forwards the plot. Really smart, brave tunes.”

“I think some of these grooves are really fantastic. And the characters and dialogue are very engaging and keep me interested. I love the unapologetic nature of the language, the story and these people. It’s unique.”

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