Hallelujah! You are just in time to attend Goodspeed Musical’s 17th Annual Festival of New Musicals the weekend of March 17-19 and what a wonderful opportunity for theater lovers everywhere. Goodspeed Musicals will devote Friday, Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the newest stars in the firmament across the country and bring their brilliance to East Haddam for a glorious weekend. The highlight of the trio of days will be staged readings of three all new musicals performed by the talented students of The Hartt School, Boston Conservatory at Berkeley and Montclair State University. The readings are enhanced by a series of seminars, special insider events and cabarets by the invited composers to campus.
The excitement starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday March 17 with “Double Helix,” with book, music and lyrics by Madeline Myers, set in the mid-20th century. The frantic race is on to uncover the mystery of the DNA structure and scientists are eager to win the scientific contest. One, Rosalind Franklin, may even be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to be declared the victor. A cabaret at the Gelston House will follow at 10 p.m.
Take your multi-vitamins and eat your Wheaties for a full day of theatrical firsts on Saturday, March 18 starting with a series of seminars at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. At 3:30 p.m stay tuned, free to the public, for the 2023 Terris Theatre Season Announcement. A symposium at 4:30 p.m. is also free and open to the public. Join Festival goers at 5:30 p.m for a three course dinner ($40) at the Gelston House, just next door. The second staged reading will be “The Great Emu War” at 7:30 p.m., with book by Cal Silberstein and music and lyrics by Paul Hodge. Turn your mind to Australia and those unusual birds called emus that have not always been beloved Down Under, They get into trouble, again, when they start feasting on the wheat of local farmers and before you can say “feathered frienemies three times” the war is on. A second Festival Cabaret will follow at the Gelston House at 9:30 p.m.
At 1 p.m. Sunday the stage will be set for “Little Miss Perfect,” with book, music and lyrics by Joriah Kwame. A commission of Goodspeed Musicals GoodWorks program, it tells the tale of Noelle, a senior in high school and a bi-racial teen who finds herself with a study abroad student as her new roommate. When systemic racism becomes an issue at school, Noelle must decide on a course of retaliation to resolve the matter or settle for being “Little Miss Perfect.” The teams of writers will engage in a lively discussion of their methods and inspirations at 3:30 p.m. at the Goodspeed to conclude this delightfully dramatic weekend.
Single tickets are $25 for each staged reading, and $15 for students. A special $100 Festival Package for the weekend includes all the staged readings, the seminars, symposium and meet the writers. You may add on the Saturday night dinner ($40) and one cabaret ($15) either Friday or Saturday night. Call the box office at 860-873-8668 to make reservations, or online at www.goodspeed.org.
If you truly love theater, you will be over the moon with delight at all the opportunities packed into this weekend of firsts ready for you to experience.