It sounds like a typical night on the New York City musical theater scene but for one notable difference: The writers are all women, the performers are all women, the music director is a woman and the producers are both women.
You can forgive people for being wary of yet another sports-based musical. But Volleygirls is clever, well-written, filled with strong songs and great characters, well-acted and -- crucially -- presents the sport of volleyball in theatrically clever terms.
The New York Musical Theatre Festival is almost over (it ends this Sunday) and it's proven itself again: I've seen several shows that are sure to have a future (including, I think, Broadway) and a lot of talented actors.
The New York Musical Theatre Festival is one of the highlights of the summer in New York City, an oasis of scrappy little shows that have come from other parts of the country or are making their world premiere here.
Unlike other shows which deal with gay characters or themes (La Cage aux Folles, Rent, and The Normal Heart), Now. Here. This. doesn't draw its characters as overly political or flamboyant, and most certainly never ventures into camp territory.
Pianist and singer Peter Cincotti has a new album out but he hasn't saved all the best melodies for Metropolis. This collaboration with his sister Pia proves Cincotti also has a gift for theatrical numbers that move the story along, reveal character and have memorable melodies.
Trouble warns you right upfront that there will be nudity and sexual content and by gosh, they deliver. Not since Spring Awakening (a show surely on the minds of everyone involved) has a musical offered so many attractive young actors in various stages of undress.
Every year at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, I attend as many shows as I can, invariably seeing one or two shows that will rank among the best of the year and discovering some new talented performers and behind the scenes artists.
Producing musicals is a tricky business. It takes a lot of money and a lot of patience. There are of course the success stories that make it all worthwhile -- David Stone could never work a day thanks to Wicked -- but there are many more failures.