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'Fly By Night' Receives American Music Theatre Project Reading

Northwestern University hosts creative team for two-week workshop

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February 24, 2011 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A “by invitation only” reading of a new indie-rock musical premiering at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in July will take place at Northwestern University Saturday, Feb. 26.

The private reading of “Fly By Night” is the culmination of a two-week workshop hosted by the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) on the University’s Evanston campus. Guest actors Wade McCullom and James Harms will lead the cast alongside students from Northwestern’s music theatre program.

AMTP was introduced in May 2005 by Northwestern’s School of Communication to bring together the nation’s leading artists in music theatre to work in collaboration with Northwestern’s faculty and students through workshops, residencies and developmental productions.

“Fly By Night” has been in development with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, where it will receive its world premiere July 13 through Aug. 13, as part of the California theatre’s 2011-12 season.

The original musical was conceived by playwright Kimberly Rosenstock and written by Will Connolly, Michael Mitnick and Rosenstock. The reading will be directed by Bill Fennelly, with dramaturgy by Northwestern alumna and TheatreWorks Director of New Work Meredith McDonough.

“Fly By Night” follows a nervous young “sandwich maker-slash-musician” looking for love in the time leading up to the 1965 New York City blackout. The reading will feature Wade McCullom as The Narrator; Nate Trinrud as Harold; Andi Alhadeff as Miriam; Carly Robinson as Daphne; James Harms as Mc McClam; and Jesse Greenwald as Crabble. Northwestern staff accompanist David Fiorello is the music director.

“We were blown away when we read ‘Fly By Night,’” said AMTP Executive Director Dominic Missimi, who is Northwestern professor emeritus in service. “We immediately knew that we had to bring this project to our campus and are thrilled to host the creative team here for two weeks of intensive workshop time.”

Most recently, AMTP supported the development of a new musical, “Not Wanted on the Voyage,” by composer Neil Bartram and lyricist Brian Hill, co-creators of the Broadway hit ”The Story of My Life.” In 2008, AMTP presented the first production of the musical “Dangerous Beauty” by Amanda McBroom, Jeannine Dominy and Michele Brourman, directed by Sheryl Kaller. This month (Feb. 22 through March 3), “Dangerous Beauty” received its world premiere at Pasadena Playhouse. AMTP also has collaborated with artists Joe Thalken, Andrew Lippa, Nathan Allen, Tina Landau, Gary Griffin, Michael Greif, Steve Cosson, Jill Sobule and Leslie Arden, among others.

For more information, visit amtp.northwestern.edu/.