Midwest New Musicals continues Words and Music, a concert reading series of original musicals, with THE LAST STORYTELLER, book and lyrics by Caroline Lee and Christina Biggs, music by Margaret James, on Monday, December 17, at 7:30 pm, at the Light Opera Works Second Stage, 1420 Maple (at Lake) in Evanston. Tickets are $15, available at Light Opera Works box office: (847) 920-5360, or at the door.
THE LAST STORYTELLER is a family musical about filial respect and friendship in present day Damascus. Hamza wants to win the Master of the Zodiac video game championship. When his uncle loses an ancient storyteller sword, Hazma must decide how to use his savings -- will he register for the contest or retrieve the sacred sword?
THE LAST STORYTELLER is directed by Joan Mazzonelli and music directed by Philip Seward. The cast features N'jameh Camara, Joseph Foronda, Rebecca Keeshin, Molly Kral, Brandon Moorhead, Isabel Quintero, Erin Thomas and Jameson Wentworth-App. Stage manager is Suzanne Whitney. Artistic producer is Kyle A. Dougan. Midwest New Musicals is lead by workshop director John Sparks.
Caroline Lee (book and lyrics) is often inspired by her travels around the world and thanks Syria for sharing its stories. Other musicals currently in development are Silent Bells and Hot Jazz, Cold Feet. Caroline's work has been performed in several Chicago Dramatists/ASCAP showcases for new work. She recently completed her first children's novel, Maxene Meets the Mannequins.
Christina Biggs (book and lyrics) has written The Magic Ofrenda (1st runner-up at the 2010 National Children's Theatre Festival), Stand Up! (a R.Ed.I Foundation commission), Jack vs. Giants, The Magic Paintbrush, The Reluctant Dragon, The Adventures of Anansi the Spider (winner of "Best Kid's Libretto" at the 2007 Moondance International Film Festival and semifinalist at the 2007 Summer Play Festival NYC), Aztec Idol, The Perfect Feet, Fu Manchu Tied Up My Mom, Prince Huey and the Gooey Dragon, Brave New Kitchen and Trouble in Rummyville.
Margaret James (music) has composed more than 20 musicals for children, many of which have been produced by M&W Classic Children's Theatre in Milwaukee, Soupstone Productions in Chicago and Theatre at the Center in Indiana. She has been musical director at all the Drury Lane Theatres, Theatre Building, Goodman Theatre, Ivanhoe Theatre and Peninsula Players. Margaret has received many Jeff Award nominations and After Dark Awards.
Midwest New Musicals is a unique forum for the creation of new musicals. Lyricists, book writers and composers create and discuss their work in monthly seminars and public performances. A resident arm of Light Opera Works, Chicago's specialists in operetta and musical theater, Midwest New Musicals expands Light Opera Works' programming and service to the field by providing an outlet for writers and for new works of musical theater. More information at www.midwestnewmusicals.org