Beatsville, a bebop-inflected musical about the beatnik generation, will be presented by NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Vocal Performance in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, March 26-29. The show features music & lyrics by Wendy Leigh Wilf and book by Glenn Slater. John Simpkins directs.
Beatsville takes place in Greenwich Village, 1959—playground of goateed artists, turtlenecked poets, and bongo-playing jazzbos. When hopelessly square Walter Paisley accidentally kills a cat and hides it in a lump of clay, the beatniks declare “Dead Cat” a masterpiece, and Walter a genius. More “sculptures” bring more acclaim—but will the world discover that Walter’s body of work consists of actual bodies?
Beatsville is part of an annual project that pairs a new and developing musical with NYU Steinhardt. “We are particularly excited about working with Wendy and Glenn,” said Director John Simpkins. “This piece has one of the most unique sounds of the new musical theatre landscape and we are thrilled to help give it a first ever staging.”
Glenn Slater is one of the co-creators of Tangled, Sister Act, The Little Mermaid, Home on the Range, Leap of Faith, and Love Never Dies. Wendy Leigh Wilf is a composer, lyricist, and jazz musician whose music has been performed in New York, The Berkshires, and at the William Inge Festival – where she was also Artist-in-Residence.
NYU’s production of Beatsville runs March 26-28 at 8 p.m. and March 28 & 29 at 3 p.m. at the Provincetown Playhouse at 133 MacDougal Street, between Washington Square South and W. 3rd Street.. Tickets are $15 general admission and $5 for students/senior citizens/ NYU faculty/staff/alumni. For tickets, contact NYU Box Office at tickets.nyu.edu, (212) 998-4941, or in person at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South).
Beatsville features choreography by Richard Stafford, music direction by Eric Kang, scenic design by Josh Smith, lighting design by Chris Dallos, costume design by Michelle Eden Humphrey, and sound design by Kumi Ishizawa. The production stage manager is Ashley Rodbro. The cast features NYU Steinhardt students Kelsey Andridge, Catherine Ang, Aaron Banes, Hayley Biegel, Joe Conceison, Emma Davis, Josh Greenblatt, Naree Ketudat, Lauren Krauss, Brandon Nase, Javi Romero, Nikhil Saboo, and Jake Satterfield.
Beatsville is the 15th annual new musical that has been workshopped at NYU Steinhardt. Past projects have included writers Joe Iconis, Rachel Sheinkin, Joshua Salzman, Ryan Cunningham, David Kirshenbaum, Gaby Alter, Tommy Newman, Daniel Goldfarb, Kate Thomas, and Joey Contreras. Shows have gone on to further development and productions at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Barrington Stage Company, Theatre Under the Stars, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Sharon Playhouse, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF).