July 15-28
Ritz Theater

The NEXT Festival is Theater Latté Da’s New Work Festival showcasing new works that stretch the boundaries of musical storytelling. Each show in the Festival receives public performances providing audience members the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the creative process. Following each performance is an in-depth conversation with the playwrights, composers, and lyricists. Be a part of Theater Latté Da’s commitment to the next generation of the Great American Musical.

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By Harrison David Rivers
Music by Jelloslave cellists Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan
Directed by Peter Rothstein

Featuring Mark Benninghofen, John Jamison, JuCoby Johnson, Tyler Michaels, Derek Prestly, and André Shoals

Public Readings:
Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 2:00pm
Monday, July 16, 2018 at 7:30pm

Todd and Arthur are two former ballet dancers who reunite at New York’s Lincoln Center Plaza having not seen each other for more than 25 years. This beautifully-told story takes us through the lives of both men, their choices, their regrets, and their coming to terms with age, illness and sexual identity.

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Book and Lyrics by Angelica Cheri
Music by Ross Baum
Directed by Nicole A. Watson
Music Direction by John Lynn

Featuring Matt Bailey, Ivory Doublette, John Jamison, Eben K. Logan, Thomasina Petrus, T. Mychael Rambo, Tres Searle, Traci Allen Shannon, Kendall Anne Thompson, and Max Wojtanowicz

Recipient of the 2018 Richard Rogers Award for Musical Theatre

Public Readings:
Friday, July 20 at 7:30pm
Monday, July 23 at 7:30pm

Inspired by the true story of Mary and Martha Clarke, fair-skinned African-American twin sisters who passed for white. According to family legend, the ladies were outlaws. The musical follows the girls’ journey into forsaking their true identity and becoming respected white women of the West. It is a story about defying social and racial bounds, the honor of family legacy, the bond of sisterhood and the power of identity.

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Written by Ryan Underbakke and Matt Spring
Directed by Ryan Underbakke
Sound Design by Katharine Horowitz

Featuring Avi Aharoni, James Detmar, Jane Froiland, Brant Miller, Hope Nordquist, Kori Pullam, and Jon-Michael Reese

Public Readings:
Thursday, July 26 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 28 at 7:30pm

Physical theater meets cinematic staging in this mash-up of world myths and the Roaring Twenties, re-imagining Sun Wukong and Brer Rabbit in an action-packed heist gone wrong, the Osiris myth of Egypt as a Film Noir detective tale, and the Greek gods as a crime family rising to power.  

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Written and Performed by Max Wojtanowicz
Devised by Nikki Swoboda and Max Wojtanowicz
Music and additional lyrics by Michael Gruber
Directed by Nikki Swoboda
Music Direction by Bradley Beahen

Featuring Max Wojtanowicz

Los Angeles, 1940. The last remaining performer of the Pansy Craze holds court at a nightclub frequented by Hollywood stars, entertaining straight and gay audiences alike with original songs. A tribute to the oft-forgotten crusaders of the gay underground cabaret movement of the 1930s, Pansy is a story about singing out when the world demands your silence.

Inspired by Tyler Alpern’s research and book Bruz Fletcher: Camped, Tramped & A Riotous Vamp.

Public Readings:
Thursday, July 26 at 9:30 pm
Saturday, July 28 at 9:30 pm