The 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival launches with the production of Somewhere With You, a musical by director Peter Zinn and songwriter JT Harding. Zinn and Harding have created the first modern country songbook to ever hit New York theater. The musical features songs made famous by country stars Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen and more.
Somewhere With You is a compellingly gritty, coming-of-age love story centering around a new generation of Southerners growing up in the early 2000s, confronted by the methamphetamine epidemic, the War in Iraq, and other post 9/11 challenges in the rural South. A country soundtrack of hits and new songs accompanies this engaging storyline from songwriter JT Harding (including Chesney’s number one song “Somewhere with You” and Uncle Kracker’s “Smile”).
While Somewhere With You centers around a love story between an aspiring country music singer and a recovering Meth addict, it is also one of the first to chronicle the experience of US soldiers based in Iraq in the early 2000s. The production captures the unique challenges, isolation, and emotional despair military members experienced during those initial tours in Iraq and continue to experience today in Afghanistan.
This highly anticipated engagement includes seven performances at The Pershing Square Signature Center in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre, on July 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Tickets will go on sale June 16. For showtimes and tickets go to NYMF.org.
The cast features Graham Scott Fleming (TJ), Katy Frame (23), Andrew Rothenberg (Bakerman), Anna Grace Barlow (Private Casey), Lauren Hoffmeier (Nancy), Jonathan Judge-Russo (Drew), Joshua Wiles (Lt. Jake), Ashley Arnett (Private Sheila),
Rounding out the cast is Emmy-nominated actor Jay Thomas (Stanley), who is best known for his work on iconic sitcoms Cheers and Murphy Brown. On stage in New York he started his career at Playwright's Horizons in Albert Innaurato's The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie, and appeared in Wendy Wasserstein's Isn't It Romantic and American Daughter. On a daily basis The Jay Thomas Talk Show can be heard every afternoon on Sirius XM.
Somewhere With You was developed in New York through a series of readings and workshop performances at The Players and The Arclight Theater. A full workshop production opened in February 2013 at The Deane Center for Performing Arts in Wellsboro, PA. where it ran to packed crowds and standing ovations. Military personnel were offered free or discounted tickets as well.
Zinn is a New York City based playwright director. He wrote and directed the play Rumspringa, which premiered Off-Broadway at The Bleecker Street Theater in 2009. Select directing credits include: Off-Broadway: The Runner Stumbles, Off-Off Broadway: The Baltimore Waltz, Holy Days, Benefactors, A Day In The Life of Joe Egg, So Long Lives This, Reike On The Plains and What Happens Next. He has developed several workshop productions and staged readings. Most recently Chip Off The Moon (starring Ann Meara) and The Waleship Essex (starring Tom Hanks), which will be premiering at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse under his direction this summer.
JT Harding is a singer/songwriter from Detroit Michigan. His songs include “Smile,” co-written with Uncle Kracker, which sold three million copies; “Somewhere With You,” which was a three week number one for country superstar Kenny Chesney; and most recently “Alone With You,” which also hit number one on the country chart for newcomer Jake Owen. Harding goes by the name JTX in the pop world. His song “Love In America” was the most requested song of 2012 on Sirius XM Hits One, the leading music channel on satellite radio.
NYMF is the flagship program of The National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Now celebrating its 11th year, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects, nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community, and connecting one of America's greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience.