Casey Nicholaw, the Tony Award-winning director (and choreographer) of the Broadway smash "Book of Mormon" is bowing out of a speaking gig at Goodspeed Musicals' seventh annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists.
Nicholaw was the high profile speaker in a series of theater talks on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Gelston House in East Haddam.
A spokesman for Nicholaw says the cancellation is due to scheduling conflicts. A replacement is being sought by Goodspeed.
Also scratched from the Saturday talks is "Broadway MVPs" featuring theater critic and writer Peter Filicia talking about his book, "Broadway Musical MVPs.
Other Saturday talks/panels still scheduled are:
"The Disney Effect" lecture will feature David Scott of Disney Thetaricals.
"Noel Coward: The Man and His Music" with actress Nancy Anderson, who will also perform highlights from the compooser's songbook.
The creators of "Harmony, Kansas" will talk about the ups and downs of creating a new musical.
There will also be a "close-up interview" with Tony Award-winning set and costume designer (and director) Tony Walton.
There will be a Noel Coward Symposium at 4 p.m.
The overall festival will begin Friday, Jan. 13 at the Goodspeed Opera House with a staged reading of "Harmony, Kansas," with music by Anna K. Jacobs and book and lyrics by Bill Nelson.
The musical centers on a farmer in rural Kansas and his city-born partner who join a new gay men's chorus and the challenges of both the men and chorus in going public.
On Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7:30, "Not Wanted on the Voyage," will be presented, with music and lyrics by Neil Bartam and book by Brian Hill ("The Story of My Life"), based on a novel by Timothy Findley.
The story centers on a housewife, her husband, their three sons and a talking cat learn that they alone will survive the coming Great Flood.
On Sunday, Jan. 15 at 1 p.m., "The Dogs of Pripyat" will be presented with music by Aron Accurso, lyrics by Jill Abramovitz and book by Leah Napolin and Abramovitz, based on a play by Napolin.
Set in Chernobyl, 1986 where humans are evacuated but their pets are left behind to fend for themselves. This is a story of those animals.
There will also fe a festival cabaret showcasing new songs and artists on Friday, Jan. 13 and Saturday, Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. at the Gelston House.
There will also be a preview on Jan. 14 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. of a new musical slated for later in the year at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in Chester .
A festival dinner will be held at Saturday, Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gelston House.
On Sunday, Jan., 15 there will be a Meet the Writers Reception at 3:30 p.m. at the Gelston House.
Tickets are $15 for each musical show; $10 for students.
The festival package for $79 includes admission to all three musical presentations as well as the symposium and panel discussions, the cabaret shows, the Norma Terris Theatre preview, the pre-show dinner, the Meet the Writers reception and tours of Goodspeed's costume collection.
Tours of the Goodspeed Opera House will be available for festival package and single ticket holders.
Information: 860-873-8668 and http://www.goodspeed.org.
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