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New Artists' Festival Flourishes

When composer Irving Berlin wrote, "There's no business like show business," he nailed it for musical theater devotees. And for many of us, in spite of new media, seeing a live, stage performance remains spellbinding. On Jan. 14-16, Goodspeed Opera House offers a look at how theatrical magic is conjured when works by yet-to-be-discovered artists are previewed and experienced theater professionals, including John Bolton (star of "Curtains"), Henry Krieger (composer of "Dream Girls") and others, offer insight into the creative process involved in mounting a show.

Featured during the Goodspeed Festival of New Artists weekend are three new works. On Friday night, there is a staged reading of "Room 16", a fast-paced, dark musical comedy that skewers the Watergate era and American political history. Saturday offers the debut of "Hello Baby," a "new-fashioned musical" incorporating songs by the greats, Kern, Berlin and Gershwin and on Sunday, "Nobody Loves You," a romantic musical comedy, questions whether meaningful relationships are viable in a culture dominated by the drive for popularity.Interspersed throughout the weekend are theater-centric panel discussions, seminars and even a pre-show dinner and conversation with a guest speaker. A "Meet the Writers" reception takes place on Sunday, to introduce these up-and-coming talents and Friday and Saturday night cabarets offer up a chance to hear new songs by new artists.

According to Michael P. Price, Executive Director of Goodspeed Musicals, the Festival weekend "highlights our commitment to developing new musicals.” If you're on the same musical theater page as Irving Berlin who wrote that "Everything about it is appealing," you'll want to commit to this slate of exciting Festival events. Individual show tickets are $10 and $15 and a weekend package is $79. For more information, visit the Goodspeed website .

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