Last month’s monthly Broadway au Carré event welcomed Off-Broadway composer Joel B. New who flew in from New York for the occasion. The show featured an extensive programme of his work, including the world premiere of a new song called ‘The Ballad of the Cluck Cluck Sisters’, and excerpts from his musicals Standalone, Mackenzie & The Missing Boy and Cabot Cove.
Interesting as well was his musicalisation of two poems, one by Edna St. Vincent Millay and the other by Edgar Allen Poe. Those were rendered by the regular Broadway au Carré company, including Mathieu Becquerelle, Jessica Gabrielle, Vincent Gilliéron, Lily Kerhoas, Marion Préïté and the founder and MC of the event, Lisandro Nesis, plus the composer himself.
Last week, Broadway au Carré also invited American musical theatre writer and composer Adam Overett who presented a programme of his work, accompanied by the great John Florencio at the piano. Talented guests included Alyssa Landry (seen in She Loves Me in Paris and Sweeney Todd on tour) and the irrepressible Lauren van Kempen, together with Sylvain Mathis, Sonia Kiang, Bastien Jacquemart and West End Frenchies regular MC Sarah Tullamore.
On another occasion, there was a showcase of Overett’s musical The Double-Threat Trio. In today’s performing world, where musical artists are under pressure to be a triple threat, the piece tells the story of Jamison, an actor who sings but can’t dance, played by Lisandro Nesis.
Other characters are Kenny, a dancer who acts well but can’t sing, played by Sylvain Mathis, currently starring in the two-character musical Bons Baisers de Broadway; and Nina, a singer who can move but not act, played by the irrepressible Lauren Van Kempen.
All three meet an eccentric and rich producer/writer/director/choreographer, portrayed in a showstopping performance by Alyssa Landry, who is trying to put on a production which will show off their assets while hiding their flaws! Highlights of this world premiere showcase were the terrific opening number ‘Actor/Singer/Dancer’, and Mathis’ solo ‘Just Dance’, reminiscent of ‘The Music and the Mirror’ from A Chorus Line.
Last but not least, All Overett: The Songs of Adam Overett will also be performed in London on 13 July at the home of the West End Frenchies, London’s Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec, with musical director Samuel Sené at the piano and a cast including Blake Anderson, Adam Benghiat, David Oliver and Perle Solvès. Plus there is a special guest appearance from Julie Atherton (Sister Act, Avenue Q).
So, there will have been three opportunities to discover the work of this unusual composer who has already written a musical comedy about the Pope, another piece about a man living in a musical, and a rock show about a messy Royal love affair.