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What's New on the Rialto BROADWAY USA

By Tim Jerome

For 17 years, National Music Theater Network, Inc. has been evaluating new musicals and presenting some or all of the finest ones, in staged reading format, to New York audiences. For the past four years, well-known Guest Artistic Directors have volunteered to help us identify the three best musicals that have been submitted. This season, the celebrated director/lyricist of ANNIE, Martin Charnin, has served in that capacity. The BroadwayUSA season opens February 26th at St. Luke's Church in Manhattan. Mr. Charnin has penned some remarks about the series which follow.

- Tim Jerome, President, NMTN

Martin Charnin
With the possible exception of the recent, still seemingly unresolved results in the seesaw reportage of our National elections, nothing in my recollection (after some 40 years in the theatre) gets as much concentrated and disparate column space as whether Broadway -- and musicals in particular -- are alive or dead. Well folks, "the answer is a resounding "ALIVE!" Add "kicking!"

As is usual, the nay-sayers and disciples of doom only take satisfaction in celebrating bad news, which in its own way is balm to their own inadequacies and frustrations. What the Network and other organizations are doing, reflected in the simple fact that material is being heard, read, sung, staged, produced, enjoyed and celebrated, is proof positive that a healthy, vibrant and ultimately "oh, God! I'm going to say the "C" word "commercial" theatre is still around. And while it may take a bit longer to get things produced than it did in the past, produced they will be and ultimately join the canon of wonderful, creative entertainments that fill up our hearts and souls; and do as ANNIE certainly has done for me "something little girls should do," take care of their fathers in their dotage.

I look forward to the BroadwayUSA presentations. I hope that we all respond with excitement and enthusiasm to the new and creative works; but most importantly, view them as works in progress, that still may have short distances to travel to reach total fruition.>

Musicals aren't written, they're re-written, and your involvement as an audience completes the circle of collaboration that begins when an author types "ACT ONE: Scene one"; when a lyricist scribbles "There's a bright golden haze on the"; or a composer plays an E minor chord.

- Martin Charnin
BroadwayUSA Guest Artistic Director (2001)


  • THE ROSE AND THE RING February 26 & March 5

  • CUPID AND PSYCHE March 19 & 26

  • SHINE! April 23 & 30

Staged Readings at St. Luke's Church (46th St. between 8th & 9th Ave). Performances are on Monday evenings and begin at 7:00 PM. Season Subscription Price: All Three Musicals for only $40. Single tickets at the door: $15. each.

Call (212) 664-0979 for subscription information and reservations or email us at (

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