Chicago – CPA Theatricals, the Chicago non-profit organization dedicated to developing new musicals and creating opportunities for young people to experience musical theatre, has reached an agreement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide for licensing of its new musical 57TH NATIONAL MATHLETE SUM-IT (THE ALMOST ALL-GIRL MATH MUSICAL).
CPA Theatricals lead producer Larry Little made the announcement today. The musical, developed by CPA Theatricals and written by Chicagoans Laura Stratford (book, based on a story by Little) and Alex Higgin-Houser (lyrics) and former Chicagoan David Kornfeld (music – with additional music by Dylan MarcAurele), was a surprise hit at the 2017 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). It was one of ten musicals invited to present a full production at the prestigious festival. The sold out and extended run earned 11 rave reviews, and attracted an audience that included Broadway Producers, Broadway Musical Supervisors and representatives of several publishing companies.
The musical, originally titled NUMBERS NERDS (the title it was performed under at NYMF), follows an almost all-girl high school math team from Waukesha, Wisconsin (a real suburb of Milwaukee). The team has won the regional math competition and is off to compete in the National Math SUM-IT. These smart and funny whiz kids must unite to solve difficult math problems without getting distracted by teen drama and pressures. Always witty, sometimes uproarious, this is the story of girls becoming women – conquering anxiety and rivalry, finding a way to affirm themselves as individuals and as team-members, learning to win at math… and at life!
Little says, “Our goal for the show was to create a musical that could be performed by high school, college and community theaters for years to come. Recognizing that the talent pools for these productions typically favor women and girls, we sought to develop a piece that would offer strong roles for females. And strong role models as well – our musical seeks to shatter the myth that math is daunting for girls. Our characters are stellar “mathletes” who are more than ready to compete with the boys.”
The NYMF production was directed by Chicago director-choreographer Amber Mak, director of THE LITTLE MERMAID and HAIRSPRAY at Paramount Theatre, where she also serves as New Works Development Director. Tom Vendafreddo, who has been musical director for many productions at Paramount, was music director for the production. Prior to the NYMF production, after numerous readings, NUMBERS NERDS was workshopped in 2016 at both the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival and the Illinois Theatre Association’s Community Theatre Festival
Reviewing the NYMF production, TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLES trumpeted: “Get ready Disney because Numbers Nerds is likely to be your next hit…. This show succeeds in every way.” Theatermania said, “All in all, this musical adds up to a lot of fun for numbers nerds and theater geeks alike.” StageBuddy said, “This addition to the New York Musical Festival hit all the right numbers with its charming story of friendship, budding romance, and working together in the face of every nerd’s greatest nightmare: public speaking.” Front Row Center said “Numbers Nerds definitely succeeds in its mission, and will be a staple in the high school and college repertory for the foreseeable future.”
Given the producer’s intention to create a musical specifically for the school and community theatre market, 57TH NATIONAL MATHLETE SUM-IT (THE ALMOST ALL-GIRL MATH MUSICAL) attracted the attention of several licensing houses. Little said “I’m thrilled that our show has found its home with TRW. They have such a wonderful reputation for selective offerings and outstanding service.” Theatrical Rights Worldwide, one of the foremost New York Theatrical Publishing houses, has a catalog that includes Broadway blockbusters JERSEY BOYS, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET and THE ADDAMS FAMILY (the most-frequently licensed production by high schools for each of the past three school years). Steve Spiegel, President of Theatrical Rights Worldwide, said “We’re pleased to represent a musical of this caliber and style that is so well suited to the performance needs and resources of the school market. A show with numerous strong female roles meets a huge requirement and will be greatly appreciated and performed everywhere.”
He confirmed that the show will be available starting in 2018 for licensing by non-professional performing arts organizations and schools as well as by professional companies. But demand has already been gauged and a waiting list is being formed.
57TH NATIONAL MATHLETE SUM-IT (The Almost All-Girl Math Musical) was performed at NYMF with a cast of just six (five young contestants and a mid-life teacher/mentor) but CPA Theatricals has also prepared an alternative “large cast” version providing opportunities for schools to include more students in their productions. Tina Reynolds, the Director of Bravo Performing Arts, an outstanding program for youngsters based in Oak Park, Illinois, offered to take the lead in developing the alternative version, which adds several minor characters as well as an ensemble, while keeping the same music. The large cast version, with 29 performers, premiered in July, 2017 as part of Bravo’s Summer Academy.
More information at www.cpatheatricals.org
Theatrical Rights Worldwide
Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) licenses musicals to thousands of theatre organizations around the world. TRW’s Broadway Collection includes THE ADDAMS FAMILY, BIG FISH, THE COLOR PURPLE, GHOST THE MUSICAL, JERSEY BOYS, MEMPHIS, MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT and many more.
For more information about Theatrical Rights Worldwide or our other available titles, visit www.theatricalrights.com