South Carolina New Play Festival will premiere a new musical by the late Michael Friedman (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Annie Weisman (Be Aggressive) as a staged reading August 12 at the Gunter Theater in Greenville, South Carolina. Essential Alice, with music and lyrics by Friedman and a book by Weisman, will be directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Ain't Too Proud).
“I can think of no better way to kick off the second year of the South Carolina New Play Festival than by sharing a beautiful unheard musical by Michael Friedman and Annie Weisman," says festival Executive Director West Hyler. "Michael was a brilliant composer and lyricist, and a person as dazzlingly talented as he was abundantly kind. I was assistant director to Des McAnuff on an early workshop of Essential Alice and am deeply honored that Des will direct the staged reading of this beautiful musical for a public audience.”
Also planned for the festival is a cabaret performance from Broadway Hamilton and Ain't Too Proud star Nik Walker, set for August 13 at the Westin Poinsett. Additional festival events will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Friedman is best known as the co-creator of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which premiered at The Public Theater before transferring to Broadway in 2010. Other musicals include Fortress of Solitude, Unknown Soldier, and Love's Labour's Lost. Friedman was a founding associate artist of The Civilians theatre company, working on such shows as Gone Missing, In the Footprint, The Great Immensity, Paris Commune, (I Am) Nobody's Lunch, The Abominables, and This Beautiful City. He passed away in 2017.