About

A new documentary musical, Show Time! The First 100 Years of the American Musical tells the remarkable story of this uniquely American art form, charting its evolution from the mid-1800s thru 1999. Developed for over four years, with more than 20 archives, in more than 10 states, Show Time! features over two dozen songs in an electrifying live-action documentary, weaving live music and live performance through a narrative of world, cultural, and, primarily, theatre history.

Show Time! The First 100 Years of the American Musical will include seven eras of the American musical: Cosmic Collisions (1866-1899), Birth of an Art Form (1900-1924), Rise of the Golden Age (1925-1930), Golden Age, Part One (1931-1950), Golden Age, Part Two (1951-1970), Fall of the Golden Age (1971-1980), and Growing Pains, or Identity Crisis (1981-1999).

Show Time! is created, written, and performed by Ben West, a 2017 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, with musical continuity and arrangements by Fran Minarik, and direction and musical staging by Shannon Lewis.

The new musical premieres at the York Theatre Company’s Theatre at Saint Peter’s (619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street) with music direction by Evan Zavada, lighting design by Joe Hodge, projection design by Nathan W. Scheuer, and costume design by Travis Chinick.

Running Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes, inclusive of an intermission.

The York Theatre Company will host all three UMC productions in the Show Time! Trilogy, including 45 Minutes from Coontown, focused on black musical writers, in fall 2019, and 68 Ways to Go, focused on female musical writers, in fall 2020.

Ben West
Ben West

Ben West (Creator, Writer, Performer) is a director, producer, performer, writer, and musical theatre historian. His directing credits include Unsung Carolyn Leigh for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook; Gatsby: The Songs in Concert, a world premiere featuring an original score written circa 1969 by Carolyn Leigh and Lee Pockriss; Make Mine Manhattan by Arnold B. Horwitt and Richard Lewine; and The Fig Leaves Are Falling by Allan Sherman and Albert Hague. On Broadway, he served as assistant director and dramaturg for Old Acquaintance; assistant producer for both August: Osage County and The Homecoming; and production assistant for Talk Radio. He has also worked in various capacities on productions at Hartford Stage, Paper Mill Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Vineyard Theatre, and Ravinia Festival. He is the founder of UnsungMusicalsCo. and a 2017 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award.

Ben West

UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) is a not-for-profit production company focused on researching and developing prescient projects that explore the vibrancy of the American musical theatre canon, and how past works influence the artists and repertoire of today and tomorrow. Founded in 2009, UMC relaunched in 2018 after a three-year hiatus for research and development with a renewed focus on presenting works which speak directly to the influence of the past on both the present and future. Dedicated also to the preservation of rare musical material for future generations, the company will be receiving its own archival collection in the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. www.UnsungMusicals.org

UMC Board of Directors
Anthony C. Bonadio, Victoria Longo, Jess Sodaski, Donald Tansey, Ben West

UMC Creative Council
Jeff Bowen, Mark Brokaw, Marc Bruni, Abby G. Burton, Will Friedwald, Larry Hart, Greg Jarrett, Julia Kraus, Shannon Lewis, Karen Mason, Doug Reside, Glen Roven, Misy Singson, Tyler Spicer, Ryan VanDenBoom

UnsungMusicalsCo. (UMC) is a not-for-profit production company focused on researching and developing prescient projects that explore the vibrancy of the American musical theatre canon, and how past works influence the artists and repertoire of today and tomorrow. Founded in 2009, UMC relaunched in 2018 after a three-year hiatus for research and development with a renewed focus on presenting works which speak directly to the influence of the past on both the present and future. Dedicated also to the preservation of rare musical material for future generations, the company will be receiving its own archival collection in the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. www.UnsungMusicals.org

UMC Board of Directors
Anthony C. Bonadio, Victoria Longo, Jess Sodaski, Donald Tansey, Ben West

UMC Creative Council
Jeff Bowen, Mark Brokaw, Marc Bruni, Abby G. Burton, Will Friedwald, Larry Hart, Greg Jarrett, Julia Kraus, Shannon Lewis, Karen Mason, Doug Reside, Glen Roven, Misy Singson, Tyler Spicer, Ryan VanDenBoom