About

A new documentary musical, Show Time! The First 100 Years of the American Musical tells the remarkable story of a uniquely American art form, charting its evolution from the mid-1800s thru 1999. Featuring more than two dozen songs that shaped the musical canon, this new solo entertainment is an electrifying live-action documentary, weaving live music and live performance through a narrative of world, cultural, and, primarily, theatre history, and painting the portrait of an art form that captured the consciousness of a nation, and the sensibilities of its people.

Show Time! is created, written, and performed by Ben West, with musical continuity and arrangements by Fran Minarik, and direction and musical staging by Shannon Lewis.

Five Performances Only!
September 13-16, 2018

Theatre at Saint Peter’s
619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street
New York, NY 10022

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

Developed over more than four years at more than twenty archives in more than ten states, Show Time! is a singular theatrical endeavor comprised of three documentary musicals. Following the premiere of the primary entry in September 2018, two companion pieces will be rolled out in 2019 and 2020, respectively: 45 Minutes from Coontown, a celebration and history of Black musical theatre; and 68 Ways to Go, a celebration and history of female writers.

Ben West
Ben West

Ben West (Creator, Writer, Performer) is a director, producer, performer, 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; and downtown productions of 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 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 embraces both live-action documentary musicals as well as original and adapted book musical programming, with the aim of presenting works which speak directly to the influence of the past on 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 Artistic Advisors
Nina Auerbach, Brook Babcock, Ken Bloom, Jeff Bowen, Jason Buell, Donna Bullock, Abby G. Burton, Ted Chapin, Susan Chodorov, Rachel de Benedet, Jeffry Denman, Peter Filichia, Sean Patrick Flahaven, Will Friedwald, Aaron Gandy, Derek Gregor, Deena R. Harburg, Larry Hart, Michael Kerker, Shannon Lewis, Brad Lohrenz, Karen Mason, Annette Niemtzow, Jack O’Brien, Christine Pedi, Noah Racey, Doug Reside, Glen Roven, Megan Sikora, Randy Skinner, Joseph Weiss

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 embraces both live-action documentary musicals as well as original and adapted book musical programming, with the aim of presenting works which speak directly to the influence of the past on 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 Artistic Advisors
Nina Auerbach, Brook Babcock, Ken Bloom, Jeff Bowen, Jason Buell, Donna Bullock, Abby G. Burton, Ted Chapin, Susan Chodorov, Rachel de Benedet, Jeffry Denman, Peter Filichia, Sean Patrick Flahaven, Will Friedwald, Aaron Gandy, Derek Gregor, Deena R. Harburg, Larry Hart, Michael Kerker, Shannon Lewis, Brad Lohrenz, Karen Mason, Annette Niemtzow, Jack O’Brien, Christine Pedi, Noah Racey, Doug Reside, Glen Roven, Megan Sikora, Randy Skinner, Joseph Weiss