NCMT to present a star-studded outdoor staged concert of ‘Songs for a New World’ at Radial Park

For its inaugural event, New City Music Theatre  (NCMT) – a non-profit company originally founded as Cleveland Musical Theatre in 2014, to create inclusive experiences for a contemporary generation – will present a star-studded one-night-only concert staging of Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown’s popular theatrical song cycle Songs for a New World on Thursday, August 26. The socially distanced outdoor production, beginning at 7:30 pm, will be performed in the Radial Park entertainment multiplex at Halletts Point, Queens, against the breathtaking backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.

Connected by the theme of “the moment of decision,” the collection of songs captures the stories and characters of today, with a fresh, contemporary perspective. Brown has explained his work, examining life, love, and the choices we make, as being “about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.”

The roster of powerhouse voices from Broadway and beyond includes Aladdin alum Telly Leung and current star Michael James Scott, respectively performing “The World Was Dancing” and “Flying Home;” Tony nominee Nancy Opel (Wicked) bringing her comedic style to “Just One Step;” Bre Jackson (The Color Purple; The Book of Mormon) giving voice to “The Flagmaker, 1775;” Marc G. Dalio (Beauty and the Beast tour) and Heath Saunders (The Great Comet) doing a duet on “The River Won’t Flow;” and Darian Sanders (The Lion King tour) singing “Steam Train.”

Grace Stockdale (Waitress 1st National Tour), Nya (The Spongebob Musical tour), Nick Drake, and music director Rick Edinger will open the show with “The New World,” as well as providing backup vocals throughout the evening. Rounding out the stellar cast are Christy Altomare (Anastasia), Derek Klena (Jagged Little Pill), Bonnie Milligan (Head over Heels), Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky Boots; Smokey Joe’s Cafe), Shereen Pimentel (West Side Story), and Ciara Renée (Frozen), along with dancers Yeman Brown (Jagged Little Pill), Jennifer Florentino (Moulin Rouge), Zuri Noelle Ford (West Side Story), Yuka Notsuka, and Michael Anthony Sylvester. Please note that Tony nominee Jenn Colella (Come from Away), previously announced to perform the number “She Cries,” has withdrawn from the show for personal reasons.

NCMT Producing Artistic Director Miles J. Sternfeld directs the production, with music direction by Rick Edinger and choreography by Ahmad Simmons. The musical performances are enhanced by Theron Wineinger’s scenic design, lighting by Alan Edwards, a sound design by Julian Evans, and costume consultation by Jake Poser.

Songs for a New World plays Thursday, August 26, at 7:30pm, by New City Music Theatre, at Radial Park, Halletts Point, Queens. For more information and tickets (starting at $30), go online.

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Deb Miller (PhD, Art History) is the Senior Correspondent and Editor for New York City, where she grew up seeing every show on Broadway. She is an active member of the Outer Critics Circle and served for more than a decade as a Voter, Nominator, and Judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. Outside of her home base in NYC, she has written and lectured extensively on the arts and theater throughout the world (including her many years in Amsterdam, London, and Venice, and her extensive work and personal connections with Andy Warhol and his circle) and previously served as a lead writer for Stage Magazine, Phindie, and Central Voice.


  1. NCMT has just announced that Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Liz Callaway is the most recent Broadway star to join the expanded cast, to sing “Stars and the Moon.” Also added to the performance are Jason Gotay (replacing the previously announced Derek Klena, for a duet with Christy Altomare on “I’d Give It All for You”); Mary Kate Morrissey (stepping in for Jenn Colella on the traditionally male-led number “She Cries”); Ximone Rose (joining the ensemble on “The New World” and background vocals for the evening, taking over for Nya); and Jay Armstrong Johnson (replacing Telly Leung, who withdrew due to a scheduling conflict, on the number “The World Was Dancing”).


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