The New York Musical Festival, previously known as The New York Musical Theatre Festival, kicks off its 13th year July 11. The event, which showcases new musical theatre works, artists and ideas, runs through August 7 at locations around midtown Manhattan.
The Festival launches with its developmental reading series. The series includes Jill Abramovitz and Brad Alexander's Bread and Roses, based on the award-winning film of the same name; and Blair Ross’ Touché, with music by Randy Redd. A complete line-up of readings can be viewed here.
Productions, concerts, panel discussions and workshops will begin July 18. See below for the complete line-up of productions, as billed by NYMF:
A Scythe of Time
Book by Alan Harris; music and lyrics by Mark Alan Swanson
It's Philadelphia, 1881, and writers are dying to pen one of the wildly sensational Blackwood Articles. Signora Zenobia, whose own publication is going down the pan, sets off to discover Blackwood's secret, only to find herself in a predicament of her own. Meanwhile, loyal Pompey is trying to stop her from literally losing her head. As the sun rises over Philly, can anyone break free from the past? Based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, A Scythe of Time is a brilliantly bizarre tale of love, hope, and bloody revenge.
Camp Rolling Hills
Book and lyrics by Stacy Davidowitz and David Spiegel; music and lyrics by Adam Spiegel
Pack up your duffle bags and head to Camp Rolling Hills for another wild summer of tune filled campfires, bunk beds, and treasure hunts (for missing underwear, that is!). From learning a new sport, to discovering a new talent, to finding their first love, these 12 tweens are off on an 8-week adventure that will forever change their lives. It doesn’t matter if you are a nerd, a jock, a tomboy, or a girly-girl because true friendships are made when all the rules are broken. After all, there is a different definition of cool at Camp!
Children of Salt
Music by Jaime Lozano; book and lyrics by Lauren Epsenhart
Children of Salt focuses on Raúl, an entrepreneur who infrequently returns home, avoiding people, and situations, which sent him packing twenty years prior. Upon learning of his estranged grandmother’s illness, Raúl again returns home to the beach, in hopes of leaving as quickly as possible. The day brings a series of unexpected meetings, unleashing an array of memories. Raúl must learn from these memories, and people, in order to accept his present and move into his future. Children of Salt is the timeless tale of love, loss and hope.
Dust Can't Kill Me
Book by Abigail Carney; music and lyrics by Elliah Heifetz
Drought, desperation, and a prophet’s promise of paradise set a ragtag group of wayward souls on a Dust Bowl journey into the desert. When they arrive, their promised land is unlike anything they ever imagined, or anything they ever desired. Driven by a spirited band of actor-musicians and directed by Spring Awakening’s Srda Vasiljevic, the new folk musical Dust Can't Kill Me asks what’s worth fighting for when all you've got is dust.
Eh Dah? - Questions for My Father
Book, music, and lyrics by Aya Aziz; presented by Hypokrit Theatre Company
“Ghetto-Hippie-Arab-Commie-China Doll” Aya was shaped by the eclectic community in the projects of New York City – Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, Communists! But Aya's father, an Egyptian-American world-traveler, remained a mystery, as did her Muslim family. In this solo musical, Aya enacts the world she came from and the family she went in search of. With a range of accents, voices, and zany characters, Aya's story deals with contemporary conflicts – identity, the culture war, Islamophobia, all while asking Eh Dah – what is this?!
Book and lyrics by Scott Gilmour; music by Claire McKenzie
On September 5, 2011, a boy appeared in Berlin claiming to have lived in the forest with his father for the past five years. He had no memory of his past - only that his name was Ray and he traveled to Berlin following the death of his father in the woods. What followed were nine months of speculation, police inquiry and a global media frenzy, as the mystery of the Forest Boy slowly unravelled. Based on an incredible true story, Forest Boy is a modern-day fairytale of growing up and, above all, imagination.
Book by Sebastian Michael; music and lyrics by Jonathan Kaldor
1928. The world is enthralled as American debutante, Constance Nielsen, marries into one of Europe’s ancient Royal Families. But when an impassioned affair with her music teacher sparks uproar, news of her tragic death turns her from living legend into timeless icon. 40 years later, a young man in search of his grandfather's past finds more than he's bargained for…
Lisa and Leonardo
Book by Ed McNamee, Donya Lane and Michael Unger; music by Lane; lyrics by McNamee
Leonardo da Vinci’s intimate sketches of Lisa derail both her marriage and his relationship with his boy lover and protégé, bringing both of their lives - and the city of Florence - to the brink of disaster! It’s a TRUE STORY of political intrigue, love and passion, with a host of comic characters and a lush, romantic score that finally answers that 500 year old question: “Who is she?”
Ludo's Broken Bride
Concept, music and lyrics by LUDO; adaptation by Stacey Weingarten; additional story and arrangements by Dana Levinson
Time-travel, dinos, and zombies, oh my! An expansion on the original concept album Broken Bride by alternative rock band LUDO, this is the epic tale of one man’s time-traveling journey from the Beginning of Time to the End of Time, all to save his true love’s life. Utilizing rock music from Ludo's entire discography, projections, dance, special effects, and puppetry, this rock opera has it all! So... how far would YOU go to save your true love?
Book, music and lyrics by Heath Saunders and Kim Saunders
Evan is determined to marry his girlfriend Charlie, but his father and brother don't want him to. Or his father doesn't think he can. Or his brother doesn't think he will. And his mother won't tell them otherwise. They're all so concerned with what autistic Evan might do, but he knows he is more than just his needs, and he's going to prove it. Newton's Cradle seamlessly integrates a fast-paced non-linear story with a hypnotic electronic score to create a musical unlike anything you've ever seen before: a melodic picture of a very special brain.
Book by Andrew Palermo and Shannon Stoeke; music and lyrics by Dan Dyer
Nickel Mines interprets a 2006 Lancaster, PA, Amish schoolhouse shooting in which a lone gunman shot 10 girls, five fatally, before taking his own life. This unique work fuses movement, music and text to explore multiple viewpoints of what the Amish call ‘The Happening.’ Making no judgments, imposing no morals, Nickel Mines is a living memorial to the young girls who lost their lives that day. It is also an entry point to a conversation on how violence, faith, forgiveness and justice speak to and interact with one another.
Book, music, and lyrics by Jaime Jarrett
High schooler Taylor’s life is changed forever when she meets Emily, a fellow lesbian on a mission to literally rewrite her own story. But the two soon learn the path to a happy ending isn't easy, and it might even mean losing each other.
Book by Nat Bennett and Karen Bishko; music and lyrics by Karen Bishko
Leah seriously needs to get over her ex! She began a career in pop music when she was 20 years old, and even wrote a huge hit song... but the record company didn’t want her singing her own material and so she quit. Fast forward: Now she’s 36 and a successful divorce attorney. Between her experience with the music industry and shepherding women through contentious divorces, she has understandably become more and more suspicious of men. In case you haven't guessed it... yep, she’s single. But will she ever sing again?
The First Church of Mary, The Repentant Prostitute's Fifth Annual Benefit Concert, Revival, and Pot Luck Dinner
Book, music and lyrics by Geoff Davin; additional music and lyrics by Nicole Boggs, Kelley Ann Hocter and David Mescon
Message from the Preacher: Hey y'all. It's me...Adamenses Huckster...your beloved and fearless Preacher. It's that time of year again! Time for our fifth annual benefit concert, revival, and potluck dinner. If you think last year rocked...you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! You know we’ve got the best band in town. And we’ve got some killer new songs for you. Plus of course the always popular potluck dinner. And a few other surprises up our sleeves as well!! So come on y’all. Come to the revival and GET YOURSELVES SAVED! You know you need it!
Book by Philip Yosowitz and Andrea Lepcio; music and lyrics by Philip Yosowitz
Joseph Cohen, a Jewish-German boxer, finds his 1936 Olympic ambitions crushed as the Nazi’s rise to power. He soon learns that his toughest fight lies outside the ring, as he is separated from the woman he loves and their young son. Set against the backdrop of the Holocaust and the creation of Israel, The Gold is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the journey of self-discovery that each of us takes as we search for purpose in our lives.
The Last Word
Book, music, and lyrics by Brett Sullivan; additional lyrics by Ryan Cunningham
East Cleveland, 1976. Jay is a charismatic slacker living above Paradise, the restaurant his father left him. But Jay has accumulated a trail of debt which includes Earlene Floyd, a local parking lot mogul, who wants to bulldoze Paradise and put up a parking lot. Jay enlists his old school gang of misfits with plans to raise cash by hustling across America - one game of Scrabble at a time. But old factions and Earlene’s offensive to crush them threaten Paradise forever. Who will have the last word?
Book by Anthony Marino; music by Lena Gabrielle; lyrics by Greg Kerestan and Lena Gabrielle
In a time before time was important, there was an island full of music and magic, where pirates, natives, fairies and other mysterious folk lived, loved and fought together- until one young fairy and one young pirate crossed paths. When first mate James of the Jolly Roger meets the yearning, idealistic young fairy Tinkerbell, their star-crossed romance brings together the entire population of Neverland, from the mischievous Dream Weaver fairies to the mighty Natives, and even a colony of scavenging boys whose leader fell from the sky.
The Ultimate Man!
Book by Jane Edith Wilson and Charles Abbott; music by Alastair William King; lyrics by Paul Gambaccini and Alastair William King and Jane Edith Wilson; conceived by Paul Gambaccini
The Comic World is in a state of chaos. Joe, the artist who draws the politically savvy Ultimate
man has lost control of his characters and himself. Ultimate Man, in a desperate attempt to save his beloved Cathy Cookie, confronts the cartoonist in the Real World, and is followed by Rex Ringer, a villain! Buffy, Joe’s publisher, has her own twisted agenda, so Joe is faced with the dilemma of creating edgy art or embracing mass appeal in a corporate world. For Joe, worlds collide in this comic adventure.
NYMF passes are now available at nymf.org.