The three-week festival – running Sept. 15–Oct. 5 – features musicals from around the world, culled from invitations and an open-submission process.
The works accepted for the Next Link Project benefit from the Next Link dramaturg team, as well as writer support resources, including industry networking and producer "matchmaking" events, and financial assistance through discounted technical support and waiving of production deposits.
Next Link works are selected through an open-submission, blind-evaluation process. The 2008 NYMF Next Link adjudicators include Tony Award-winning lyricist and book writer Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Once on this Island, The Glorious Ones), Tony Award-nominated lyricist and book writer Michael Korie (Grey Gardens), Tony Award-winning actors Hinton Battle (Sophisticated Ladies, The Tap Dance Kid, Miss Saigon) and Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), four-time Tony-winning actress Audra McDonald (Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime and A Raisin in the Sun), Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), Tony-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman (Crazy for You, Show Boat, Contact, The Producers, Young Frankenstein) and Tony Award-winning producer Elizabeth Williams (The Wild Party, The Secret Garden, Crazy for You).
The 2008 Next Link Projects include:
Book by and lyrics by David Arthur, music by Jeffrey Lodin
"Suggested by Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and set amid the sexually charged hijinks of a mid-1950s college campus, this rollicking, romantic comedy finds Coach Benedick and English Literature Professor, Beatrice Stanton waging their 'merry war of wits.'"
Book and lyrics by Fred Sauter, music by Paul Leschen
"A hell-bent exterminator must save New York City from the mutant bedbugs she accidentally creates in this 80's inspired rock musical fantasy."
Book and lyrics by Bobby Houston, music by Randy Courtes
"When Fidel Castro falls for a middle-aged drag queen, 'Lolita,' she accidentally chokes him with a maraschino cherry, sparking a coup d'etat and a hasty ocean crossing to Miami."
Book and lyrics by Dana Leslie Goldstein, music by Rima Fand
"Sally Kaplan is the creator of the hit underground comic book CYCLONE (and the Pig-Faced Lady), but when tragedy strikes, Sally must choose between comic book world or somehow becoming the hero of her own story."
Book, music and lyrics by Eric Davis
"Find out in this boy-meets-girl comedy of errors packed with nasty lyrics, tasty hooks and a dash of punk rock."
Book, music and lyrics by Matthew Loren Cohen
"A chance encounter one cold Christmas Eve leads songwriters Jason and Ben to question each other and themselves in this new indie rock musical about the violence that lies within."
Book and lyrics by Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman, music by Kyle Rosen
"Zaniness ensues when tourists in Israel fall prey to a real-life psychological phenomenon, the Jerusalem Syndrome, suddenly believing themselves to be Abraham, Moses, Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Virgin Mary – both of them. The result is a madcap musical adventure of biblical proportions. "
Book, music and lyrics by Megan Gogerty
"The relationship of two adult brothers is tested in this unblinkingly honest folk musical that explores the long-term affects of child abuse on a family."
Book, music and lyrics by James Goode
"Shakespeare's Hamlet re-imagined and revolutionized in the firestorm of the 1960s struggle for Civil Rights."
Book and lyrics by Daniel F. Levin, music by Jonathan Portera
"Life in the Warsaw Ghetto seen through the eyes of Chaim, a young painter, who struggles to learn the truth about community, and the ties that bind, even through the horrors of life and death."
Book, music and lyrics by Matt Gould
"Tragedy shatters a small town and forces an extraordinary elementary school teacher to finally put his haunting past to rest."
Book and lyrics by Dan Collins, music by Julianne Wick Davis
"A modern day re-imagining of A Midsummer Night's Dream complete with spandex clad color guard enthusiasts, shirtless Christians, quarreling divas, under cover mothers and a sassy trio of Fairies who sing, dance and put En Vogue to shame, all from the stalls of a public men's room!" Casting, creative duties and theatres will be announced at a later date.
Numerous Broadway veterans lend their talents to NYFM productions, many of which have found commercial life Off-Broadway in previous years, including Altar Boyz, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, The Big Voice: God or Merman, Captain Louie, Gutenberg! The Musical, Meet John Doe, Nerds:// A Musical Software Satire, Shout! The Mod Musical and [title of show]. The latter will make its Broadway debut in the fall.
The 2007 Next Link Project productions included The Angle of the Sun; Austentatious; Back Home; The Boy in the Bathroom; Emma; The Family Fiorelli; Gemini the Musical; Going Down Swingin'; Little Egypt; Look What a Wonder Jesus Has Done; Love Sucks; Mud Donahue & Son; Petite Rouge; Sherlock Holmes: The Early Years; Such Good Friends; Sympathy Jones; Tully (In No Particular Order); and The Yellow Wood.
NYMF membership tickets go on sale May 16. For more information visit www.nymf.org.