The New York Musical Festival, previously known as The New York Musical Theatre Festival, will kick off its 13th year July 11, presenting an abundance of new musical theatre works. We list the ten shows we're keeping on our radar.
For a Glimpse Into the World of Autism
Tony winner Victoria Clark directs Newton’s Cradle, a journey into one young man’s experience of living with autism. The musical, which was written over a number of years by mother-son duo Kim and Heath Saunders, questions whether a label like autism is helpful or not. “I was immediately struck by the piece’s originality and beauty,” said Broadway star Clark. “Their close collaboration, as family and as writers, moved me.“
Performances of Newton's Cradle run August 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 at The Duke on 42nd Street; times vary.
For a Reality Check
Husband-and-wife team Jill Abramovitz and Brad Alexander invite you to a developmental reading of their newest work, Bread and Roses, a new musical inspired by true events and based on the award-winning film of the same name. The story follows Maya, a 25-year-old Mexican woman who illegally crosses the U.S. border to work as a janitor but lands in an abusive and corrupt environment. Maya joins the effort to unionize the workers and increase their rights, an issue that still affects millions today. The cast features Hamilton’s Jon Rua, In the Heights’ Mandy Gonzalez and Xanadu’s Mary Testa, among others.
Performances of Bread and Roses are July 22 at 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM only, at Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.
For “The Next Big Thing”
Considered by Lin-Manuel Miranda as “the next big thing,” Mexican musical theatre artist Jamie Lozano has teamed up with equally talented lyricist Lauren Epsenhart to bring Children of Salt to the New York stage. The story follows Raúl, whose grandmother’s illness forces him to return to the Mexican beaches of his youth. It is billed as a tale of love, loss and hope. Performances of Children of Salt run July 20-26 at The Pearl Theatre; times vary.
For a Historical Tale of Love and Resilience
Beautiful’s Josh Davis stars as Joseph Cohen, a Jewish-German boxer whose 1936 Olympic dreams are crushed with the rise of the Nazis, in The Gold. Set against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the musical chronicles his toughest fight yet, and is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The new work is penned by Andrea Lepcio and Phil Yosowitz, with direction by Spiro Veloudos.
Performances of The Gold run August 1-6 at The Pearl Theatre; times vary.
For a Rock Opera
Composer/lyricist Dana Levinson teams up with indie rock band LUDO for an adaptation of the group’s original concept album, Broken Bride. The new rock opera utilizes LUDO’s entire discography and is adapted by Stacey Weingarten. It follows the story of one man’s time-traveling journey to save his true love’s life, in a production that features projections, dance, special effects and puppetry.
Performances of LUDO's Broken Bride run August 3-6 at The Duke on 42nd Street; times vary.
For Edgar Allan Poe Fans
Catch Matilda’s Lesli Margherita and American Idiot’s P.J. Griffith in A Scythe of Time, a new musical inspired by two dark Edgar Allan Poe stories. Set in London in 1881, the new work follows the mystery of the infamous Blackwood Articles, in which writers take their own lives and record the experience. It is billed as “a bizarre tale of power and love, poetic justice and bloody revenge.”
Performances of A Scythe of Time run July 21-28 at The June Havoc Theater; times vary.
For a Unique Solo Show
“Ghetto-Hippie-Arab-Commie-China Doll” Aya Aziz presents Eh Dah? Questions for My Father, her musical solo show about growing up in New York, her Muslim family and her mysterious, Egyptian-American world traveler of a father. The piece explores issues of identity, culture wars and Islamophobia.
Performances of Eh Dah? run July 19-28 at The June Havoc Theatre; times vary.
For a TBT to Your Girl Scout Days
That’s So Raven’s Anneliese Van Der Pol stars in the reading of Cookies, a musical about a troop of girl scouts competing to sell the most cookies. The stakes are high in this razor-sharp and witty new show, written by Michael Shapiro and David Christensen, perfect for fans of storm-in-a-teacup comedies. Jeanna De Waal, Brynn Williams and Trent Armand Kendall also star.
Performances of Cookies run July 14-21 at Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios; times vary.
For Family Fun
A very inventive troupe from Pittsburgh presents Tink!, the Peter Pan story told from the perspective of Tinkerbell (at last!). The musical follows the star-crossed romance of an idealistic young fairy and a pirate, whose relationship brings together the whole of Neverland. The new work features a book by Anthony Marino, music by Lena Gabrielle and lyrics by Greg Kerestan and Gabrielle.
Performances of Tink! run July 25-31 at The Pearl Theatre; times vary.
For a Celebration of Female, Queer and Trans Artists
NYMF's Women of Note concert series, which celebrates female, queer and trans artists, returns for another year, this time time with two separate line-ups and even more talent. Catch a host of stellar performances August 1 at 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM for one night only.
The festival runs through August 7 at locations around midtown Manhattan. For the complete NYMF line-up and more information, visit www.nymf.org/.