Last Smoker in America, Judas and Me, Whatever Man and Street Lights Added to NYMF Bill

News   Last Smoker in America, Judas and Me, Whatever Man and Street Lights Added to NYMF Bill
The Bill Russell-Peter Melnick musical The Last Smoker in America will be among the Invited Productions at the sixth annual New York Musical Theatre Festival this fall.

Fifteen musicals have been invited to be part of the festival that runs Sept. 28-Oct. 18 in Manhattan. They join the 12 previously announced Next Link titles that will also receive a full production.

In addition to Tony nominee Russell (Side Show, Elegies for Angels...) and Melnick's Last Smoker in America, NYMF will also present Judas and Me (from the Tony-nominated Wedding Singer songwriting team of Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar); as well as Whatever Man, penned by Benjamin Strouse, son of Tony-winning composer Charles Strouse; and Street Lights, from Broadway-aimed White Noise composer Joe Drymala and director Ryan J. Davis.

The 2009 NYMF Invited Productions follow:

  • Anjou: A Tale of Horror
    Book, music and lyrics by Guillermo Mendez and Lupita Sandoval
    "Catalina de' Medici, queen of France, engages in bloody crimes and inexpressible cruelties against her own people in her quest to enthrone her son, Henry d’Anjou. Politics and passion are interwoven throughout one of history’s most sordid events in this electrifying and magnificent musical tale of horror. Sixteenth-century France comes to life in a modern-day Mexican Pop Opera!"


  • Cross That River
    Music, lyrics and story by Allan Harris; book by Andrew Carl Wilk
    "The unsettled West of the 1860’s provides a new life and new dreams for Blue, a run-away slave, who escapes to Texas to become one of America’s first Black Cowboys. This compelling tale of freedom blends old-fashioned storytelling with an infectious score that ranges from country and bluegrass to soul, blues and rock gospel in a sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous chronicle of hardship and enduring perseverance."
  • The Cure
    Book, music and lyrics by Mark Weiser
    "Two friends set out for a night of revelry and stumble across the world's last surviving coven of vampires. Offered the chance to live forever, one man is seduced while the other barely escapes with his life, setting in motion a fight for survival that threatens to bring down an entire city. A rock and roll fable that lives at the crossroads of humanity and immortality."
    Book by Sam Forman and David Eric Davis; music and lyrics by David Eric Davis
    "Can Christian Mohammed Schwartzelberg stay true to himself and still get the girl? Or will he lose her to the bad-ass rocker? Set against the backdrop of Brooklyn's indie music scene with a gallery of hipsters, stoners, artists, cougars, songwriters and puppeteers, F#@KING UP EVERYTHING is a rock musical comedy with heart. And tattoos."
  • Gay Bride of Frankenstein
    Book by Dane E. Leeman and Billy Butler; music and lyrics by Billy Butler
    "A graphic novel comes alive on stage when Edna, Chloe, Harry and Thad stumble into a night of rock music that can raise the dead! Will the girl get the girl? Never has there been a Halloween love story like this with mystery, magic and a cartoon caper that will scare you silly."
  • The Happy Embalmer
    Book, music and lyrics by Mark Noonan and Nick Oddy
    "Edward Nando is an embalmer with an extraordinary talent: he can make the dead look great! But when bodies start returning to life, Edward is propelled into a madcap adventure that takes him from Texas to Tibet and beyond. Part rock show, part slapstick comedy, all awesome, The Happy Embalmer is a musical spectaculero about loneliness, death, celebrity, and love. Happiness is everywhere, but to find it, sometimes you’ve got to look around."
  • Hurricane
    Book by Michael Holland and Eric Bernat; music and lyrics by Michael Holland
    "Napatree, Rhode Island, 1938: As the tourist season comes to a close, a young meteorologist's unconventional prediction of impending disaster goes unheeded by his superiors, resulting in one of New England's greatest natural catastrophes. With a score by award-winning songwriter Michael Holland which incorporates elements of Depression-era pop, folk opera, and contemporary song, this epic musical portrait captures an all-but-forgotten moment in American history, one that ultimately emerges as a testament to hope, endurance, rebirth, and survival."
  • Judas and Me
    Book and lyrics by Chad Beguelin; music by Matthew Sklar
    "It’s tough keeping up with the Joneses when your neighbor’s kid is the Messiah. Consumed by jealousy, Rheba Iscariot pushes her son Judas to be better than Jesus… and we all know how well that turns out. A new musical comedy by the Tony-nominated writing team of Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, Judas and Me is a hilarious look at life with the ultimate biblical stage mom."
  • The Last Smoker in America
    Book and lyrics by Bill Russell; music by Peter Melnick
    "In a world where smoking has recently been outlawed, Pam is having an impossible time trying to quit. Her husband Ernie dreams of being a rock star and relentlessly practices his electric guitar in the basement. Their teenage son Jimmy listens to so much rap music he’s convinced he's black. Their nosy, anti-smoking zealot neighbor Phyllis lurks around trying to catch transgressors mid-puff. Will Pam kick the habit or fight for the right to light up as The Last Smoker in America?"
  • Lighter
    Book, music and lyrics by Monica Bauer
    "What would YOU sacrifice to get a killer body? Two diet-crossed lovers, Connie and Stevie, break up when Connie is humiliated searching for a wedding dress. Leaving her chubby would-be-hubby, she becomes a national singing weight-loss sensation on satanic Doctor Dan’s show, American Weight Loss Idol. With the help of his nutty friends, can Stevie save Connie before she becomes the ultimate Skinny Bitch? A love story with a plus-size heart."
  • Lorenzo
    Music by Judd Woldin; lyrics by Richard Engquist; book by Judd Woldin and Richard Engquist
    "Lorenzo DaPonte, libertine and librettist, was driven out of Venice by furious husbands, fled Vienna to escape a furious emperor, and snuck out of London to avoid furious creditors. His spirited rise to fame and subsequent freefall from grace is the stuff of operatic legend. An epic tale befitting Mozart’s most famous collaborator and the true love that saved him in the end."
  • Max Understood
    Book by Nancy Carlin; music by Michael Rasbury; lyrics by Nancy Carlin and Michael Rasbury
    "After Max escapes the apartment that he shares with his loving but overwhelmed parents, his world will never be the same again. This innovative 'sound-scaped' musical is the transformative odyssey of a 7-year old autistic boy, exploring how the need to communicate can bridge an unintelligible chasm. Paving the way is a leaf-blowing philosopher, a string theorist, Pegasus, a mermaid, and all the presidents of the United States."
  • Street Lights
    Book, music and lyrics by Joe Drymala
    "Monique is going to be the next Alicia Keys. Her brother is on track to be bigger than Thurgood Marshall. But none of this matters when their world is filled with violence, apathy, and broken promises. Can they keep faith when there’s no reason for hope? From writer/composer Joe Drymala and director Ryan J. Davis, the creators of the Broadway-bound 2006 NYMF hit White Noise, comes Street Lights, mixing pop, R&B and hip-hop to crank up the volume on the voice of a new generation saying yes, we can."
  • Under Fire
    Book and lyrics by Barry Harman; music by Grant Sturiale
    "Set in the late 1970s during the bloody revolution in El Mirador, a Central American country lies under the heel of the ruthless dictator Tacho. Russell Price, a young American photojournalist, is swept up in the maelstrom and embarks on a search for the mysterious rebel leader Rafael—whom no one has ever photographed. As Price makes his way into the heart of darkness, he encounters people working on both sides of the struggle, all with different and shadowy agendas…"
  • Whatever Man
    Book, music and lyrics by Benjamin Strouse
    "Charlie Weiss, an un-lovable loser, is stuck in his miserable life. But everything changes after Anna, his strong-willed girlfriend, forces him into a self-help group where Charlie encounters disturbed superheroes desperate to stick him with their troubles. When their petty squabbles escalate, will Charlie choose to save the world, his relationship or himself? Whatever Man." NYMF success stories include [title of show], Altar Boyz, Yank!, Next to Normal, 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 and Shout! The Mod Musical.

    For further information visit NYMF.

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