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NYMF to Stage Reading of IDAHO!, 4/25

NYMF to Stage Reading of IDAHO!, 4/25

"Tater country is turned spud-side-up in IDAHO! when a mail order bride comes to town and falls in love with the wrong man. Born out of wedlock from the golden age of musical comedy comes a new love story...a twisted tale of wife stealin', spud peelin' and double dealin' at a time when men were men and sheep wore lipstick."

Theatre professionals who missed IDAHO! at NYMF will have an opportunity to see it in staged reading this Friday, April 25th only. The new musical, named "Best of Fest" was met with cascades of laughter during its sold-out run, prompting the festival to add extra performances. The show has been described as "a rollicking satire that takes the sexually-charged subtext of the classic musical and puts it front and center." One four-time Tony winning producer called it simply, "A hoot and a half!"

"At first it was all about laughs", said Sheffield (book, music and lyrics), "but now it has a real story. Now it has a heart." Matt Lenz, director for IDAHO!, has been involved with the authors in every step of its evolution. "There's something very special at the heart of this show", offered Lenz, "its inherent appreciation and affection for the world of musical comedy allows for audiences to experience this new version as fresh and fun and sweetly nostalgic all at the same time."

The cast for the readings include Rob Sutton (Beauty and the Beast), Jessica Hershberg (Cinderella), Jennifer Perry (Kinky Boots, Nunsense), Jay Rogers (When Pigs Fly), Matt Loehr (Book of Mormon), Alle-Faye Monka (A Chorus Line tour), Bill Nolte (La Cage, Producers), Rosalind Brown (One Mo' Time, Footloose), Leslie McDonel (Hairspray, American Idiot), Robbie Roby (Hairspray, Billy Elliot), Courter Simmons (Jersey Boys), Chris Dwan (Harmony), Blake Hammond (First Date, Hairspray), Allison McDowell (Chicago, La Cage), Billy Tighe (Pippin, Wicked), Jessica Sheridan (Follies, Mary Poppins) and Trista Dollison (Lion King).

Michele Lynch, also a part of the creative team from the outset, was singled out for her innovative and edgy choreography when IDAHO! played to packed houses and critical acclaim at the Catskills' storiedForestburgh Playhouse.

The readings will be this Friday April 25th at 11:00am and 3:00pm and are by invitation only. Theatre professional interested in attending please email

Matt Lenz (Director) - BROADWAY: Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can, Velocity of Autumn (Associate Director), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Resident Director for Broadway and Tours) Matt also directed Hairspray national tours and companies in South Africa, UK, Toronto, Las Vegas and Germany and the national tour of Catch Me if You Can. OFF-BROADWAY: Pageant: The Musical, The Irish Curse (Soho Playhouse), Idaho! (NYMF '08 - "Best of Fest" and "Best Director" Awards), Fingers and Toes (NYMF) REGIONAL: Paper Mill Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Casa Manana, St. Louis MUNY, North Carolina Theatre, Zach Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, Short North Stage, Forestburgh Playhouse, Stamford Ctr for the Arts. Matt is a member of SDC and a director and a teaching artist with The Broadway Dreams Foundation.

Buddy Sheffield (Book & Lyrics / Co-Composer) knew in seventh grade he wanted to be in the theatre, and except for a brief 22-year foray into television, that is where he has spent his time. Buddy created the legendary Sheffield Ensemble Theatre, which toured the country for years under the aegis of Fran and Barry Weissler's NAMCO. Buddy wrote 8 original musicals for SET and had one, CLEAVAGE, produced on Broadway in 1981. He now looks back on that experience as "a suicide mission." In television Buddy is best known as head writer of the hit FOX series In Living Color. He also wrote for such shows as Dolly on ABC and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on CBS (the 1988 version. Come on, he's not that old). He is proudest of Roundhouse, an award-winning show he created for Nickelodeon, which he describes as "a musical comedy every week." The television world looked at Roundhouse and reacted: "That's the most creative thing that's ever been on TV. Don't ever do it again." His work in television has earned Buddy three prime-time Emmy nominations, an NAACP Image Award, an Ace award, an Ollie award, non-ulcerative colitis and a hiatal hernia. Buddy is very happy to be back at home in the theatre.

Keith Thompson's (Co-Composer / Musical arranger) professional credits include musical director and conductor for the Las Vegas companies of "Jersey Boys", "The Producers," "Hairspray," and "We Will Rock You," and Musical Coordinator for the Vegas' current production of "Mamma Mia!" He conducted the first national tour of "Cabaret" and supervised the music for the Australian production of "Cabaret." Keith won the 2000 Dora Award as musical director of "Cabaret" in Toronto. Keith's New York credits include "Les Miserables," "When Pigs Fly", and "Little Shop of Horrors". In addition to his work on "Idaho," Keith worked with co-composer Buddy Sheffield on Nickelodeon's "Roundhouse." Keith's original comedy/novelty song revue, "Kooky Tunes," ran at New York's Laurie Beechman Theater. The cast recording is currently available on "God Lives in Glass," Keith's newest original show, premiered at NYU's Provincetown Playhouse and has been presented regionally and in concert nationwide. Keith is founder and host of a popular monthly Composers Showcase at the Smith Center in Las Vegas.

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