Photo Coverage: 2011 NYMF Kicks Off with Opening Gala!

Last night, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) held its opening night Gala hosted by Emmy and Three-Time Tony Award Winner Robert Lopez (The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q).

On hand for the event were NYMF participants Andrea McArdle (Annie), Matt Cavenaugh (West Side Story), Jenny Powers (Grease), Brian Charles Rooney (Threepenny Opera), Hollie Howard (Hairspray), Max von Essen (Xanadu), Gerard Alessandrini (Forbidden Broadway), Farah Alvin (Les Miserables), Rachel York (Victor/Victoria), Daisy Eagan (The Secret Garden), Michael Hayden (Carousel), Felicia Finley (The Wedding Singer), Jamie LaVerdiere (The Producers), Jennifer Laura Thompson (Wicked), Jenn Colella (High Fidelity), Louis Hobson (Next To Normal), Jill Paice (Curtains), Jim Walton (Merrily We Roll Along), Donna Lynne Champlin (Sweeney Todd), Brandon Wardell (Catch Me If You Can), Lois Robbins ("One Life To Live"), Steve Blanchard (Beauty and the Beast), Angela Grovey (The Wiz) and more.

BroadwayWorld was there and brings you photo coverage below!

Now in its eighth year, the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) is the largest annual musical theatre event in America and is widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF provides a launching pad for the next generation of musicals and their creators to ensure the continued vitality of one of America's greatest art forms. Hailed as the "Sundance of Musical Theatre," NYMF discovers, nurtures, and promotes promising musical theatre artists and producers at all stages of development, and inspires a diverse audience through vibrant, accessible, powerful new work.

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2011 is presented in association withBroadwayWorld.com, Production Resource Group, and TheaterMania.com, and is supported by American Eagle Outfitters, Back Stage, BroadwayBox.com,BroadwayInsider.com, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Disney Store Times Square, Fox 5/ WNYW-TV, King Displays, NASDAQ OMX, New World Stages, Next Magazine, PMD Promotions, The Port Authority of NY & NJ, Queerty.com, Season of Savings, Terra Fossil Wines, Thomson Reuters, TheMenEvent.com, Times Square Squared, and Yelp. Major supporters include The ASCAP Foundation, BMI Foundation, Inc., The BWF Foundation, Con Edison, The Nathan Cummings Foundation with the support and encouragement of Jamie Ariel Phinney, Cameron Mackintosh Foundation, The New Musical Development Foundation, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Rodgers &a mp; Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Theater League. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating, and tickets to individual events are currently available for purchase at(212) 352-3101 or www.nymf.org. Press nights begin after the first performance. Artwork and photos are available at www.nymf.org.

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At a young age Monica Simoes became a fan of the stage forever. She always dreamt of being a part of theatrical magic. However, those dreams seemed thwarted by her inability to carry a note and her two left feet. Yet, that minor speed bump didn't stop her. She has melded her passion for theatre and her photographic skill to capture the essence of Broadway. Monica is currently a student at Parsons the New School for Design. She hopes to continue enjoying all that Broadway has to offer through the viewfinder of her camera.