Chicago's ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT Takes Stage at NYMF's Next Link Project, Now thru 7/29

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Chicago writing team George Howe and Frances Limoncelli announce that their family musical, Arnie the Doughnut, has been selected out of hundreds of applicants nationwide to be one of ten musicals by new voices to be presented this month in the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF).

Arnie, a lovable chocolate-frosted doughnut with rainbow sprinkles, is the happiest pastry in the bakery when he’s finally selected to be taken home by a new owner. But when mild-mannered Mr. Bing tries to eat the unsuspecting Arnie, both are in for the surprise of their lives! Embark upon a hilarious quest to redefine human/doughnut relations in this unexpectedly original new musical that both kids and adults will enjoy. The 9th annual NYMF will take place in Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres in the New York theatre district tonight, July 9 through July 29, 2012; specific performance venues, dates and times for Arnie the Doughnut will be announced later this spring, for information and tickets visit www.nymf.org.

Arnie the Doughnut is a delicious family musical with music and lyrics by George Howe and book by Frances Limoncelli, based on the best-selling story by Laurie Keller. Arnie premiered at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre in 2011, and will be presented this July as a Next Link selection in the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), performance dates and venue TBA. For more information visit www.ArnieTheDoughnut.com.

Fundraising efforts have begun to cover the show’s New York production costs. Tax-deductible donations can be made via the NYMF website at https://www.nymf.org/donatetoarniethedoughnut.

Arnie the Doughnut is one of ten official selections of the New York Musical Theatre Festival’s 2012 Next Link Project: musicals by new writers who have been through the festival’s rigorous blind adjudication process, and follows in the footsteps of such NYMF success stories as Altar Boys, [title of show], The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and Next to Normal which went on to a Broadway run, winning several Tony awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. As New York’s preeminent launching pad for new musicals, NYMF provides an affordable way for artists to self-produce productions in Broadway and Off-Broadway venues so they can reach important industry leaders and musical theatre enthusiasts. Although NYMF’s support is substantial, the artists are still responsible for raising the majority of the capital needed to produce their shows in the festival.

Arnie the Doughnut is based on the best-selling children’s book by Laurie Keller, and premiered at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre in the spring of 2011. “Arnie was a riotous success with our audiences, young and old,” said Lifeline Theatre Artistic Director Dorothy Milne. “We are proud that it was developed at our theater. Go Arnie!” Lifeline is known for creating dynamic new stage plays based on works of literature, ranging from period classics, to edgy contemporary titles, to family programming. Lifeline commissioned the writing of Arnie the Doughnut based on a proposal by Limoncelli, who is a long-time member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble.

For Limoncelli, the adaptor of eight stories for the stage, presenting in NYMF could be a breakthrough moment. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be seen by producers and other industry leaders who could give Arnie the Doughnut a successful future, perhaps in the form of a New York production, national tour, or publication in a prestigious catalog -- the possibilities are endless!”

Composer and lyricist Howe is an expert at creating family fare that is as much fun for adults as it is for children. Ten of his eleven musicals are for families, including his successful Click, Clack, Moo series with James E. Grote, which all premiered at Lifeline Theatre before going on to productions at numerous regional theatres nationwide – but New York audiences have yet to hear of him.

Now in its ninth 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.

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