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Felicia Finley, MJ Rodriguez & Nathan Lucrezio Join Cast of THE LAST WORD at NYMF


This summer, NYMF will be on quest to save Paradise one Scrabble tile at a time. The new musical, The Last Word will be presented at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET project (229 W 42nd St) . The Last Word is written by Brett Sullivan (Billy Elliot Live Film Director) and will be directed by Michael Bello (Doctor Zhivago), choreography by Nick Kenkel (Gotta Dance, Legally Blonde) and Musical Supervisor is Conrad Helfrich (Dirty Dancing). It will begin performances on July 22 and will run through July 29, 2016. Tickets are $27.50 and can be purchased by visiting

With an eclectic 1970's groove soundtrack, The Last Word is set in East Cleveland in 1976 and follows Jay a charismatic slacker living above Paradise, the restaurant his father left him. But Jay has accumulated a trail of debt which includes Earlene Floyd, a local parking lot mogul, who wants to bulldoze Paradise and put up a parking lot. Jay enlists his old school gang of misfits with plans to raise cash by hustling across America - one game of Scrabble at a time. But old factions and Earlene's offensive to crush them threaten Paradise forever. Who will have the last word?

To see The Last Word trailer please, click here.

To hear the music from The Last Word, click here:

The cast includes: Amanda Braun (National Tours: Catch Me If You Can), Felicia Finley (Broadway: Smokey Joe's Café, The Wedding Singer), Kristian Espiritu (Here Lies Love), Michael Graceffa (National Tour: Matilda), Haley Hannah (Broadway: Bring It On), Jessica Jain (Pitch Perfect, A Free Man of Color), Travis Kent (Broadway: Disaster), Nathan Lucrezio (Broadway: Aladdin), MJ Rodriguez (RENT, 2011 revival), Philip Jackson Smith (Mozart in the Jungle), Kit Treece (EST's Until She Claws Her Way Out, National Tour: Chorus Line).

Creative team includes: Adam Crinson (Scenic & Props Designer), Christopher Vergara (Costume Designer), Isabella Byrd (Lighting Designer), Josh Liebert (Sound Designer), Rachael Danielle Albert (Production Stage Manager), Sharon Fallon (General Manager), Michael Cassara (Casting). Cast TBA. The Last Word is produced by Amber Jacobsen and Steam Musicals.

Although this marks, Brett Sullivan's first musical, he is no stranger to theatre. Brett and his business partner Clayton Jacobsen own and operate Steam Motion and Sound the Production Company that films most theatrical television commercials for the West End and Broadway. Working with Disney, Really Useful, Cameron Macintosh, Working Title, Dodgers, and Barry Weisler, Steam redefined live theatrical production for the stage. Additionally, they have filmed live theatrical productions including Les Misérable 25th Anniversary, Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall, Jesus Christ Superstar at Arena, Love Never Dies, Billy Elliot Live, and Miss Saigon.

Listing info:


Book, Music, And Lyrics by Brett Sullivan;

Directed by Michael Bello; Musical Supervisor Conrad Helfrich

Choreography by Nick Kenkel; Additional Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham

Performances Schedule

Friday, July 22 at 8:00 pm; Sunday, July 24 at 5:00 pm

Tuesday, July 26 at 8:00 pm; Friday, July 29 at 5:00 pm

Friday, July 29 at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $27.50 and can be purchased by visiting

The Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET

project is located at 229 W 42nd Street (btwn 7th & 8th Ave)

For more information, please visit

To arrange interviews or press tickets please contact

JT Public Relations/ (646) 481-6583

Who's Who:

Brett Sullivan (Book, Music And Lyrics) Brett Sullivan is a London based film and television director. He directs music videos, commercials, documentaries and concert films for some of the world's biggest artists as well as theatrical productions in London's West End and Broadway. He produced the live films of Les Misérable 25th Anniversary, Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall, Jesus Christ Superstar at Arena, Love Never Dies, Billy Elliot Live, and Miss Saigon. His PBS pinball documentary Special When Lit kicked off an interest in the world of Scrabble, in turn becoming his first musical - The Last Word. Brett lives in south London with his wife and four kids and can't wait to have his musical debut at The New York Musical

Michael Bello (Director) Previous NYMF: What Do Critics Know? (winner of 2 Best of Fest Awards, highest grossing show of the 2015 Festival). Directing: Next to Normal, (NYIT Award nom. Outstanding Prod. of Musical), We Are The Tigers, Ryan Scott Oliver's Darling: A New Musical, Hello Again (IRENE noms. Best Musical & Best Director), Spears: The Gospel According to Britney, and concerts at the Berkshire Theater Festival, among others. Assisting: Doctor Zhivago (Broadway Theater, dir. Des McAnuff), Fly By Night (Dallas Theater Center, TheaterWorks), A Little More Alive (Kansas City Rep, dir. Sheryl Kaller), Candide (Huntington, dir. Mary Zimmerman), Working (59E59, dir. Gordon Greenberg), among others. Current: In The Heights at The Gallery Players and Assistant Director of The Underpants at Guild Hall in East Hampton. Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. B.F.A. Emerson

Nick Kenkel (Choreographer) On Broadway, Nick is co-choreographer with Jerry Mitchell on Gotta Dance. He was the Assistant Choreographer on Legally Blonde, Associate Choreographer on "Catch Me If You Can". Nick was the Associate Director and Co-Choreographer for PEEPSHOW in Las Vegas which ran for a successful four and a half years at Planet Hollywood Casino & Resort. Nick has directed/choreographed his own versions of Dreamgirls, Chicago, and Legally Blonde at North Shore Music Theatre, one of New England's finest regional theatres, receiving numerous IRENE Award Nominations including Best Director and Best Choreographer. Nick has directed the last three annual instalments of Broadway Bares in New York City. Nick choreographed and restaged the 1st National Tour of Catch Me If You Can. His work can currently be seen at Barclay's Center in Brooklyn as he is a regular choreographer for the Brooklynettes, NBA pro dance team.

Conrad Helfrich (Music Supervisor) Credits as Musical Director/Supervisor and Arranger include Dirty Dancing (Hamburg, 2006-2008), London (2006-2011 and 2013), Toronto, Utrecht, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Berlin, Oberhausen, Stockholm, German National Tour, Milan, Paris and the current US National Tour, The Australian Outback Spectacular (2006-2010) for Warner Village Theme Parks, The Full Monty (2003 Australia), Singin' in the Rain (2001 Australia and Asia), The Man from Snowy River (2001/2002 Australia), Jolson (1999/2000 Australia), Me and My Girl (1994-1996 Australia and New Zealand), The New Rocky Horror Show (1992 Australia and Asia), Blues in the Night (1991 Australia), Nine (1987-1988 Australia), Me and My Girl (1986 Australia), Songbook (Australia), As You Like It (Melbourne Theatre Company 1984). Awards - Aria Awards As Best Cast Albums For Nine (1989) and The Man From Snowy River (2003), Green Room Award As Best Musical Director (The Man From Snowy River).

Ryan Cunningham (Additional Lyrics) Jonathan Larson Award-winning lyricist and book writer, and a Drama Desk and MAC Award nominee. His Off-Broadway musical, I Love You Because, was in the NAMT Festival of New Musicals and went on to be produced all over the world in five languages. His musical, Next Thing You Know, has been produced at CAP 21 in New York, across America and in Europe, and was called "Rent for this generation," by The New York Times. He is a graduate of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.

The New York Musical Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theater event in the world. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theater fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 24 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form."

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF 2015 is sponsored by The City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Fuzzrocket, PRG, TheaterMania, and Clear Channel Spectacolor, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

The NYMF PASS is a great way to experience The New York Musical Festival. With a NYMF PASS, you can get into the theater before individual ticket holders. Passes also offer the exclusive ability to book tickets before they go on sale to the public. Individual tickets are now on sale!

The 2016 New York Musical Festival will take place July 11 - August 7. For more information, please visit:

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