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NYMF Announces 2008 'Best of Fest' Award Winners


The New York Musical Theater Festival concluded its fifth season on October 5th having presented 241 performances over the course of 21 days. A record-breaking 25,000 people, selling the festival to 87.5% of capacity, attended the festival.  Over 75% of productions had sold-out performances, and 11 productions extended their runs to accommodate demand.
The New York Musical Theater Festival will honor the winners of the NYMF 2008 Awards for Excellence and producer Robyn Goodman at the fifth Anniversary Season Awards Gala taking place Sunday, November 2nd at The Hudson Theatre (145 West 44th Street). To purchase tickets, call (212) 664-0979 x13 or email

Best of Fest Audience Prize: Idaho! by Buddy Sheffield and Keith Thompson
Runner-Up: The Jerusalem Syndrome by Laurence Holzman, Felicia Needleman and Kyle Rosen

Most Promising New Musical:  Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale by Rick Crom and Hunter Foster
Honorable Mention:  Idaho! by Buddy Sheffield and Keith Thompson; Love Jerry by Megan Gogerty

Theater for the American Musical Prize in support of promising new American book musicals: The Jerusalem Syndrome by Laurence Holzman, Felicia Needleman and Kyle Rosen

Excellence In Writing (Music): Rick Crom, Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale
Honorable Mention: Paul Leschen, Bedbugs!!!; Drew Fornarola & Scott Elmegreen, College The Musical; Mira J. Spektor, Villa Diodati

Excellence In Writing (Lyrics): Drew Fornarola & Scott Elmegreen, College the Musical
Honorable Mention: David Arthur, About Face; Rick Crom, Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale; Laurence Holzman & Felicia Needleman, The Jerusalem Syndrome

Excellence In Writing (Book): Megan Gogerty, Love Jerry
Honorable Mention: Fred Sauter, Bedbugs!!!; Laurence Holzman & Felicia Needleman, The Jerusalem Syndrome

Excellence In Direction: Matt Lenz, Idaho!
Honorable Mention: Nick Corley, About Face; Mark Waldrop, Bonnie & Clyde; Hillary Adams, Love Jerry

Excellence In Choreography: Matt Williams, Ward 9
Honorable Mention: Mark Knowles, That Other Woman's Child; Joshua Bergasse, Maurice Brandon Curry, Daryl Gray, Jeff Shade and Shea Sullivan, Wild About Harry

Excellence In Overall Design: Idaho!
Honorable Mention: Twilight In Manchego, Villa Diodati

Outstanding Ensemble Performance: Love Jerry
Honorable Mention: Bedbugs!!!, Play It Cool

Outstanding Individual Performances:
Celina Carvajal (Bedbugs!!!)
Donna Lynne Champlin (Love Jerry)
Chuck Cooper (Twilight in Manchego)
Harris Doran (Love Jerry)
Jodi Langel (I Come For Love)
Heather Laws (She Can't Believe She Said That!)
Sally Mayes (Play It Cool)
Caroline O'Connor (The Hatpin)
Brian Charles Rooney (Bedbugs!!!)
Josh Strickland (Play It Cool)
Barbara Walsh (About Face)
Kate Wetherhead (Wood)

The 2008 Awards jury was comprised of Dan Bacalzo (, Michael Berresse (actor-director). Marc Bruni (director), Amanda Charlton (Artistic Associate at Williamstown Theater Festival), Michael Dale (, Frank Evans (writer), Peter Filichia (The Star-Ledger), Jena Tesse Fox (, Tim Jerome (actor), Noel Katz (writer), Clifford Lee Johnson III (Director of Musical Theater at Manhattan Theatre Club), Patrick Lee (, Michelle Pawk (actor), and Susan Vargo (Director of Live Theatricals for Paramount and Nickelodeon).

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) celebrated its fifth year with 24 full productions, a dance series, a developmental series, concerts and special events. Since its inception in 2004, this three-week annual festival has premiered more than 130 new musicals – many of which have gone on to award-winning productions in New York, in regional theaters and on tour in 38 states, and nine countries worldwide. NYMF 2004 hit Altar Boyz has played well over 1,500 performances Off-Broadway and spawned two National Tours; fellow NYMF alum [title of show] recently played at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway; Nerds is coming to Broadway this Spring; and Off-Broadway audiences will soon see My Vaudeville Man.  This year’s Festival ran September 15th through October 5th.

Hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," NYMF exists to revitalize one of America’s greatest art forms by discovering, supporting and promoting new musical theater artists, producers, and projects, and by introducing a diverse audience to the vibrancy of contemporary musical theater. Widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery, NYMF is the flagship program of The National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and was presented in association with, Production Resource Group and, and supported by amNewYork, Barnes & Noble Booksellers,,, Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos, HX Magazine,, King Displays,, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center,, The New York Blade, Next Magazine, Panasonic Astrovision, Tekserve, TheMENEvent, VOGA Italia, and The Zipper Factorby. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by pulic funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Photo of NYMF's Prodcution IDAHO! by Richard Termine

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