New York Musical Theatre Festival 2013 Highlights- 10 Shows to Watch!

Now in its tenth year, the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides a affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theater fans. More than 85 festival shows have gone on to productions on and off-Broadway, in 48 states, and more than 20 countries worldwide, and Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form."

The 2013 Festival opened earlier this week and BroadwayWorld wants to keep you in the loop on highlights of this season. Check out some of the most buzzed-about productions below!


BEND IN THE ROAD

Cast: Jordan Barrow (Ensemble), Mimi Bessette (Camille Barry), Brandon Essig (Charlie Sloan/Salesman #1), Kasie Gasparini (Josie Pye), Justine Huxley (Prissy), Anne Kanengeiser (Marilla), Kevin Ligon, CJ Pawlikowski (Gilbert Blythe), Maureen Silliman (Rachel Lynde), Chelsea Stavis (Ruby Gillis), Martin Vidnovic (Matthew Cuthbert), Rachel Weintraub (Minnie Mae Barry), Whitney Winfield (Diana Barry), Alison Woods (Anne Shirley)

The beloved literary classic, Anne of Green Gables, comes to life in this hilarious and inspiring new musical for the whole family. Anne Shirley is mistakenly adopted by siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. Although they had hoped for a boy to help on their Avonlea farm, Anne's joyous, intelligent and vivacious spirit changes the lives of all those around her, including Matthew, Marilla and nosy town gossip Mrs. Rachel Lynde. Anne finds fast friendships at school, while her rivalry with handsome classmate Gilbert Blythe changes unexpectedly as they enter adulthood.

CROSSING SWORDS

Cast: Linda Balgord (Miss Daignault / Older Nicky), Ali Gordon (Nicky), Steve Hauck (Sir/Older Jeremy), Lyle Colby Mackston (Jeremy), Marrick Smith (David)

When the boys of St. Mark's join the girls of St. Anne's to present "Cyrano de Bergerac," three friends get more of an education than they bargained for. Love blossoms, jealousies flare, and secrets are revealed that may end their youthful innocence as life imitates art in this funny and poignant coming-of-age story.

FEATHER: A MUSICAL PORTRAIT

Cast: Richard H. Blake (Eli), Jeffry Feeger (The Artist), Jonathan Gregg (Man in Black), Brandon Khalil (Young Boy/Child Dancer), Maria May (Young Girl/Child Dancer), Peter Rini (Dr. Peterson), Jaylah Springer (Young Girl/Child Dancer)

After a human rights attorney learns her husband, a photojournalist, has been abducted from a child refugee camp, she faces the struggle of a lifetime. Her story comes together in a truly unique multimedia experience, cutting between past and present, stage and the screen, dialogue and song. With a sweeping, emotional score and an artist painting live on stage, this stunning fusion of art, film and music explores the power of imagination and, ultimately, what it means to be human.


HOMO: THE MUSICAL

Cast: Meg Baessler (Cheerleader / Others), J. Alexander Coe (Billy), Sam Given (Gaylien), Blair Goldberg (Suzie), Eric Gunhus (Narrator), Thomas Poarch (Harry), Danielle Erin Rhodes (Sally), Christopher Trepinski (Teddy / Others)

Posing as a suburban housewife, an alien from Planet Homo has infiltrated a religious middle-American town. Will the good people of Pleasant Valley Pines notice before their whole community erupts in chaos and depravity? Chock full of ear-splitting rock-and-roll and kick-ass dancing, HOMO THE MUSICAL! is an offbeat and otherworldly probing of pure camp, cult and pop.


JULIAN PO

Cast: Sean Cullen (Henry Leech), Jon Fletcher (Bobby), Malcolm Gets (Pastor Bean), Jason Gotay (Tom Potter), Chad Kimball (Julian Po), Luba Mason (Lilah Leech), Corbin Reid (Sarah), Issadora Tulalian (Izzy)

Julian Po is determined to end his life at the sea, until he finds himself stuck in the smallest, strangest town in middle America. While waiting for a connecting train, he makes friendships that start to sway him from his mission, with repercussions no one anticipated. This darkly humorous modern day myth is set to the quintessentially American sounds of pop, rock and bluegrass.

LEGACY FALLS

Cast: Wilson Bridges (Daniel Morrison - The Young Businessman), Nikki Van Cassele (Taylor Taylor / Madison - The Troublemaker), Liz Fye (AmBer Fox / BrAndy Monroe - The Young Ingenue), Jonathan Hawkins (Jed - The Himbo), Jacob Hoffman (Tom - The Director), Dennis Holland (Mr. Everlon - The Sponsor), Tara Hugo (Stephanie Stone / Veronica Monroe Casey Bennett - The Soap Diva), Christy Morton (The Mother), Joe Paparella (Mr. Stalker / The Priest / The Billionaire), Erin Leigh Peck (Frankie - The Producer), Kevin Spirtas (Edward Trafford / Jack Monroe - The Soap Star), Rachel Stern (Fleur McCain - The Journalist)

LEGACY FALLS is the side-splitting new musical that dishes the dirt on soaps. Will there be hirings and firings? Will there be backstabbing and bitchiness? Will there be romances and hair-pulling catfights? Will there be a slightly unrealistic onscreen earthquake? Yes...Yes, there will be. Tune in to this tuneful frolic through the on- and off-screen drama of America's favorite daytime soap opera, LEGACY FALLS!


MARRY HARRY

Cast: Jenna Dallacco (Woman #1), Cameron Folmar (Manolo / Others), Annie Golden (Debby), Philip Hoffman (Big Harry), Rod Lawrence (Man #1), Jillian Louis (Sherri), Kate Rigg (Ping), Robb Sapp (Little Harry), Jane Summerhays (Francine), Katie Zaffrann (Woman #2)

Chef Harry wants to leave his family's failing restaurant but doesn't want to break his dad's heart. Sparks fly when the landlord's daughter, Sherri, sees in Harry the potential man of her dreams -- but then things start moving much too fast. Can Harry stay true to himself without disappointing those he loves? With a healthy helping of humor and just the right amount of spice, Marry Harry provides a recipe for finding your path in life.


STANDBY

Cast: Dwelvan David (Peter), Alex Goley (Andrew), Jenna Leigh Green (Cynthia), Eryn Murman (Samantha), Darren Ritchie (Richard), Matt Shingledecker (Jonathan)

Five strangers meet in an airport standby line and must decide among themselves who deserves to get on the next flight. They soon realize that this is no ordinary airport and their meeting is by no means a coincidence. With a pop-rock score, this musical reminds us how interconnected we are!


THE AWAKENING OF ANGEL DELUNA

Cast: Matt Baker (Ensemble), Tanya Gagne (Ensemble/Young Angel), Michael Thomas Holmes (Ollie), Paul C. Kelly (Deuce), Nicholas Kohn (Mike), Patty Nieman (Angel DeLuna), Zal Owen (Fred), Aidan O'Shea (Ensemble/Aerialist), Amy Rebecca Shure (Ensemble), Jena VanElslander (Ensemble), Matt Wilson (Ensemble)

Ollie let the love of his life slip through his fingers and has regretted it ever since. After discovering that the DeLuna Family Circus has fallen into the hands of a smarmy new owner from his past, he returns to the circus as a hobo clown, Can one clown recapture the heart of his true love and save the circus while keeping his identity a secret? This spectacle with live trapeze acts will remind you why the human spirit is undefeatable and love is worth every risk.


VOLLEY GIRLS

Cast: PJ Adzima (Xavier), Susan Blackwell (Kim Brindell), Juliane Godfrey (Katie Kavett), Benjamin Howes (Glenn Kavett), Jennifer C. Johnson (Flo Hartline), Charles Karel (Ref), Julia Knitel (Ingrid), Gerianne Pérez (Marisol), Allison Jill Posner (Jocelyn), Dana Steingold (Stretch), Allison Strong (Jess Hartline)

Years ago, world-class volleyball player Kim Brindell choked and became an Olympic joke. Now she's been assigned to coach the Ladyhawks, a team of wide-eyed, misfit, high-school girls who can't seem to win a game. Can Kim overcome her past (and a hardline PTA mom) to help her girls and win it all? With humor, heart, and a contemporary pop-tinged score, VOLLEYGIRLS will bump, set, and spike its way into your heart.


NYMF Memberships, which combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages and perks like early seating are currently on sale. To purchase memberships or single tickets for Festival events, call (212) 352-3101 or visit www.nymf.org.


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