Photo Flash: Stephen Schwartz, Julia Murney and More at The New York Musical Festival Benefit Concert

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The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) (Scott Pyne, Executive Director and West Hyler, Producing Artistic Director) last night held the 2019 Benefit Concert honoring Grammy, Tony, and Academy Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and Olivier Award-winning choreographer Kelly Devine, both alumni of NYMF. The 2019 Benefit Concert took place on Monday, November 18 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036).

Take a look at photos below!

The evening included selections highlighting the honorees' careers, including Wicked, Pippin, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Children of Eden, Prince of Egypt, Rock of Ages and Come From Away. The honorees were celebrated by Broadway stars and NYMF alumni, including Kelli Barrett (Wicked, Doctor Zhivago, Fosse/Verdon), Tony nominee Charl Brown (Motown), Gregory Diaz IV (Pedro Pan, In the Heights), Lisa Howard (Escape to Margaritaville), Tamika Lawrence (Come From Away), Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita (Zorro, Matilda), Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages), Gabrielle McClinton (Pippin), Jack McGinty (Children of a Lesser God), Joey McIntyre (New Kids On The Block, Wicked), Julia Murney (Wicked), Jack Noseworthy (Come From Away), Gypsy Snider (Pippin), Tony nominee Jarrod Spector (Jersey Boys, The Cher Show, Beautiful), Tony nominee Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge), and Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Ain't Too Proud). The evening also featured Jeanna de Waal (Kinky Boots) performing a selection from the upcoming Broadway musical Diana and a special performance by honoree Stephen Schwartz himself.

The 2019 NYMF Artist Fellow Anessa Marie also presented a sneak preview of the musical she and her writing partner Danny Bristoll are writing for NYMF 2020.

The evening was hosted by Frank DiLella (NY1/OnStage), directed by West Hyler (NYMF Producing Artistic Director, Paramour, Big Apple Circus), with musical direction by Charity Wicks (Billy Elliot).

The New York Music Festival also announced last night the NYMF Directing Core. For an emerging director in New York City, NYMF can serve as a valuable launchpad where the next generation can receive the opportunity to helm a musical production for the first time. This inaugural group is comprised of skilled artists who have proven their talent, know how to work well with musical theater writers, and can effectively navigate all the unique challenges to mounting a production in a festival environment. These artists will be promoted by the festival and introduced to the writing teams upon their acceptance. While the writers will still be free to use any director that they choose, the NYMF Directing Core has received the endorsement of the Festival and will be invited to every creative mixer and introduced to every writing team. In this way, NYMF acknowledges its place as a launchpad for Musical Theater Directors.

The inaugural NYMF Directing Core will be NJ Agwuna, Zi Alikhan, Rebecca Aparicio, Jaki Bradley, Estefania Fadul, Kemar Jewel, Arpita Mukherjee, Samantha Saltzman, Chloe Treat, and Susanna Wolk.

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