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Rubin-Vega Added to Bway Battle of the Bands Line-Up

Fresh from her performance in the Off-Broadway hit Jack Goes Boating, Daphne Rubin-Vega and her band have joined The New York Musical Theatre Festival's first-ever Broadway Battle of the Bands competition on Friday, May 18 at 10:00pm at The Zipper Factory, 336 West 37th Street in Manhattan.

"Broadway Battle of the Bands" – being presented by the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) as part of its new spring program of one-of-a-kind concerts – will also feature the bands of Spring Awakening star John Gallagher Jr.'s Old Springs Pike, High Fidelity composer's Tom Kitt Band, the 'infamous' family band The Petersons, and Tastiskank, a racy ensemble comprised of actors from two of Broadway's most wholesome shows, Wicked and Beauty and the BeastThe "Broadway Battle of the Bands" – the first Broadway Bandapalooza, if you will – "sheds light on the extracurricular talents of Broadway performers and musicians, many of whom perform with bands outside the theatre community or have their own bands with steady gigs and avid followers," as described in press materials.
 
"The May 18 concert kicks off the New York Musical Theatre Festival's Next Link Launch Party Weekend (May 19 – 20) -- two days of networking, seminars and work sessions with NYMF staff members and other theatre professionals designed to help participants prepare their shows for the upcoming 4th Annual New York Musical Theatre Festival September 17 through October 7, 2007.
 
NYMF's Broadway Battle of the Bands is a contest in which the evening's bands will compete for the title of 'best band.' The winner, determined by audience response, will receive a prize, in addition to 'bragging rights.'
 
This season alone Rubin-Vega has starred on Broadway in the current revival of Les Miserables and Off-Broadway in the LAByrinth's production of Jack Goes Boating at the Public Theater.  She earned Tony Award nominations for her performances in the Pulitzer Prize-winning shows Anna in the Tropics and Rent. Rubin-Vega also appeared in Broadway's The Rocky Horror Show, and Off-Broadway in Everythings Turning Into Beautiful, Bernarda Alba, F*cking A, Gum, and Two Sisters and a Piano. On screen she has been seen in Wild Things, Flawless and Skeleton Woman.  Her solo recordings are titled "Rocket Man" and the current CD "Redemption Songs."

Currently starring in the hit musical Spring Awakening, John Gallagher Jr's band is called Old Springs Pike, which blends the cricket chirp of a suburban slow-fade with the subway scream of metropolitan mayhem.  Using four part harmony (James Smith, James Cleare Heather Robb and John Gallagher, Jr.) as a diving board, these twenty-somethings find themselves in stylistic depths ranging from a fair-paced folk to a rarely restrained roots rock. With an energetic, spontaneous live act, Old Springs Pike proves that it's not just a concert, but an event. 
 
'The Tom Kitt Band' consistently packs such legendary New York City clubs as Mercury Lounge, Arlene Grocery and the former Wetlands.  Four incredible musicians fill out the band: Tom Kitt on piano and lead vocals, Damien Bassman on drums, Dan Grennes on bass, and Michael Aarons on guitar.  Combining a pop sensibility with their innate musical gifts, The Tom Kitt Band's recorded debut 'Find Me' has had both critical and commercial success, and the band's live shows have wowed both critics and audiences, earning the band a large and loyal following. 
 
Adam Stein, Keira Naughton, Pete Simpson, Matt Saldivar and Evan Robertson comprise The Petersons, described by The New York Times as 'a hipster theater mock-rock group with a devoted following.' Purveyors of a unique blend of live music and irreverent satire (a situation-rock-comedy, if you will),  The Petersons have played more than 30 sold out shows in NYC at such venues as Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, Caroline's Comedy Club, the Bottom Line (before NYU ate it), Sin-e, Ars Nova, Galapagos, Fez, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art and the West Bank Cafe.  

Kate Reinders and Sarah Litzsinger, actors from two of Broadway's most wholesome shows – Beauty and the Beast and Wicked – have united to form 'TastiSkank,' a musical comedy duo with a decidedly risqué edge.  Billed as the rockin' love child of Tenacious D and the Indigo Girls, the duo won the Breakout Award at the recent HBO Comedy Festival held in Aspen, Colorado earlier this year.  The high-energy, infectious – and sometimes raunchy – songs have proven to be popular with the late night comedy crowd, and have earned the duo legions of devoted fans throughout the tri-state area.
 
Now entering its 4th year, the New York Musical Theatre Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America.   Hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre,"  NYMF is widely-regarded as an essential source for new material and talent discovery, and has presented over 90 musicals in its first three years - including the hit shows Altar Boyz, [title of show], and The Great American Trailer Park Musical.  In 2007, it will present its 100th musical production.  Already this season in New York, two musicals from past Festivals – The Big Voice: God or Merman (NYMF '04) and Gutenberg! The Musical (NYMF '06) – have launched successful runs Off-Broadway, with a third – Nerds://A Musical Software Satire - enjoyed a successful run at Philadelphia Theatre Company.  NYMF'04 hit Altar Boyz is now in its third year Off-Broadway at New World Stages."
 
Rounding out NYMF's Spring Concert Series is the finale - "Undercover Show Tunes" (June 18) at The Zipper Factory.
 
NYMF's 2007 Spring Concert Series is co-sponsored by BroadwayWorld.com and amNewYork.

Tickets are $15 by calling 212-352-3101 or visiting this link.   Pre-show dinner packages, drink specials and late night fare will be available.  Visit www.nymf.org for more information.

Photo by Mark Rupp


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