'Wild About Harry' to Open at NYMT on 9/19

New York Musical Theatre Festival (Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Executive Producer) has commissioned a new dance piece, 'Wild About Harry,' to be presented in their fifth season at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center 248 West 60th Street (between Amsterdam & 11th Avenues) September 19th, 20th, 21st, and 28th.

'Wild About Harry' begins where the tabloids left off. A completely fresh look at Leona Helmsley, one of NYC's most colorful characters, the one man who loved her, the many others who did not, and her dog...who inherited 12 million bucks.

"In commissioning a new dance musical, we wanted not only to bring the dance and theater communities together but also to create a rich environment where choreographers could be full collaborators from the very first stages of creating a piece. Combining the varied talents of five up-and-coming choreographic stars, an incredibly versatile cast of 12, and Leona's larger-than-life story, it's been amazing to watch Wild About Harry develop over the past few months," says Hurwitz

This unique, danced-through musical, created especially for NYMF '08 has a book by Susan DiLallo and music by Dan Acquisto. Elizabeth Lucas directs and the piece is choreographed by five of today's most talented young choreographers, Josh Bergasse, Maurice Brandon Curry, Daryl Gray, Jeff Shade, and Shea Sullivan. The cast of dancers includes Eddy Bowles, Shane Dennis, Danielle Janora, Marc Mann, Denise Miller, Dennis O'Bannion, Tiffany Lee Ocvirk, Sara Reardon, Siobhan Santapaola, Manuel Santos, Amanda Shoppe, and Kisa Willis.
The design team includes lighting by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley, costumes by Mark Richard Caswell and projections by Chris Kateff. The commission is made possible with support from Melinda Atwood, founder and executive director of DanceBreak, the popular showcase for choreographers.

The show will be performed September 19th, 8:00 pm, September 20th, 2:00 pm, September 20th, 8:00 pm, September 21st, 4:00 pm, and September 28th, 7:30 pm at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center 248 West 60th Street (between Amsterdam & 11th Avenues). Tickets for all NYMF productions are on sale now and can be purchased at www.nymf.org or by calling 212-352-3101.

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) celebrates 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 1,000 performances Off-Broadway and spawned two National Tours; fellow NYMF alum '[title of show]' recently opened to rave reviews 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 will begin September 15th and continue 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 is presented in association with BroadwayWorld.com and Production Resource Group, and is supported by amNewYork, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos, HX Magazine, Jossip.com, King Displays, Queerty.com, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, Metromix.com, The New York Blade, Next Magazine, Panasonic Astrovision, Tekserve, TheMENEvent, VOGA Italia, and The Zipper Factory. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and 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.


Elizabeth Lucas (Director) is thrilled to be making her feature directing debut with three genre movies about New York City, her rock movie musical, 'Clear Blue Tuesday,' her teen slasher flick, 'Red Hook,' and her Sci-fi 'Fade To White.' She's also made three shorts, including the multi-award-winning 'Isabella Rico,' which appeared in 33 festivals worldwide and won Best Director and Special Achievement awards. Elizabeth has developed new musicals for the theatre at every stage, including several New York Musical Theatre Festival premieres, The Last Starfighter, The View From Here and Captain Gravy's Wavy Navy. Her Midwest premiere of Hello Again won two After Dark Awards and was recommended for a Jefferson Award. Her productions of 'Footloose' and 'Jekyll & Hyde' garnered rave reviews at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. She directs regionally and has directed many readings and workshops. As a producer, Elizabeth is one of the founders of the New York Music Theatre Festival, for which she spearheaded the Movie Musical Screening Series. She also founded the Door County Opera and the Chicago Directors' Forum.

Joshua Bergasse (Choreographer) As a Director/Choreographer Joshua recently staged and directed the opening number of BC/EFA's 19th annual Gypsy of the Year competition at the New Amsterdam Theatre where he worked with 27 members of the original Broadway Cast of 'West Side Story' including Chita Rivera and Carol Lawrence in their 50th anniversary reunion! Other New York & Regional; 'The ISES Big Apple Awards!,' Stephen Schwartz's 'Captain Louie' (York Theatre & Little Shubert Theatre,) 'The World Goes Round,' 'The Whos' Tommy,' 'South Pacific,' 'Beehive,' multiple productions of 'Smokey Joes Cafe' and 'West Side Story' and the national tour of 'Fame.' World premieres include the Off-Broadway hit 'Bomb-itty of Errors'; 'Crash Nation' (Cherry County Playhouse,) 'Manhattan Magic' (Sands Resort in Atlantic City,) 'A Holiday for Hope' (Bushnell Theatre,) 'The Rose of Corazon' (Contemporary American Theatre Festival,) 'My America' (Kravis) Joshua's Broadway and National touring Credits as a performer include 'Movin Out,' 'Hairspray,' 'The Life,' and 'West Side Story.' Joshua is currently Directing and Choreographing Bianca Marroquin in her autobiographical review, Solo Pido, which premieres in Mexico City next month.

Maurice Brandon Curry (Choreographer) has directed, choreographed, and produced events as diverse as the Michael Awards for the Fashion Industry, tours and videos for Diana Ross, Prince, and Al B. Sure, the kick-off of the Tour de France and the Queen's Trust Benefit in 2006 for the charities of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Additionally, he has produced extensively in the fashion industry for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, and Giorgio Armani. Mr. Curry has also directed and/or choreographed three critically acclaimed Off-Broadway shows and many shows regionally including 'West Side Story,' 'Nunsense,' 'Sweet Charity,' 'Oliver!' and '42nd Street.' He has also directed and choreographed several short films. Mr. Curry has choreographed commercials for Burger King, Target, Fila Sportswear, and numerous industrials. He conceived, directed, and choreographed 'From Ballet to Broadway,' a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He also produced and directed the 50th Anniversary Gala for the Joffrey Ballet School, which starred Patrick Swayze, Ann Reinking, and Cady Huffman and dancers from ABT, the Joffrey Ballet, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. His last appearance at NYMF was as choreographer for 'Captain Gravy's Wavy Nav'y directed by Elizabeth Lucas. He is also on the board of directors for dre.dance, a dance company directed by Andrew Palermo and Taye Diggs. In addition to his BFA in Choreography, he holds a degree in Digital Filmmaking and Multimedia. Currently, he is the Creative Director for the NYC-based production company, Innovative Arts and Media.

Daryl Gray (Choreographer) was trained in a full dance curriculum at the Harkness, ABT and SAB schools in NYC. He was a B'way cast member of 'Dancin',' appeared as a soloist in 'On Your Toes' and other shows, and was a guest artist with numerous dance companies in the US and abroad. Choreographer: 'Ladies In Waiting' (w/ Megan Mullaly)/Chicago Civic Theater, 'A Tribute To Richard Rodgers'/St. Louis Muny Opera, 'Carmen'/NYCO Lincoln Center, 'Columbus, the Musical'/Playhouse 91, 'Amerika' (w/ Madeline Kahn)/Santa Fe Festival Theater, 'Irma La Douce'/Miami Coconut Grove Theater, 'The King & I,' 'Grease,' 'No, No Nanette,' 'Brigadoon,' 'Kiss Me Kate,' 'Annie Get Your Gun,' 'Once Upon A Mattress,' 'Camelot'/California Musical Theatre, Company/Playwrights Horizons, 'A Celebration of the American Musical'/Paul Gemianganni (Musical Director)/Televised Live From Lincoln Center, 'Disney Extravaganza for the Recording Industry'/Washington, D.C., 'Winter Dreams'/Ice Theater of NY (ice- dancing) at Rockerfeller Center, 'The Body Human' CBS TV, 'DanceBreak 2005.'  Director/Choreographer: 'Broadway Holiday' (High Fashion Industrial)/ Dallas Apparel Mart, Associate Director/Choreographer, Patience NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Dir./Choreographer - Australian and American dance productions w/singers of 'The Pirates of Penznce'/San Jose Performing Arts Center, voted Best of the Bay 2004 (San Francisco) Mercury Newspaper/ Orlando 2008, Associate Director to Julie Ann Boyd Brimstone/ Stamford Arts Center. For the concert stage he has created works for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Joffrey, American Ballet Theater Workshop, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Ballet San Jose and numerous dance companies across the U.S. His choreography has also been featured by the Bejart Ballet, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, Batsheva Dance Co. of Israel, as well as by other companies in Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Korea, former Yugoslavia and South America. He was part of the faculty for Ann Reinking's Broadway Theater Project, and is a Fulbright Scholar, having taught for universities, dance organizations and companies worldwide.

Jeff Shade (Choreographer) Recent projects include 'Sister Love' at Ohio Northern University. Other projects include a new concert piece titled 'Carry On,' for the Guild Theater in NYC and co-choreographing the new musical, 'Platforms,' as part of last year's New York Musical Theater Festival (co-winner Outstanding Choreography). Jeff's choreography was featured in 'Dancebreak 2005,' and has been seen In New York in 'The Devil Is An Ass' (Dillon's), 'New York Moves' (Atlantic Theater), and 'Watching My Hair Grow' (Chelsea Playhouse). Television choreography includes 'Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood,' 'the Rosie O'Donnell Show,' and the 'Hitomi Kiroki Japanese Television Special.' Director/Choreography credits include 'Crazy20for You' (Pittsburgh Musical Theater), 'Chicago' (Boston Conservatory), 'Random Acts Of Tapness' (Boston Conservatory), and 'Roses Are Dance' (Symphony Space). Mr. Shade's music and choreography have been commissioned by the Heinz Foundation ('Heaven') and Harvard University ('Change'),and produced by the River Side Stage Company ('Watching My Hair Grow').  On Broadway, Jeff danced in 'Sweet Charity' (directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse), served as dance captain for 'Chicago' (Walter Bobbie - director, Ann Reinking - choreographer), and was featured in 'Teddy & Alice' (choreographed by Donald Saddler). Jeff also toured with 'Crazy For You' (choreographed by Susan Stroman). He was a soloist in 'Gotta Getaway' and featured in the 'Christmas Spectacular' - - both at Radio City Music Hall. Television appearances include 'Night Of 100 Stars,' 'Tony Awards,' 'Miss America,' 'Hbo Christmas,' 'NBC's 60th Anniversary Special,' 'The Today Show,' 'Live With Regis & Kathi Lee,' and 'One Life To Live.'

Shea Sullivan (Choreographer) credits include: (Recent) 'Broadway Bares 18' (Roseland Ballroom), 'DanceBreak 08' (New World Stages), 'Bernice Bobs Her Mullet' (NYMF), 'I Got Love' (Laurie Beechman), 'Dancing on a Dream' (Duke on 42nd Street Theater), 'Get Lifted' featuring John Legend and the NY Knicks Dancers (Hammerstein Ballroom), 'Pali Poker III' featuring members of the Radio City Rockettes (Capitale). Regional: 'Wizard of Oz,' 'The Music Man,' 'Babes in Arms,' 'Anything Goes,' 'Bye Bye Birdie,' 'Thoroughly Modern Millie.' TV: 'Tap Mania' (WB 11), 'Real Simple Life' (PBS), 'The Peep Show' (Pilot). Assistant Choreographer: Showtime film 'Bojangles' starring Gregory Hines (choreo: Henry LeTang), 'A Musical Celebration of Broadway' (Drama League benefit, choreo: Maria Torres). Proud member of SSDC and the Tap & Theater Dance faculty at the Broadway Dance Center. Shea is the President of SAS Productions, Inc. Upcoming projects: Bill Russell's 'Pageant, The Musical' and the feature film 'The Big Gay Musical.' www.SheaSullivan.com


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