NYMF Announces Next Link Musicals

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Executive Director and Producer) is pleased to announce the first 12 new musicals selected for this year's fifth annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, which will run from September 15 through October 5, 2008.

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) is a three-week celebration highlighting the next generation of musicals and the vibrant community of writers and artists working in musical theater today.  The 12 musicals announced today were selected from nearly 400 submissions, and comprise the slate of shows chosen for NYMF's writer-service program, The Next Link Project, which provides professional and dramaturgical assistance to the selected teams as well as subsidies toward their NYMF 2008 production. In addition to the Next Link Project shows, approximately 12-13 other new musicals, still to be announced, will have full productions at NYMF 2008, along with a series of developmental readings, concerts, and special events.
 
Isaac Robert Hurwitz, executive director and producer of NYMF, said, "This year's selection process was the most competitive yet, with an astounding number of extraordinary submissions from across the country and around the globe.  We're incredibly indebted to the team of readers who helped us work through such an embarrassment of riches, and to the Next Link Jurors who generously donated their time and talents to help us select a slate of exciting, compelling shows that spans the broad spectrum of styles, themes, and voices that make up today's musical theatre."
 
Next Link submissions were each reviewed by members of NYMF's reading committee before being evaluated by the Next Link Grand Jury, which included Tony Award-winning lyricist and bookwriter Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime), Tony Award-winning actors Hinton Battle (Sophisticated Ladies, The Tap Dance Kid, Miss Saigon) and Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Tony Award-nominated lyricist and librettist Michael Korie (Grey Gardens, The Grapes of Wrath), 4-time Tony-winning actress Audra McDonald (Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, and A Raisin in the Sun), Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening),  legendary director and choreographer Susan Stroman (Crazy for You, Show Boat, Contact, The Producers), and Tony Award-winning producer Elizabeth Williams (Crazy For You and the revivals of The Real Thing and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).
 
THE 2008 NEXT LINK PROJECT MUSICALS:
 
About Face
Book by and Lyrics by David Arthur, Music by Jeffrey Lodin
Suggested by Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and set amid the sexually charged hijinks of a mid-1950s college campus, this rollicking, romantic comedy finds Coach Benedick and English Literature Professor Beatrice Stanton waging their "merry war of wits."
 
Bedbugs!!! The Musical
Book and Lyrics by Fred Sauter, Music by Paul Leschen
A hell-bent exterminator must save New York City from the mutant bedbugs she accidentally creates in this 80's inspired rock musical fantasy.
 
Castronauts or: How I Killed Fidel
Book and Lyrics by Bobby Houston, Music by Randy Courtes
When Fidel Castro pays a surprise visit to an underground cabaret in Havana, presiding drag queen "Lolita" nearly chokes him with a maraschino cherry, sparking a coup d'etat and a hasty ocean crossing to Miami.
 
CYCLONE (and the Pig-Faced Lady)
Book and Lyrics by Dana Leslie Goldstein, Music by Rima Fand
Sally Kaplan is the creator of the hit underground comic book CYCLONE (and the Pig-Faced Lady), but when tragedy strikes she must choose between hiding in her comic-book world or somehow becoming the hero of her own story.
 
F**king Up Everything: The Musical
Book, Music and Lyrics by Eric Davis
What's the difference between f**king up everything and getting everything you ever f**king wanted?  Find out in this boy-meets-girl comedy of errors packed with nasty lyrics, tasty hooks and a dash of punk rock.
 
Jason and Ben
Book, Music and Lyrics by Matthew Loren Cohen
A chance encounter one cold Christmas Eve leads songwriters Jason and Ben to question each other and themselves in this new indie rock musical about the violence that lies within.
 
The Jerusalem Syndrome
Book and Lyrics by Laurence Holzman & Felicia Needleman, Music by Kyle Rosen
Zaniness ensues when tourists in Israel fall prey to the real-life psychological phenomenon, the Jerusalem Syndrome, suddenly believing themselves to be Abraham, Moses, Jesus, John the Baptist and not one but two Virgin Marys!  The result is a madcap musical adventure of biblical proportions.
 
Love Jerry
Book, Music and Lyrics by Megan Gogerty
The relationship of two adult brothers is tested in this unblinkingly honest folk musical that explores the long-term effects of child abuse on a family.
 
Midnight, South Carolina
Book, Music and Lyrics by James Goode
Shakespeare's Hamlet re-imagined and revolutionized in the firestorm of the 1960s struggle for Civil Rights.
 
To Paint the Earth
Book and Lyrics by Daniel F. Levin, Music by Jonathan Portera
Life in the Warsaw Ghetto seen through the eyes of Chaim, a young painter, who witnesses a community clinging to life in the midst of death and finding in each other the strength to ultimately fight back.
 
Twilight in Manchego
Book, Music and Lyrics by Matt Gould
Tragedy shatters a small town and forces an extraordinary elementary school teacher to finally put his haunting past to rest.
 
Wood
Book and Lyrics by Dan Collins, Music by Julianne Wick Davis
A modern day re-imagining of A Midsummer Night's Dream complete with spandex clad color guard enthusiasts, shirtless Christians, quarreling divas,  under cover mothers and a sassy trio of Fairies who sing, dance and put En Vogue to shame, all from the stalls of a public men's room!
 
 
Memberships for the 2008 Festival will go on sale May 16, and provide the best way for theatergoers to guarantee access to the hottest productions and their choice of performances.  Starting at just $100 for four tickets, memberships combine charitable contributions to the Festival with valuable, flexible subscription packages.  Members can book their complimentary seats a month before tickets go on sale to the general public, and receive priority seating at the theater, insider information and partner discounts, exclusive programming, and other benefits.   For more information, visit www.nymf.org.
 
 
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) provides a launching pad for emerging musical theater writers, composers, lyricists, and performers -- and a powerful engine for new work.  Hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," NYMF takes over midtown Manhattan for three weeks each fall, with a slate of more than 25 full productions and over 50 workshops, readings, concerts, parties, seminars, and other special events celebrating the newest generation of musical theater artists.
 
Now entering its fifth season, the festival has premiered more than 130 new musicals since 2004, many of which have gone on to subsequent award-winning productions off-Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and around the world.  Earlier this season in New York, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's Next to Normal (NYMF '05) had a successful run at Second Stage Theatre Off-Broadway. NYMF's 2004 hit Altar Boyz is now in its fourth year Off-Broadway at New World Stages, and on July 5, NYMF alum [title of show] will bow at the Lyceum Theatre, the first new Broadway musical of the 2008-09 season.
 
The flagship program of The National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, 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.  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 the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

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