Jimmy Kieffer Sets Sail at NYMF In BACKBEARD: THE MUSICAL

Jimmy Kieffer Sets Sail at NYMF In BACKBEARD: THE MUSICAL

Inspired by the popular children's books by Matthew McElligott and following its world premiere at the Theatre Institute at Sage College, Backbeard: The Musical will make its New York premiere as part of the New York Musical Festival.

A hilarious pirate musical for all ages, Backbeard: The Musical was created during a a two-year collaboration between Sage College faculty members Matthew McElligott (book & lyrics) and Michael Musial (music & lyrics), with Sage alum Brian Sheldon (book) and Larry Tuxbury (lyrics & book), a teacher and children's book author.

This rollicking musical tells the tale of Backbeard, the hairiest pirate who ever lived, and his quest to answer the question "How should a pirate look?" When a rowdy birthday party ruins his clothes, a pair of persuasive tailors convince him to try a vibrant new outfit of patterned trousers, a colorful coat, and a pig. Now the fearsome pirate must face his greatest challenges: winning the acceptance of the Pirate Council, the townspeople, and even his own crew, in a high-spirited story of courage, acceptance, and standing up for who you are.

Backbeard: The Musical will star Off-Broadway veteran Jimmy Kieffer (Peter and the Star Catcher) as the Backbeard, and he will be joined by an ensemble cast comprised of 15 students and alumni from Sage College's Department of Theater - many of whom will make their New York and professional debut when the production sets sail later this summer.

Performances of Backbeard: The Musical will take place as part of the 2017 New York Musical Festival's Next Link Project at New York's Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (410 W. 42nd Street, between Ninth & Tenth Avenues). Schedule is as follows:

Monday, July 31 at 8:00pm

Thursday, August 3 at 5:00pm

Saturday, August 5 at 10:30am

Saturday, August 5 at 1:30pm

Sunday, August 6 at 1:00pm

Tickets for Backbeard: The Musical, as well as the rest of this year's New York Musical Festival selections, can be purchased online at www.nymf.org.



Jimmy Kieffer (Backbeard) Off-Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher. Regional: South Pacific (Guthrie Theater); A Servant To Two Masters (Pittsburgh Public Theater); Victor/Victoria (Theatre Under the Stars); ...Poe, The Rivals (Baltimore Centerstage); Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare Theatre Co.); Elf, Avenue Q (Arkansas Rep); Big River, As You Like It, Opus, All My Sons, Pride and Prejudice, Shipwrecked!, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Little Prince and Pericles (Playmakers Rep); Amadeus and Macbeth (Chautauqua Theater Company); A Christmas Carol, Livin' In the Garden, To Kill a Mockingbird and Twelfth Night (ALLIANCE THEATRE). Film/TV: Ricki and the Flash, "Criminal Minds," "A Place Apart and A Reason to Believe. Education: Master of Fine Arts at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael Musial (Music & Lyrics) is an Associate Professor and the Edith McRae distinguished professor in Music at the Sage Colleges, where he served as the founding director of the Theatre Institute at Sage and currently serves as the director of the Sage Singers. He directed the recent Theatre Institute at Sage productions of The Secret Garden, Les Misérables, Peter Pan, and Seussical: The Musical. He also directed and music directed numerous productions at Russell Sage College over the past 26 years, including Songs For A New World, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Urinetown, Lady in the Dark, Nunsense, Candide, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Sweeney Todd, Quilters, and Little Women, among others. He served as the music director of many productions with the New York State Theatre Institute. He is the Director of Music at St. Augustine's Church in North Troy. A Fulbright Scholar, Michael will travel abroad in the spring of 2017 to teach musical theatre at the New Bulgarian University and the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria.

MATTHEW MCELLIGOTT (Book & Lyrics) is a Professor of Art + Design at The Sage Colleges and the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the Backbeard books, the Mad Scientist Academy series, Even Aliens Need Snacks, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, and the Benjamin Franklinstein series. His books have been published around the world in many languages on five continents. Like Backbeard, he is tall, aromatic, and not particularly bright. More information can be found on his website at http://matthewmcelligott.com.

LARRY TUXBURY (Book & Lyrics) is an English Language Arts teacher in Guilderland, NY. Co-author of Matthew McElligott's Benjamin Franklinstein trilogy, Larry lives in the New York capital region with his wife and two daughters.

BRIAN SHELDON (Book) is a native of Schenectady and has been seen on many of the area's stages, including the New York State Theatre Institute, the Theatre Institute at Sage, Saratoga Shakespeare Company, Albany Civic Theatre, Schenectady Light Opera Company, the Theatre Barn, and more. Primarily an actor, Brian dove into playwriting a few years ago while attending Russell Sage College as a part of their inaugural Male Actor Apprenticeship Program. Brian has developed other original shows for the Theatre Institute at Sage, including Bizzy The Safety Dog and Ben's Lightening Round, which traveled to area schools, bringing education and theatre into the classroom.


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The New York Musical Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.

Now in its fourteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theater event in the world. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theater fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 24 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award 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."

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. 2017 NYMF is sponsored by The City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, PRG, TheaterMania, Clear Channel Outdoor and the Village Voice, and is supported, in part, 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.

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The 2017 New York Musical Festival will take place July 10 - August 6. For more information, please visit: www.nymf.org.

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