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NYMF Announces Full 2008 Line-up

By New York City
Hunter Foster
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Hunter Foster
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) has announced the complete line-up for its fifth annual festival, which will include 24 full productions, a dance series, a developmental series, concerts and special events. The festival will run September 15-October 5.

Full productions will include About Face, with book & lyrics by David Arthur and music by Jeffrey Lodin, suggested by Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and set in 1955 amid the sexually charged hijinks of Whittney College; Bedbugs, with book & lyrics by Fred Sauter and music by Paul Leschen, a futuristic rock musical about an exterminator hell-bent on avenging her mother's freak death; Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale, with book by Hunter Foster and music and lyrics by Rick Crom, about America's most romantic gangsters; The Bubble: A Musical Dot-Comedy, with book by Karen J. Paull, music by David Pack, and lyrics by Karen J. Paull and David Pack, set in Silicon Valley, circa 1991; Castronauts, with book & lyrics by Bobby Houston, and music by Randy Courts, about an underground cabaret in a Havana slum; College: The Musical, with book, music and lyrics by Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen, a tuneful take on modern campus life; Cyclone (and the Pig-Faced Lady), with book & lyrics by Dana Leslie Goldstein and music by Rima Fand, about a comic book artist who must find a way to become the hero of her own story; and The Fancy Boys Follies, with book & lyrics by David Pevsner, and music by Michael Skloff, Jamie Forsyth, Michael Orland, Mark Hummel, Chris Lavely & David Pevsner, in which five sexy men sing, dance and strip in this hilarious low-rent Ziegfeld Follies.

The Hatpin, with book & lyrics by James Millar and music by Peter Rutheford, is about a woman who advertises her baby in a newspaper classifieds section in the hope of saving his life; Heaven in Your Pocket, with book by Mark Houston, Francis J. Cullinan & Dianne Sposito, and music and lyrics by Mark Houston, is about a female family singing trio from Heaven, Oklahoma; I Come For Love, with book, music and lyrics by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal, is an intergalactic screwball comedy; Idaho!, with book & lyrics by Buddy Sheffield and music by Sheffield and Keith Thompson, is a spoof of one of Broadway's most beloved classics; Jason & Ben, with book, lyrics & music by Matthew Loren Cohen, features two songwriters in a game of sexual and psychological manipulation; The Jerusalem Syndrome, with book & lyrics by Laurence Holzman & Felicia Needleman and music by J. Kyle Rosen, explores the real psychological phenomenon that makes ordinary tourists in Jerusalem come to believe they are figures from the Bible; Love Jerry, with book, music & lyrics by Megan Gogerty, is about the relationship of two adult brothers; and Max and the Truffle Pig, with book by Suzanne Bradbeer, music by Bert Draesel and lyrics by Nancy Leeds, is based on the children's story by Judith Gwyn Brown.

Set in the underground gay scene in 1953 Hollywood, Play It Cool, features book by Larry Dean Harris and Martin Casella, lyrics by Mark Winkler, music by Phillip Swann, direction by Sharon Rosen, with additional musical contributions by David Benoit, Michael Cruz, Marilyn Harris, Robert Kraft, Emilio Palame, Joe Pasquale and Dan Siegel. The Road to Ruin (The 1928 Exploitation Musical), with book, music and lyrics by William Zeffiro, is about Little Sally Canfield, "The Nicest Girl at Central High." Featuring book, music, and lyrics by Matt Prager, She Can't Believe She Said That! recounts the true story of talk show hostess Kathie Lee Gifford over thirty years. That Other Woman's Child, with book, music and lyrics by Sherry Landrum and George S. Clinton, is a joyful, bluegrass-laced look at the trials and tribulations of the ties that bind.

Additional full productions include To Paint the Earth, with book & lyrics by Daniel F. Levin and music by Jonathan Portera, inspired by first-hand accounts of the Jewish Underground in the Warsaw Ghetto; Twilight in Manchego, with book, music & lyrics by Matt Gould, about a tragedy in a small town; Villa Diodati, with book by Collette Inez & Mira J. Spektor, music & additional lyrics by Mira J. Spektor, lyrics by Colette Inez, additional Lyrics by Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley & William Wordsworth; and Wood, with book and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis, about a young man sneaks away to the seedy wood on the outskirts of his Normal town.

The festival will also include four original dance musicals. The Hourglass and The Poisoned Pen, co-written by Andrew Pepoy and choreographed by Mark Yonally, is about a young girl with the power to control time. Sophia's Fall features music by Benjamin Birney, book by Rob Seitelman, and choreography by Jason Summers. This intense dance/rock retelling of the creation story has Sophia, the feminine divine, driving the action and drama of the story. Ward 9 has a book by Gregory Victor and Matt Williams, and is directed and choreographed by Matt Williams. The tragicomical story -- told entirely through dance -- is set in a mythic asylum hosting famed patients Vincent Van Gogh, Howard Hughes, Vivien Leigh, Bobby Fischer, Sylvia Plath, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Vaslav Nijinsky. Wild About Harry features a book by Susan DiLallo, direction by Elizabeth Lucas, and choreography by Kelly Devine, Linda Goodrich, Josh Rhodes, Shea Sullivan and Jeff Shade. This unique, danced-through musical takes a fresh look at Leona Helmsley, one of NYC's most colorful characters, along with the man who loved her, the many others who did not, and her dog... who inherited 12 million bucks.

NYMF's Developmental Series will include Black Footnotes, written by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj and directed by Nick Petri; Lines, featuring book, music and lyrics by Timothy Huang; Wrapped, with book by Dennis Nehamen and music and lyrics by Craig Nehamen; Fairy Tale, with music and lyrics by John D. Bronston II and book by Joshua Robinson; I Love You, Madam President, with music and lyrics by Phyllis Lynd, book by Lynd and Martha Kearns, with additional dialogue by Soir Aniroc and Scott Tobin; Robin Hood, with book, music and lyrics by Tim Frey; and Ubu: A 'Patamusical, with book by Brantley Aufill, Monty Holamon, and Tony Mayes; and music and lyrics by Monty Holamon, based on Alfred Jarry's Ubu Plays.

Special events will include A Puppet Music Thing, curated by Alissa Hunnicutt; Chocolate Soup, with music and lyrics by Matt Corriel and book by Jill Jaysen; Freshly Tossed, co-created and co-curated by Wendy Seyb and Mark Lonergan; and Giant Killer Shark, with book, music, and lyrics by Sam Sutherland. Concerts will include Prospect Theatre Company's 10th Anniversary Concert, Prozak & the Platypus CD Release Party & Concert, Pasek and Paul in Concert, and one additional concert to be announced.

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