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Casting Announced for NYMF's Claudio Quest and Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty

The new musicals will be seen as part of the annual festival in July.

Shakina Nayfack and Gil Perez-Abraham will star in the NYMF musical Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty.
(© Shira Friedman)

Casting has been announced for several productions that are part of this summer's New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Drew Fornarola and Marshall Pailet's Claudio Quest will be directed by Avenue Q Tony nominee John Tartaglia. Running from July 7-14 at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center, the production stars C.J. Eldred, Ethan Slater, Andre Ward, Lesley McKinnell, and Lindsey Brett Carothers, with Max Chernin, Alex Goley, Abby Hart, Katie Lee Hill, Andre Jordan, and Tiffany Mann.

Claudio Quest is a musical comedy that follows a very super hero, his less super little brother, and one butt-kicking princess, as the three embark on a mission to overcome killer eggplants, a love-starved platypus, and their own eight-bit existential crisis.

With choreography by Shannon Lewis, the production features scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Leon Dobkowski, lighting design by Jennifer Schriever, sound design by Matt Kraus, puppetry by Puppet Kitchen Productions, music direction by Gary Adler, and orchestrations by Doug Katsaros.

Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty, with a book by Noemi de la Puente, music by David Davila and Howard Post, and lyrics by de la Puente and David Davila, will play the Griffin July 21-27 under the direction of José Zayas. The company comprises Gil Perez-Abraham and Shakina Nayfack, along with A.J. Meijer, Alicia Taylor Tomasko, Anthony Chan, Erika Gonzalez, Michael Marotta, and Tami Dahbura.

Winner of the 2014 NYMF Developmental Reading Series, this Latin infused American musical is inspired by the true story of a Princeton undergrad who was an undocumented child immigrant from the Dominican Republic. When Manuel gets a scholarship to study at Oxford, he's faced with the realization that he can't leave the United States. He takes on the Statue of Liberty in the fight of a lifetime; the high-stakes boxing match that is immigration today. Is Manuel worthy? No one is spared in this political comedy that pulls no punches about immigration reform and the American Dream.

The creative team is made up of Sidney Erik Wright (choreography), Karl Hedrick (musical direction), Zach Blane (lighting design), David Margolis Lawson (sound design), Jason Simms (set design), Lux Haac (costume design).

To Hell and Back, a concert of an Orpheus and Eurydice-inspired rock musical by Joel B. New, will take place July 7 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Currently scheduled to appear are Becca Ayers, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Blake Whyte, Joshua Hinck, Kate Steinberg, and Hansel Tan. Scott Wasserman serves as orchestrator, with Joshua Zecher-Ross as musical director and Lori Wolter Hudson as director.

For tickets to Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty, click here.

For tickets to Claudio Quest, click here.

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