New Musical By "American Idol" Finalist Among This Year's New York Musical Theatre Festival Selections | Playbill

News New Musical By "American Idol" Finalist Among This Year's New York Musical Theatre Festival Selections The 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) announced the selections for the 2015 Next Link Project, including a piece written by "American Idol" finalist Jon Peter Lewis and his band mate, Ryan Hayes of "The Voice."

The 10 musicals, and three initial invited productions, were announced as part of the 12th edition of the festival, which will take place in July at locations around midtown Manhattan in New York City.

The Next Link Project is open to any writer, produced or unproduced, with or without agency representation. The program receives hundreds of submissions from all over the world each fall, and every script and demo recording is reviewed by numerous members of NYMF's Reading Committee and then by a Grand Jury of musical theatre artists and producers.

This year's Grand Jury included Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, Drama Desk Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, Tony Award-winning producer Jane Dubin, Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor Hunter Foster, Isaac Robert Hurwitz (creative director, Fox Stage Productions), Joe Machota (CAA agent), Jonathan McCrory (director of theatre arts program at The National Black Theatre), Tony Award-winning actor Billy Porter, director and choreographer Josh Prince, Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor and writer Tony Sheldon and Motown director Charles Randolph-Wright.

Dan Markley is NYMF's executive director and producer, and Jen Bender is the director of programming and artist services.

The selected Next Link Project show teams will gather for the first time Feb. 28-March 1 to begin preparing. Industry professionals who are interested in working on NYMF 2015 shows are encouraged to attend the NYMF 2015 Networking Party Feb. 28 from 6:30-8:30 PM at Hurley's Saloon (232 West 48 St.). For more information and to RSVP, visit the Facebook invite. The Next Link Project selections follow:

210 Amlent Avenue
Book by Becky Goldberg
Music and lyrics by Karl Hinze 

"Some family secrets shouldn't come out. Welcome to the Hamptons. Guests are gathering in the summer sun at 210 Amlent Avenue, a regal beachfront property, to visit retired actress Mrs. Jordan, and to pay their respects to her recently-deceased husband, the famous Broadway director. Everything changes when Judah, a young friend of the family, shows up seeking answers about his own dead parents. Attractions form, schemes intersect, secrets are revealed, and no one will get away unchanged."

Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera
Music and lyrics by Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood
Book by Jon Peter Lewis, Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood 

"How lovers become adversaries. Funeral attire recommended. Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera is a story of love, loss and indecision where sweethearts become adversaries in pursuit of what they cannot live without. Told entirely through continuous, haunting rock and roll, Deep Love features Jon Peter Lewis from American Idol, his bandmate from The Voice Ryan Hayes (of the group Midas Whale) and Amy Whitcomb from The Voice and The Sing-Off. Heartwarming and heartbreaking, it promises to delight all ages. Audience members are encouraged to come dressed in their best funeral attire."

Book, music and lyrics by Santino DeAngelo

"The course of true art never did run smooth. Set upon an Elizabethan stage, this is the long-awaited night of 'The Fooling,' a whimsical rite of passage for all Elizabethan fools. Tonight the audience will meet Clown, the bawdy master-fool of the age, and his apprentice-fool, Student, an idealistic youth. Together they have been assigned to a retelling of The Comedies of Shakespeare, but when it's discovered that neither know anything of their subject, the Bard's most iconic characters (and the audience) get caught up in a wickedly-smart satire about the true nature of art and comedy." 

Manuel Versus the Statue of Liberty
Book by Noemi de la Puente
Music by David Davila and Howard Post
Lyrics by Noemi de la Puente and David Davila

"A musical comedy about illegal immigration. Inspired by the true story of a Princeton Undergrad who was an undocumented immigrant, and got a Rhodes scholarship to study Ancient Literature at Oxford. The Statue of Liberty wants America to be happy. Manuel wants to be a Classics Professor. Is that so much to ask? Apparently, yes. Latin music and American pop, rock, and gospel infuse the score. No one is spared in this zany political comedy that pulls no punches (pun intended) about immigration reform."

Pope! An Epic Musical
Book and lyrics by Justin Moran
Music by Christopher Pappas

"Kicking mass and taking confessions. A popular Pope is framed for a heinous crime and banished from the Vatican. The public, blinded by the media frenzy, allow a tyrannical archbishop to sweep in and seize power. His iron fist quickly tightens and armies of robotic altar-boys stalk the streets. With fear spreading, the world is crying out for a hero… and only one Pope can answer the call! When good and evil collide in a Shakespearean power struggle lines must be drawn, sides must be taken, and confrontations must be musical!" 

Single Wide
Book and additional lyrics by George D. Nelson
Music and lyrics by Jordan Kamalu

"A love story that isn’t spoiled by the trailer. Katy may live in a tiny trailer park, but that doesn't stop her from having enormous dreams. As a single mother, living with her own single mother, she does all she can to get her son out of their "single wide" situation. This includes avoiding all men, especially the type who left her there in the first place. But when her son befriends the reclusive new move-in two trailers down, she sees something different in him that makes her take a second look."

Spot On the Wall  
Book and lyrics by Kevin Jaeger
Music by Alex Mitchell

"Lost inside the art of memory. Spot on the Wall tells the story of one family's search for expression and empathy inside a museum. Paul Hunter, a talented photographer, is about to have an exhibition of his work at the museum—but when his artwork focuses on his mother's recent lost battle with cancer, his family finds out how difficult it can be to face your pain and your past. With allusions to Greek mythology and a contemporary score, Spot on the Wall reminds us to delve into the ugly truth and look for the beauty." 

The Calico Buffalo
Book by EJ Stapleton
Music and lyrics by Peter Stopschinski and EJ Stapleton

"The greatest journey is the one you take to find yourself. 'We can always use a brand new legend in this old world and now we have one. The Calico Buffalo.' Liz Smith, syndicated columnist — When the first-born son to the chief of all buffalo arrives covered with the markings of a calico kitten, the chief, his son, and the entire buffalo nation are catapulted into the adventure of a lifetime. The Calico Buffalo is a compelling theatrical experience. From the first musical moment, Grammy Award-winning composer Peter Stopschinski lets us know we are in for one wonder-filled ride."

The Cobalteans
Book, lyrics and music by Yianni Papadimos
Music by Andrew Bridges and Ben Chavez

"Things aren't always black and blue. One year after their friend Gabriel's death, four young men return to the lake house they had spent their summers growing up in. Gabriel's family has finally put the house up for sale and the boys have come to say goodbye. However, the tranquility of November on the Lake Erie coastline does not linger for long as tensions rise. Fingers are pointed about the night of their friend's tragic death. Moments of silence are broken onstage as the minds of these young men explode into song."

What Do Critics Know?
Book by Matthew Gurren
Music and lyrics by Matthew Gurren and James Campodonico

"It's nothing personal, just show business. In a strange turn of fate, the three most powerful theater critics, who have taken countless shows off the stage, must now put one on. With time running short, they enlist the help of a struggling Broadway writer, Nathan Wood, who has had a string of critically-panned flops and needs a comeback. Can the critics pull through despite their overly critical natures? Can cooperation, harmony and perhaps even love exist between an artist and a critic? Find out if poetic justice will be served cold or in a warm review in What Do Critics Know?"

NYMF 2015 Invited Production Selections:
(additional productions to be announced) 

Book by Vynnie Meli with Greg Cooper
Music by The Acappella Company
Lyrics by The Acappella Company

"A musical about finding your own voice. A disillusioned teen idol from a small southern town returns home on the eve of the centennial celebration and realizes he's left more behind than gospel and grits. But, is what Jeremiah feels love or just nostalgia? His return upends the town. Aunt Leona takes advantage and shines a light on her veteran gospel group as they put a new spin on old time gospel. She comforts Jeremiah saying, 'You have to make your own music, sing your own song.' The message of this romantic comedy is reflected in the style of it's music–acappella." 

Moses Man
Book and lyrics by Deborah Haber
Music by Casey Filiaci

"A musical journey of survival. Moses Man powerfully portrays the indomitable spirit of survival as it recounts the true saga of a Holocaust survivor, chronicling his perilous nine-year journey throughout Europe, Cyprus, Palestine, and Africa before finally finding freedom and home in America. Moses Man, based on the historically significant implications of the displacement of those facing persecution during the Holocaust, also reflects the contemporary dilemmas faced by each of us, aiming to instigate consideration, conversation and education."

Songs For the Fallen
Book by Sheridan Harbridge
Music by Sheridan Harbridge and Basil Hogios
Lyrics by Sheridan Harbridge and Basil Hogios 

"Good girls don't make history. Paris 1847. Songs for the Fallen takes you through the extraordinary life of Marie Duplessis–courtesan, party girl, liar and legend–from desperate poverty to her meteoric rise as the most notorious woman in France. Part vaudeville, part cabaret, part MTV-goes-Baroque, it is the wild and hilarious tale of a woman who knew one thing: good girls don't make history. The unbelievable tale that inspired The Lady of the Camellias, La Traviata and Moulin Rouge! Songs for the Fallen is an invitation to the decadent final party of the real-life woman." 

An additional slate of productions, special events, free events, developmental readings and educational panel discussions will be announced at a later date.


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