NEW YORK MUSICAL FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2016 ARTISTS

The New York Musical Festival (NYMF), previously known as The New York Musical Theatre Festival, announced today the initial slate of artists participating in 2016 NYMF, taking place from July 11 through August 7 in Midtown Manhattan. 

Tony Award winner and four-time Tony Nominee Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza)will direct NEWTON’S CRADLE, with book, music, and lyrics by Heath Saunders  (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) and Kim Saunders. Evan is determined to marry his girlfriend Charlie, but his father and brother don't want him to. Or his father doesn't think he can. Or his brother doesn't think he will. And his mother won't tell them otherwise. They're all so concerned with what autistic Evan might do, but he knows he is more than just his needs, and he's going to prove it. NEWTON’S CRADLE seamlessly integrates a fast-paced non-linear story with a hypnotic electronic score to create a musical unlike anything you've ever seen before: a melodic picture of a very special brain. NEWTON’S CRADLE begins performances Wednesday, August 3rd at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET® Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues).

Tony Award nominee Emily Skeggs (Fun Home) will star in REMISSION*, with book, music, and lyrics by Rebekah Allen. Davy is a college junior who dives into storytelling and fantasy to escape a life weighed down by stress, family dysfunction, and a flighty roommate. When blindsided by an unexpected cancer diagnosis, Davy pours herself into the search for connection through the stories of others, leaving her own disease untreated and unknown to everyone around her. Davy must find her own path through life or death decisions, and learn how to tell her own story. REMISSION begins performances Monday, July 11th at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.

Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano (American Psycho, Next To Normal) and Meghann Fahy (Next to Normal) will star in A LASTING IMPRESSION*, with a book by Emily Kaczmarek and music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak. Kali and Simone are artists, sisters, and (lately) roommates. They live, work, and navigate their mother’s chronic illness in close quarters and relative peace – until they meet Jo, a journalist wrestling with the cost of her recent assignment in Syria. As each sister becomes romantically and creatively entangled with Jo, all 3 women are forced to examine how they relate to their art, the world, and to one another. A LASTING IMPRESSION is a musical about love between artists, love between sisters, and the power of storytelling in all its forms. A LASTING IMPRESSION begins performances Wednesday, July 13th at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.

Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita (Dames at Sea, Matilda) will star in A SCYTHE OF TIME, with a book by Alan Harris and music and lyrics by Mark Alan Swanson. Inspired by two stories from Edgar Allan Poe, A SCYTHE OF TIME takes us to London, 1881, where the public can’t get enough of the infamously sensational Blackwood Articles, in which writers take their own lives and, in the process of dying, record their experience with death. On the other side of town, our heroine Signore Zenobia embarks on a quest to unravel the mystery of the articles in an effort to save her own magazine, and finds time pressing down on her as she composes a Blackwood Article of her very own. A bizarre tale of power and love, poetic justice and bloody revenge, A SCYTHE OF TIME shows us just how far one goes for fame and recognition in an absurd world. A SCYTHE OF TIME begins performances Thursday, July 21st at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018).

Dashiell Eaves (Coram Boy) will star in NICKEL MINES, which will feature lighting design byTony Award Winner Howell Binkley (Hamilton), sound design by Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg, and musical direction and orchestrations by Lortel Award nominee Or Matias (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812). With a book by Andrew Palermo (Allegiance) & Shannon Stoeke and Music and Lyrics by Dan Dyer, NICKEL MINES interprets a 2006 Lancaster, PA Amish schoolhouse shooting in which a lone gunman shot 10 girls, 5 fatally, before taking his own life. This unique work fuses movement, music and text to explore multiple viewpoints of what the Amish call 'The Happening'. Making no judgments, imposing no morals, NICKEL MINESis a living memorial to the young girls who lost their lives that day. It is also an entry point to a conversation on how violence, faith, forgiveness and justice speak to and interact with one another. NICKEL MINES begins performances Wednesday, July 27th at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET® Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues).

Tony Award winner Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert)will star in ICON, with a book by Sebastian Michael and music and lyrics by Jonathan Kaldor. 1928. The world is enthralled as American debutante, Constance Nielsen, marries into one of Europe’s ancient Royal Families. But when an impassioned affair with her music teacher sparks uproar, news of her tragic death turns her from living legend into timeless icon. 40 years later, a young man in search of his grandfather's past finds more than he's bargained for. ICON begins performances Wednesday, July 20th at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET® Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues).

Mandy Gonzalez (In The Heights, Wicked), Jon Rua (Hamilton, In The Heights) and Nick Blaemire (Godspell) will star in BREAD AND ROSES*, with book and lyrics by Jill Abramovitz, music by Brad Alexander, and music direction by Alex Gemignani (Assassins).Maya is a 25-year old Mexican woman who illegally crosses the U.S. border to work with her sister Rosa cleaning Office Building 646 in downtown LA. Witnessing firsthand the corruption and abusive working conditions, Maya joins Sam from Justice for Janitors in an attempt to unionize the workers. Alliances are formed, backs are stabbed, and the sisters’ relationship is brought to the brink. Inspired by true events, BREAD AND ROSES asks: must the American dream come at the cost of human dignity? BREAD AND ROSES will be presented twice on Friday, July 22nd at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.

FREEDOM RIDERS will feature Brynn Williams (Lazarus at NYTW) and choreography by Jon Rua (Hamilton, In The Heights), book by Richard Allen, and music and lyrics by Richard Allen & Taran Gray. FREEDOM RIDERS tells the story of Civil Rights activists as they risk their lives riding interstate buses in the extremely segregated South. Their end goal: to bring attention to the injustice of segregation in an action that would show the world an image of ‘burning bus America’ whose existence most Americans wanted to ignore. FREEDOM RIDERS proclaims the youthful and impatient voices of the American Civil Rights Movement. FREEDOM RIDERS begins performances Wednesday, July 27th at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018).

Anneliese Van Der Pol (“That’s So Raven”)will star in COOKIES*, with book, music, and lyrics by David Christensen and Michael Shapiro. New-Pine-Cone-Scout Katie arrives during Cookie Season with the hopes of continuing her legacy as overachiever and perpetual do-gooder. Chaos ensues under the helm of Troop Leader Q’Diva as Katie, her wide-eyed new best friend Jenny, and the other adorably-sailor-tongued Scouts do whatever it takes to sell the most cookies…Whatever. It. Takes. COOKIES is a side-splitting razor-sharp-witted musical comedy that will make you ask yourself: How far are you willing to go to do what’s best – or be the best? COOKIES begins performances Thursday, July 14th at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.

Luca Padovan (School Of Rock) andTracee Beazer (Something Rotten) will be featured in STILL READY: ROB ROKICKI IN CONCERT. Rob Rokicki, the award-winning composer of the Off-Broadway hit, The Lightning Thief, brings his brand of smart musical theater rock to NYMF for two special concerts only. Featuring special guest artists and Broadway friends, this will be a night to celebrate new works from Rokicki's upcoming album, Monstersongs, as well as old favorites. STILL READY: ROB ROKICKI IN CONCERT will be presented on Sunday, July 31st and Tuesday, August 2nd at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018).

Josh Davis (Beautiful The Carole King Musical) will star in THE GOLD, with a book by Philip Yosowitz & Andrea Lepcio, and music and lyrics by Philip Yosowitz. Joseph Cohen, a Jewish-German boxer, finds his 1936 Olympic ambitions crushed as the Nazi’s rise to power. He soon learns that his toughest fight lies outside the ring, as he is separated from the woman he loves and their young son. Set against the backdrop of the Holocaust and the creation of Israel, THE GOLD is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the journey of self-discovery that each of us takes as we search for purpose in our lives. THE GOLD begins performances Monday, August 1st at the Pearl Theatre(555 West 42nd Street).

Felicia Finley (The Wedding Singer) and MJ Rodriguez (RENT) will star in THE LAST WORD, with book, music, and lyrics by Brett Sullivan and additional lyrics by Ryan Cunningham. East Cleveland, 1976. Jay is a charismatic slacker living above Paradise, the restaurant his father left him. But Jay has accumulated a trail of debt which includes Earlene Floyd, a local parking lot mogul, who wants to bulldoze Paradise and put up a parking lot. Jay enlists his old school gang of misfits with plans to raise cash by hustling across America - one game of Scrabble at a time. But old factions and Earlene’s offensive to crush them threaten Paradise forever. Who will have the last word? THE LAST WORD begins performances Friday, July 22nd at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET® Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues).

Grace McLean (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) will star in MOLLY MURPHY & NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON ON OUR LAST DAY ON EARTH*. Created & written by Molly Beach Murphy, with music & lyrics by Loren Berí, MOLLY MURPHY AND NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON ON OUR LAST DAY ON EARTH is part indie lecture series and part musical cabaret. The story follows famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and his biggest fan girl through the Hayden Planetarium in the last 24 hours before the Earth is swallowed by a super-massive black hole. MOLLY MURPHY AND NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON ON OUR LAST DAY ON EARTH begins performances on Tuesday, July 12th at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.

Will Connolly (Once) will star in FOREST BOY, featuring book and lyrics by Scott Gilmour and music by Claire McKenzie. On September 5th, 2011, a boy appeared in Berlin claiming to have lived in the forest with his father for the past five years. He had no memory of his past – only that his name was Ray and he travelled to Berlin following the death of his father in the woods. What followed were nine months of speculation, police inquiry, and a global media frenzy, as the mystery of the Forest Boy slowly unravelled. Based on an incredible true story, FOREST BOY is a modern-day fairytale of growing up and, above all, imagination. FOREST BOY begins performances on Wednesday, July 27th at The Pearl Theatre(555 West 42nd Street).

Tony Award nominee Elizabeth A. Davis (Once), Kathryn Gallagher and Alex Boniello (Deaf West’s Spring Awakening) will star in DUST CAN’T KILL ME, with a book by Abigail Carney and music and lyrics by Elliah Heifetz. Drought, desperation, and a prophet’s promise of Paradise set a ragtag group of wayward souls on a Dust Bowl journey into the desert. When they arrive, their promised land is unlike anything they ever imagined, or anything they ever desired. Driven by a spirited band of actor-musicians and directed by Spring Awakening’s Srda Vasiljevic, the new folk musical DUST CAN’T KILL ME asks what’s worth fighting for when all you've got is dust. DUST CAN’T KILL ME begins performances Monday, August 1st at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018).

Aneesh Sheth (Southern Comfort) will star in NORMATIVITY, with book, music, and lyrics by Jaime Jarrett. High schooler Taylor's life is changed forever when she meets Emily, a fellow lesbian on a mission to literally rewrite her own story. But the two soon learn the path to a happy ending isn't easy, and it might even mean losing each other. NORMATIVITY begins performances Monday, July 18th at The Pearl Theatre(555 West 42nd Street).

Additional casting and creative team for all productions will continue to be announced. Performance schedules for all productions, readings, concerts and events are now available at NYMF.org.

Individual tickets for 2016 NYMF are now on sale, in addition to NYMF Passes. NYMF Passes offer discounted tickets, early ticket booking, and priority seating. Visit nymf.org/tickets for more information on both individual tickets and NYMF Passes.