Backbeard (NYMF)

Backbeard (NYMF)

Super fun and energetic new musical for kids! 

Coming Up: Developing Artists Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival

Coming Up: Developing Artists Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival

Coming Up: Developing Artists Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival

by Tom Coppola

What if we told you that there is an organization in NYC that not only gives less privileged young performers training in the arts, but also provides the tools to express what is important to them, empowers them to reach their full potential, AND helps guide their personal journeys through their art? Well, listen up! Developing Artists has been doing that since 1999--and then some.

Photos: Divyne Harris &  Bobby Rodriguez

The “and then some” includes the annual Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival which invites some of the best youth performing arts companies from as far away as Pennsylvania to participate in this two-week festival. By day, the students develop their artistic skills in workshops led by working artists. By night, they perform their own original works, culminating in one collaborative piece involving all of the troupes.

This year brings 2 extra levels of awesome for D.A.’s event: They are producing it in conjunction with a new partnership with the Vineyard Theatre. The Vineyard has been a developmental home to Tony and Pulitzer award winning plays and musicals (Indecent, Avenue Q, How I Learned to Drive), so they know a thing or two about shepherding new work. Aaaand this year’s festival spokesperson is Daphne Rubin Vega (yeah you know her—the original Mimi from RENT). Kewl!

What better way to support emerging artists than to go see these Tony-winners-in-training?

Runs July 27 to August 5. Tickets are $20-25!

Speech & Debate (Berkshires)

Speech & Debate (Berkshires)

Modern-day Spring Awakening meets the writing style of Juno at this production in the Berkshires.

Seeing You

Seeing You

Immersive theater under the High Line!

7 New York Musical Festival Shows To See

7 New York Musical Festival Shows To See

7 New York Musical Festival Shows To See

By Tom Coppola

The beginning of summer ushers in lots of great theater festivals throughout the US. While there’s no lack of summer theatre festivals in NYC that focus the development of new work, the New York Musical Festival is the only one that exclusively shines the light on new musicals. See some of these new works for ridiculously low ticket prices before they move to Broadway for $139 a pop. Here are some NYMF shows that we're keeping our eyes on!


Photo: Michael Kushner

Photo: Michael Kushner

Matthew McConaughey vs. The Devil: An American Myth

Alright alright alright, the Academy Award winner has never appeared onstage in NYC, and he’s not in this. But this new musical about MM making a deal with Satan in order to win the Oscar stars Broadway A-listers Lesli Margherita and Max Crumm. You don't have to sell your souls to see THIS!

Runs July 10-16.


A Wall Apart 

No, this is not a political musical about “that” wall. It’s an original rock musical that unfolds a 30-year love story and tests the strength of a family divided during the era of the Berlin Wall. With music and lyrics by Lord Russell Graham of Air Supply (!), the story is equally timeless and topical. Check out the video to hear some of the songs.

Runs July 25-30.


Photo: Blue Fairy Photography

Photo: Blue Fairy Photography

Freedom Riders

Set during the 1960's Civil Rights era, Freedom Riders follows the true story of Civil Rights activists who defied the Jim Crow movement by riding buses through the South to effect change. The show boasts an ethnically diverse cast playing multiple roles, and a rich, hopeful score written by Richard Allen and Taran Gray.

Runs August 1-5.


Photo: Peter Wochniak

Photo: Peter Wochniak

Georama: An American Panorama Told on 3 Miles of Canvas

Chances are you’ve never heard of American artist John Banvard. Many haven’t. Now’s your opportunity to hear the story behind the first millionaire artist in this original musical, which previously appeared at St. Louis Rep. Oh—and it’s written and directed by West Hyler who just worked on Paramour on Broadway. NDB.

Runs August 2-6.


Ben, Virginia and Me

The “Me” in the title is budding pianist named Walter Valentino Liberace, who meets infamous gangster Ben Siegel and his girlfriend Virginia. The notorious duo give Liberace an incredible opportunity to showcase his amazing talent. However, the entertainer fears that his secret personal life could jeopardize his way to stardom. Check out one of the tunes here!

Runs August 2-6.


Backbeard: A New Musical

One of the shows in this festival that is great for the entire family, this musical is based on the popular children’s book series about the hairiest pirate who ever lived and his pursuit of finding acceptance. So, basically, it’s a musical about you. And me. And everyone. Except for maybe the hairiest part…

Runs July 31 - August 6.


17620505_10154406836636451_6892990739109157412_o.jpg

Camp Wanatachi: In Concert

If you want to see a musical in true development stage AND give your opinion about it, head out to see this work in progress billed as “a new electro-musical about sex, God and summer camp”. It’s presented under the NYMF concert series or “beta” musicals (musicals still in development), which means there will be a feedback form available for audiences. They want you to see it! 

Runs July 30 - August 1. 


Andrew Garfield/Nathan Lane Angels in America Live from London in US Movie Theaters Next Week!

Andrew Garfield/Nathan Lane Angels in America Live from London in US Movie Theaters Next Week!

There's an incredibly sold out (and very buzzy) production of Angels in America in London right now starring Nathan Lane, Andrew Garfield, and Russell Tovey from HBO's Looking. Luckily, the National Theater will broadcast a performance of both Parts 1 & 2 of the legendary play in US movie theaters next week. Angels in America is a timeless masterpiece of American theater that should not be missed, especially with such an all-start cast.

The production also stars Star Wars' James McArdle and is directed by the masterful Marianne Elliot (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)

Part 1 will be broadcast on Thursday, July 20 with Part 2 a week later on July 27th, but tickets for the NYC showings are already selling out, so it is extremely recommended to get a pair now!

Photos: Helen Maybanks

Oslo

Oslo

Tony Award for Best Play. A surprisingly funny political thriller. Superb theater!

Come and Feel the (Seasons Of) Love

Come and Feel the (Seasons Of) Love

Come and Feel the (Seasons of) Love

If you’re like us, the news of Fox’s Rent Live shook you so hard into a YouTube spiral of every recording and filming of the iconic show. Well, until we find out when the live telecast will be, On The Quays, a NYC-based international production company,  is giving us a little taste of the Jonathan Larson hit at their benefit concert “How About Love?” on June 18.

Featuring Hamilton favorites Stephanie Klemons and Ariana DeBose, a cappella group The Lost Keys, Marcus Paul James of the closing Broadway cast of Rent and more, this concert is one that you don’t want to miss. Held at the Green Room 42 at 7:30 p.m., it will also feature On The Quay’s upcoming cast of Rent which will be produced for the first time ever in Aruba later this fall. And what’s even better? The evening will be hosted by drag glamazon Pattaya Heart. Feel the seasons of love and get your tickets now.

Photos: Nessie Nankivell and Rob Palin

Indecent

Indecent

Women shine in this important and relevant play about a play.

You're Gonna Want to See This Buddy Holly Musical!

You're Gonna Want to See This Buddy Holly Musical!

We stopped by the rehearsal for Buddy: The Buddy Holly Musical and, wow, it sounds SO good. Check out the video to see what we mean. Broadway favorite Hunter Foster directs with John Dewey playing Buddy Holly. 

The show will be at the Bucks County Playhouse AND at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center this summer. This one might be worth snagging a Zipcar and heading down to Pennsylvania!

Bucks County Playhouse: May 27 - June 17

Philadelphia's Kimmel Center: June 24 - July 9

Banner Image: Joan Marcus

Lindsay Mendez, Justin Guarini, and More in You're Gonna Hate This at 54 Below

Lindsay Mendez, Justin Guarini, and More in You're Gonna Hate This at 54 Below

Coming to 54 Below for one night only, You're Gonna Hate This is a revue conceived by Lindsay Mendez and Michael Holland celebrating America's real favorite pastime over the course of 14 dynamic songs. Hating things (and the many things that deserve to be hated) serves as the inspiration for this series of darkly humorous tales about murder, corruption, and mayhem, set to a score that smears the lines between pop, rock, jazz, gospel, and (gasp) musical theatre. Music and lyrics are by Michael Holland and the presentation is directed by Dave Solomon. 

Joining Lindsay and Michael is a cast of stars including Broadway and television favorites Justin Guarini, Lilli Cooper, Keala Settle, Jenna Ushkowitz, and more, who together sing pretty much every note the human voice is capable of producing. Come despise everything with this group of experienced haters -- you know you want to. 

You're Gonna Hate This performs at Feinstein's/54 Below on Monday, May 22nd at 9:30 pm. Use the code on the image here to get 35% off your tickets!

Banner Image: Kevin H. Lin