The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) announced today the initial lineup for 2017 NYMF. Among the shows announced in the lineup are the Next Link Project musical selections, as well as invited production selections. Now in its fourteenth year,the 2017 Festival will take place July 10th through August 6th at locations around midtown Manhattan in New York City. Dan Markley serves as NYMF Executive Director & Producer and Rachel Sussman serves as Director of Programming & Artist Services.

NYMF Passes are now on sale and offer discounted tickets, early ticket booking, and priority seating. Individual tickets for 2017 NYMF go on sale on June 15. Visit nymf.org/tickets for more information.

This year’s initial musical selections feature artists from across the globe, with musicals taking place in Germany, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, and Cuba; drawing inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement, classic literature, a cult classic B-Movie of the 1960s, and a women’s prison in Texas; and highlighting the stories of activists, political figures, killer soccer moms, Liberace, mermaids and the hairiest pirate who ever ruled the seas.

“The Next Link Project anchors the Festival's slate of programming,” said Sussman. “These shows went through a rigorous submission process to ensure that we are selecting bold, relevant, and high quality work that seeks to broaden the viewpoints in our theatrical storytelling. We’re extremely proud of the 2017 Next Link Projects, including one Reading and one Beta Musical from last year's Festival - Play Like a Winner and Freedom Riders - demonstrating NYMF’s commitment to cultivating relationships with artists and providing ongoing opportunities for the development of their work."

“It’s exciting to see a healthy pipeline of exceptional new musicals that continues to be a robust, eclectic, and diverse representation of our culture. This ensures NYMF audiences will once again have a great lineup to choose from this summer,” added Markley. “We would like to thank the Reading Committee and members of the Grand Jury for their extraordinary contributions in selecting these projects. We look forward to seeing Festivalgoers in July and August!”



One of NYMF's flagship programs, 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 evaluated by numerous members of NYMF's Reading Committee, and then by a Grand Jury of leading industry professionals. The selected participates receive entrepreneurial training, career networking opportunities, dramaturgical support, and other services culminating in a subsidized production in the Festival.

The Grand Jury is responsible for making final selections for the Next Link Project shows with the Director of Programming and Artist Services. The 2017 NYMF Grand Jury includes Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, OBIE and Drama Desk Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, Two River Theater Literary Manager Anika Chapin, Tony Award-winning producer Jane Dubin, Tony Award-nominated actor Santino Fontana, Apollo Theatre Executive Director and Hi-ARTS Co-Founder Kamilah Forbes, Fox Stage Productions Senior VP, Creative Affairs Isaac Robert Hurwitz, director West Hyler (Paramour), actor Telly Leung (Allegiance), OBIE Award-winning director Jonathan McCrory, Women’s Project Theater Artistic Director Lisa McNulty, Public Theater Literary Associate Jack Phillips Moore, Playwrights Realm Producing Director Roberta Pereira, choreographer Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), actress Alexandra Silber (Fiddler on the Roof), Tony Award-nominated director Leigh Silverman, and Tony Award-nominated choreographer Sergio Trujillo.

2017 NYMF Next Link Project selections include:

Book by Sam Goldstein & Craig Clyde; Music and Lyrics by Lord Graham Russell
An original rock musical about a 30 year love story set against the backdrop of the Berlin Wall. With music by Lord Graham Russell of Air Supply, this epic story examines three generations of family ties, brotherhood, love, and marriage. What is the price of liberty, and will the Wall divide or unite?
Learn more: www.nymf.org/wallapart 

Book by Matthew McElligott, Larry Tuxbury & Brian Sheldon; Music by Michael Musial; Lyrics by Matthew McElligott, Michael Musial & Larry Tuxbury
This rollicking musical tells the tale of Backbeard, the hairiest pirate who ever lived, and his quest to answer the question "How should a pirate look?" When a rowdy birthday party ruins his clothes, a pair of persuasive tailors convince him to try a vibrant new outfit of patterned trousers, a colorful coat, and a pig. Now the fearsome pirate must face his greatest challenges: winning the acceptance of the Pirate Council, the townspeople, and even his own crew, in a high-spirited story of courage, acceptance, and standing up for who you are.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/backbeard 

Book and Lyrics by Charles Osborne; Music by Leo Hurley
A transgender man from Afghanistan emigrates to North Carolina at the height of the Afghan War, in this explosive musical about a collision of cultures that redefines the American family. Iphis sees his world reflected through the contrasting lenses of a conservative foster parent, a drag queen roommate, a young student, and the fearless mother who raised him. THE BODY POLITIC became the first musical in American history to be performed for a State Legislature, when it was presented last year in protest of North Carolina's "bathroom bill".
Learn more: www.nymf.org/bodypolitic 

Book and lyrics by Christopher Dayett; Music by Christopher Dayett & Kevin Mucchetti
Oscar Wilde’s 1890 gothic tale of indulgence and obsession is brought to life on stage. Set in Victorian London, artist Basil Hallward captures Dorian Gray’s youth and beauty in a single portrait. His decadent friend, Lord Henry, convinces Dorian that the true path to progress is to yield to temptation, luring him into a lifestyle of dark secrets. The portrait takes on his sin and age, yet Dorian remains untouched. Do our sins define our true nature, or are we damned by ignorance and mediocrity?
Learn more: www.nymf.org/doriangray 

Book and Lyrics by Tanya Shaffer; Music and Additional Lyrics by Vienna Teng
What if the Buddha were a woman, living in our times? Mama Sid is a modern-day “awakened one” with a worldwide following. But a determined young woman seeks to unearth Mama Sid’s mysterious past, exposing secrets that could change everything. Epic and intimate, comic and profound, THE FOURTH MESSENGER investigates what it means to be both enlightened and human. Directed by Broadway’s Matt August (Grinch) with a ravishing score by indie favorite Vienna Teng. “An absolute delight!” – San Francisco Chronicle
Learn more: www.nymf.org/fourthmessenger 

Book by Richard Allen; Music and Lyrics by Richard Allen & Taran Gray
In 1961, 400 ordinary human beings put their lives on the line to bring attention to the injustice of segregation in an action that would show the world an image of the ‘burning bus America’, whose existence most Americans wanted to ignore. FREEDOM RIDERS: THE CIVIL RIGHTS MUSICAL tells the true story of activists who boldly challenged the legality and optics of the Jim Crow South by riding buses in mixed groups. It features Civil Rights icons Diane Nash, John Seigenthaler, John Lewis, and other fearless pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement. FREEDOM RIDERS is a soaring portrait of the youthful and impatient voices of the Movement who used nonviolent direct action to initiate change.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/freedomriders 

Book and Lyrics by Julie Soto; Music by Will Finan; Story by Julie Soto & Ryan Warren
At age 15 Milo Reynolds had it all - a seat at the popular table, the perfect girlfriend, the “coolest” parents, and friends who worshiped him. So when Milo kills himself on Monday morning, his friends and family are left questioning everything they thought they knew about him. GENERATION ME explores the heartbreak, confusion, and survivor’s guilt of those left behind. Told in flashbacks that open Milo’s story like a mystery, GENERATION ME identifies a generation more privileged, self-interested, oblivious... and lonelier than ever.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/generationme 

Book by West Hyler & Matt Schatz; Music and Lyrics by Matt Schatz; Arrangementsand Additional Music and Lyrics by Jack Herrick
In the 1850’s John Banvard did more to elevate fine arts than any single American artist before him. Banvard was the most famous living painter in the world and the first millionaire artist, world-renowned for his three-mile long moving panorama celebrating the majesty of the Mighty Mississippi. Today an examination of reference books will not turn up a single mention of his name. John Banvard, the greatest artist of his time, has been utterly obliterated by history. This musical tells his story.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/georama 

Book and Lyrics by Erik Johnke; Music by David Wolfson
In the fiercely competitive world of girls’ soccer, how far would you go for your child? PLAY LIKE A WINNER is a satire of the soccer mom world based upon the award-winning play, “All About the Kids” by Caytha Jentis. At curtain, Coach Nick lies dead on center stage, impaled by a corner flag, while a chorus of soccer players sings in his honor. Kathy, a soccer mom, steps forward to tell us the story of how all this began…
Learn more: www.nymf.org/playlikeawinner 

Book by Anita Velez-Mitchell, Lorca Peress & Anika Paris; Music by Dean Landon & Anika Paris; Lyrics by Anita Velez-Mitchell & Anika Paris; Additional Lyrics by Dean Landon
TEMPLE OF THE SOULS is an award-winning contemporary pop musical of secrets, lies, and forbidden love. Two worlds collide in this mythical tale when Amada, the beautiful daughter of a Conquistador, and Guario, a young Taíno, meet in the magical rainforest of Puerto Rico. To escape the intolerant world below, our young lovers run away to the Temple of the Souls where nightmares and dreams come true.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/templeofthesouls 

Book and Lyrics by Michael Bradley; Music by Artie Sievers
The year is 1938 and The Goree All-Girl String Band is the biggest new radio sensation in Texas. They also happen to be convicted criminals. The six band members teach themselves music from behind bars and earn a slot on a prison-based radio program. Through sisterhood, determination, and a little bit of luck, these women work (and play) together to fiddle their way to freedom. Inspired by a true story, THE GOREE ALL-GIRL STRING BAND is a tale of redemption that features an ensemble of actor-musicians performing a brand new country score.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/stringband



Book by Roger O. Hirson; Music and Lyrics by Barbara Carole Sickmen; Original Concept by Barbara Carole Sickmen
Before Liberace entered the world of glitz and glamour, the legendary showman crossed paths with history's most notorious gangster and his girlfriend, forming a unique bond. Featuring a lavish new score, this world premiere explores the fantasmagorical life of the iconic performer and his nearly career-shattering struggle to maintain privacy with respect to his sexual orientation. Friendship, love and the quest for redemption plays out for one of Showbiz's most unique trios in the telling of this remarkable true story.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/benvirginiaandme 

Book, Music and Lyrics by Julie Dunlap & Sara Stotts
Rachael, wide-eyed and optimistic, is elated to finally put her party days behind and become a mom... #YAY! Angie has pre-enrolled her unborn child in the most exclusive all-girls preschool (definitely a girl, she already has boy). After three kids, Marcia thought she was done. Is it bad that she doesn’t want to cancel her wine of the month club or stop having sex on her back? With a soundtrack ranging from rock to pop to funk and more, join these three unlikely friends as they bond in the trenches from pregnancy tests to empty nests, dominating the diapers and tackling the teens with unmotherly charm, one bottle at a time!
Learn more: www.nymf.org/motherfreakinghood 

Book by Boyd Anderson & Guy Anderson; Music by Peter Kaldor & John Kaldor; Lyrics by Boyd Anderson
CUBA, 1958: Revolution is in the air! In his final year Errol Flynn has one last adventure. The dashing star of so many Hollywood blockbusters yearns to be a real hero, and Fidel Castro fits the bill. What Fidel craves is fame, and who better than Errol to show him how? At the height of the revolution an explosive encounter beckons – fueled by envy, lust, and vanity – with a mysterious woman calling the tune. Or could the CIA really be pulling the strings? Who knew revolution could be so much fun?
Learn more: www.nymf.org/errolfidel 

Book and Lyrics by Taylor Tash; Music by Nathania Wibowo
Inspired by the B-movie of the same title, NIGHT TIDE tells the kitschy and compelling tale of Johnny Drake, a lonely Naval sailor. While enjoying his first shore leave in a spooky, run-down seaside resort town, he meets Mora, a seductive and mysterious young woman who performs as a mermaid in the sideshow. Johnny immediately becomes smitten with Mora, but he soon discovers that she may actually be a real siren of the sea, and she may have lured her previous boyfriends to their watery graves...
Learn more: www.nymf.org/nighttide 

Book by Laura Stratford; Music by David Kornfeld; Lyrics by Alex Higgin-Houser; Story by Larry Little; Additional Music by Dylan MarcAurele
Numbers Nerds is an almost all-girl high school math team from Waukesha, Wisconsin. The team has won the Regional Math Competition and is chosen to compete in the National Math SUM-IT. These smart and funny whiz kids must unite to solve difficult math problems without getting distracted by teen drama and pressures. It is a story of girls becoming women, conquering both anxiety and rivalry, finding a way to affirm themselves both as individuals and as team-members, so they can win at math…and at life!
Learn more: www.nymf.org/numbersnerds