Broadway gave out its biggest awards last month, but a new crop of potential hits is about to take the stage at the ninth annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, running July 9-29, when the curtain will go up at more than 30 shows, concerts and special events across town.
The fest has brought us future smashes like Altar Boyz, [title of show] and Broadway’s Next to Normal. And because anytime you say “show tune,” you’re speaking our language, there’s plenty in NYMTF that will ring a bell with queer audiences. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Based on Lesléa Newman’s short story by the same name, Letter brings together a lesbian writing teacher and Harry, a retired kosher butcher who was once friends with the late civil-rights leader. With input from his late wife and Milk himself, Harry grapples with long-buried secrets and the promise of a surprising future. Created by Jerry James (book), Laura Kramer (music) and Ellen M. Schwartz (lyrics), A Letter to Harvey Milk was a finalist for the 2012 Richard Rodgers Award.
Jul 23, 25, 26, 28 at the Pershing Square Signature Center
Ari Gold’s Bashert
Raised in a religious Jewish family in the Bronx, Gold became one of the first high-profile New York pop singers to come out. His new show explores his family relationships, influences and more as Ari searches for his bashert, in what he calls an “electro-pop behind-the-musical adventure of identity, sex, religion, family, and show business.”
July 11, 14, 15 at the 45th Street Theatre
It’s New Year’s Eve, 1999, and bubbly sexually ambiguous club kid Chazz Goodhart is ditching rural Virginia in hopes of getting into the party of the millennium at New York’s Groove Factory. In the Big Apple, he’s taken in by his androgynous and eccentric Uncle Joey, who has a few schemes to wrangle up extra tickets to the bash. With ditzy gays Coco Dependent and Sera Tonin in tow, Chazz and Joey stop at nothing to get to the party in this new musical from David James Boyd and Chad Kessler.
Jul 24, 26, 27, 28 and 29 at the Theater at St. Clements
Andrew Kober (Hair, Boardwalk Empire) goes the one-man-show route with a performance he honed at Joe’s Pub. Catch him muse on “coming out, going in, gaining weight and getting thin.”
Jul 16 at the 45th Street Theatre
Christopher Wilson’s stunning and honest musical focuses on Michael, a man coping with being HIV+. He knows its not a death sentence anymore, but her still grapples with the complications, fears and realities of coping with a complex condition that affects every day, every relationship, every breath.
Jul 23, 24, 25, 27 and 29 at PTC Performance Space
Deep in the Louisiana bayou lies Madame Jarreau’s, a brothel where the ladies were all once boys. There a troubled teen looking for refuge finds sisterhood and self-discovery.
Jul 16 and 18 at the 45th Street Theatre
A middle-aged gay Black man conjures up a world of outrageous characters, original songs and gripping monologues as he readies for a particularly dreaded birthday.
Jul 10, 12, 18 and 21 at The 45th Street Theatre
Eight Filipino inmates see their lives changed when their choreographed dance becomes a viral-video sensation. Will these hardened criminals find their second chance at happiness or fall prey to old habits? Romeo Candido brings us a modern musical inspired by real events.
Jul 20, 22, 27 and 28 at the Theater at St. Clements
From Dana Yeaton: A gay, new-age chiropractor thinks he’s a miracle worker when he’s cured Bonnie, a Bible-thumping Ohio woman, of chronic back pain. But when she decides she doesn’t want his “cure,” it’s an epic battle in the culture wars.
Jul 20, 21 24, 25 and 29 at The 45th Street Theatre
Trouble: A New Rock Musical
Love (or at least lust) is in the air as one couple face an unexpected threat, another faces a breakup and a never-been-kissed gay teen is making a move on the hottest guy in school.
Jul 12, 14, 15 an 18 at the Pershing Square Signature Center