Rising Talents Take Center Stage At The New York Musical Theater Festival

(Ennio: The Living Paper Cartoon)

Polish your tap shoes and start chugging your “throat coat” now, The New York Musical Theater Festival is back! Running September 26 to October 16, the festival showcases new musical works from writers and composers who may not be household names yet, but are well on their way. It’s got an impressive track record for showcasing future Broadway/off-Broadway hits. Shows that started at the NYMTF and went on to Broadway/off-Broadway success include Altar Boyz, Next To Normal, [title of show], and Yank!.

This year’s lineup offers a little of everything, from rock opera to romance, mystery to improvisation. Here’s a look at some of the shows that piqued our queer interest:

Full performance and schedule details at NYMF website.

UP FIRST: Crazy, Just Like Me

TBG Theater, 312 W 36th St
Sep 27 and 29 at 8pm, Oct 1 at 4:30pm and 8pm, Oct 2 and 4 at 1pm, Oct 5 at 9pm

Crazy, Just Like Me tells the story of Simon and Mike, best friends since they were in diapers. Their bromance hits some turbulence when the straight bro Mike gets engaged to his girlfriend Lauren, and Simon endures an awkward blind date and a string of therapy sessions on his journey to coming out of the closet. The show premiered in Dallas and, while it didn’t get absolute rave reviews, it sounds like a crowd-pleaser.


NEXT: Cyclops, A Rock Opera

47th Street Theatre, 304 W 47th St
Sep 29 at 8pm, Sep 30 at 3pm, Oct 1 at 7:30 pm, Oct 2 at 5pm, Oct 3 at 4:30pm, Oct 5 at 8pm

Inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley’s translation of Euripides’ Cyclops, this rock opera depicts the triumphs and travails of some mythical metal gods including a hard rock band of libidinous, drunken, shirtless Satyrs and a weary soldier with a ukulele. The standout character though is, of course, the titular Cyclops, described as “a one-eyed flesh-eating monster with a dash of Freddie Mercury.” Cyclops has garnered a good deal of acclaim, with reviewers calling it a “thrilling freak show” (L.A. Times), and “genius” (NPR).

NEXT: Ennio: The Living Paper Cartoon

47th Street Theatre, 304 W 47th St
Sep 27 at 8pm, Sep 28 at 1pm, Oct 1 at 1pm and 4:30pm, Oct 2 at 9pm, Oct 3 at 8pm, Oct 9 at 1pm, Oct 9 at 4:30 pm, Oct 12 at 8pm

The global phenomenon Ennio Marchetto has performed in over 70 countries and been nominated for numerous awards including the Olivier and Drama Desk awards. Marchetto has melded origami and impersonation and taken them both to whole new levels. In this show, Ennio morphs into more than 50 famous personalities from Lady Gaga and Eminem to Fred Astaire and Mona Lisa. The Living Paper Cartoon is sure to be a wild ride.

NEXT: Fucking Hipsters!


Signature Theatre/The Peter Norton Space, 555 West 42nd St
Sep 27 at 8pm, Sep 28 at 1pm, Oct 1 at 1pm, Oct 1 at 5pm, Oct 2 at 9pm, Oct 5 at 9pm, Oct 8 at 1pm

Hipsters! is the timely tale of Lars (Brandon Wardell), the lead singer of the successful indie band Mark Twain’s Moustache, whose world is rocked when he hooks up with Josie (Emily Borromeo), a maic-pixie-dream-girl shit-magnet. Josie threatens to be the Moustaches’ Yoko Ono. The supporting cast includes Lars’ bandmates Buck and Tomatoes (a married, interracial born-again, gay couple). This may sound a little bit too much like a self-conscious parody of Williamsburg life, but it has a promising cast and a plot that just might be ridiculous enough to be great.

NEXT: Gotta Getta Girl!

McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway
Oct 11 at 1pm and 4:30pm

An homage to Singin’ in the Rain, Gotta Getta Girl asks, “What would happen if Gene Kelly ended up with Donald O’Connor instead of Debbie Reynolds?” This three-person tap dance show(!) travels from Vaudeville to Broadway to Hollywood to the battlefields of World War II, in a 1930s period piece about America, showbiz, and love.

NEXT: This One Girl’s Story


McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway
Sep 27 at 8pm, Sep 28 at 1pm, Sep 30 at 8pm, Oct 2 at 4:30pm, Oct 2 at 8pm, Oct 5 at 4:30pm, Oct 9 at 8:00 pm

In 2003, 15-year-old Sakia Gunn was murdered in Newark, NJ after she and her friends (all lesbians) rebuffed his advances. Her murderer, Richard McCullough, was later sentenced to 20 years in prison. This One Girl’s Story is the fictionalized tale of that fateful night. Cee-Cee and friends leave their hometown of Newark to party in the Big City, but a shocking incident forces them to face difficult truths about themselves. This powerful musical combines R&B, jazz, gospel, and hip-hop in a vivid, moving portrait of that fateful night.

NEXT: Time Between Us

McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway
Sep 29 at 8pm, Sep 30 at 1pm, Oct 1 at 4:30pm, Oct 5 at 8pm, Oct 8, 10 and 12 at 8pm.

Time Between Us follows best friends Morgan and Michael over the span of 30 years, starting with their graduation from art school. The two want it all, perfect jobs, perfect love lives—the works—and Brett Schrier and Tess Barker’s new haunting and passionate three-person musical looks at the decisions and compromises each must make in their pursuit of their dreams.

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