Five Shows that Stand Out at the NYMF: 2014

Summer lovin’, had me a . . . festival!

The New York Musical Theatre Festival, the first of the summer show fests, starts in just 11 days!  Got your tickets yet?

If you haven’t scheduled which shows you’re going to see, let me give you some suggests . . .

Every year, I take a look at the NYMF catalog and I pick the five shows that “stand out” to my Producer eye.

You see, festivals are like outlet malls for Producers . . . we go shopping for shows, just like you’d go shopping for a pair of capris or those funky-webbed-toe-shoe things that I’m not cool enough to pull off.

But competition for a Producer’s eye is fierce at these show shopping malls.  Which is why if you’re producing a show, you’ve got to know how to get your show to jump off the catalog page (or the website in this case) and slap a Producer silly until they book tickets.

So which ones spanked me this year?

Here are the five shows that stood out to me in this year’s NYMF (one disclaimer – just because they stand out, doesn’t mean I’m advocating for the shows themselves – this is a lesson in getting Producer butts in seats – what the shows do when the butt is there is up to them!).

Here we go:

1.  Clinton:  The Musical

Could the timing be any more right for a musical based on the new American political powerhouse family, with Hillary looking like a shoe-in for the nomination, and a favorite to win the actual iron throne in 2016?  Not only did this show stand out to me, because of its timely subject matter, but it stood out to the mainstream press.  Earlier this week, the show got picked up by Fox, MSNBC, and about a zillion other news channels around the world.  I’m already hearing whispers about a NYMF extension.  A Clinton musical just sounds fun. And why not?  The Clintons are the new Kennedys. They just live out their dysfunction in the open!

2.  Somewhere with You

I’ve blogged about Broadway needin’ a country musical on several occasions, and yee-freekin’-haw, here comes one.  Somewhere is a jukebox musical (not sure if I’ve seen one of those at NYMF before), featuring some surefire Storme Warren-lovin’ hits like Kenny Chesney’s “Somewhere with You” and Uncle Kracker’s “Smile” all written by JT Harding.  But this show ain’t all tan lines and dixie cups . . . it’s got a dark side to it, as it’s set in post 9/11 rural south.  That said.  They had me at Kenny Chesney.

3.  The Snow Queen

Adapting a Hans Christian Andersen tale is always a good bet for a musical.  Adapting a Hans Christian Andersen tale that has also been adapted into a certain Disney musical is an even better bet (especially with the original tale in the public domain).  Although I don’t expect there to be much in terms of special effects at a NYMF production, my imaginative eye can picture a pretty big spectacle for a show like this, and we all know how Broadway audiences love them some spectacle.

4.  Mr. Confidential

The marketing blurb for Mr. Confidential begins, “Before TMZ and Gawker . . . ” and already I’m intrigued.  America is obsessed with gossip, now more than ever, so of course we’re interested in where it all began.  And that’s what this show is all about.  I’m a sucker for true or even “mostly true” stories (as this show is billed).  A little history and a little music make for a musical that I want to see.

5.  Rescue Rue

Rescue Rue is about dogs.  You know who likes dogs?  Everyone.  Rescue is billing itself as a family-friendly musical told by a “colorful cast of puppets and people.”  So why did this catch the eye of the guy that produced the one-man Macbeth last year?  Disney introduced the family musical to Broadway two decades ago.  But not every family can see a Disney show.  But they still want to see a show.  That’s why the city has blown up with shows like Freckleface Strawberry, The Berenstain Bears, and many more.  There’s a market in the small family musical – especially one featuring dogs.


So those are the five shows that stand out to me.

What about you?  Click here to look at the NYMF Next Link listings and pick the show(s) that stand out to you and let me know in the comments below.

Oh, and if you want to win two Silver Passes to this year’s festival, click here to enter my Sunday Giveaway!


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