4 Amazing Shows at the New York Musical Festival You Absolutely Cannot Miss

Let’s get one thing straight: Theater festivals aren’t synonymous with small. In fact, they’re all about big ideas and big risks. 

The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) was established in 2004 and has gained the reputation of being one of the top-ranked musical theater festivals in the world.

Many of the shows that debuted at the Festival, including the Pulitzer-winning musical Next to Normal and [title of show], have had great success on Broadway.

This year’s lineup will feature approximately 50 productions and will run from July 10th through August 6th.

Getting through the lineup could be daunting, but lucky for you, we rounded up the ones that stood out to us. Go out and support up-and-coming artists! Netflix can wait until tomorrow.

1. Matthew McConaughey vs. The Devil: An American Myth


How did Matthew McConaughey earn an Academy Award? Some speculate it was because he made a Faustian bargain. Friendships, love, and loyalty are put to the test just to win McConaughey the Oscar and hopefully save his soul. Great for a silly summer afternoon.

The musical will feature Lesli Margherita (Matilda) as Mephistopheles, Jennifer Blood (Matilda, Gentleman's Guide...) as Penny, Max Crumm (Disaster!, Grease) as Woody, Wayne Wilcox (The Normal Heart, Coram Boy) as Matthew.


Matthew McConaughey begins performances Monday, July 10 at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street).

2. The Goree All-Girl String Band


Fun Home’s Lauren Patten will join The Goree All-Girl String Band. Set in 1938, six female prisoners teach themselves music and become the biggest radio sensation in Texas. This tale of redemption is based on a true story and features a brand-new country score and music direction by Max Gordon, winner of the 2016 NYMF Award for Best Orchestrations for Dust Can't Kill Me.

The Goree All-Girl String Band begins performances Monday, July 24 at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street).

3. Camp Wanatachi: In Concert


Glee’s Billy Lewis, Jr., American Psycho’s Krystina Alabado, and Spring Awakening’s Remy Zakin will star in this provocative electro-pop musical. This musical explores the story of two girls at an all-female, Christian summer camp. Camp Wanatachi will challenge what you think you know about the relationship between sex and religion.

Camp Wanatachi: In Concert begins performances Sunday, July 30th at The Green Room 42 at YOTEL (570 10th Avenue).

4. The Fourth Messenger

This profound new musical re-imagines Buddha as a woman in the present. Mama Sid, a world-renowned guru, is forced to question the mistakes she made as a young woman and their consequences after a young woman at her ashram starts asking questions. Can we be both enlightened and flawed?

Stage favorite Nancy Anderson (Sunset Boulevard, 2017) will play Mama Sid. The Fourth Messenger begins performances on Tuesday, July 18 at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street).

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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