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Works-in-progress hit the stage at the New York Musical Festival




Lesli Margherita (in red dress) and Wayne Wilcox (center) star in
Lesli Margherita (in red dress) and Wayne Wilcox (center) star in "Matthew McConaughey vs. The Devil: An American Myth," one of the productions at the 2017 New York Musical Festival.
Lesli Margherita (in red dress) and Wayne Wilcox (center) star in
"Freedom Riders" was in development at the 2016 New York Musical Festival. This year the show is back at the festival with a full production.
Mia Winston
Lesli Margherita (in red dress) and Wayne Wilcox (center) star in
Jillian Louis and P.J. Griffith in "Georama."
Peter Wochniak


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Every night on Broadway, thousands of people line up to see “Hamilton,” “The Lion King,” “Hello Dolly” or some other high-profile, elaborate musical.

And just a few blocks away, there are more Broadway hopefuls: the writers and composers presenting shows at the New York Musical Festival

Now in its 14th year, the festival is dedicated to new musicals that are very much works-in-progress. Some are no more than staged readings. Others have costumes, props, sets and a small band of musicians. All of the shows have one thing in common — they’re trying to move up the musical food chain.

The showcase includes dozens of productions, many of which feature relatively well-known performers on stage. In the audience are agents, producers, casting directors and theater-lovers hoping to see the very first staging of a new work that could be a future “Next to Normal” or "Title of Show,” two musicals that started at The New York Musical Festival before they made it all the way to Broadway.

Rachel Sussman, producing artistic director, and Dan Markley, executive director of the New York Musical Festival, talked with The Frame host John Horn about what it's like to curate a festival of unproduced musicals.

To hear the full interview, click the blue player above.



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