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A Review of the 2018 New York Musical Theatre Festival

The Gunfigher Meets His Match featuring Alice Pucheu, Kristin DiMercurio, and Chelsea Retzloff Photo credit VP Visuals

A Review of the 2018 New York Musical Theatre Festival

Every year, Theater Row in NYC hosts the annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, which has been running for over 15 years and showcases the latest in upcoming dramatic talent, including actors, directors, writers, and choreographers. This year, attendees witnessed four weeks of new performances unfold for the New York stage. 

As the New York Musical Theatre Festival encourages and promotes up-and-coming talent, quite often you have no idea what to expect with each musical. One of the stand-out productions this year was The Gunfighter Meets His Match. Set in the wild west, this stage play was inventive, well-written, and created by Abby Payne. 

The Gunfighter Meets His Match was a nice surprise as it was a well-developed musical following the life of a young woman played by Kristen Di Mercurio, who moves to the west in the name of love. Of course, it doesn’t end up as she planned.

The Gunfighter Meets His Match featuring Kristen DiMercurio and Michael Hunsaker Photo credit VP Visuals

Photo Credit: VP Visuals

Think Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma! and Calamity Jane as a reference. There were moments in this production when you could see the influence of Hollywood classics and it worked perfectly on stage. This musical had the audience tapping away to every number, which was inspiring to see for a newly developed work.

There aren’t many opportunities for brand-new musical theatre talent. Oftentimes, many just wait, hoping for that big break. What is great about the New York Musical Theatre Festival is that it provides that platform for young artists, who are able to develop present their artwork in front of an audience. Most importantly, at the end of the festival, the audience is able to vote for their favorite production.

This year’s winner of the best performance award was Kristen Di Mercurio for her performance as The Girl in The Gunfighter Meets His Match. Her vocal talents were outstanding, and her performance at the festival kickstarted her blossoming career. 

Look out for next year’s schedule on the New York Musical Theatre Festival website.

Featured Image Credit: VP Visuals

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Matthew started reviewing theater in 2007 but first started working in the Theater industry in the mid ‘90s in Sydney Australia. Reviewing for numerous online sites and print magazines, Matthew moved to New York over two years ago and has been a regular reviewer for W42St Magazine covering everything on Broadway and Off-Broadway. Such a theater nut that he lives in Midtown as he loves being as close to Broadway as possible!


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