A healthy percentage of the long-running musicals currently on and Off Broadway (Altar Boyz, Rooms and Next to Normal, for instance) got their start at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, whose 5th edition kicks off today and continues through October 18. This year’s slate features some 30 full productions, along with dance shows, readings, concert series and developmental performances. Early favorites seem to be the indie rock romance F#@king Up Everything, Fantasy Camp: The Musical?, Mo Faya about a guerrilla radio DJ in Nairobi, the superhero self-help comedy Whatever Man and Judas and Me, a comedy about Judas’s pushy mom from the Tony nominees Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar.
There’s also an obligatory vampire rock romance (The Cure), a musical about weight-loss camp (Fat Camp) and something called Gay Bride of Frankenstein, which, obviously, will either be awesome or abysmal. Producer’s Perspective has a helpful preview, as does ArtsBeat, or head to the NYMF homepage to make sense of it all (they’re still looking for volunteers, if you have the time and want cheap/free tickets).