NEW YORK, NY. – The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) is proud to announce that Oscar and Tony nominee, writer/producer/director Baz Luhrmann has been named the honorary chairman of the 2010 festival beginning September 27th through October 17th.

In recognition of the upcoming Blu-ray release of Luhrmann’s culture-shifting films “Moulin Rouge!” and “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet”, Luhrmann will host NYMF’s opening night gala celebration and run an exclusive master class on the creation of musical works. Featuring clips from his films, this event will include a discussion about musical theatre performance for stage and screen, the challenges in making a “contemporary” adaptation, and other insights into Mr. Luhrmann’s creative process.

“In the crowded world of popular culture musical theatre needs to be, and is taking, leaps and bounds into an unchartered future,” said Baz Luhrmann. “The New York Musical Theatre Festival is more than just a good idea. It is essential to the future prospects of the next generation.”

“We are proud to have Baz as our honorary chairman,” said New York Musical Theatre Festival Executive Director and Producer Isaac Robert Hurwitz. “He is a director of great integrity who has worked at the highest level in several mediums. He is an expert on the intersection of musical theatre & contemporary pop culture, and we are very pleased that he has elected to participate in NYMF.”

Admission to the NYMF opening night gala celebration and the Baz Luhrmann master class is only available to NYMF Members and Patrons. Festival memberships are on sale now, and combine charitable contributions with valuable, flexible ticket packages. Members and Patrons also enjoy access to exclusive NYMF events, as well as early booking and early seating to Festival productions.

Memberships for the 2010 New York Musical Theatre Festival are available at http://www.nymf.org or by calling (212) 352-3101. Single tickets for this year’s festival will be available for purchase by the general public beginning on Wednesday, September 1st at midnight.
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Seventh Annual Season Opening Night Celebration Hosted by NYMF 2010 Honorary Chairman Baz Luhrmann

As the lights come up on a new season of NYMF musicals, what better way to celebrate the start of the Festival than with an event to support and celebrate NYMF’s mission. Meet the casts and creative teams of this year’s shows at our glam opening night bash, mingle with Broadway’s hottest stars, and dance the night away with the NYMF family. This exclusive red carpet event is only open to NYMF members and patrons.

WHEN: September 27th, 9:30pm

WHERE: Hudson Terrace

TICKETS: Free for NYMF Members, Patrons and Participants

Musical Theatre on Film: A Master Class with Baz Luhrmann

Through his work, Baz Luhrmann has had a direct effect on popular culture, fashion, design, music, graphics and cinematic innovation over the past twenty years. From the kaleidoscopic storytelling of the films in his Red Curtain Trilogy to the cinematic rapture of his Tony Award-winning production of La Boheme, Luhrmann’s work has captivated audiences worldwide with an innovative approach to musical storytelling. In celebration of the upcoming Blu-ray release of Moulin Rouge! and William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, NYMF is proud to offer an exclusive master class with this legendary artist. Featuring clips from his most beloved works, this event will include a discussion about musical theatre performance for stage and screen, the challenges in making a “contemporary” adaptation, and other insights into Mr. Luhrmann’s creative process.

WHEN: September 30th, time TBA

WHERE: Location TBA

TICKETS: Free for all NYMF Patrons, Diamond and Platinum Members; free for high school and college students by invitation; limited public tickets available; visit http://www.nymf.org/bazluhrmann for more information.