Shakina Nayfack Gil Perez-Abraham David Davila Manuel Versus The Statue of Liberty

The casting is now complete for the world premiere of de la Puente & Davila’s new musical MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Winner of the 2014 NYMF Developmental Reading Series, this Latin infused American musical is inspired by the true story of a Princeton Undergrad who was an undocumented child immigrant. When Manuel gets a scholarship to study at Oxford, he’s faced with the brutal realization that he can’t leave the USA. His only choice is to take on The Statue of Liberty in the fight of a lifetime; the high-stakes boxing match that is immigration today. Is he worthy of America? No one is spared in this zany political comedy that pulls no punches (pun intended) about immigration reform and the American Dream.

Leading the cast are Gil Perez-Abraham as the undocumented underdog, Manuel, and Lilly Award winning cabaret icon Shakina Nayfack as the cold-hearted undefeated champ, the Statue of Liberty. Rounding out the cast in a smorgasbord of crazy characters that represent America are Alicia Taylor Tomasko, Anthony Chan, A.J. Meijer, Michael Morotta, Erika Gonzalez, and Tami Dahbura.

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MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY has book, music, and lyrics by Noemi de la Puente and David Davila, musical direction and orchestrations by Karl Hedrick, choreography by Sidney Erik Wright, scenic design by Jason Simms, lighting design by Zach Blane, sound design by David Margolin Lawson, costume design by Lux Haac, and graphic designs by Tri Vo. Casting by Stark Naked Casting.

MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY will have performances on:

Tuesday July 21 @ 8pm
Wednesday July 22 @ 5pm
Saturday July 25 @ 5pm
Sunday July 26 @ 8pm
Monday July 27 @ 12pm

For tickets and information visit

Now in its twelfth year, the Festival is the largest musical theatre event in America. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theatre fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award® and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theatre, ensuring the future of this essential art form."NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. For more information, please visit:

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