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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st September 2008

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the musical Vanities, book by Jack Heifner, music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, adapted from Heifner's Off Broadway comedy charting the journey of three All-American girls as they mature from cheerleaders to sorority sisters to independent women, between the 1960s and the 1080s, with Lauren Kennedy, Sarah Stiles and Anneliese van der Pol, directed by Judith Ivey, with musical staging by Dan Knechtges, will preview from February 2nd at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced, opening later in the month. The design team comprises scenery by Anna Louizos, costumes by Joe Aulisi, lighting by Paul Miller, and sound by Tony Meola. The show is currently playing at Pasadena Playhouse in California until September 28th. The producers are Junkyard Dog Productions and Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, in association with Demos Bizar Entertainment.

Partial Comfort Productions will stage Edith Freni's Kidstuff, with Sarah Nina Hayon, Justin Blanchard, Sharon Freedman, Vincent Madero, Peter O'Connor, Cynthia Silver and Chris Van Djik, directed by Erica Gould, which will preview from September 3rd at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on September 10th. A woman who has just turned 30 finds herself lost and at sea in matters of sex, death and identity, in contemporary New York City. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

A new one person musical, Lilli Marlene, by Kathryn Ryan, performed by Linn Maxwell, directed by Erv Raible, will preview from September 18th at the June Havoc Theatre, opening on September 22nd. The show tells the story of three women, one in Berlin, one in London and one in Indiana during World War II, using the songs of the period. The producers are John Osher and Bob Roskam. The June Havoc Theatre is located in the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Korean creators of Jump, (which combined a family sitcom with Tae-kwon-do), will stage Break Out, a new show in a similar vein, about the inmates of a prison who execute an escape, previewing from September 18th at Union Square Theatre, opening on September 23rd. The cast comprises Dae-Hyeok Lim, Won-Jun Song, Jong-Wook Jeong, Chul-Hee Han, Yong-Nam Song, Jae-Hong Park, Seong-June Park, Ji-Hee Jang, Jin-Hee Kim and Yoon-Hui Choi. Union Square Theatre is located at 100 East 17th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues.

Second Stage Theatre's production of Howard Korder's Boys' Life, a candid look at three college buddies making their way in the big city, which lacerates the prolonged adolescence that often takes the place of modern manhood, with a cast headed by Jason Biggs, Rhys Coiro and Peter Scanavino, directed by Michael Greif, will preview from October 2nd, opening on October 20th. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, at 8th Avenue.

Wings Theatre Company's 2008/2009 new musicals series will comprise: Caprice, a backstage musical comedy of feuding show folk set in 1959, music and lyrics by Robert Lux, book by Lux in association with Jim Keeler, with Jared Joplin, LinDel Sandlin, Frank Galgano, Sue Berch, Jimmy Glidden III, Melissa Zimmerman, Mary Ann Prevost, Joey Kovach, Vanessa Wendt and Cooper Cerulo, directed and choreographed by Fred C L Mann III, previewing from September 11th, opening September 17th; Cobra Boy, book and lyrics by Clint Jefferies, music by Paul L Johnson, a tale of unlikely characters set in an Indian jungle, directed by Jeffery Corrick, from April 25th; and Capone, book, music and lyrics by Robert Mitchell, in which the Chicago mobster in retirement enjoys talks with God as he looks back on his life, from May 30th. Wings Theatre Company is located in the Archive Building, 154 Christopher Street, between Washington and Greenwich Streets.

The White Horse Theater Company will stage Tennessee Williams's Small Craft Warnings, about a group of characters in a seedy coastal bar in Southern California, with Graham Anderson, Peter Bush, Tommy Heleringer, Christopher Johnson, Andrea Maulella, Patrick Terance McGowan, Linda S Nelson, Mark Ransom and Rod Sweitzer, directed by Cyndy A Marion, at The Workshop Theater Company, from September 19th. The Workshop Theater Company is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The U. S. premiere of Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse's Sa Ka La, translated and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde, with Noel Joseph Allain, Jacqueline Antaramian, Mike Caban, Anna Gutto, Frank Harts, Marielle Heller, Birgit Huppuch, Kathryn Kates and Raymond McAnally, will preview on September 6th, at The Theaters at 45 Bleecker Theatre, opening on September 7th. The action takes place in a moment of crisis within a family, when some of its members know a piece of bad news, while the others have yet to hear about it. The Theaters at 45 Bleecker Theatre is located at 45 Bleecker Street, between Lafayette and Mott Streets.

Ensemble Studio Theatre's 2008/2009 season opens with the New York premiere Elizabeth Diggs's Close Ties, which tells the story of three generations of a family as they gather at their vacation home, with Jack Davidson, Julie Fitzpatrick, Fiona Gallagher, David Gelles Hurwitz, Polly Lee, Carole Monferdini, Judith Roberts and Tommy Schrider, directed by Pamela Berlin, previewing from September 17th, opening September 25th. The Ensemble Studio Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Horse Trade Theater Group will present the Counting Squares Theatre's contemporary production of Georg Buchner's 19th century play Woyzeck, about a young man's descent into madness, crushed by society, adapted and directed by Joshua Chase Gold, from September 23rd at Under St Marks. The company comprises Stephen F Arnoczy, Jared Baugh, Kendra Holton, Dan Kane, Aaron Kirkpatrick, Dena Kology, Madeleine Maby, Ryan Nicholoff, Deborah Radloff and Kristin Stewart. Under St Marks is located in Manhattan at 94 St Marks Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.