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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st December 2008

The forthcoming national tour of the musical Dreamgirls, book and lyrics by Tom Eyen, music by Henry Krieger, telling the story of a Supremes like singing group, directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom, co-choreographed by Shane Sparks, will be launched at Apollo Theater, the setting for the show's opening scene, in November next year. The Apollo Theater is located at 253 West 125th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglass Boulevards.

The New York Times's 9th Annual Arts & Leisure Weekend will take place from January 8th to 11th, featuring a range of activities, from interviews between Times journalists and guests from theatre, film, music, books, media and politics, to special offers at cultural institutions around the world. Events will be held at The Times Center, in the new Times building at 242 West 41st Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. Further information can be found on the Arts & Leisure Weekend web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Target Margin Theater will stage the New York premiere of Tennessee Williams's one act play 10 Blocks On The Camino Real, precursor to the full length version of Camino Real, set in a refuge for a motley assortment of life's castoffs in a mythical South American country, directed by David Herskovits, previewing from January 14th at the Ohio Theatre, opening on January 18th. Later in the coming season, Target Margin Theater will explore Tennessee Williams's collaborations with director Elia Kazan in The Really Big Once, based on correspondence, notebooks, memoirs and other documentary material from the period 1948 to 1953. The Ohio Theatre is located at 66 Wooster Street between Spring and Broome Streets.

WNET.org, the parent company of public media outlets Thirteen, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, will open a new production facility and television studio on the Lincoln Center campus next spring. The new street level, glass walled programming hub will be located on the corner of Broadway and 66th Street in the new Alice Tully Hall/Juilliard School building. It will provide the home base for the new international news programme Worldfocus and the weekly arts showcase SundayArts.

The 11th season of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, which celebrates the diversity of the American popular song, will include January 14th: Night & Day: Rob Fisher Celebrates Cole Porter, with David Hyde Pierce and Victoria Clark; January 24th: South Pacific star Paulo Szot in concert; February 4th: Soul Deep: An Anthology Of Black Music, with Phylicia Rashad, Adriane Lennox, Chuck Cooper, Ryan Shaw, Aisha de Haas, Sophia Nicole, Antonique Smith, Destan Owens, Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens; February 7th: Alan Cumming performing songs that have influenced him during his career; February 19th: Sutton Foster with a programme including songs from her upcoming recording; February 20th: An Evening With Alan Menken, in which the composer will perform songs both known and unknown from his repertoire; February 21st: With A Song In My Heart: John Pizzarelli Salutes Richard Rodgers, with Pizzarelli joined by his wife Jessica Molaskey; and March 6th: Stew and Heidi Rodewald performing numbers from Passing Strange and new material. Further information can be found on the Lincoln Center web site, via the link from Major Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Lincoln Center Theater will stage August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come And Gone, directed by Bartlett Sher, previewing from March 19th at a Broadway theatre to be announced, with an official opening on April 16th. It is the story of a man newly released from prison who arrives at a Pittsburgh boarding house filled with disperate characters who aid him in his search for inner freedom.

The Vital Theatre Company will stage The Klezmer Nutcracker, a Jewish take on the Christmas story by E T A Hoffmann, book by Ellen Kushner, with Tchaikovsky's music arranged by Michael McLaughlin and David Harris, featuring Ellen Kushner, Jonathan Bauchman, Toni Ann Denoble, Dan Gordon, Alan Houser, Christopher Michael Lacey, Lindsey Levine, Melana Lloyd, Julie Mckay, Danielle Strauss and Bethany White, directed by Linda Ames Key, with choreography by Dax Valdes, at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre from 6th December. The McGinn/Cazale Theater, located on Broadway at 76th Street.

A group of New York independent theatre artists and producers have announced the creation of The League of Independent Theater, a membership based advocacy group and business league representing the Off Off Broadway community. Like The Broadway League and the League of Off Broadway Theatres and Producers, it will seek to raise the profile of 'independent theatre' (the term some practitioners prefer to Off Off Broadway), to promote the economic and artistic interests of its members, and ensure that independent theatre remains economically viable. Further information can be found on the League of Independent Theater web site, via the link from Organisations & Information in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Limecat Family Theatre Company will stage The Tortoise And The Hare's Holiday Hoop-la!, a children's musical about friendship, teamwork and holiday spirit, book, lyrics and direction by Denise Devin, music by Christopher Reiner, at St Luke's Theatre from 7th December. St Luke's Theatre is located at 308 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.