News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd April 2007

Playwrights Horizons has announced its 2007/2008 season, which comprises three world premieres: Kate Fodor's 100 Saints You Should Know, in which a church cleaner, a disgraced priest and his protective mother confront shaken faith, directed by Ethan McSweeny; Sarah Treem's A Feminine Ending, about how an aspiring composer's life plan begins to unravel when she's called home to answer her mother's distress call about a marital crisis, directed by Blair Brown; and Jordan Harrison's Doris To Darlene: A Cautionary Valentine, a time jumping pop fairy tale about the dreams and disasters behind one transcendent song, directed by Les Waters; plus two New York premieres: Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, in which a woman answers a cell phone and becomes ensnarled in its dead owner's bizarre life; and Adam Bock's The Drunken City, a theatrical take on the mystique of marriage and the ever shifting nature of love and identity in a city that never sleeps, directed by Trip Cullman. A sixth production will be announced later. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Spiegelworld, the Belgium originated 'spiegeltent' (a portable performance venue with mirrors lining the interior walls) will return to Pier 17 on the East River, near the Fulton Fish Market and South Street Seaport, for a second season from July 3rd to September 30th. Last year's acro-burlesque show Absinthe, directed by Wayne Harrison, will be back with new acts, playing in tandem with the world premiere of La Vie, a theatro-batic show, presented by the Montreal circus and theatre company Les 7 Doigts de la Main. Spiegelworld will also house other music and live entertainment acts. Australian entrepreneur Ross Mollison and P.S. 122 artistic director Vallejo Gantner are the producers.

The Wooster Group's new multimedia production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, directed by Elizabeth LeCompte, will play at the Public Theater in October, following its just completed run at St Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO Brooklyn. The production includes scenes from a rarely seen film of Richard Burton's legendary 1964 Broadway performance in the role. The cast at St Ann's, all of whom are expected to return at the Public Theater, included Scott Shepherd, Kate Valk, Roy Faudree, Ari Fliakos, Daniel Pettrow, Casey Spooner and Judson Williams. Additional Wooster Group artists and associates contributing to the piece included Geoff Abbas, Ruud van den Akker, Ariella Beth Bowden, John Collins, Jim Dawson, Dan Dobson, Joby Emmons, Reid Farrington, Warren Fischer, Teresa Hartmann, Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck, Claudia Hill, Felix Ivanov, Bozkurt Karasu, Adam Kimmel, Gabe Maxson, Matt Schloss, Natalie Thomas, Matt Tierney and Jennifer Tipton.

The troubled Jean Cocteau Repertory has left its Bouwerie Lane Theater home and has relaunched itself as The Exchange, dedicated to works by new voices from outside the traditional theatrical community. The first productions by the new company will be the North American premieres of Anthony Neilson's Realism, a trip through one man's imaginative mind on an average day, and Lisa McGee's Jump!, the story of seven people whose unrelated lives suddenly collide at midnight on New Year's Eve, both directed by Ari Edelson, which will play in repertoire at Theater Row from April 15th to May 20th. The company will comprise Bree Elrod, Jordan Gelber, Ali Marsh, Stephen Plunkett, Kathryn Rossetter, Herbert Rubens, Tim Spears, Daniel Talbott, Sarah Grace Wilson and Meredith Zinner. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Cirque du Soleil will present Winter Tale, a specially created new show in the Theater at the Madison Square Garden, previewing from November 1st, opening on November 4th, and running until January 4th. A cast of 50 performers will employ circus arts, theatrical effects and music, to tell the story of a New York boy and two friends, who journey to the Arctic to find snow, and bring it back to the city for the holidays.

In what is believed to be the first time in American theatre history, that a foreign production of an American musical will play in the United States, the Chinese Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, directed by its New York director Joel Bishoff, will play six shows a week in rep with the original production, at the Westside Theatre, from May 9th to June 3rd. The Chinese company will perform the show entirely in Mandarin, with English supertitles projected above the stage. Now in its 11th year, the musical show about relationships and dating, with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, and music by Jimmy Roberts, is the longest running musical revue on or off Broadway. The produces are James Hammerstein Productions, Bernie Kukoff and Jonathan Pollard. The Westside Theatre is located at 407 West 43rd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that the newly discovered Mark Twain play Is He Dead?, revised by David Ives, is aiming for a Broadway production, opening in October, directed by Michael Blakemore, the producer will be Bob Boyett and Bill Haber. The Rumour Machine grinds on.