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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd April 2012

Spiegelworld, the Belgium originated 'spiegeltent' (a portable performance venue with mirrors lining the interior walls), which in previous summers has pitched on Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport, will this year lodge on a vacant lot at 265 West 45th Street, with a new show Empire, drawing on circus, cabaret, variety and burlesque, with acts including Moondog, Carrot Man, Polka Dot Woman, Rubbish Bag Lady and Lime Green Lady, previewing from May 22nd, opening on May 31st, and playing until September 2nd. 265 West 45th Street is located between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Mike Bartlett's Cock, which investigates one man's bisexuality and the love triangle that ensues, with Cory Michael Smith, Jason Butler Harner, Amanda Quaid and Cotter Smith, directed by James Macdonald, will preview from May 1st at the Duke on 42nd Street, opening on May 17th. The producers are Stuart Thompson and Jean Doumanian, in association with the Royal Court Theatre London. The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Epic Theatre Ensemble will stage William Shakespeare's Macbeth, the bloody tale of ambition, with Ty Jones, Melissa Friedman, Richard Easton, Devin E Haqq, Rhett Henckel, Aime Donna Kelly, Scott Kerns, Lori E Parquet, Julian Rozzell Jr, Godfrey L Simmons, Jr and James Wallert, directed by Ron Russell, previewing from April 20th at the 47th Street Theatre, opening on April 29th. The production is part of the Shakespeare for a New Generation project, and each performance will be followed by a forum led by scholars, authors and thinkers connected to the content of the show as well as members of the cast. The 47th Street Theatre is located at 304 West 47th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

La MaMa will stage Poor Baby Bree In I Am Going To Run Away, a one woman musical conceived and performed by Bree Benton, book by Benton, with songs from the golden age of vaudeville, directed by David Schweizer, previewing on April 13th at The Club at La MaMa, opening on April 14th. It tells a tragicomic story, inspired by Victorian melodrama and early cinema, of a child tempted from Home and Mother by dreams of the circus, only to face disillusionment, homesickness and her own lost innocence in the Big City. The Club at La MaMa is located at 74A East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery.

On The Casting Couch: Stanley Bahorek, Ken Barnett, Ken Clark, Julian Fleisher, Stephanie Hayes, Erik Lochtefeld, Kacie Sheik, A J Shively and Kristen Sieh will feature in the Gabriel Kahane-Seth Bockley musical February House, at the Public Theater from May 8th; and Bob Dishy, Giancarlo Esposito, Zach Grenier, Ron Cephas Jones and Tonya Pinkins will head the cast in John Patrick Shanley's Storefront Church (formerly Sleeping Demon) opening at the Linda Gross Theater on June 11th.

Scandinavian American Theater Company will stage Danish playwright Jokum Rohde's Pinocchio's Ashes, an expressionistic noir drama about the role of art in our times and the demonic streak in human nature, with Alfred Gingold, Neal Moeller, Mike James, Sue-Ellen Mandell, Albert Bendix, Tiago Castro, Lisa Pettersson and Izzy Hanson-Johnston, directed by Henning Hegland, at Theater for the New City from April 13th. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Lunar Energy Productions will stage Katharine Sherman's Christopher Marlowe's Chloroform Dreams, a fairytale that follows the Elizabethan playwright as he falls into a dangerous world filled with drugs and gangsters, in a dreamlike collage of language, ritual, and myth, with Christopher Fahmie, Sheila Joon, Michael Markham, Valerie Redd and Curry Whitmire, directed by Philip Gates, playing at The Red Room from April 18th. The Red Room is located at 85 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery

Leah Bachar's Degeneration X, blending live theatre, film, motion graphics, illustration and music to chronicle the different aspects of one man's psyche, with Micah B Chartrand, Leah Bachar, Meredith Edwards, Gordon Gray, Lauren Hennessy, Lin Laurin, Helene Macaulay, directed by Meredith Edwards, will play at The Living Theatre from April 18th. The Living Theatre is located at 21 Clinton Street, between Houston and Stanton Streets.

Pipeline Theatre Company will stage Timberlake Wertenbaker's The Ash Girl, in which the seven deadly sins writhe in the forest, consuming anyone who crosses their paths while a young girl hides amongst the ashes, directed by Jessica Doyel, at the Connelly Theatre from April 18th. The Connelly Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park production of the George Furth-Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, charting the lives of a Broadway show writing partnership and their best friend over a 25 year period, running backwards in time from their disenchanted middle age to optimistic youth, directed by John Doyle, may be Broadway bound courtesy of producer Richard Frankel; and that the British show Potted Potter - The Unauthorised Harry Experience, which condenses all the J K Rowling books to 70 minutes, written and performed by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, directed by Richard Hurst, may play a summer season at the Little Shubert Theatre, courtesy of producer Corey Ross. The Rumour Machine grinds on.