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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd April 2013

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the back catalogue musical Always... Patsy Cline, book by Ted Swindley, about the friendship that developed between Cline and her most devoted fan, with Crystal Bowersox and Annette O'Toole, directed by John Rando, will open at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced in August. The design team will include scenery by Anna Louizos. The producers are Burke-Cohen Entertainment/Jimmy Burke and Jeff Cohen.

This year's Lincoln Center Festival of music, dance and theatre from 10 countries will run from July 6th to 28th, across the Lincoln Center campus. Highlights will include: Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses, in a contemporary 'rehearsal room' take on the story of a game of sexual corruption, deceit and betrayal, as two aristocrats scheme to seduce two innocent victims, featuring young actors from Paris' Theatre de l'Atelier, directed by John Malkovich; Murmurs, conceived and directed by Victoria Thierree Chaplin, a combination of movement, circus and illusion, performed by Aurelia Thierree; Monkey: Journey To The West, a music theatre piece based on a Chinese folktale, conceived, written and directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, music by Damon Albarn; and Complicite's Shun-kin, a tale of devotion, passion and power, based on the writings of Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, directed by Simon McBurney.

The White Horse Theater Company will stage Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother, in which a mother tries to talk her middle aged daughter out of committing suicide, with Joy Franz and Laura Siner, directed by Cyndy A Marion, at the Hudson Guild Theatre from May 3rd. The Hudson Guild Theatre is located at 441 West 26th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues

On The Casting Couch: Nicholas L Ashe, Kyle Beltran, Chuck Cooper, Grantham Coleman, Austin Pendleton, Jeremy Pope and Wallace Smith will feature in Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy, opening at Manhattan Theatre Club's The Studio at Stage II at New York City Center on July 2nd.

The final production in Playwrights Horizons 2013/2014 season will be Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss, in which two actors with a history, thrown together as romantic leads in a 1930s melodrama, lose touch with reality as the story onstage follows them offstage, directed by Rebecca Taichman, opening next February.

Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet Of 1812, a section of Tolstoy's War And Peace adapted into a libretto, set to an original score that merges Russian folk and classical music with indie rock, electronica, and organ-influenced cadences, performed as an environmental experience, with Brittain Ashford, Gelsey Bell, Blake DeLong, Amber Gray, Ian Lassiter, Dave Malloy, Grace McLean, Paul Pinto, Phillipa Soo and Lucas Steele, directed by Rachel Chavkin, seen last year at Ars Nova, will return to Kazino, a new venue created specifically for the show as a Moscow dining club, from May 1st. Kazino is located on the corner of West 13th Street and Washington Street.

Ars Nova will stage the premiere of Steven Levenson's Core Values, about events at a weekend workplace team building retreat, with Reed Birney, Birney Paul Thureen, Susan Kelechi Watson and Erin Wilhelmi, directed by Carolyn Cantor, previewing from April 23rd, opening on May 6th. Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

The 27th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will take place at the Minskoff Theatre on April 22nd and 23rd. The event will feature the companies of Broadway, Off Broadway and touring productions, performing sketches, songs and/or dances as well as a parade of bonnets created specially for the competition. It is the culmination of a 6 week fundraising campaign by each of the companies. The 1st prize goes to the company that raises the most money, with a 2nd prize for the company with the best bonnet design and presentation, and additional prizes for the Broadway play, national tour and Off Broadway production raising the most money. Last year's event raised $3,677,855, the 3rd highest total ever, with The Book Of Mormon taking the top prize with $286,725, and Mamma Mia! winning Best Bonnet. Total donations to date exceed $49m. Further information and online booking can be found on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Cell will stage the premiere of Peter/Wendy, adapted and directed by Jeremy Bloom, from J M Barrie's Peter Pan and A Little White Bird, a darker look at the characters from the legendary story, in a unique production on the multi-level indoor/outdoor stage, previewing from May 30th, opening on June 1st. The Cell is located at 338 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Rupert Holmes's A Time To Kill, adapted from John Grisham's courtroom novel, directed by Ethan McSweeny, is aiming for a Broadway opening in October, courtesy of producers Daryl Roth and Eva Price; that a revised version of the Alan Jay Lerner-Frederick Loewe musical Gigi, with a new book by Heidi Thomas, is aiming for Broadway during the 2013/2014 season, courtesy of producer Jenna Segal; and that Monsoon Wedding, a stage musical adaptation of the film by Mira Nair, with staging by Bill T Jones is aiming for Broadway next spring. The Rumour Machine grinds on.