News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd June 2014

The winners of the 4th Off Broadway Alliance Awards, honouring commercial and not-for-profit productions in Off Broadway theatres were New Musical - Fun Home - book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori at the Public; New Play - Hand To God - by Robert Askins at the Lucille Lortel; Revival - George Bernard Shaw's St Joan - Bedlam at the Lynn Redgrave; Unique Theatrical Experience - La Soiree - new variety at Union Square; Family Show - The Wong Kids In The Secret Of The Space Chupacabra Go! - La MaMa/Ma-Yi Theater Company at La MaMa; Legend of Off Broadway recipients were Edmund Gaynes, Andre Gregory, Terrence McNally and Wallace Shawn; and Hall of Fame Award was presented posthumously to Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ruth Maleczech and Nicholas Martin.

Second Stage Theatre's 2014/2015 season will include Terrence McNally's Lips Together, Teeth Apart, a Chekhov style comedy is set at a 4th of July celebration at a beach house on Fire Island, where the uncertainties and prejudices of a brother and sister and their respective spouses come to the surface, directed by Peter DuBois, from October 7th; and the premiere of Neil LaBute's The Way We Get By, a dark comedy about two people facing the morning after a one night stand following a wedding reception, to be staged next summer. Second Stage Theatre is located at 305 West 43rd Street, at 8th Avenue.

The Broadway League has announced that Broadway shows grossed $1.27bn during the 2013/2014 theatre season running from May 27th 2013 to May 25th 2014, up 11.4% on last year's $1.14bn, with 12.21m paid attendances, up 5.6% from 11.6m the previous year. In 2013/2014 there were 44 new productions, comprising 16 musicals (12 new and 4 revivals), 25 plays (10 new, 14 revivals and 1 return), and 3 special events, performing for a total of 1,496 playing weeks, up 4.6% from 1,430 the previous year.

Atlantic Theater Company's 2014/2015 season at the Linda Gross Theatre will comprise: the previously mentioned premiere of the musical Found, book by Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree, music and lyrics by Eli Bolin, crafting real notes and letters from Davy Rothbart's Found Magazine (which collects paper detritus) into a story of ambition, betrayal and loyalty, directed by Lee Overtree, previewing from September 18th, opening on October 14th; Moira Buffini's Dying For It, freely adapted from The Suicide by Nikolai Erdman, a comedy in which a desperate man's potential suicide is hijacked by various people for their own causes, directed by Neil Pepe; the premiere of Posterity, written and directed by Doug Wright, charting the unhappy relationship that develops as a sculptor works on a portrait of Henrik Ibsen; and the premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Guards At The Taj, in which two Imperial Guards at the newly-completed Taj Mahal are ordered to perform an unthinkable task; plus the children's musicals Ivy & Bean The Musical, music and lyrics by Scott Elmegreen, adapted from the books by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, the story of an unexpected friendship between two very different second graders; and Camp Kappawanna, book by Cusi Cram and Peter Hirsch, music and lyrics by Lisa Loeb, Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty, portraying the fear and excitement of leaving home for the first time at summer camp. The Linda Gross Theater is located at 336 West 20th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues

The recent production of the musical Pageant, book and lyrics by Bill Russell and Frank Kelly, music by Albert Evans, originally conceived by Robert Longbottom, about a beauty contest featuring an all male cast playing the contestants, with Nick Cearley, Frankie J Grande, Alex Ringler, Marty Thomas, Seth Tucker and Curtis Wiley, directed by Matt Lenz, choreographed by Shea Sullivan, will return at the Davenport Theatre, previewing from June 29th, opening on July 14th. The producers are SAS Productions in association with Kitty Potapow. The Davenport Theatre is located at 354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The New Victory Theater has announced its 2014/2015 season of acclaimed family friendly shows from around the world, which will include from Cape Town, South Africa, Isango Ensemble's version of Mozart's The Magic Flute, relocated to an African township, adapted and directed by Mark Dornford-May; from Brisbane, Australia, Onyx Productions' 360 ALLSTARS, featuring a group of streetdance performers, directed by Gene Peterson; from London, Complicite's Lionboy, adapted by Mike Kenny from stories by Zizou Corder, about a boy who, with the help of a pride of performing lions and his ability to talk to cats, sets off to save his parents from kidnappers, directed by Annabel Arden; from Cambridge, Massachusetts, A.R.T. Institute's musical The Light Princess, book by Lila Rose Kaplan, music and lyrics by Mike Pettry, adapted from the fairy tale by George MacDonald about a princess cursed with a lack of gravity, directed by Allegra Libonati; and from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Replay Theatre Company's Babble, an immersive underwater musical experience, composed by David Goodall, directed by Anna Newell. The New Victory Theatre is located at 209 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The musical Bike Shop, book by Elizabeth Barkan, music by Youn-Young Park, lyrics by Caroline Murphy, conceived and performed by Elizabeth Barkan, bringing to life three generations in the story of a Brooklyn bicycle shop, directed by Gretchen Cryer, with choreography by Sue Samuels, will play at Theater for the New City from 20th June. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets.

The Rumour Machine says: that Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, in which a feminist art historian and her friends search for political, professional and personal fulfilment from the 1960s to the 1980s, with Elizabeth Moss, possibly directed by Pam MacKinnon, may be Broadway bound late this year or early next, courtesy of producer Jeffrey Richards. The Rumour Machine grinds on.