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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd July 2007

Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention, directed by Des McAnuff, is Broadway bound, scheduled to preview from October 15th, ahead of a November 18th opening, at a yet to be announced theatre. The play concerns the battle for the patent for the invention of the television set, with young genius, Philo T Farnsworth, who came up with the idea as a high school student, pitted against David Sarnoff, the head of the Radio Corporation of America. The producer is Dodger Theatricals.

Broadway In Bryant Park, the free outdoor lunchtime performances by company members from Broadway and Off Broadway musicals, will return for a 6th season from July 12th. Companies involved will include new shows such as Spring Awakening, In The Heights, Legally Blonde, Grey Gardens, Curtains, Mary Poppins and Xanadu, together with many long running favourites. Shows are on Thursdays from 12.30pm, with a series finale on Friday August 10th. Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library on 6th Avenue, between 40th and 42nd Streets.

Signature Theatre Company, the Off Broadway company that devotes each season to a single living playwright, has announced that its 2007/2008 will feature Charles Mee. It will comprise the New York premiere of Iphigenia 2.0, an interpretation of the Greek drama Iphigenia At Aulis, about a father prepared to sacrifice his daughter to the gods in order to secure victory in war, directed by Tina Landau, running from August 7th; the world premiere of Queens Boulevard (the musical), inspired by classical Indian dance drama, relating adventures on the streets of Queens, as a bridegroom searches for the perfect gift for his bride, directed by Davis McCallum, from November 6th; and Paradise Park, the story of a young man who buys a ticket to an amusement park and boards a roller coaster ride through all of America, directed by Daniel Fish, from February 12th. As part of the company's Legacy Program, it will also present Edward Albee's Occupant, a portrait of the sculptor Louise Nevelson. Signature performs at The Peter Norton Space, 555 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Charles Ludlam's high camp classic The Mystery Of Irma Vep will rise again at Urban Stages from July 3rd to 15th, with Paul Pecorino and Chris Dell'Armo, directed by Tony Caselli, and produced by Madcap Productions. The play is a tongue in cheek tribute to gothic horror movies, which borrows liberally from melodramatic film classics. Urban Stages is located at 359 West 30th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Idol: The Musical, a satirical musical comedy that focuses on the delusional small town fan base of the television show American Idol, book by Bill Boland, music by Jon Balcourt, lyrics by Boland and Balcourt, directed by Boland, will play at 45th Street Theatre from July 5th. The producer is Todd Ellis for BiPolar productions. 45th Street Theatre is located at 354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Accomplice: New York, the mysterious interactive theatrical tour/game show, created by Tom Salamon and Betsy Salamon-Sufott, is returning for a third season, luring participants on a theatrical quest throughout Lower Manhattan. The locations are kept secret, and are only revealed to ticket holders shortly before show time, via a phone call from one of the event's mysterious characters. Then small groups of 8-10 people set out on foot through downtown neighborhoods as 'accomplices' in committing a faux crime, and as the plot unfolds, gathering information and insider tips to help the 'perp' outsmart the 'feds'. There are 16 shows a week and the event runs from July 7th to October 28th. Further information can be found on the A:NY web site, via the link from Shows in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Political pundit and comedian Will Durst will bring Capitol Hill satire to New York with The All American Sport Of Bipartisan Bashing, previewing from August 6th at New World Stages, opening on August 15th. The producer is Hanging Chad Productions. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The 8th annual Midtown International Theatre Festival, which runs from July 16th to August 5th, has announced the list of over 40 productions that will feature. The MITF will present more than 200 performances of the shows in 4 theatres on the same block of 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, encompassing fully staged performances, world premieres, revivals, staged readings, solo shows, multimedia presentations and talkbacks. Among the shows selected are: Padraic O'Reilly's Stray Dog Hearts, in which a mysterious dwarf crashing the office of a failing art book publisher sparks an irreverent black comedy; Take Me America, a new musical about refugees in their quest for asylum in the U.S., book and lyrics by Bill Nabel, music by Bob Christianson; La Tosca! A New Melodramatic Comedy, by Hector Lugo, a re-telling of the sordid story of lust, lies and love in 1800's Rome, inspired by the tragic play by Victorien Sardou; and A Line In The Sand, a documentary style play about the Columbine High School shootings. Further information can be found on the MITF web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Atlantic Theater Company will present Keith Reddin's Human Error, with Meg Gibson, Tim Guinee and Ray Anthony Thomas, directed by Tracy Brigden, previewing from August 1st at Atlantic Stage 2, opening August 8th. The play concerns the aftermath of a plane crash, where two investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board find themselves becoming involved in the life of a survivor. Atlantic Stage 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Second Stage Theatre Company's 2007/2008 season will comprise: the Edward Albee's Peter And Jerry, a double bill of the 1958 play Zoo Story, the meeting of two strangers in Central Park, and Homelife, a new prequel to this, with Bill Pullman, Dallas Roberts and Johanna Day, directed by Pam MacKinnon, opening in November; the premiere of the musical Next To Normal, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, music by Tom Kitt, about a suburban family confronting a long hidden skeleton in its closet, directed by Michael Greif; the premiere of Beau Willimon's Farragut North, about a communications director for an inspiring, though unorthodox, presidential candidate; and Richard Nelson's Some Americans Abroad, a comedy about Yankee tourists on an obsessive-compulsive playgoing tour of England, directed by Gordon Edelstein. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, just off Eighth Avenue.