News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd July 2012

The Irish Repertory Theatre will stage the musical New Girl In Town, book by George Abbott, music and lyrics by Bob Merrill, adapted from Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie, in which an abused young woman struggles to make a fresh start after finding love in the 1920s New York Waterfront, with Margaret Loesser Robinson, Cliff Bemis, Patrick Cummings, Danielle Ferland, Dewey Caddell, Abby Church, Patrick Cummings, Matt Gibson, Kimberly Dawn Neumann, Alex Puette, Amber Stone and Stephen Zinnato, directed by Charlotte Moore, with choreography by Barry McNabb, previewing from July 18th, opening on July 26th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Lyle Kessler's Orphans, in which a shady businessman is kidnapped by two brothers, but manages to turn the tables, with Alec Baldwin, directed by David Sullivan, will open at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced next spring. The producers are Frederick Zollo and Robert Cole.

Manhattan Theatre Club has announced a new works initiative called The Studio at City Center Stage II, running alongside its season at City Center Stage I. The first season will comprise: the premiere of the musical Murder Ballad , by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash, exploring the complications of love, the compromises we make, and the small betrayals that can ultimately undo us, directed by Trip Cullman, previewing from October 30th, opening on November 15th; and Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy , a play with music about a boys prep school choir, previewing from June 18th, opening on July 2nd. In addition, MTC will work with Ars Nova on The Writer's Room, to commission, develop and support playwrights in creating new work, aiming for 4 projects each year. New York City Center is located 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Jenny Bacon, Gary Cole, Betty Gilpin, Julianne Nicholson and Lois Smith will feature in Sam Shepard's Heartless, opening at The Pershing Square Signature Center on August 27th; Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Genevieve Angelson, Shalita Grant and Billy Magnussen will feature in Christopher Durang's Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike, opening a pre Lincoln Center season at the McCarter Theatre Center on September 14th; and Chita Rivera will be joined by Jim Norton, Stephanie J Block, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman, Jessie Mueller and Betsy Wolfe in Rupert Holmes's musical The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, opening at Studio 54 on November 29th.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Motown, a back catalogue musical based on the life of Berry Gordy, the record producer who founded the Motown label, book by Gordy, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, with choreography by Bradley Rapier and Patricia Wilcox, will open next spring at a Nederlander theatre yet to be announced. The producers are Gordy, Kevin McCollum and Sony Music.

The 42nd annual Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Festival, presenting over 100 free performances at various locations around the Lincoln Center campus, will run from July 25th to August 12th. Performances, many of which are world premieres, will include: Polyglot Theatre with Tangle, a huge, interactive elastic weaving event created live by children and their families; The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, a hybrid of vaudeville, circus, wild west show, burlesque and sideshow; On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring, a multimedia jazz take on the classic work by The Bad Plus; and Kimmo Pohjonen and Helsinki Nelson with Accordion Wrestling, a music, sport, dance, theatre and performance art piece reviving the Finnish wrestling and accordion tradition from the 1920s. Further information can be found on the Lincoln Center web site, via the link from Major Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Broadway In Bryant Park, the free outdoor performances by company members from Broadway and Off Broadway musicals, will return for a 11th season from July 12th to August 16th, on Thursdays from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. Companies involved will include: The Phantom Of The Opera, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, War Horse, Porgy And Bess, Wicked, Memphis, Zarkana, Ghost, Anything Goes, Jersey Boys, Chaplin, The Musical, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, One Man, Two Guvnors, Chicago, Mary Poppins, Rebecca, Evita, Sister Act, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Bring It On: The Musical, Rock of Ages and A Christmas Story, The Musical. In addition there will be a prize draw for a year's worth of free Broadway tickets, which can be entered at the Resorts World Casino New York City tent. Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library on 6th Avenue, between 40th and 42nd Streets.

Diverse City Theater Company will stage Lee Blessing's Two Rooms, about an American professor held hostage in Beiruit and his wife at home in DC waiting for his release, directed by Jamie Richards, opening at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row on August 9th. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Hudson Warehouse's 9th season of free performances in Riverside Park continues with Aphra Behn's The Rover, the British Restoration comedy relocated to New Orleans at the turn of the 20th Century, directed by Jesse Michael Mothershed, from 12th to August 5th; and William Shakespeare's Richard II, the story of the ruthless pursuit of power, directed by Nicholas Martin-Smith, from August 9th to September 2nd. Performances are at 6.30pm from Thursday to Sunday, on the North Patio of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Riverside Park, at West 89th Street and Riverside Drive.

The Rumour Machine says: that Lincoln Center Theater will stage the premiere of Douglas Carter Beane's comedy The Nance, set during New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's campaign to ban burlesque in the 1930s, with Nathan Lane, directed by Jack O'Brien, on Broadway next spring; and that a stage musical adaptation of Magic Mike, the new Steven Soderbergh film about male strippers, book adapted from his screenplay Reid Carolin, is aiming for Broadway, produced by Steven Soderbergh, Channing Tatum, Gregory Jacobs, Nick Wechsler, John Buzzetti and Reid Carolin. The Rumour Machine grinds on.