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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd October 2006

Evil Dead: The Musical, a riotous and bloody musical comedy based on Sam Raimi's 80s cult classic horror films: a boy and his friends take a weekend getaway at abandoned cabin, where horror ensues, directed by Christopher Bond, co-directed and choreographed by Hinton Battle, is now previewing at New World Stages, prior to opening on November 1st. The show, with book and lyrics by George Reinblatt, and music by Frank Cipolla, Melissa Morris, Bond, and Reinblatt, features Jennifer Byrne, Jenna Coker, Renee Klapmeyer, Tom Walker, Brandon Wardell, Ryan Ward and Darryl Winslow, and is presented by Jenkay LLC, Jeffrey Latimer Entertainment and Just For Laughs Live. New World Stages is at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. 'Splatter Zone' seats (in the front rows of the theatre) will cost just $25.

Applications are now being accepted for the next ActorCrafts, the fine arts and craft fair featuring the talents of New York's theatre community - 'onstage, backstage, under the stage or anywhere near the stage' - to be held on November 4th, from 10am to 6pm, at Holy Cross School, 332 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. Over 40 exhibitors will be participating, selling jewellery, sculpture, paintings, photography, dolls, clothing, furniture, handmade cards, picture frames and much more, and admission is free. Produced by Josef Reiter, the fair is made possible by the support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The deadline for applications is October 15th. Further information can be found on the ActorCrafts web site via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Drama Dept will present Douglas Carter Beane's The Cartells, billed as 'A Prime Time Soap . . . Live', about a wealthy oil family in the mould of Dallas and Dynasty, directed by Carl Andress, at Comix, the new contemporary comedy nightclub, located at 353 West 14th Street, at 9th Avenue. Four separate episodes titled 'The Eye Of The Needle', 'Far Above Rubies', 'Perish The Sword' and 'Cast A Stone' will be performed on Monday nights from October 16th to November 6th. Among those scheduled to take part are Vanessa Aspillaga, Dylan Baker, Keith Davis, Joanna Gleason, Brian D'Arcy James, David Rakoff and Joey Slotnick, as well as other Drama Dept company members and celebrity guest stars. Dinner seating is available, and VIP tickets, priced $125, includes pre-show cocktails and appetizers and a post-show party with the cast.

Following a spate of Off Broadway theatre closures, including the Promenade, Circle in the Square Downtown, the Houseman, the Fairbanks, Variety Arts and Perry Street, at last there is some good news about one that is reopening. The Players Theatre, at 115 MacDougal Street at Minetta Lane in Greenwich Village, has been purchased by musician Michael Sgouros, and is being renovated for music and theatre performances to start late this month. In addition to a flexible 199-248 seat proscenium house, the venue includes 5 rehearsal studios, and a newly created office suite with individual work stations available to small theatre companies. Sgouros wants The Players to become a regular home for a roster of theatre companies, including Amas Musical Theatre, and to provide a showcase for emerging or established bands or ensembles. He will stage a weekly Sunday morning family music series called Percussion People featuring interactive activities for all ages. Sgouros also hopes to work collaboratively with tenant Cafe Wha?, the famed basement music club that was a hangout for Allen Ginsburg, Abbie Hoffman and Bob Dylan in the 1960s, which is still going strong. Further information can be found on The Players Theatre web site via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Judy Gold's solo show 25 Questions For A Jewish Mother, which ran at the Ars Nova last spring as God Doesn't Pay Rent Here, is currently previewing at the St Luke's Theatre, prior to opening on October 12th. The comedy drama, co-written by Gold and Kate Moira Ryan, follows Gold's personal journey about becoming a parent, while learning to be a daughter to a nagging Jewish mother of her own. The St Luke's Theater is located at 308 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The 2nd Annual Broadway Cabaret Festival, created and hosted by Scott Siegel, will run at The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, from October 20th to 22nd. It will comprise: Music Is In The Air: A Tribute To Jerome Kern, with Lari White, Cady Huffman, Michel Bell, Stephen Bogardus, Nancy Anderson, Leslie Kritzer, Julia Murney, Deven May, Michael Winther, Carolyn Montgomery, Julie Reyburn, Ron Bohmer, Joyce Chittick, Sean Martin Hingston, Jack Noseworthy and Noah Racey; Alice Ripley And Emily Skinner Sing Broadway; and Broadway Originals! an afternoon show featuring the original stars of Broadway shows re-creating their performances, including Into the Woods - Joanna Gleason and Chip Zien; Jerome Robbins' Broadway - Debbie Gravitte; Baby - Liz Callaway, Catherine Cox and Beth Fowler; All Shook Up - Cheyenne Jackson; Jekyll & Hyde - Christiane Noll; and Do Re Mi! - Nancy Dussault.

In the world premiere of Kenan Minkoff's Makeout Session, with Andrew Pastides and Adrian Wyatt, teenagers who become lovers in Act I, meet again 10 years later in Act II, in this tribute to the irresistibility of sex and the impossibility of love, directed by Matt Cowart, previewing at TBG Arts Center October 6th, and opening October 20th. TBG Arts Center is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.