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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 2nd November 2009

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge, with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson, directed by Gregory Mosher, will preview from December 28th at the Cort Theatre, with an official opening on January 24th. It tells the story of a Brooklyn longshoreman who has raised his orphaned niece, but become infatuated with her, and jealousy transforms him from a respected, honourable man to a virtual stranger, shamed and broken by his own actions. The creative team comprises scenery by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski and sound by Scott Lehrer. The producers are Stuart Thompson, The Araca Group, Jeffrey Finn, Sonia Friedman, The Weinstein Company and Olympus Theatricals.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, William Gibson's The Miracle Worker, telling the true story of how a blind, deaf and dumb girl learns to communicate with the world around her, with Abigail Breslin and Alison Pill, directed by Kate Whoriskey, will preview from February 12th at the Circle In The Square Theatre, with an official opening on March 3rd. The producer is David Richenthal.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the musical Promises Promises, adapted from the movie The Apartment, book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David, with Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes, directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, will preview from March 28th at the Broadway Theatre, with an official opening on April 25th. It is the story of a lowly office worker who gains promotions by lending his apartment out to executives to facilitate their affairs, but things get complicated when he falls for one of the women involved. The producers are Broadway Across America, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Candy Spelling and The Weinstein Company.

The musical revue That Time Of The Year, highlighting the joys and anxieties of the holiday season, concept and lyrics by Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman, set to music in a variety of styles by Sanford Marc Cohen, Nicholas Levin, Donald Oliver, Kyle Rosen, Brad Ross, Mark Wherry and Wendy Wilf, will return to the York Theatre Company, from December 18th to 20th. The York Theatre Company's Theatre at St. Peters is on 54th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Cherry Lane Theatre's Masterclass series will feature a host of theatrical luminaries talking about their craft, including in November - Tyne Daly (2), Marsha Norman (10), Tina Howe (16), Edward Albee (17); in December - Hal Prince (1), A.R. Gurney (14); in February - Gretchen Cryer (1), Eduardo Machado (15), Lee Blessing (16), Charles Mee (22); March - Alfred Uhry (1), Amiri Baraka (8), Charles Fuller (15), David Lindsay-Abaire (22); and April - George DiCenzo (19). Tickets cost $25 and events are at 7pm. The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, between Barrow and Bedford Streets.

The Book Of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered The World by Paul Collins, recently published by Bloomsbury, features the history of a book that has been sold all over the world for almost 400 years. Broken down into five acts, each tied to a different location and century, Collins's travelogue follows the trail of the first printing of Shakespeare's collected plays from its birth in 1623, charting a remarkable journey as it is found in attics, gets lost in oceans and fires, is bought and sold, and ultimately becomes immortal. This includes a Sotheby's auction on a pristine copy preserved since the 17th century, the Fleet Street machinations of the 18th century, the 19th century quests for lost Folios, obsessive acquisitions by 20th century oilmen, and the high-tech hoards of 21st century Japan. Finally, Collins speculates on Shakespeare's cross-cultural future as Asian buyers enter their Folios into the electronic ether.

The 21st annual Gypsy Of The Year Competition, the variety show featuring Broadway 'Gypsies' (chorus members from Broadway and Off Broadway shows), which is the culmination of the fall fundraising effort of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will take place at the Palace Theatre at 4.30pm on December 7th and 2pm on December 8th, when awards will be presented to the companies that raise the most money, and for the winning talent presentation. Further information can be found on the BC/EFA web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

It has been confirmed that Martin McDonagh's A Behanding In Spokane, a black comedy involving a man searching for his missing hand, two con artists, and an overly curious hotel clerk, directed by John Crowley, will receive its world premiere at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on March 4th next year. The producer is Robert Fox.

Playwrights Horizons will stage its annual Stories On 5 Stories benefit event, an evening of short new plays in unconventional spaces within the company's headquarters, on November 9th. It will feature works by Adam Bock, Randy Courts, Adam Rapp, Jonathan Reynolds, Evan Smith, Kathleen Tolan and Sarah Treem on the theme of 'an elephant in the room', performed by Dianne Wiest, Debra Monk, Jason Butler Harner, Zoe Kazan, Cassie Beck, Cristin Milioti, Sue Jean Kim, Carmen M Herlihy and Greg Keller. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Vineyard Theatre's production of A Boy And His Soul, written and performed by Colman Domingo, an autobiographical show exploring the life experiences of a young African-American man in 1980s Philadelphia, propelled by the beat of classic soul music, directed by Tony Kelly, with choreography by Ken Roberson, which has just concluded an extended run, is expected to be remounted for an open ended Off Broadway run next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.