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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd January 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, about the relationships between past and present, order and disorder, and the certainty of knowledge, with Billy Crudup, Raul Esparza, Margaret Colin, Glenn Fleshler, Grace Gummer, Edward James Hyland, Byron Jennings, Bel Powley, Tom Riley, Noah Robbins, David Turner and Lia Williams, directed by David Leveaux, based on the 2009 London production, will preview from February 25th at the Barrymore Theatre, with an official opening on March 17th. The producers are Sonia Friedman, Roger Berlind, Stephanie P McClelland, Scott M Delman, Robert G Bartner, Olympus Theatricals and Doug Smith.

Ghetto Klown, an autobiographical solo show written and performed by John Leguizamo, ranging from adolescent memories of Queens, through acting in 1980s avant-garde theater shows, to working on major motion pictures, directed by Fisher Stevens, will preview from February 21st at the Lyceum Theatre, with an official opening on March 22nd. The producers are WestBeth Entertainment, Daveed D. Frazier and Nelle Nugent.

Future productions by New York City Ballet will include a new short work by Susan Stroman, For The Love Of Duke, a companion piece to her earlier work for NYCB, Blossom Got Kissed, playing from January 28th; and the sung ballet The Seven Deadly Sins, music by Kurt Weill, libretto by Bertolt Brecht, featuring Patti LuPone, directed and choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, from May 11th. NYCB seasons in the David H Koch Theater at Lincoln Center run from January 18th to February 27th and from May 3rd to June 12th.

New York City Opera will stage Prima Donna, music by Rufus Wainwright, libretto by Bernadette Colomine, about a faded opera singer in Paris determined to make a comeback, with Janis Kelly, who originated the leading role in the Opera North production in Manchester England in 2009, directed by Tim Albery, in spring 2012 in the David H Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.

Submissions are now being accepted for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals, to be held in the fall. The annual event affords emerging and established theatre writers the opportunity to showcase developing works for an industry only audience, comprising producers from around the world. Many of the new works find life at regional companies, as well as Off-Broadway and on Broadway. Any writer may submit his or her work as long as a NAMT member, agent or other professional theatre organisation also submits a letter of support. Submission deadlines are January 25th for non-NAMT members, and February 15th for NAMT members and Festival alumni. Since 1989 the festival has presented over 225 musicals and 330 writers, and 80% have found subsequent productions as a direct result of the festival, including Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Further information can be found on the NAMT web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

On The Casting Couch: Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells, Nikki M James, Rory O'Malley and Michael Potts will be joined by Lewis Cleale, Ta'rea Campbell and Tyson Jennette in the Trey Parker-Matt Stone-Robert Lopez musical Book Of Mormon, opening at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on March 24th

A double bill of Edward Allan Baker's Dolores, in which two very different sisters confront the shadows of memory and the anguish behind the routine that their lives impose, and North Of Providence, in which a dying man's children try to figure out what keeps them apart and discover what keeps them together, with Rachel Cornish, Sat Charn Fox, John Golaszewski and Rebecca Nyahay, directed by Alberto Bonilla, will open at the CSV Cultural Center on 26th January. The producers are Teatro La Tea and Clout in the Mug Productions. The CSV Cultural Center is located at 107 Suffolk Street, between Delancey and Rivington Streets.

The Irish Repertory Theatre will stage Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney, the story of a blind woman who undergoes an operation to restore her sight, and finds the world is not as she has imagined it, with Jonathan Hogan, Geraldine Hughes and Ciaran O'Reilly, directed by Charlotte Moore, previewing from January 19th, opening on January 30th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Abbie, a biographical solo show about the 1960's political activist Abbie Hoffman, created from Hoffman's writings and performed by Bern Cohen, directed by Thomas Caruso, will play at the West End Theatre from January 6th. The West End Theatre is located at the Church of St Paul and St Andrew at 263 West 86th Street at West End Avenue.

Fred Newman's Mr Hirsch Died Yesterday, in which a male Jewish writer and an African American woman find that they have a shared history, with Lindsay Arber, Dana Berger, Debbie Buchsbaum, Lenora Fulani, Zoe Geltman, Joseph Mallon, Reynaldo Piniella, Ben Prayz, Katya Pucci and Moshe Yassur, directed by Woodie King Jr, will open at the Castillo Theatre on January 20th. The Castillo Theatre is located at 543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Matthew Lombardo's new play High, in which a nun counselling at a drug recovery centre finds herself questioning her faith, with Kathleen Turner and Evan Jonigkeit, directed by Rob Ruggiero, is aiming for Broadway in the spring, courtesy of producers Leonard Soloway, Terry E Schnuck, Chase Mishkin, Ann Scott and The Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis; that Garson Kanin's Born Yesterday, a comedy about the dumb blonde girlfriend of a corrupt businessman, and the reporter who comes between them, possibly featuring Nina Arianda and Jim Belush, directed by Doug Hughes, will also be Broadway bound in the spring, thanks to producers Philip Morgaman, Anne and Vincent Caruso, Frankie J Grande and James P MacGilvray; and that the musical Bubbling Brown Sugar, featuring the songs made famous by Ellington, Blake, Calloway and Holiday, is aiming to return to Broadway in late fall next year, with a new book by Michael Hulett, but retaining the original choreography of Billy Wilson, courtesy of producer Ashton Springer. The Rumour Machine grinds on.