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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd August 2008

A new production of Guys And Dolls, the 'musical fable of Broadway' based on Damon Runyan's short stories of colourful New York characters, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerlin, directed by Des McAnuff, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, will open on Broadway at a Nederlander theatre yet to be announced next spring. The producers are Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group, Tulchin/Bartner and Darren Bagert.

The Women's Project's 2008/2009 season at the Julia Miles Theatre will include the premiere of Saviana Stanescu's Aliens With Extraordinary Skills, about the struggle of a Moldovan clown who creates balloon animals to realise her American Dream by getting a US work visa, with Seth Fisher, Gian-Murray Gianino, Kevin Isola, Natalia Payne and Jessica Pimentel, directed by Tea Alagic, from September 22nd; Virginia Woolf's Freshwater, a witty and wacky universe peopled with a tribe of historical figures, artists, friends and lovers, with Akiko Aizawa, Will Bond, Gian-Murray Gianino, Ellen Lauren, Kelly Maurer, Barney O'Hanlon and Stephen Duff Webber, directed by Anne Bogart, from January 15th, a collaboration with SITI Company; and the premiere of a site-specific work Global Cooling: The Women Chill, which will be written, directed and produced by WP Lab members in May. The Julia Miles Theater is located at 424 West 55th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Naked Angels will stage Frank Pugliese's The Talk, in which four brothers who come home for their mother's funeral find a past they never knew of, with Bobby Cannavale, Bruce MacVittie and Titus Welliver , directed by Sheryl Kaller, previewing from September 9th at the Cherry Lane Theatre, opening on September 22nd, presented in association with Susan Dietz and Barbara Manocherian; and the premiere of Geoffrey Nauffts's The Gospel According To Adam, a comic exploration of faith and reason in modern culture as an atheist falls for a Christian, from December 17th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons. The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, near 7th Avenue, between Bedford and Barrow Streets, and Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The children's musical Pinkalicious, book and lyrics by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, adapted from their book of the same name, music by John Gregor, directed by Teresa K Pond, has returned to New World Stages, where it played earlier this year. It is the story of a girl who can't stop eating pink cupcakes and eventually turns pink from head to toe. The show is presented by Vital Theatre Company who originally staged it at the Soho Playhouse. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Babel Theatre Project 2008/2009 season will comprise Norman Lasca's A Great Place To Be From, in which four people tell the stories of how their lives changed forever in ways absurd, tragic and transporting, directed by Geordie Broadwater, from September 4th at the Kraine Theater; and Chloe Moss's Christmas Is Miles Away, about how two best friends have grown apart since they left school in Manchester, England in 1989, also directed by Broadwater, from May 1st at the Connelly Theatre; plus the Groundwork project, which offers 6 emerging playwrights the opportunity to develop new works, performed on 25th and 26th January. The Kraine Theater is located at 85 East 4th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, and the Connelly Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B.

The 5th annual New York Musical Theatre Festival has announced the 24 full scale productions to be presented at various Off Broadway venues between September 15th and October 5th. Among those selected are Bedbugs!!!, book and lyrics by Fred Sauter, music by Paul Leschen, in which a hell-bent exterminator must save NYC from killer mutant bedbug Hair Metal Rock Gods... of her own creation; Cyclone (And The Pig-Faced Lady), book and lyrics by Dana Leslie Goldstein, music by Rima Fand, about the writer of a comic book story set in 1920s Coney Island, who finds the real world more complex than comics; I Come For Love, book, music and lyrics by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal, in which intergalactic sparks and saucers fly in a screwball comedy about a jaded reporter in search of a story who meets an alien looking for love; and Villa Diodati, book and music by Mira Spektor, book and lyrics by Colette Inez, with additional lyrics by Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Wordsworth, the story of the summer holiday in Italy when Mary Shelly created her monster Frankenstein. The festival will also include panels and seminars featuring industry leaders, readings, concerts and cabaret performances. Further information can be found on the NYMF web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Working Theater will stage the world premiere of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's King Of Shadows, with Satya Bhabha, Kat Foster, Sarah Lord and Richard Short, directed by Connie Grappo, previewing from September 2nd at Theater for the New City, opening on September 7th. It centers on a 15 year old homeless runaway claiming he's being pursued by supernatural demons, who forms a dangerous bond with a social worker's teenage sister. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets.

The 12th annual Broadway Blessing, the interfaith service that brings together members of the theatre community to ask a blessing on the new season, will take place at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, at 7pm on September 8th. Clergy from the Cathedral, Congregation Ezrath Israel/The Actors' Temple and St Clement's Episcopal Church will participate in the event, together with the Broadway Blessing choir, and Broadway performers including Boyd Gaines, Lynn Redgrave, Adam Jacobs, Jerry Curry, Project Dance and The Essentials. The event was conceived and is directed by journalist and author Retta Blaney. The Cathedral of St John the Divine is located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, at 112th Street.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater's 2008/2009 season will include Craig Wright's Lady, in which three former childhood friends, now middle aged, find that the common thread of memory has begun to tear, directed by Dexter Bullard, previewing from August 28th, opening on September 8th; Stephen Belber's Geometry Of Fire, about the colliding worlds of a soldier recently returned from Iraq and a Saudi-American, directed by Lucie Tiberghien, previewing from 13th November, opening on 24th November; and the premiere of Sheila Callaghan's That Pretty Pretty, or The Rape Play, which probes the wild subconscious of an individual struggling with his ex-girlfriend, his conscience and everything else on his mind, directed by Kip Fagan, previewing from February 11th, opening on February 16th. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is located at 224 Waverly Place, between West 11th Street and Perry Street.