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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd September 2012

It has been confirmed that Motown, a back catalogue musical based on the life of Berry Gordy, the record producer who founded the Motown label, book by Gordy, with Brandon Victor Dixon and Valisia Lekae, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, with choreography by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, will preview from March 11th at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, with an official opening on April 14th. The design team comprises scenery by David Korins, costumes by ESosa, lighting by Natasha Katz, and sound by Peter Hylenski. The producers are Gordy, Kevin McCollum and Sony Music.

Forthcoming productions at the Irish Repertory Theatre will include on the Mainstage: Brian Friel's The Freedom Of The City, revolving around an inquiry into the shooting of three people during a civil rights demonstration, directed by Ciaran O'Reilly, previewing from October 3rd, opening on October 14th; and The Songs I Love So Well, with Phil Coulter performing some of his best loved and most personal compositions, previewing from November 29th, opening on December 9th; and in the Studio: A Celebration Of Harold Pinter, performed by Julian Sands, combining Pinter's poems and political prose with personal anecdotes and reflections drawn from their work together, directed by John Malkovich, previewing from October 10th, opening on October 16th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction, the outdoor fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be held on September 23rd, from 10am to 7pm, spreading along the entire block of West 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, and into Times Square between 43rd and 44th Streets. It will feature stalls with a host of theatrical memorabilia donated by the theatrical community, a Celebrity Table where autographs or photos with stars from Broadway, Off Broadway and television can be purchased, and over a dozen one off theatrical experiences, such as house seats for a show plus a walk on part, visit with the star in their dressing room or dinner afterwards, a backstage tour, or chance to conduct the exit music in the orchestra pit in the Live Auction at 4.30pm. Last year's Flea Market raised $547,658. Online and phone bids for the auction can be placed until September 22nd. Further information can be found on the BC/EFA web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Psycho Clan's 9th Halloween season haunted house experience Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House, created by Timothy Haskell, John Harlacher and Steve Kopelman, will run at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, from September 28th to November 3rd. Visitors enter a labyrinth of rooms, each featuring a gruesome serial killer from past to present, including Ted Bundy, Albert Fish and the Zodiac killer. The creative team includes production design by Paul Smithyman, art direction by Justin Haskell, lighting by Garin Marshall, sound by David Roy, props by David Hinkle and costumes by Candice Thompson. There is an accompanying gallery exhibition, displaying the murderers' art collections and personal memorabilia, mixing the fantastical nature of the haunted house with the lingering ghosts of history. The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center is located at 107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey Streets

Broadway Babylon: Glamour, Glitz And Gossip On The Great White Way by Boze Hadleigh, published by Backstage Books, is exactly what it says on the cover. Boze Hadleigh combines pieces on legendary figures from Broadway's past, such as Ethel Merman, Tennessee Williams, Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, Jerome Robbins and David Merrick, and interviews with (or possibly intensive googling of) names of today, such as Angela Lansbury, Alan Cumming and Tommy Tune. Together, they produce a cornucopia of Broadway legend, fable, anecdote and gossip, and while some you may know, much you will not.

The forthcoming tour of the musical Jekyll & Hyde, book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, music by Frank Wildhorn, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's novella The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, with a cast headed by Constantine Maroulis, Deborah Cox, Teal Wicks, Laird Mackintosh and Richard White, directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun, opening at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, in California, will transfer to Broadway, opening at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in April. The producer is Nederlander Presentations.

The Kaufman Center has announced its fall Broadway Close Up season in the Merkin Concert Hall, an inside look at the world of musical theatre. It will comprise: Bound For Broadway, in which Liz Callaway interviews the writers of 5 new shows, with songs performed by Barbara Walsh, Stephen Bogardus, Ken Marks, Adam Overett, Jeremy Morse and Jason "SweetTooth" Williams, on September 24th; New Music From The Johnny Mercer Foundation's Songwriters Project, featuring faculty members including Craig Carnelia Andrew Lippa, Lari White and Adam Gwon, on October 11th; And I'm Telling You: Henry Krieger, with the composer discussing his previous collaborators, featuring songs performed by Elisabeth Withers-Mendes, Mary Testa and Curt Hansen, on October 22nd; Art Isn't Easy: Andre Bishop & Ira Weitzman, with the producers talking about producing new musicals, featuring songs performed by Victoria Clark, Bobby Steggert, Judy Blazer, Sebastian Arcelus, Malcolm Gets and Michael Winther, on November 5th; and Lyricists Who Changed The World Of Musical Theatre, featuring the songs of Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein, E Y 'Yip' Harburg and Lorenz Hart, performed by Matthew Scott, Kirsten Bracken, Joshua Henry and Liz Callaway, on December 3rd. The Merkin Concert Hall is located at 129 West 67th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Further information can be found on the Merkin Concert Hall web site via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.