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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd October 2011

It has been confirmed that Ghost The Musical, adapted from the 1990 film about a man trapped as a ghost between this world and the next trying to communicate with his girlfriend through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer, book by Bruce Joel Rubin from his screenplay, music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Ashley Wallen, will open at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 23rd, following previews from March. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, projection by Jon Driscoll, and sound by Bobby Aitken. The producers are Colin Ingram Productions, Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Adam Silberman, Land Line Productions, Donovan Mannato, Michael Edwards & Carole Winter, in association with Paramount Pictures Corporation and ATG/Robert G Bartner.

The Flea Theater will stage the premiere of Qui Nguyen's She Kills Monsters, a comedy about someone who is drawn into the world of fantasy video games when she finds her dead sister's notebook, with Satomi Blair, Allison Buck, Ugo Chukwu, Jack Corcoran, Edgar Eguia, Cleo Grey, Raul Sigmund Julia, Annabel Lalonde, Bruce A Lemon, Sean McIntyre, Megha Nabe, Margaret Odette, Brett Ashley Robinson and Nicky Schmidlein, directed by Robert Ross Parker, previewing from November 4th, opening on November 17th. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Church Street and Broadway.

The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame have been announced. They are actors Tyne Daly and Ben Vereen, director Daniel Sullivan, costume designer Ann Roth, and producers George White, Elliot Martin and Woodie King Jr, with director Paul Sills inducted posthumously. The 41st annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on January 30th, hosted by Estelle Parsons. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre.

Theater for the New City will stage the premiere of the musical The Capitalist Ventriloquist, book and lyrics by Tom Attea, music by Arthur Abrams, about the struggle of the son of an imperious hedge fund owner for self-determination (and to become a singing ventriloquist), with Kevin Melendez, Grace Morales, David Slone, David Zen Mansley, Julie Smith, Bob Homeyer, Laura King, Christina Johnson, Jason Jacoby, Natalia Saltiel, Kayleigh Shuler, Lucas Thompson and Madison Turner, directed by Mark Marcante, opening on October 6th. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between East 9th and 10th Streets.

The Signature Theatre Company has announced the first season in its new Signature Center home, designed by Frank Gehry, comprising 4 intimate spaces, in end stage, courtyard, proscenium and studio configurations. The productions are: Blood Knot, written and directed by Athol Fugard, about two biracial brothers during the apartheid era in South Africa, from January 31st; the premiere of Katori Hall's Hurt Village, the story of a dysfunctional family relocating from a housing project, directed by Patricia McGregor, from February 7th; the premiere of Edward Albee's Laying An Egg, in which a downtrodden middle-aged woman renews her vow to get pregnant with chaotic results, directed by David Esbjornson, from February 14th; Athol Fugard's My Children! My Africa!, about a teacher seeking to provide a future for a gifted pupil, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, from May 1st; Will Eno's Title And Deed, a funny and sad meditation on mortality, loneliness, innocence, home, family, love and the world, directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett, from May 1st; the premiere of an as yet untitled play by Kenneth Lonergan, from May 15th; and The Train Driver, written and directed by Athol Fugard, in which a grief-stricken train driver searches for the identities of a mother and child he unintentionally killed, from August 14th. The Signature Center is located at 480 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

New Georges will stage Sylvan Oswald's Nightlands, a picture of a community in North Philadelphia, with Rachel Leslie, Annie Mcnamara, Michael Milligan, Hubert Point-Du Jour and Linda Marie Larson playing a multiplicity of characters, directed by Tamilla Woodard, previewing from October 5th at HERE Arts Center, opening on October 10th. HERE Arts Center is located at 145 6th Avenue, between Spring and Dominick Streets.

The 9th Open House New York, the annual scheme to allow the public into architecturally interesting but usually private buildings across the capital, takes place on October 15th and 16th. Over 200 locations will include places of theatrical interest such as the Apollo Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Frederick P Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Performance Space 122, East 4th Street Cultural District, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Lyceum, Mark Morris Dance Center, The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, Louis Armstrong House Museum and the St George Theatre on Staten Island. There will also be talks, conducted walks and other accompanying special events taking place at various locations over the course of the weekend. Entrance is free, but because of limited access, a few of the buildings require prebooking. Further information can be found on the OHNY web site via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that the current Paper Mill Playhouse musical stage adaptation of the 1992 Disney film Newsies, inspired by the real life Newsboy Strike of 1899, book by Harvey Fierstein, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, directed by Jeff Calhoun, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, may be remounted on Broadway next spring. The Rumour Machine grinds on.