News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 3rd December 2007

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the City Center Encores! Summer Stars production of the musical Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone, directed by Arthur Laurents, with Bonnie Walker reproducing Jerome Robbins's original choreography, will open at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced on March 27th. The entire cast of the Encores! production have been offered the chance to repeat their roles on Broadway, but only LuPone has currently been confirmed. The show, which has book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim is the story of the quintessential child star mother, and her daughter who became Gypsy Rose Lee. The producer is Richard Frankel Productions.

The Public Theater's 4th Under The Radar festival, featuring contemporary, adventurous and independent new work from around the world, will run from January 9th to 20th. Events will encompass site-specific productions, poetry, adapted classics, movement and performance art. Highlights will include Generation Jeans, a semi-autobiographical story by Belarus Free Theatre about living under a repressive political system; In Spite Of Everything, the Suicide Kings with a raw hip-hop theatre piece about school violence and their own journey from the streets to teaching in the public school system, directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph; Regurgitophagy, conceived, written and performed by Michel Melamed, directed by Alessandra Colasanti, Marco Abujamra and Michel Melamed, in which audience reactions are captured and transformed into electric shocks to the performer's body, as protest against a culture that hammers us with torrents of excess information; Terminus, written and directed by Mark O'Rowe, in which three people are thrown into a fantastical world of singing serial killers, avenging angels and love-sick demons, presented by the Abbey Theatre, Ireland; and This Place Is A Desert, conceived and directed by Jay Scheib, in collaboration with media artist Leah Gelpe, an Antonioni inspired multimedia piece following four lovers as they destroy each other in an attempt to defy their irreparable loneliness.

On The Casting Couch: S Epatha Merkerson will be joined by Kevin Anderson, Lyle Kanouse, Zoe Kazan, Brian J Smith, Brenda Wehle, Matthew J Williamson, Joseph Adams, Chad Hoeppner, Daniel Damon Joyce and Keith Randolph Smith in William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba, opening at the Biltmore Theatre on January 24th; Harvey Keitel will be joined by Emily Skinner, Max von Essen and Linda Balgord in Jerry Springer - The Opera in Concert at Carnegie Hall on January 29th and 30th; Laura Linney and Ben Daniels will lead Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on May 1st; and Mary Catherine Garrison, Elizabeth Marvel, Martha Plimpton and Marisa Tomei will feature in Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, opening at the Biltmore Theatre on May 7th.

Classic Stage Company's world premiere of David Ives's New Jerusalem, will feature Richard Easton, plus Fyvush Finkel, David Garrison, Jenn Harris, Michael Izquierdo, Natalia Payne and Jeremy Strong, directed by Walter Bobbie, previewing from December 28th, opening on January 13th. The play is the story of the interrogation and expulsion of the philosopher Baruch de Spinoza from the Jewish community of Amsterdam in the 17th century for his controversial ideas. The Classic Stage Company is located at 136 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues.

Thomas Schumacher, the producer of Disney's The Lion King, Aida, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid, and Jeff Kurtti, have written How Does The Show Go On?, a new book for children that explores the production of a Broadway musical. It gives young readers an insight into the world of theatre, including a glossary of theatre terms, a costume designer's sketchbook, a Playbill program, a front of house and backstage guide, as well as the experience of a day in the life of a child performer. From descriptions of the part played by the playwright, choreographer, stage manager and fight director, to explanations about the role of the set designer, composer, usher, director and leading lady, Schumacher and Kurtti have created a comprehensive introduction to the theatrical process. The book is from Disney Publishing World Wide.

Second Stage Theatre has added Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Good Boys And True, directed by Scott Ellis, to its current season, opening in mid May. The play is about a scandal at an all boys prep school in the 1980s that forces a mother to confront the truth about her son and herself.

Resonance Ensemble will stage the world premiere of Sherlock Solo - An Original Presentation By The Master Detective, a new story featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famed Victorian London detective Sherlock Holmes, a one man show written and performed by Victor L Cahn, directed by Eric Parness, previewing from January 10th at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on January 14th. Holmes tells the story of a previously undisclosed case that unfolded during the absence of Dr Watson, involving a mysterious woman who proves to be an unsettling presence in his life. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Vanities, a musical adapted from his play by Jack Heifner, with a score by David Kirshenbaum, a coming-of-age tale following 3 Texans from cheerleaders to sorority sisters to housewives, liberated women and beyond, through the 1960s and 1970s, directed by Judith Ivey, is aiming for Broadway next fall; and that the musical Busker Alley, with a book by A J Carothers, and score by Robert and Richard Sherman, based on the 1938 British film St Martin's Lane, which was previously scheduled for Broadway in 1995, will make a second bid for the Great White Way during the 2008/2009 season, featuring Jim Dale, directed by Tony Walton. The Rumour Machine grinds on.