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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th April 2011

Retro Productions will stage Norman Krasna's Dear Ruth, with Becky Byers, Heather E Cunningham, Shay Gines, Douglas B Giorgis, Joe Mathers, David Sedgewick, Alisha Spielmann, Matilda Szydagis and Matthew Trumbull, directed by Richard Roland, at the Spoon Theatre from May 4th. During World War II a Queens teenager starts a pen pal relationship with a serving Air Corps officer, pretending to be her older sister, which presents complications when he comes home to meet her. The Spoon Theatre is located at 38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Tony Glazer's Reading Under The Influence, in which the wine fuelled discussions of a book club become a reality television show, with Barbara Walsh, Joanna Bayless, Summer Crockett Moore, Ashley Austin Morris, Maria-Christina Oliveras and Jeremy Webb, directed by Wendy C Goldberg, will preview from April 6th at the DR2 Theatre, opening on April 16th. The DR2 Theatre is located at 103 East 15th Street, between Union Square and Irving Place.

Target Margin Theater will stage William Shakespeare's The Tempest, about an aging magician and his daughter stranded on a desert island, with Clare Barron, Purva Bedi, James Tigger Ferguson, Yehuda Hyman, Mia Katigbak, Meg MacCary, Nana Mensah, Mary Neufeld, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Steven Rattazzi and J H Smith III, directed by David Herskovits, previewing from May 4th at the HERE Arts Centre, opening on May 9th. The HERE Arts Centre is located at 145 6th Avenue, between Spring and Dominick Streets.

On The Casting Couch: John Cullum, Tonya Pinkins, Diane Davis, Carson Elrod, Danai Gurira, Joe Forbrich, Michael Hayden, Andre Holland, Jordan Lund, David Manis, Dakin Matthews, Caitlin O'Connell, Annie Parisse, Lorenzo Pisoni, Reg Rogers and Lucas Caleb Rooney will head the company for the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park productions of All's Well That Ends Well and Measure For Measure, from June 6th to July 31st at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

The Irish Repertory Theatre will stage Dion Boucicault's The Shaughraun, a comic melodrama of larger than life 19th century characters involving star crossed lovers who are given a helping hand by the loveable rogue of the title (and his dog), with Patrick Fitzgerald, Terry Donnelly, Rory Duffy, Katie Fabel, Sean Gormley, Laurence Lowry, Emma O'Donnell, Kevin O'Donnell, Tim Ruddy, Mark Shanahan, Geddeth Smith, Gwenfair Vaughan, Allison Jean White, Jake Zachry and Tatters the dog, directed by Charlotte Moore, previewing from April 21st, opening on May 1st. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Joshua Grenrock and Catherine Schreiber's Desperate Writers, in which a couple of screenwriters, with the baby clock ticking and their home about to be sold from under them, are driven to desperate measures to get their script read, bought and made, with Maddie Corman, Jim Stanek, Angel Desai, Christopher Durham, Tom Mardirosian, Kelsey Nash, Susan Louise O'Connor, Vayu O'Donnell, Pauletta Washington and Catherine Schreiber, directed by Kay Cole, will preview from May 16th at the Union Square Theatre, opening on June 6th. The producers are Carnegie Hill Productions, James Spry, Michael Alden and Pam Laudenslager. The Union Square Theatre is located at 100 East 17th Street, between Park Avenue South and Irving Place.

The Manhattan Theatre Club production of Daniel Goldfarb's new play Cradle And All (previously titled The Extinction Method), looking at love, sex, commitment and parenthood via two couples in adjoining Brooklyn Heights apartments, with Maria Dizzia and Greg Keller, directed by Sam Buntrock, will preview from May 10th at New York City Center Stage I, opening on May 25th. New York City Center Stage I is located at 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The Best Is Yet to Come, a revue featuring the songs of composer Cy Coleman, devised and directed by David Zippel, with David Burnham, Sally Mayes, Howard McGillin, Billy Stritch, Lillias White and Rachel York, will play at 59E59 Theaters from May 18th. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that the current London production of Terence Rattigan's Flare Path, set at an RAF base during World War II, about the relationships of a pilot, his wife and her former lover, with Sienna Miller, Sheridan Smith and James Purefoy, directed by Trevor Nunn, may be Broadway bound; and that Three One-Acts, a triple bill comprising Ethan Coen's Talking Cure, Elaine May's George Is Dead and Woody Allen's Honeymoon Motel, directed by John Turturro, is aiming for Broadway in October, courtesy of producers Julian Schlossberg and Letty Aronson. The Rumour Machine grinds on.