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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th June 2007

The Culture Project will present the 2007 Women Center Stage Festival, featuring works of theatre, film, comedy, music and conversations, by established and emerging female artists, from June 25th to July 17th, at the Culture Project, The Knitting Factory and P.S. 122. Theatre events will include: A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant And A Prayer, a new collection of work by writers, thinkers and activists edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle; Becoming Natasha, inspired by Victor Malarek's book The Natashas, which explores the economic and cultural influences behind human trafficking; Saint Joan Of The Stockyards, a reinvention of Brecht's play by creator-director Lear deBessonet, featuring music by Kelley McRae; and Marisa Tomei and David Strathairn in Scarlet Letter, Carol Gilligan's adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, directed by Leigh Silverman. The Culture Project is located at 55 Mercer Street, at Broome Street. Further information can be found on The Culture Project web site, via the link from Off Broadway Companies & Venues in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Target Margin Theatre is to stage the world premieres of two new one act plays in a double bill, directed by David Herskovits, opening at The Kitchen, on June 16th. The Argument, a solo piece written and performed by David Greenspan, based on Aristotle's Poetics and the essays of Gerald F Else, is a passionate student's love letter and farewell to his teacher. Dinner Party, a loose adaptation of Plato's Symposium, taking on love from every angle, will feature Han Nah Kim, Diana Konopka, Mary Neufeld, Steven Rattazzi, Greig Sargeant, Stephanie Weeks, and Ian Wen. The Kitchen is located at 512 West 19th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Marissa Kamin's The Fabulous Life Of A Size Zero, with Anna Chlumsky, Kate Reinders, Gillian Jacobs, Christopher Sloan and Brian J Smith, with DJ Brenda Black onstage spinning the show's soundtrack, directed by Ben Rimalower, with choreography by Josh Walden, will preview from June 14th at the DR2 Theatre, opening on June 17th. It follows a girl in her senior year of high school who shrinks to a size zero and descends into a world of booze, beauty, and boyfriends, while attempting to get into the Ivy League school of her choice. The producers are Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Marissa Kamin, Ben Rimalower and Metropole Ink. The DR2 Theatre is located at 103 East 15th Street at Union Square.

Right Down Broadway Productions presents the world premiere of Kari Floren's comedy If Wishes Were Horses, with Michael McKenzie, Robertson Carricart and Suzanne Grodner, directed by Julia Gibson, previewing from 7th June at Altered Stages, and opening on 9th June. A depressed downsized human resources exec starts creating new business opportunities for himself - that no one supports. Altered Stages is located at 212 West 29th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The Actors' Fund of America's 7th annual Auction Of 1000 Stars will launch online on June 11th, with two weeks for interested parties to place bids on the host of theatrical memorabilia and once in a lifetime experiences on offer. Among these will be: a vocal coaching session with Barbara Cook, a night on the town with Alec Baldwin, a Shakespearean acting lesson with Lynn Redgrave, dinner with Alan Cumming, a guitar lesson with Michael Cerveris, event passes for the Tony Awards Ceremony and Gala, tickets for opening night and after show party for Grease, Xanadu, Rock 'n' Roll, The Seafarer and Is He Dead?, plus walk on roles in Rent, The Phantom Of The Opera, Mamma Mia! and Chicago. The Actors' Fund is a non profit organization that provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals. Further information can be found on the Auction Of 1000 Stars web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Moose Hall Theatre Company's Inwood Shakespeare Festival will present free outdoor performances of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, directed by Ted Minos, from June 6th to 23rd, and Spartacus, adapted and directed by Ted Minos, from July 18th to August 4th. The productions will be performed in Inwood Hill Park Peninsula, entrances at West 218th Street and Indian Road, and Isham Street and Seaman Avenue.

The latest edition of the long running revue Forbidden Broadway: The Roast Of Utopia, written and co-directed by Gerard Alessandrini, co-directed by Phillip George, featuring Jared Bradshaw, Erin Crosby, Janet Dickinson and James Donegan, with David Caldwell on piano, will open June 13th at the 47th Street Theatre, 304 West 47th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

According to figures released by The League of American Theatres and Producers, paid attendance for the 2006/2007 Broadway theatre season was the highest ever, up 2.6% from the previous season. 12.31m people paid to attend Broadway shows, up from 12m, while grosses increased by 8.9% to an all time record of $939m, up from $861m the season before. In 2006/2007 there were 35 new productions: 12 new musicals, 11 new plays, 5 musical revivals and 7 play revivals, which was down from 39 the previous season. The number of playing weeks (the sum total of all shows multiplied by the number of weeks each show played) was the second highest on record at 1,509 weeks. The record was the 2002/2003 season with 1,544 weeks. Strong attendance by tourists continued to be a major factor in Broadway's success, with domestic tourists accounting for more than 5m tickets, and international visitors more than 1.3m tickets. Broadway contributes almost $5bn to New York City's economy, and supports 45,000 full time equivalent jobs.

CAP 21/The Shop presents Pages, a new musical by Will Van Dyke and Josh Halloway, which explores the life of a novelist who has chosen to live a fiction because he's too afraid of what will happen if he doesn't, directed by Lawrence Arancio, opening on 12th June. CAP 21/The Shop, is located at 18 West 18th Street, 6th Floor, between 5th & 6th Avenues.