News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th June 2012

Roundabout Theatre Company will stage Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, in a translation by Ranjit Bolt, the classic romance in which an ugly but romantic man woos the woman he loves for his handsome but dumb friend, with Douglas Hodge, directed by Jamie Lloyd, previewing from September 14th at the American Airlines Theatre, with an official opening on October 11th.

Manhattan Theatre Club's 2012/2013 season will include at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre, Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy Of The People, which explores the dynamic between political accountability and expediency, as one man makes a stand against a community, in a new version by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, with Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas, directed by Doug Hughes, previewing from September 4th, with an official opening on September 27th; and at Center Stage I, the premieres of Terrence McNally's Golden Age, a backstage drama set at the premiere of Bellini's opera I Puritani in Paris in 1835, directed by Walter Bobbie, previewing from November 14th, opening on December 4th; and Liz Flahive's The Madrid, a story about motherhood, freedom, and trying to see the people in your family as they really are, with Edie Falco, directed by Leigh Silverman, previewing from February 5th, opening on February 26th.

Craig Wright's Grace, a thriller about a young couple who are starting a new life but come into conflict with their neighbours, with Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington and Edward Asner, directed by Dexter Bullard, will preview from September 14th at a Shubert theatre to be announced, with an official opening on October 4th. The producers are Debbie Bisno, Fox Theatricals and Paula Wagner.

Second Stage Theatre will stage Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, a two handed song cycle about a relationship, told from beginning to end by the man, and from end to beginning by the woman, directed by Brown, next spring. Second Stage Theatre is located at 305 West 43rd Street, at 8th Avenue.

The Broadway League has announced that Broadway shows grossed a record breaking $1.14bn during the 2011/2012 theatre season running from May 30th 2011 to May 27th 2012, up 5.4% from $1.08bn in 2010/2011, with 12.33m paid attendances, down from 12.53m the previous year (a 53 week period). In 2011/2012 there were 40 new productions, comprising 14 musicals, 23 plays, and 3 special events, performing for a total of 1,522 playing weeks.

On The Casting Couch at Playwrights Horizons: Judith Ivey will head the cast of Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan, opening in November; and Kelli O'Hara will head the cast of the Richard Greenberg-Scott Frankel-Michael Korie musical Far From Heaven, opening next May (following a premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer).

Classic Stage Company's 2012/2013 season will include Anton Chekhov's Ivanov, about a troubled landowner in a domestic and philosophical crisis in pre revolutionary Russia, with Ethan Hawke, Roberta Maxwell, George Morfogen, Juliet Rylance and Louis Zorich, directed by Austin Pendleton, opening in October; the musical Passion, book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, adapted from a Victorian novella set in an Italian military town, where a woman's obsessive love threatens a soldier and his married mistress, with Judy Kuhn and Melissa Errico, directed by John Doyle, opening in February; and Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by Brian Kulick, opening in May. Classic Stage Company is located at 136 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues.

Musical Theatre A History by John Kenrick, published by Continuum International Publishing, presents a comprehensive history of stage musicals that is both informative and entertaining. It charts musical theatre from the earliest accounts of the ancient Greeks and Romans, for whom songs were common elements in staging, to Jacques Offenbach in Paris during the 1840s, to Gilbert and Sullivan in the UK, to the rise of music halls and vaudeville traditions in America, to the Broadway's Golden Age with Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein, and on to Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the shows of today. The book is an accessibly written history of musical theatre that is richly illustrated with anecdotes of shows and show people.

InViolet Repertory Theater will stage Megan Hart's This Is Fiction, in which a writer whose first novel is about to be published, returns to her childhood home to break the news to her family that it's not entirely fiction, with Richard Masur, Bernardo Cubria, Aubyn Philabaum and Michelle David, directed by Shelley Butler, previewing from June 12th at the Studio at Cherry Lane Theatre, opening on June 14th. The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, between Barrow and Bedford Streets.

Sink Or Swim Rep will stage David Auburn's Proof, about a mathematician who fears she has inherited her father's mental illness, with Alan Langdon, Kristin Parke, Whitney Kaufman and Eric Smith, directed by Jessi D Hill, opening July 10th; in repertoire with Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, in which a woman's attempt to ruin a politician's career by producing incriminating evidence about his past is thwarted by the faithfulness and forgiveness of his wifewith Peter Judd, Stuart Williams, Aaron Gaines, Joseph Thornhill, Craig Mungavin, Whitney Kaufman, Emily Jon Mitchel, Clemmie Evans, Rachel Neiheisel, Jade Anderson and Amanda Jones, opening on July 11th, directed by Michael Hardart, at the Connelly Theatre. The Connelly Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B.

The Rumour Machine says: that the current La Jolla Playhouse production of the musical Hands On A Hardbody, book by Doug Wright, music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green, lyrics by Amanda Green, based on the documentary about an auto dealership that launches an endurance contest in which 10 economically-strapped strangers compete to win a truck, with Keith Carradine, Hunter Foster and Mary Gordon Murray, directed by Neil Pepe, with by choreography by Benjamin Millepied, is aiming for a Broadway transfer during the coming season; and that next winter's Arena Stage Company Los Angeles production of Backbeat, a play with music adapted from the 1994 film about the Beatles early years in Hamburg, centring on the relationship between Stuart Sutcliffe, the band's original bassist, John Lennon, and Astrid Kirchherr, the beatnik German photographer, co-written by the film's director Ian Softly and Stephen Jeffreys, directed by David Leveaux, which played in London last year, is aiming for a Broadway transfer, courtesy of producer Karl Sydow and Glasgow Citizens Theatre, where it premiered. The Rumour Machine grinds on.