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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 4th July 2011

The current Goodman Theatre Chicago production of David Henry Hwang's Chinglish, a comedy about a Midwesterner's business trip to China, where learns how much he doesn't understand, directed by Leigh Silverman, will transfer to Broadway, opening at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced in the fall. The Goodman cast includes James Waterston, Stephen Pucci, Jennifer Lim, Larry Zhang, Christine Lin, Angela Lin and Johnny Wu. The design team comprises scenery by David Korins, costumes by Anita Yavich, lighting by Brian MacDevitt, sound by Darron West, and projection by Jeff Sugg. It is performed in a blend of English and Mandarin (with English surtitles). The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Roy Gottlieb, Barry & Carole Kaye and David and Barbara Stoller in association with Goodman Theatre.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, last year's Classic Stage Company production of David Ives's Venus In Fur, which goes behind the scenes at an audition for a play adapted from the infamous erotic novel, where the lines between fantasy and reality blur, with Nina Arianda, directed by Walter Bobbie, will be remounted on Broadway at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre, previewing from October 13th, with an official opening in November. The design team comprises scenery by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Anita Yavich, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski, and sound by Acme Sound Partners. The producer is Manhattan Theatre Club, by special arrangement with Jon B Platt and Scott Landis.

It has been confirmed that the Kennedy Center production of the musical Follies, book by James Goldman, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, in which a group of former Follies stars return to their theatre as it is about to be demolished, provoking memories and a reassessment of their lives and what could have been, directed by Eric Schaeffer, with choreography by Warren Carlyle, will preview from August 7th at the Marquis Theatre, with an official opening on September 12th. The cast will be headed by Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein and Ron Raines.

The American Repertory Theater Cambridge's forthcoming new musical theatre production of the folk opera Porgy And Bess, music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward, who also wrote the book, adapted from his novel, revised by Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre Murray, with a cast headed by Norm Lewis, Audra McDonald and David Alan Grier, directed by Diane Paulus, with choreography by Ronald K Brown, will transfer to Broadway, previewing from December 17th at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, with an official opening on January 12th. Set in the black quarter of Charleston, South Carolina in 1912, it centres on a cripple who offers shelter to a woman who has left her brutish lover. The design team comprises scenery by Riccardo Hernandez, costumes by Emilio Sosa, lighting by Christopher Akerlind, and sound by Acme Sound Partners.The producers are Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel in association with American Repertory Theater.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, last year's London production of Noel Coward's Private Lives, about a divorced couple who, finding themselves honeymooning with new partners in adjoining suites in the south of France, also find that their relationship is actually not over, with Kim Cattrall, Paul Gross, Simon Paisley Day, Anna Madeley and Caroline Lena Olsson, directed by Richard Eyre, will preview from November 6th at the Music Box Theatre, with an official opening on November 17th. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Rob Howell, and lighting by David Howe. The producers are Duncan C Weldon, Paul Elliott, Theatre Royal Bath, Terri and Timothy Childs, Sonia Friedman and David Mirvish.

It has been confirmed that a revised version of the musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, original book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Burton Lane, new book by Peter Parnell, with Harry Connick Jr, directed by Michael Mayer, will preview from November 12th at the St James Theatre, with an official opening on December 11th. In the new book, a psychiatrist starts an impossible affair with one of his patient's 'former selves', a 1940s jazz singer. The original score will be augmented with songs written for the film version, and other Lerner and Lane songs from the film Royal Wedding. The producers are Liza Lerner, Tom Hulce, Ira Pittelman and Broadway Across America.

The Arena Stage Washington-Huntington Theatre Company Boston's 2010 production of Lydia R Diamond's Stick Fly, about an African-American family's summer weekend on Martha's Vineyard, directed by Kenny Leon, will be remounted on Broadway, previewing from November 18th at the Lyceum Theatre, with an official opening on December 8th. The producers are Alicia Keys, Reuben Cannon and Nelle Nugent.

The world premiere of Theresa Rebeck's Seminar, a dark comedy about world famous novelist giving a seminar to four young writers, with Alan Rickman, directed by Sam Gold, will open at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced in the fall. The producers are Jeffrey Finn and Jill Furman.

Tricks The Devil Taught Me, written and directed by Tony Georges, a contemporary drama set in West Texas, with Beth Grant, Mary Testa, T J Linnard and Desiree Rodriguez, will preview from July 29th at the Minetta Lane Theatre, opening on August 18th. The producers are Circa 1440 Inc., Idle Mind Ltd and Maddy Bassi. The Minetta Lane Theatre is located at 18 Minetta Lane, between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street.

Redd Tale Theatre Company will stage the premiere of a double bill by Virginia Bartholomew and Will LeVasseur, comprising Frankenstein, a reworking of the story as told by both the Creature and Mary Shelly herself; and Gabriel, a contemporary story about a geneticist, who unlocks a vital clue to evolution and creates a future version of humanity, with Virginia Bartholomew, Cameran Hebb, Will Le Vasseur and James Stewart, directed by Will LeVasseur and Lynn Kenny, previewing on August 4th at the Spoon Theatre, opening on August 5th. The Spoon Theatre is located at 38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenues.