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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 5th January 2009

Lincoln Center Theater has now been confirmed that its production of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come And Gone, the story of a man newly released from prison who arrives at a Pittsburgh boarding house filled with disperate characters who aid him in his search for inner freedom, directed by Bartlett Sher, will preview from March 19th at the Belasco Theatre, with an official opening on April 16th; and that the musical Happiness, book by John Weidman, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics Michael Korie, about a group of New Yorkers caught on a subway train under unusual circumstances, with Joanna Gleason, Sebastian Arcelus, Jenny Powers, Robb Sapp and Fred Applegate, directed by Susan Stroman, will receive its world premiere at the Mitzi E Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center, from February 27th.

The next production at the Irish Repertory Theatre will be Brian Friel's Aristocrats, a 'Checkovian' play about three sisters and a brother who return to their ancestral home, with Orlagh Cassidy, Rufus Collins, Sean Gormley, Lynn Hawley, John Keating, Laura Odeh, Ciaran O'Reilly and Geddeth Smith, directed by Charlotte Moore, previewing from January 16th, opening on January 25th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

La MaMa E.T.C. will stage a cycle of Robert Ashley's operas: Dust, in which a group of street people living in a park recount the experiences of one of them, Celestial Excursions, set in an old people's home, intermingling loss, regret, nightmares, old sayings and old songs, and Made Out Of Concrete, the reminiscences of an old, isolated man, of friends who have gambled spectacularly with money or their lives, with Robert Ashley, Sam Ashley, Thomas Buckner, Jacqueline Humbert and Joan LaBarbara, performed in repertory from January 15th. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

On The Casting Couch: Marin Ireland, Steven Pasquale and Thomas Sadoski will feature in Neil LaBute's Reasons To Be Pretty, opening at the Lyceum Theatre on April 2nd; Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter will be joined by Michael Countryman, John Benjamin Hickey, Michael Rudko, Robert Stanton, Maria Tucci, Chandler Williams, Nicholas Woodeson and Brian Murray, in Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart, opening at the Broadhurst Theatre on April 19th; and Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin will be joined by John Goodman, David Strathairn and Matthew Schechter in Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot, opening at Studio 54 on April 30th.

The New York premiere of Joseph Bologna and Richard Krevolin's Lansky, relating the efforts of the Jewish gangster and gambler Meyer Lansky to become an Israeli citizen, with Mike Burstyn, directed by Bologna, will preview from January 23rd at St Luke's Theatre, opening on February 5th. St Luke's Theatre is located at 308 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The HBO cable network will air a live telecast of Will Ferrell's solo show, You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush, which will preview from January 20th at the Cort Theatre, with an official opening February 5th. The exact date is yet to be fixed, but it is expected to be towards the end of the run, which finishes on March 15th.

Jeffrey Sweet's Flyovers, with Michele Pawk, Richard Kind, Kevin Geer and Donna Bullock, directed by Sandy Shinner, will preview from January 29th at the 78th Street Theater Lab, opening on February 2nd. It is the story of a film critic who finds himself caught up in a culture clash of economics, sex and long submerged resentment, when he returns to the small Ohio town where he grew up. The 78th Street Theatre Lab is located at 236 West 78th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

Vital Theatre Company will stage the world premiere of Andrea Lepcio's Looking For The Pony, with J Smith Cameron, Deidre O'Connell, Lori Funk and Debargo Sanyal, directed by Stephan Golux, previewing from January 21st at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, opening on January 23rd. It is the story of two sisters, one is about to abandon her career to pursue a childhood dream, when she finds the other has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The McGinn/Cazale Theater is located at 2162 Broadway at 76th Street.

SoHo Playhouse is about to feature two one person shows: Blanche Survives Katrina In A FEMA Trailer Named Desire, which places Tennessee Williams's tragic heroine in modern day New Orleans, written and performed by Mark Sam Rosenthal, directed by Todd Parmley, will preview from January 15th, opening on January 25th; and Krapp, 39, which is a middle aged prequel to Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, in which an old man looks back on his life, written and performed by Michael Laurence, directed by George Demas, will preview from January 13th, opening on January 22nd, produced by Darren Lee Cole Theatricals. SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th Avenue and Varick Street.

The Rumour Machine says: that James Gandolfini, Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels and Marcia Gay Harden will star in the Broadway transfer of the hit London production of Yasmina Reza's The God Of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton, directed by Matthew Warchus, in which two couples debate different styles of parenting, following a squabble between their children that turned violent, opening in March; and that Phantom: Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera, will make history by opening simultaneously world wide, with productions in New York, London and an Asian city, possibly Shanghai, late this year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.