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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 5th May 2008

Noah Haidle's Saturn Returns, directed by Nicholas Martin, will preview from October 16th at the Mitzi E Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, opening on November 10th. The play concerns a radiologist, depicted by three different actors at the ages of 28, 58 and 88, and explores his relationships with three different women - his wife, his daughter and his nurse - all played by the same actress.

The 38th annual Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Festival, presenting free performances at the Lincoln Center Bandshell in Damrosch Park, will run from August 7th to 24th. Performances will include Karole Armitage and her company Armitage Gone! Dance and Lukas Ligeti's musical group Burkina Electric with the U.S. premiere of Summer Of Love; and Doug Elkins's urban hip-hop contemporary dance overhaul of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical The Sound Of Music, with Archie Burnett, David Parker, Mark Gindick and Johnnie Moore. The Lincoln Center Bandshell in Damrosch Park is located at 62nd Street at Amsterdam Avenue.

Epic Theatre Ensemble will stage Judith Thompson's Palace Of The End, a triptych of monologues that explores the Middle East crisis from three very different experiences, with Teri Lamm, Heather Raffo and Rocco Sisto, directed by Daniella Topol, previewing from June 11th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons, opening on June 23rd. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Immigrants' Theatre Project will stage the New York premiere of Jovanka Bach's Marko The Prince, with Trazana Beverley, Jelena Stupljanin, Tony Naumovski, Lanna Joffrey, Aaron Lohr, Christo Christov, Josh Clayton, Matthew Schmidt, Herman Petras and Paul Barry, directed by Marcy Arlin, previewing from June 20th at the Barrow Street Theatre, opening on June 26th. Part of Bach's Balkan Trilogy that explores the lives of Yugoslavians and Serbian-Americans during Tito's communist rule of Yugoslavia, it is set in a village on the border of Bosnia and Serbia at the start the 90s Balkan War. The Barrow Group Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The next production by New Professional Theatre will be Lisa B Thompson's Single Black Female, with Soara-Joye Ross and Riddick Marie, directed by Colman Domingo, from June 10th at The Duke on 42nd Street. The comedy examines the pleasures and perils of being a single middle class black woman who has got everything she wants and needs (except more R-E-S-P-E-C-T - and a man). The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Jaradoa (Just A Roomful of Artists Doing Outreach And) Theater's second production will be the premiere of Russell Leigh Sharman's The Small Of Her Back, with Eileen Rivera and Jeremy O'Grady, directed by April Nickell, playing at the 411 Theater from May 9th. A self-diagnosed bi-polar shut-in with OCD, who spends much of her time in chat rooms, finds a man at her door who says he is the brother of someone she has met online - but is he? The 411 Theater is located at 300 West 43rd Street, 4th Floor, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

According to a new study by The Broadway League (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers), Broadway's economic impact on New York City reached $5.1bn during the 2006/07 season. 84% of tickets were purchased by non residents of New York City, (65% by tourists and 19% by suburbanites), with 4.69m of these tickets sold to 3.16m people whose visit was made expressly to see a Broadway show. 35 new Broadway shows were mounted during the season, with a production cost spend of $186.1m, an all time high, plus a running cost spend on these and continuing shows of $719.4m. In addition, a further $1bn was generated in indirect spending. Broadway directly supported an estimated 44,000 full time equivalent jobs: 14,000 directly or indirectly related to Broadway shows, the other 30,000 in hotels, restaurants, shops and taxis to service Broadway generated visitors. The number of playing weeks was 1,509, the second highest ever, total attendances were 12.31m, the highest ever, and the total gross was $939m, also the highest ever.

Following a run at Joe's Pub, Mike Daisey's extemporaneous haranguing monologue How Theater Failed America, in which he takes stock of the dystopian state of theatre in America, directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, will transfer to the Barrow Street Theatre from May 16th. It is produced by AJ Epstein Presents as An Ethereal Mutt Production. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street at 7th Avenue.

For the first time ever this summer, theatregoers will be able to obtain tickets for the Public Theater's free Shakespeare In The Park productions at the Delacorte Theater from their own home. While the majority of the audience will still have to queue outside the Delacorte Theater in Central Park for tickets, a limited number will be available by an on the day ballot on the Public Theater's web site. Tickets will no longer be available at their Lafayette Street home. William Shakespeare's Hamlet, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Waterston, Lauren Ambrose, Andre Braugher and Margaret Colin, directed by Oskar Eustis, will run from May 27th to June 29th; and a concert staging of the love rock musical Hair, book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt MacDermot, with Jonathan Groff, Will Swenson, Patina Renea Miller and Allison Case, directed by Diane Paulus, will run from July 22nd to August 17th.

The Rumour Machine says: that the coming of age musical 13, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, directed by Jeremy Sams, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, which plays a season at Goodspeed Musicals from May 9th, will transfer to Bernard B Jacobs Theatre in September; that Jesse L Martin may star in a Broadway stage version of the 1967 movie Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? in the fall, adapted by Todd Kreidler from the screenplay by William Rose, directed by Kenny Leon, produced by Jeffrey Finn; and that Allan Baker's play version of Manuel Puig's Kiss Of The Spider Woman, about two very different cellmates in an Argentinean prison, will make its Broadway debut next season, directed by Peter DuBois The Rumour Machine grinds on.