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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 5th August 2013

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun, the groundbreaking play about three generations of an aspiring black family in 1950s Chicago, with Denzel Washington, Diahann Carroll, Sophie Okonedo, Anika Noni Rose, Stephen Tyrone Williams, Jason Dirden and Stephen McKinley Henderson, directed by Kenny Leon, will preview from March 8th at the Barrymore Theatre, with an official opening on April 3rd. The design team comprises scenery by Mark Thompson, costumes by Ann Roth, and lighting by Brian MacDevitt. The producer is Scott Rudin.

The Austin Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Ayn Rand's Anthem, the story of a young man in a dystopian future world that has banished all individuality, who refuses to accept life as it is and rediscovers electricity, adapted by Jeff Britting, with Matthew Leiff Christian, Lelund Durond Thompson, Tina Johnson, Sofia Lauwers, Sarah Walker Thornton and Alex Teicheira, directed by Ann Ciccolella, will preview from September 25th at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, opening on October 7th. The Baryshnikov Arts Center is located at 450 West 37th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

It has been confirmed that A Night With Janis Joplin, featuring the songs associated with the 1960s singer, written and directed by Randy Johnson, with Mary Bridget Davies, choreographed by Patricia Wilcox, will preview from September 20th at the Lyceum Theatre, with an official opening on October 10th. The design team comprises scenery and lighting by Justin Townsend, costumes by Amy Clark, sound by Carl Casella, and projection by Darrel Maloney. The producers are Todd Gershwin and Daniel Chilewich, in association with The Estate of Janis Joplin and Jeffrey Jampol for JAM.

The National Asian American Theater Company, will stage Clifford Odets's Awake And Sing!, about three generations of a lower middle class family living in a Bronx apartment during the Depression, with Sanjit De Silva, Mel Duane Gionson, Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte, Mia Katigbak, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, Alok Tewari and Henry Yuk, directed by Stephen Fried, previewing from August 16th at Walker Space opening on August 21st. Walker Space is located at 46 Walker Street, between Church Street and Broadway.

Lauren Yee's The Hatmaker's Wife, a surreal story in which the walls of a young woman's new apartment reveal the story of a previous tenant, with Megan Byrne, Peter Friedman, Frank Harts, Marcia Jean Kurtz, David Margulies and Stephanie Wright Thompson, directed by Rachel Chavkin, will preview from August 27th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons, opening on September 5th. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Elizabeth Olsen will be joined by William Hur, Daphne Rubin-Vega and T R Knight in William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, opening at the Classic Stage Company on October 16th; and Roger Rees and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio will be joined by Michael Cumpsty, Alessandro Nivola, Zachary Booth, Spencer Davis Milford, Chandler Williams, Meredith Forlenza, Stephen Pilkington and Henny Russell in Terence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on October 17th.

The Lyric Theatre Belfast production of Janet Behan's Brendan At The Chelsea, about Irish writer Brendan Behan's last weeks amid the artists, writers and performers living in the legendary residential Chelsea Hotel during the 1960s, with Adrian Dunbar, Rennee Castle, Pauline Hutton, Richard Orr and Chris Robinson, directed by Adrian Dunbar, will open at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row on September 4th. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Women's Project Theater's 2014 season at New York City Center Stage II will comprise Jessica Dickey's Row After Row, a dark comedy about a group of Civil war re-enactors whose clashes continue off the field of battle, directed by Daniella Topol, playing from January 15th; The Architecture Of Becoming, a series of short works inspired by the unlikely history of New York City Center, by Kara Lee Corthron, Sarah Gancher, Virginia Grise, Dipika Guha and Lauren Yee, directed by Elena Araoz, Lydia Fort, and Lauren Keating, playing from February 25th; and Catherine Trieschmann's Most Deserving, a satire about a small Kansas arts council, and what happens when the arts collide with sex, class, and politics, directed by Shelley Butler, playing from March 30th. New York City Center is located 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the shows in its 25th Festival of New Musicals, featuring staged readings of 8 new works, to be held at New World Stages on October 17th and 18th. All the shows submitted for inclusion must be sponsored by NAMT member theatres or producers. They include: Return Of... The Protagonists!, book and lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila, music by Michael Shaieb, which sees superheroes facing midlife crises; Come From Away, book, music and lyrics by David Hein and Irene Sankoff, about then day when 38 planes from around the world were diverted to a small Canadian community, on September 11, 2001; Eastland, book and lyrics by Andrew White, music by Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman, about the sinking of the S. S. Eastland on the Chicago River in 1915; and The Single Girl's Guide, book by Gordon Greenberg, music and lyrics by Tommy Newman, which relocates Jane Austen's Emma to 1964 Manhattan. Since 1989 the festival has presented over 288 musicals and 510 writers, and 75% have found subsequent productions as a direct result of the festival, including Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Further information can be found on the NAMT web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.