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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 5th November 2007

The 12th annual Kids' Night On Broadway, in which kids can attend a Broadway show for free if they come with a paying adult, will be expanded to four nights, taking place on February 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th. Tickets are now on sale for the 26 Broadway and Off Broadway shows that are participating. There will also be a Pre-Theater parties at Madame Tussauds, Spotlight Live or the Times Center, and educational and interactive workshops intended to introduce kids to the theatre, via activities such as dance lessons, a make up station and karaoke, with cast and crew members of Broadway shows participating. Certain theatre district restaurants will offer family friendly dinner discounts, and free entrees for each child accompanied by an adult who also purchase an entree. In addition, Broadway audience members receive a special souvenir Playbill with a theatre education focus. Further information can be found on the Kids' Night web site via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Kaitlin Stillwell will perform Ira Shapiro's one person play Miss White House, a 'Christmas Carol' style election eve one night journey through the past, present and future of a female presidential candidate, directed by Harland Meltzer, previewing at the 45th Street Theatre from November 16th, opening on November 20th. The producer is Entertainway. The 45th Street Theatre is located at 354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Nathan Lane will be joined by Dylan Baker and Laurie Metcalf in David Mamet's November, opening at the Barrymore Theatre on January 17th; London stars Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell will be joined by Michael Cumpsty, Alexander Gemignani, Jessica Molaskey and Mary Beth Piel in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday In The Park With George, opening at Studio 54 on 21st February; and Ty Burrell will reprise his role from the London production of Caryl Churchill's Drunk Enough To Say I Love You, opening at the Public Theater next spring.

Interactive theatre will break a new barrier when the audience has the chance to enjoy six different wines while watching the New York premiere of the musical Wine Lovers, book by Travis Kramer, score by Gary Negbaur and wine expert Michael Green, directed by Holly-Anne Ruggiero, at the Triad Theater on December 1st to 3rd and 8th to 10th. It features Tuck Milligan, Eric Rubbe and Jessica Phillips in the story of two mismatched students and their teacher at a wine class. The Triad Theater is located at 158 West 72nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

The Midtown International Theatre Festival, which offers the chance for self-produced Off Off Broadway plays and musicals to be presented, is seeking submissions for its 9th season, from July 14th to August 3rd next year. The MITF presents more than 200 performances of 40-60 shows over a 3 week period each year, in 4 theatres on the same block of 36th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues. The basic deal is that MITF pays the theatre and marketing costs, and individual shows pay for everything else. Submissions must be received by February 20th. Further information and an application form can be found on the MITF web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Our Sinatra, the entertainment celebrating the songbook of Frank Sinatra, conceived by Eric Comstock, Hilary Kole and Christopher Gines, directed by Kurt Stamm, with production supervision by Richard Maltby Jr, will preview from November 16th at the Songbook Theatre at the Broadway Comedy Club, opening on November 20th. Christopher Gines, Harmony Keeney and Elliot Roth perform over 50 of Sinatra's signature tunes. The Songbook Theatre at Broadway Comedy Club is located at 318 West 53rd Street, on the corner of 8th Avenue.

The 4th annual Voice 4 Vision Puppet Festival will be presented from 29th November to 9th December at the Theater for the New City. It will feature four shows in repertory: Tin Lightning by Chris Green, about human frailty, using shadow puppetry, hand puppets, and object theater; Tiger Plus: An Evening Of Overhead Projection by Chinese Theater Works (Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin), comprising 3 disparate short plays; Night Shade by Carrionettes (Liz Adele Allen, Sarah Frechette, Jason Thibodeaux and Alain Z) a tale of two young girls in a mysterious house; and The Jester Of Tonga by Joseph Silovsky, about the characters and history of Tonga, employing an animatronic marionette robot, two dimensional cut out puppets, toy theatre style miniatures, video projection and object theater.

Red Bull Theatre Company will stage Christopher Marlowe's Edward The Second, freely adapted by Garland Wright, examining the question of whether an individual in public service has the right to a personal life, directed by Jesse Berger, previewing from December 11th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons, opening on December 15th. The company comprises Marc Vietor, Randy Harrison, Joseph Costa, Claire Lautier, Arthur Bartow, Rob Breckenridge, Wesley Broulik, William DeMerritt, Michael Gotch, Davis Hall, Lucas Hall, James Knight, Terence MacSweeny, Raum-Aron, Derrick LeMont Sanders, Raphael Nash Thompson and Patrick Vaill. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.