News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 6th July 2009

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the recent Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Washington production of the musical Ragtime, book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, based on E L Doctorow's epic novel set at the turn of the 20th century, combining real and fictional characters in pursuit of the American Dream, directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, will preview from October 23rd at the Neil Simon Theatre, with an official opening on November 15th. It has yet to be confirmed how many of the Washington cast, headed by Ron Bohmer, Quentin Earl Darrington, Manoel Felciano and Christiane Noll, will be included in transfer. The design team includes scenery by Derek McLane, costumes by Santo Loquasto, and lighting by Donald Holder. The producers are Kevin McCollum, Roy Furman, Roger Berlind, Max Cooper, Tom Kirdahy/Devlin Elliott, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Roy Miller, LAMS Productions, Inc., Wendy Federman and Emanuel Azenberg.

The 2009/2010 season at St Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO, Brooklyn will include the Druid Theatre production of The New Electric Ballroom, written and directed by Enda Walsh, a sort of 'reverse Three Sisters', centering on three siblings living in a remote Irish fishing village, remembering their halcyon days in the city at the New Electric Ballroom, from October 27th; Brief Encounter, the Kneehigh Theatre Company's groundbreaking staging of David Lean's film based on the Noel Coward play Still Life, which explores betrayal and adultery through three separate love stories set in a railroad station, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, from December 2nd; Making It, by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, an autobiographical multi-media, rock collage of song, text and video, which traces their unlikely careers from the rock clubs of Hollywood to Broadway, from February 17th; and the Young@Heart and No Theater production of End Of The Road, an exploration of how music and songs have a unique power to transcend age, performed by a chorus comprised of 70-90 year old singers, from April 20th. St Ann's Warehouse is located at 38 Water Street, between Main and Dock Street in Brooklyn.

The Donmar West End London production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, about a grief stricken Prince, who devotes himself to avenging his father's death, with devastating consequences for his family and the kingdom, with Jude Law, Kevin R McNally, Penelope Wilton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ron Cook, David Burke, Peter Eyre, Matt Ryan and Alex Waldmann, directed by Michael Grandage, is to transfer to Broadway, previewing from September 12th at the Broadhurst Theatre, with an official opening on 6th October. The producer is Arielle Tepper Madover.

Theatre For A New Audience has announced its 2009/2010 season at The Duke on 42nd Street, which will comprise: Orpheus X, a music theatre piece, text and music by Rinde Eckert, drawing on classical Greek and Roman sources, but relocating the myth of Orpheus to a contemporary setting, with Eckert, Suzan Hanson and John Kelly, directed by Robert Woodruff, previewing on December 2nd, opening on December 3rd; William Shakespeare's Measure For Measure, the dark comedy about an unbalanced society where government leaders are helpless or hypocritical, directed by Arin Arbus, previewing from February 6th, opening on February 14th; and the New York premiere of C.I.C.T./Theatre des Bouffes du Nord production Love Is My Sin, an adaptation of 29 sonnets of William Shakespeare by Marie-Helene Estienne, in collaboration with Peter Brook, who also directs, with Natasha Parry and Bruce Myers, previewing from March 27th, opening on April 1st. The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The current Center Theatre Group Los Angeles production of David Mamet's Oleanna, with Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, directed by Doug Hughes, will transfer to Broadway, previewing from September 29th at the Golden Theatre, with an official opening on October 11th. The play relates a confrontation, in which a female university student accuses her male professor of sexual harassment, when faced with failing her course. The design team comprises scenery by Neil Patel, costumes by Catherine Zuber, and lighting by Donald Holder. The producer Jeffrey Finn.

The New Victory Theater has announced its 2009/2010 season of acclaimed family friendly shows from around the world, including a Scottish Festival comprising puppeteer Shona Reppe's Cinderella, The Starcatchers Project's My House, the Puppet State Theatre Company's The Man Who Planted Trees, and a site specific staging of Hansel And Gretel by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company; In The Wings's production of Prokofiev's Peter And The Wolf, with narration by Brian Blessed, featuring a new prequel; The Flaming Idiots' neo-vaudeville act Chestnuts Roasting On The Flaming Idiots; Once And For All We're Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up And Listen, a look at adolescence through the eyes of teenagers, developed by Ontroerend Goed; the children's opera The Enchanted Pig, libretto by Alasdair Middleton, music by Jonathan Dove; The Reduced Shakespeare company's The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged) ; Circa performing 46 Circus Acts In 45 Minutes; Parallel Exit's Time Step, a fusion of the tap stylings of Astaire and Kelly with the classic comedy of Chaplin and Keaton; Elephant, a celebration of African song and tribal dance; violin virtuoso Ara Malikian with PaGAGnini, a mixture of music and comedy; and T.P.O. with Farfalle: The Butterfly Garden, in which botanical images and rainforest sounds appear in response to dancers' movements. The New Victory Theatre is located at 209 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Manhattan Theatre Club has announced that Donald Margulies's Collected Stories, chronicling the relationship between a celebrated New York author and her young protege, with Laura Linney, directed by Lynne Meadow, will preview from January 5th at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre, opening on 28th January. The play had previously been announced as part of MTC's Off Broadway season at City Center.

The Rumour Machine says: that Come Fly With Me, a dance musical created, directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp, which is to play a season at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in September, will be looking for a Broadway transfer; and that Ken Ludwig's farce Lend Me A Tenor, about the backstage panic involved in getting an opera superstar on stage, with T R Knight, directed by Stanley Tucci, will be Broadway bound next February. The Rumour Machine grinds on.