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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 6th August 2007

It is now confirmed that the National Theatre London production of The Seafarer, in which the arrival of a stranger from the past disturbs a night of drinking and cards at a run down house in Dublin, written and directed by Conor McPherson, with Ciaran Hinds, Conleth Hill, David Morse, Richie Coster and Jim Norton, will preview from October 30th at the Booth Theatre, ahead of a November 15th opening. It retains the original design team of set and costumes by Rae Smith, lighting by Neil Austin and sound by Matthew Smethurst-Evans. The producer is Boyett-Ostar Enterprises.

Fuerzabruta, a new show from the team behind De La Guarda, co-founder/co-creator Diqui James and composer/musical director Gaby Kerpel, will preview from October 11th at the Daryl Roth Theatre, opening on October 24th. As with their earlier show, audiences are immersed in a series of 'experiences' as performers weave around, above and among them, to an accompaniment of pulsating music. The producers are Concert Productions International, Ozono Productions and David Binder Productions. The Daryl Roth Theatre is located at 101 East 15th Street between Union Square and Irving Place.

Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere production of Lucy Thurber's Scarcity, will feature Kristen Johnston, Maggie Kiley, Todd Weeks, Meredith Brandt, Jesse Eisenberg, Miriam Shor and Michael T Weiss, directed by Jackson Gay, from August 29th at the Linda Gross Theater. It is a tale of two siblings whose aspirations to escape the confines of poverty and small town life conflict with their sense of family responsibility. The Linda Gross Theatre is located at 336 West 20th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues,

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Is He Dead?, the recently discovered play by Mark Twain, revised by David Ives, with Norbert Leo Butz, directed by Michael Blakemore, will preview from November 8th at the Lyceum Theatre, with an official opening on November 29th. It is a farcical comedy about a group of poor artists, who fake the death of their mentor in order to drive up the price of his paintings. The design team will feature scenic design by Peter J Davison, costume design by Martin Pakledinaz and lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski. The producers are Bob Boyett, Roger Berlind and Daryl Roth.

Following its current summer season special Forbidden Broadway: The Roast Of Utopia, the legendary lampooning revue will mark its 25th anniversary with a new edition, Forbidden Broadway: Rude Awakening, created and written as always by Gerard Alessandrini, directed by Phillip George with Alessandrini, previewing from August 31st at the 47th Street Theatre, opening on September 23rd. The cast will comprise Jared Bradshaw, Janet Dickinson, Valerie Fagan and Michael West, with David Caldwell on piano. The 47th Street Theatre is located at 304 West 47th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues

The Public Theater's 2007/2008 season will include: The Wooster Group's production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, employing video, sound and precise physical language, with Dominique Bousquet, Ari Fliakos, Alessandro Magania, Daniel Pettrow, Scott Shepherd, Casey Spooner, Kate Valk and Judson Williams, directed by Elizabeth LeCompte; Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size, telling the story of two brothers, one an auto mechanic, and one a recent parolee, directed by Tea Alagic; the world premiere of David Henry Hwang's Yellow Face, about the controversy stirred up when Hwang protested about Jonathan Pryce playing an Asian in the original Broadway production of Miss Saigon, with Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Kathryn Layng, Hoon Lee and Tony Torn, directed by Leigh Silverman; the world premiere of Richard Nelson's Conversations In Tusculum, drawing parallels between contemporary America and the Roman empire, with Brian Dennehy, David Strathairn and Maria Tucci; Caryl Churchill's Drunk Enough to Say I Love You, which elliptically depicts the submissive relationship between Britain and America, directed by James Macdonald; the world premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis's Little Flower Of East Orange, an inter-generational ghost story set in an upper Manhattan charity hospital, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman; and Sam Shepard's Kicking A Dead Horse, about the myth of the West, a Manhattan art dealer and a dead horse, with Stephen Rea.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the shows in its 19th Festival of New Musicals, featuring staged readings of 8 new works, to be held at New World Stages on October 7th and 8th. All the shows submitted for inclusion must be sponsored by NAMT member theatres or producers. These include: The Break Up Notebook: The Lesbian Musical, music and lyrics by Lori Scarlett, book by Patricia Cotter, examining a year in the life of its recently dumped but optimistic heroine; Casey At The Bat, music by Gordon Goodwin, book and lyrics by Tom Child, based on the poem and the book Casey On The Loose by Frank Deford, about a small town baseball player; The Chocolate Tree, music by Marshall Pailet, lyrics by A D Penedo, book by Marshall Pailet and A D Penedo, about a young girl stricken with a grave illness who uses her fantasy world to bring the impossible to life; and Tinyard Hill, music by Mark Allen, book and lyrics by Thomas M. Newman, set in South Georgia, in 1964, where a blacksmith is desperate to keep the family's shop going, but the outside world grows too large to ignore. Since 1989 the festival has presented over 200 musicals and 300 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.

Daryl Roth will present the world premiere of the children's musical A Dolphin Up A Tree, adapted from her book by Kimberly Foster, with music by John Fleming, featuring Stephanie Acevedo, Zack Friedman, Evan Greene and Dan Ajl Kitrosser, directed by Paul Urcioli, at the DR2 Theatre from September 29th. When a child casts a magic spell to make her stuffed animals talk, it also turns her into a dolphin stuck up a tree. The 45 minute show is designed for children ages 2 to 8. The DR2 Theatre is located at 103 East 15th Street at Union Square.

The Rumour Machine says: that Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, directed by David Levaux, will open on Broadway in October, possible starring Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner; and that Roundabout Theatre Company may stage the putative revival of the Rodgers and Hart musical Pal Joey, with a revised book by Richard Greenberg, starring Christian Hoff, directed by Joe Mantello, at Studio 54 next spring. The Rumour Machine grinds on.