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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 6th September 2010

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Brendan Fraser will make his Broadway debut with Denis O'Hare, Richard Easton and Jennifer Coolidge in Simon Bent's Elling, adapted from the novel by Ingvar Ambjornsen about a dysfunctional couple trying to convince their social worker that they have reassimilated back into society, directed by Doug Hughes, previewing from November 2nd at the Barrymore Theatre, with an official opening on November 21st. The producers are Howard Panter, Bob Bartner, Bill Kenwright, John O'Boyle, Deborah Taylor, Burnt Umber, Bill Ballard/David Mirvish, Finola Dwyer, David Parfitt, Ronnie Planalp, and Michael David in association with Bob Boyett.

Metropolitan Playhouse will stage W H Smith's The Drunkard, or The Fallen Saved, a Victorian melodrama presenting a picture of pre-industrial America, and the conflict between social values and the dangers of changing modern times, with Michael Hardart, Howard Thoresen, Kendall Riliegh, Charlotte Hampden, Leigh Shannon, Ben Gougeon, Rosina Fernhoff, Christopher Bix Bettwy, Cyrus Newitt, Eli Green, Jennifer Bishop and Jessica Doherty, directed by Frank Kuhn, with choreography by April Christine Jermyn, previewing from September 18th, opening on September 24th. Metropolitan Playhouse is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B.

The 2nd annual Back2Broadway Month, beginning September 12th, will feature free events including karaoke and dance studio sessions in Times Square, open house theatre tours and concerts, joining the long established Broadway On Broadway concert and Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction, to celebrate the start of the new Broadway season. Further information and a calendar of events can be found on the I Love NY Theater web site, via the link from Live Broadway below right.

The Boychick Affair, the audience interactive event, including a buffet dinner and dancing, set within the guise of dysfunctional bar mitzvah, created and directed by Amy Lord, will return with Sunday afternoon performances at Ben's NY Kosher Deli from October 3rd. The company will comprise Alicia Archer, Elissa Aron, David Bly, Liz Burke, CD Caldwell, Sabrina Cohen, Ethel Fisher, Carly Gladstone-Strobel, Mimi Jefferson, Mikaela Johnson, Melissa Jones, Ryan Maslyn, Katlyn Moore, Mike Pirozzi, Puneet Praasad, Isaac Rodriguez, Don Slovin, Tal Yardeni and Elli - the King of Broadway. Ben's NY Kosher Deli is located at 209 West 38th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Paul Reubens will be joined by John Moody, John Paragon and Lynne Marie Stewart from the original 1981 production, plus Jesse Garcia, Phil LaMarr, Josh Meyers, Drew Powell and Lance Roberts in The Pee-wee Herman Show, opening at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on November 11th.

Donis Productions will stage Peter L Levy's Friends, about the relationship that develops between two very different seniors, following a chance meeting on a Central Park bench, with Harlan Tuckman and Judy Spiegel, directed by Jerry Donis, previewing from October 7th at Theater 3, opening on October 14th. Theater 3 is located in at 311 West 43rd Street, 3rd Floor.

The biannual 20at20 event will run from September 7th to 19th, during which Off Broadway shows will offer $20 tickets at the box office starting 20 minutes before show time. The 25 participating shows will include The 39 Steps, The Awesome 80s Prom, Danny And Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical, The Fantasticks, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Freckleface Strawberry The Musical, Naked Boys Singing, Perfect Crime, Power Balladz and Tales From The Tunnel. Off Broadway's flexible scheduling means that on Saturdays it is possible to see 5 shows for the price of 1 Broadway ticket. Those theatregoers who see 7 or more of the shows are eligible to receive a voucher for a free dinner. Further information can be found on the 20at20 web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Barrow Street Theatre will stage Capsule 33, a one man show written and performed by Thaddeus Phillips, co-created with Tatiana Mallarino, with music by the band Evening Magazine, previewing from September 17th, opening on September 23rd. It concerns the last resident in the world's first example of recyclable housing in Tokyo, which is on the brink of being demolished, examining issues of architecture, human habitat, and a sustainable society. Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street, between 7th Avenue and West 4th Street

The Rumour Machine says: that a new musical The Book Of Mormon, book by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez, telling the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda, co-directed by Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw, who will also choreograph, will open at the O'Neil Theatre in March, courtesy of producers Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino; that the John-Michael Tebelak-Stephen Schwartz musical Godspell, postponed in the fall of 2008, will open at the Barrymore Theatre next spring, still directed by Daniel Goldstein, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, produced by Ken Davenport; that the Richard Sherman-Robert Sherman-Will Holt World War II big band musical Over Here! is aiming for Broadway next March, directed and choreographed by Tony Stevens, courtesy of producer Gary Silverman; and that James Lapine may direct the Thomas Meehan-Charles Strouse-Martin Charnin musical Annie on Broadway in 2012. The Rumour Machine grinds on.