News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th March 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, a revised version of the musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, original book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Burton Lane, new book by Peter Parnell, with Harry Connick Jr, directed by Michael Mayer, will open on Broadway in the fall. In the new book, a psychiatrist starts an impossible affair with one of his patient's 'former selves', a 1940s jazz singer. The original score will be augmented with songs written for the film version, and other Lerner and Lane songs from the film Royal Wedding. The producers are Liza Lerner, Tom Hulce, Ira Pittelman and Broadway Across America.

The latest exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is Design: Fraver, Four Decades of Theatre Poster Art, featuring the work of legendary theatrical advertising artist, Frank 'Fraver' Verlizzo, running until April 30th. In 35 years Verlizzo has created poster art for over 300 Broadway and Off-Broadway productions including some of the most memorable graphic designs in theatre history, such as Sweeney Todd, Sunday In The Park With George and The Lion King. This retrospective exhibit features examples of posters and window cards which sold the show to the public, as well as sketches, notes, and unpublished images that bring the artist's process to life. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza.

On The Casting Couch: Lisa Banes, Tim Hopper, Stephen Bogardus, Brian Hutchison, Michael Izquierdo and Mary Shultz will join David Greenspan in his comedy Go Back To Where You Are, at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons from March 24th; and Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Heather Alicia Simms and Crystal A Dickinson will head the cast of Debbie Tucker Green's Born Bad, opening at Soho Rep on April 7th.

The musical Rent, Jonathan Larson's contemporary reworking of La Boheme, which relocated the action in the East Village in New York in the early 1990s, with aids standing in for consumption, directed by its original director Michael Greif, with choreography by Larry Keigwin, will preview from July 14th at New World Stages, opening on August 11th. The producers are Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum and Allan S Gordon. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Theatre enthusiasts now have their own interactive board game Be A Broadway Star. Players start out in acting school and work their way up to the top, buying headshots, earning their Equity card, getting an agent, going to auditions, going to more auditions, and maybe even winning a Tony Award. But this isn't an ordinary board game: this is a Broadway board game. That means players have lots of chances to show off their talents along the way, with interactive 'make or break' cards that might have them singing and dancing on their turn - and whoever has the most fans at the end of the game wins. Further information from Be A Broadway Star.

Forthcoming productions at Theatre Row will include Daniel Macivor's The Soldier Dreams, in which a man in a coma dreams of a secret life, while his family at his bedside wrestle with emotions (and sometimes each other) as they struggle to come to terms with losing him, with William Franke, Heather Hill, Bryan Jarrett, Christa Kimlicko Jones, Denny Lawrence, Helen Merino and Joseph Mitchell Parks, directed by Judson Jones, previewing from March 25th at the Lion Theatre, opening on March 29th, produced by Theatre East; Wallace Shawn's Marie And Bruce, a comedy of marital strife recounting the day that a wife finally resolves to tell her charming and impossibly positive husband that she's had enough, with Tina Benko, Russell G Jones, Cindy Katz, Devin Ratray, Alok Tewari, Marisa Tomei, Adam Trese, Frank Whaley and Alison Wright, directed by Scott Elliott, previewing from March 14th at the Acorn Theatre, opening on April 5th, produced by The New Group; and Susan Charlotte's The Shoemaker, about an Italian Jewish shoemaker in Hell's Kitchen on a devastating day as he confronts his past and present and faces an uncertain future, with Danny Aiello, directed by Antony Marsellis, at the Acorn Theatre from July 14th, produced by Cause Celebre. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

One Night With Fanny Brice, a bioplay with music, about the legendary vaudeville performer, written, arranged and directed by Chip Deffaa, with Farah Alvin, choreography by Justin Boccitto, will preview from March 16th at St. Luke's Theatre, opening on April 3rd. St Luke's Theatre is located at 308 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Scottish theatre company Random Accomplice's production of Douglas Maxwell's The Promise, directed by Johnny McKnight, with Joanna Tope as a retired teacher reluctantly returning to work with a poor opinion of both staff and pupils, will preview from March 29th at 59E59 Theaters, opening on April 3rd. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.