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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th April 2008

The Vineyard Theatre's award winning production of [title of show], the musical about the making of a musical, directed by Michael Berresse, will transfer to the Lyceum Theatre, previewing from July 5th, with an official opening on July 17th. Featuring the writers, Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell, together with Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blicken, it tells of the trials and tribulations of two struggling writers creating a show for the New York Musical Theatre Festival - now updated with new material about the process of transferring to Broadway. The design team comprises scenery by Neil Patel, costumes by Chase Tyler, lighting by Ken Billington and Jason Kantrowitz, and sound by ACME Sound Partners. The producers are the Vineyard Theatre and Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller, Laura Camien, Roy Miller snd Kris Stewart.

A free exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Broadway musical The Lion King will be on display at The Shops at Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center from April 7th to 27th. The exhibit, exploring the inspiration and evolution of the show, will feature behind the scenes photographs, costume sketches and costumes, maquette models and full scale puppets, as well as two fully costumed figures of the characters Rafiki and Scar, courtesy of Madame Tussauds New York.

Manhattan Theatre Club's spring season of free readings of new works, 7@7 Reading Series, (formerly known as 6@6), held on Monday nights at 7pm from April 7th, at New York City Center will include: Ben Snyder's Shoe Story, a tale of romance, obsession and sneakers, directed by Thomas Kail; Calvin Berger, book, music and lyrics by Barry Wyner, relocating the story of Cyrano de Bergerac to a contemporary High School, directed by Josh Prince; Simon Vinnicombe's Wisdom, looking at betrayal, regret and second chances, directed by Sam Gold; Amy Herzog's Willing, in which a researcher trying to unravel an artist's life story becomes entangled in a mystery, directed by Carolyn Cantor; Sam Marks's The Imprisonment Of The Eye, where two women drinking and gossiping are joined by their husbands, who bring violence in from the outside, directed by Anne Kauffman; Fake, written and directed by Eric Simonson, exploring Piltdown Man, the most famous archaeological hoax in history; and Ellen McLaughlin's Kissing The Floor, a free contemporary adaptation of Sophocles's Antigone, directed by Les Waters. New York City Center is located 131 West 55th Street , between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, a family friendly theatrical, acrobatic and musical adventure, inspired by nature's unpredictable creations, created and directed by Neil Goldberg, featuring a company of 25 aerialists, contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians, which has toured across the country, will play a season at the Broadway Theatre, previewing from June 16th, with an official opening on June 26th.

Atlantic Theater Company will stage the New York premiere of Conor McPherson's Port Authority, with Brian d'Arcy James, John Gallagher Jr and Jim Norton, directed by Henry Wishcamper, previewing from April 30th at Linda Gross Theater, opening on May 21st. The play is three interlinked monologues by different generations of Irishmen as they experience loss, failure and the elusiveness of love. The Linda Gross Theater is located at 336 West 20th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Brits Off Broadway Festival, featuring new works from the UK, which will run at 59E59 Theatres from April 23rd to June 29th will include: David Greig's Yellow Moon: The Ballad Of Leila And Lee, a contemporary Bonnie and Clyde tale of two teenagers on the run in the Highlands of Scotland, directed by Guy Hollands; Torben Betts's The Unconquered, about a young girl's relentless refusal to accept the establishment, directed by Muriel Romanes; David Greig's Damascus, about an English language textbook salesman on assignment to the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth, directed by Philip Howard; Mike Bartlett's Artifacts, in which a 16 year old's life is torn apart by the sudden arrival of her Iraqi father, directed by James Grieve; Ian Rowlands's Blink, inspired by a real life report into the systematic abuse of children at a Welsh language school, directed by Steve Fisher; the musical The Hired Man, book by Melvyn Bragg, music and lyrics by Howard Goodall, the story of a farm labourer and coal miner in the early 20th century, directed by Daniel Buckroyd; Philip Ridley's Vincent River, about a woman visited by a teenager who has some connection with the death of her son, directed by Rebecca McCutcheon; and Samuel Adamson's Some Kind Of Bliss, in which a pop journalist's life is changed forever after two savage incidents by the Thames, directed by Toby Frow. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues. Further information can be found on the BOBF web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Playwrights Realm is staging the world premiere of Anton Dudley's Substitution, with Jan Maxwell, Kieran Campion, Brandon Espinoza and Shana Dowdeswell, directed by Katherine Kovner, previewing from April 26th at SoHo Playhouse, opening on May 4th. A mother mourning the death of her teenage son meets his teacher, who challenges everything she thought she knew about the boy. Redshift Productions's Scientist's Studio is staging Carl Djerassi's Three On A Couch, with Mark Pinter, Lori Funk and Brad Frazier, directed by Elena Araoz, previewing from May 29th at Soho Playhouse, opening on June 8th. It is a comedy about a famous writer, obsessed with his reputation, who fakes death in order to embark on a new career under multiple identities - and the revenge his wife exacts when she finds out. SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th Avenue and Varick Street.