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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th April 2014

The Broadway League will present the free outdoor concert Stars In The Alley, with appearances by companies from new and existing Broadway shows, at 11am on May 21st, in Shubert Alley, alongside the Shubert and Booth Theatres, between West 44th and 45th Streets.

New York State is to offer financial incentives to investors in new theatre productions in the form of a 25% tax credit from the beginning of 2015. The benefit, which will be capped at $4m per year, will be available to producers who create and tech shows within the state's boundaries. The move makes New York the 4th state to provide tax breaks to theatre producers and follows concerns that 8 key upstate venues were losing work to nearby Rhode Island and further afield to Illinois and Louisiana, where similar schemes are already operating.

The New Federal Theatre will stage Ed Bullins's The Fabulous Miss Marie, set during a party in Los Angeles on the eve of the Watts Riots in 1965, with Tonya Pinkins, Roscoe Orman, Toccarra Cash, Michael Chenevert, Ugo Chukwu, Aaliyah Habeeb, Beethovan Oden, G Alverez Reid, Ashley C Turner and Brittany N Williams, directed by Woodie King Jr, previewing from April 17th at the Castillo Theater, opening on May 1st. The Castillo Theatre is located at 543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Linda Lavin will be joined by Ken Barnett, Richard Bekins, Matt Dellapina, Matt Dickson and Jennifer Westfeldt in Nicky Silver's Too Much Sun, opening at the Vineyard Theatre on May18th; Allison Case, Adam Chanler-Berat, Peter Friedman, Michael McCormick, Patti Murin, Bryce Ryness and Henry Stram will feature in the Kim Rosenstock-Will Connolly-Michael Mitnick musical Fly By Night opening at Playwrights Horizons on June 10th; and Anna Gunn and Billy Magnussen will feature in Laura Eason's Sex With Strangers, opening at Second Stage Theatre on July 30th.

The Paper Mill Playhouse's 2014/2015 season will include Can-Can, book by Abe Burrows, revised by Joel Fields and David Lee, Music and lyrics by Cole Porter, about the only cafe owner in Paris who dares to feature the scandalous and illicit Can-Can dance directed by David Lee, with choreography by Patti Colombo, from October 1st, with Broadway transfer in mind; Elf - The Musical, book by Bob Martin and Tom Meehan, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, adapted from the movie about an oversized elf raised in the North Pole who arrives in New York to find his true identity, from November 26th; Christopher Durang's Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike, a satire that takes characters and themes from Chekhov and transports them to contemporary Pennsylvania, from January 21st; The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, book by Peter Parnell, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, adapted from the novel by Victor Hugo, directed by Scott Schwartz, from March 4th, produced in association with La Jolla Playhouse and by arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions; and the premiere of Ever After, book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler, music by Zina Goldrich, adapted from the 1998 film, a post-feminist interpretation of the Cinderella story set in Renaissance-era France, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, from May 21st. The Paper Mill Playhouse is located at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, New Jersey.

RadioTheatre will stage Robert Leslie Bellem's Murder On Broadway! a 1940s murder mystery set in Times Square, with Frank Zilinyi, Joshua Nicholson, Zoe Speas, Cory Boughton and Philip Casale playing 40 roles, while the story is constantly interrupted by coming attractions, with an original vintage jazz score, adapted and directed by Dan Bianchi, opening at Sophie's @ Broadway on May 1st. Sophie's @ Broadway is located at 318 West 53 Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Slant Theatre Project will stage Matt Moses's The Cloud, a comedy exploring the world of social media as four people get lost in the changing notions of privacy and intimacy in the age of oversharing, with Teddy Bergman, Ryan King, Polly Lee and Emily Walton, directed by Wes Grantom, at HERE from May 16th. HERE is located at 145 6th Avenue, between Spring and Broome Streets.

Frog and Peach Theatre will stage William Shakespeare's King John, charting the squabble for the English throne in the aftermath of the Crusades, with Eric Doss, Karen Lynn Gorney, Amy Frances Quint, Hamish Carmichael, Luke Edward Smith, Greg London, Jonathan Reed Wexler, David Elyha, and Ilaria Amadasi, directed by Lynnea Benson, previewing from April 24th at the West End Theater, opening on April 26th. The West End Theater is located at 263 West 86th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue.

Gemstone Productions will stage Albert J Repicci's Honor Bound, which follows an ambitious young reporter as he tries to uncover secrets about a respected doctor, now retired, moving back and forth between 1968 and 1992, with Ross DeGraw, Christine Marie Heath, Anthony Laciura, Justin R G Holcomb and Nicole M Carroll, directed by Josh Iacovelli, at St Luke's Theatre from April 18th. St Luke's Theatre is located at 308 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.