News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th October 2007

This season's Musicals Tonight! series, which presents concert stagings of neglected musicals, comprises Victor Herbert's operetta, Naughty Marietta, a story of assumed identities and covert lovers set in 1870s New Orleans, with Colin Liander, Tony Barton, Allen Lewis Rickman, Lisa Villamaria, Maegan McConnell, Robert Anthony Jones and Wendy Bergamini, directed by Thomas Sabella-Mills, from October 7th to 21st; Jerome Kern's Roberta, adapted from Alice Duer Miller's novel Gowns by Roberta, set in the fashion world of Paris, from March 6th to 18th; David Heneker's Half A Sixpence, adapted from H G Wells's novel about a shop assistant who finds money cannot buy happiness, from April 1st to 13th; and Cole Porter's Paris, in which marriage between an American 'blueblood' and an actress is thwarted by true love, from April 15th to 27th. The producer is Mel Miller. Performances are at the McGinn/Cazale Theater, located on Broadway at 76th Street.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher will head the cast of a Broadway production of Clifford Odets's The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols, which will open in April, at a Shubert Theatre to be announced. The play is a backstage drama about a down on his luck alcoholic actor attempting a comeback, with a hot new director. The producer is Ostar Enterprises.

Kathryn Blume will perform The Boycott, a contemporary one person play inspired by Aristophanes's comedy Lysistrata, in which women withhold their sexual favors to stop their men fighting a war, directed by Jason Jacobs, at the Arclight Theater from October 11th. The producer is Mighty Ruckus. The Arclight Theater is located at 132 West 71st Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue.

The 3rd Annual Broadway Cabaret Festival, created and hosted by Scott Siegel, will run at The Town Hall, from October 19th to 21st. It will repeat the previous format, comprising A Tribute To Stephen Schwartz, with Karen Akers, Liz Callaway, Scott Coulter, Jason Graae, Marc Kudisch, Jane Olivor and Lari White; An Evening With Betty Buckley; and Broadway Originals! an afternoon show featuring the original stars of Broadway shows re-creating their performances, including Len Cariou, Alan Campbell, Anita Gillette, George S Irving and Martin Vidnovic. The Town Hall is located at 123 West 43rd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Working Man's Clothes Productions are staging Bekah Brunstetter's anti-romantic comedy I Used To Write On Walls, with Jeff Berg, Darcie Champagne, Ellen David, Rachel Dorfman, Maggie Hamilton, Mary Round, Chelsey Shannon and Levita Shaurice, directed by Diana Basmajian, opening at the Gene Frankel Theatre on 11th October. Three modern women - a cop, a street poet and a make up artist - leading very different lives, find their paths cross when they all have a romantic infatuation with the same man. The Gene Frankel Theatre is located at 24 Bond Street, between Lafayette Street and The Bowery.

Fellowship for the Performing Arts (FPA) Theatre Company is reviving its production of C S Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, with Max McLean and Karen Eleanor Wight, directed by Jeffrey Fiske, from October 18th at Theatre at St Clement's. It presents a portrait of spiritual warfare from a demon's point of view, as a tempter in training receives guidance in compromising the salvation of an unwitting soul through daily temptations that can ultimately destroy any hope of living a life of virtue. Theatre at St Clement's, is located at 423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Looking Glass Theatre will stage Helen Eisenbach's comedy Lesbian Bathhouse, in which an audition for a new show turns out to be a life changing experience, with Colleen Benedict, David Ray Carliles, Elena Chang, Claudia Debs, Kate Murrin, Ashley Omadevuae, Ina Marie Smith and JessAnn Smith, directed by Rose Ginsberg, for late night performances from 12th October. It provides an interesting counterpoint to the current daytime performances of a new children's show The Three Sillies, written and directed by Aliza Shane, loosely based on the English folk tale, about a child who runs away from home with nothing but her wisecracking teddy bear come to life. The cast comprises with Ayelet Blumberg, Christine Burnett, Mark DeFrancis, Michelle Foytek, Catherine Gasta, Kyle Minshew, Matthew Rini, and Miranda Shields. Looking Glass Theatre is located at 422 West 57th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.