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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 7th November 2011

It has been confirmed that, Rebecca, the musical adaptation of the novel by Daphne du Maurier, in which a man brings his second wife to the house where the shadow of his first wife still remains, original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton, with Sierra Boggess, directed by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello, with choreography by Graciela Daniele, will preview from March 27th at the Broadhurst Theatre, with an official opening on April 22nd. The design team comprises scenery by Peter J Davidson, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Mark McCullough, special effects by Gregory Meeh and projections by Sven Ortel. The producers are Ben Sprecher, Louise Forlenza, The Shubert Organization, Peter Bezemes, Tony Fusco, Larry Feinman, Nanda Anand and Peter Bogyo, presented by arrangement with and based on Vereinigte Buhnen Vienna.

Lincoln Center's 2011 American Songbook Series at the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center will include in January: Lin-Manuel Miranda with a preview of a hip-hop song cycle about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton (11th), William Finn and guests performing a song cycle inspired by the poetry of William Blake (14th), LaChanze (19th), Michael Cerveris (21st); and in February: Leslie Kritzer singing the songs of Jule Styne (3rd), Gavin Creel and Stephen Oremus (4th), Elaine Paige (10th), and Laura Benanti (11th).

It had been confirmed that a 'new' Gershwin musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It, book by Joe DiPietro, score from the George and Ira Gershwin back catalogue, a comedy about a Long Island playboy and his entanglements with bootleggers and golddiggers, featuring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, will open at the Imperial Theatre in April. The producers are Roger Berlind, Sonia Friedman, Roy Furman and Scott Landis. The previously announced revival of the musical Funny Girl, which was scheduled to play at Imperial Theatre has been postponed owing to funding difficulties.

On The Casting Couch: Richard Easton and Kathleen Chalfant will head the cast of Tina Howe's Painting Churches, opening at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row on March 6th; and James Earl Jones will be joined by Candice Bergen, John Larroquette and Michael McKean in Gore Vidal's The Best Man, opening at a yet to be announced Shubert theatre on April 1st.

Reid Farrington's A Christmas Carol, a multimedia performance of Charles Dickens's classic Christmas story of redemption, combining live action with images from 35 different film versions projected on moving screens using a modern-day version of the magic lantern, created and directed by Reid Farrington, with Laura K Nicoll, Christopher Loar, John Forkner, Jennifer L Reed and Sandrine Hudl, will play at the Abrons Arts Center from December 1st. The producer is Foxy Films. The Abrons Arts Center is located at 465 Grand Street, at Pitt Street.

Accidental Repertory Theater will stage the premiere of The Good Morning America Johnny Johnson Dream Show, written and directed by John Strasberg, a satire in which a breakfast talk show interview with a medium summons up a bizarre group of historical characters who discuss current events, previewing from November 17th at The Living Theatre, opening on November 20th. The Living Theatre is located at 21 Clinton Street, between Houston and Stanton Streets.

The SoHo Playhouse will stage the premiere of The Canterbury Tales Remixed, retelling Geoffrey Chaucer's Medieval stories of lust, betrayal, infidelity, greed, jealousy, ambition, and the endless struggles between men and women, written and performed by hip-hop artist Baba Brinkman, with music and turn-tablism by Jamie Simmonds, directed by Darren Lee Cole, previewing from November 23rd, opening on December 4th.

David Adjmi's Elective Affinities, a one person play featuring Zoe Caldwell as octogenarian Alice Hauptmann offering a funny and savage portrait of civilized life, in a site specific production, performed for an audience of 30 in an Upper East Side townhouse (with tea and sandwiches served), directed by Sarah Benson, previewing from November 17th, opening on December 1st. The producers are Soho Rep, piece by piece productions and Rising Phoenix Repertory.

Someone's Trying to Kill Me, a multimedia tale of parallel worlds colliding to reveal stark truths and hidden secrets through a classic 1950's American setting with a contemporary point of view, written and directed by Bryan Santiago, with Osa Wallander, Rachelle Guiragossian, Ryan Colwell, Stephanie Jalove and Chris Mcginn, will open at HERE Arts Center on November 18th. The producers are Artists on the Brink and Looker Lab Productions. HERE Arts Center is located at 145 6th Avenue, between Spring and Dominick Streets.

The Rumour Machine says: that Eric Simonson's Magic/Bird, chronicling the intertwined life stories of basketball heroes 'Magic' Johnson and Larry Bird, directed by Thomas Kail, is aiming for a Broadway opening on March 21st, courtesy of producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo (although it doesn't yet have a theatre); that the musical Fat Camp, book by Randy Blair and Timothy Michael Drucker, music by Matthew roi Berger, lyrics by Randy Blair, about a summer weight loss retreat for hefty teenagers, directed by Casey Hushion, is aiming for an Off Broadway debut in April, courtesy of producers Michael Minarik, Carl Levin and Dodger Properties; that The Anarchist, a new play by David Mamet, about the governor of a women's prison and a lifer who is trying to convince her that she is ready for parole, with Patti LuPone and Laurie Metcalf, is aiming for Broadway next fall, courtesy of producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel; and that Rupert Holmes's A Time To Kill, based on the novel about a race charged murder trial by John Grisham, is also aiming for Broadway next year, courtesy of producer Daryl Roth. The Rumour Machine grinds on.