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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 8th February 2010

Moss Hart and George S Kaufman's You Can't Take It With You, directed by Anna Shapiro, will preview from November 5th at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced, with an official opening on November 14th. It portrays the mayhem that ensues in a colorful, freethinking household, when the daughter's fiancee arrives for dinner with his conservative, straight laced parents on the wrong night. The show will play at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston from September 24th. The producers are Elizabeth Ireland McCann and Joey Parnes.

Following a sellout season last year, Stevie Holland will return as Linda Porter in Love, Linda: The Life Of Mrs Cole Porter, a one woman musical about the life of the woman who was married to composer Cole Porter for 35 years, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, and book by Holland and Gary William Friedman, directed by Ben West, at the Triad Theater from March 3rd. The producer is 150 Productions. The Triad Theatre is located at 158 West 72nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of John Buchan's 1920s stiff upper lip British spy story The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow, from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, in which 4 actors play more than 150 characters, directed by Maria Aitken, which ended its Broadway run on January 10th, will return Off Broadway, previewing from March 25th at New World Stages. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Second Stage Theatre has added a further show to its current season. The New York premiere of Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance Of Chad Deity, directed by Edward Torres, will preview from April 27th, opening on May 20th. It is the story of pro wrestlers, who find that when their rivalry is used to exploit racial stereotypes in the name of ratings, things get out of hand. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, at 8th Avenue.

Ensemble Studio Theatre will stage the world premiere of Vern Thiessen's Lenin's Embalmers, with Steven Boyer, Zach Grenier, Richmond Hoxie, Polly Lee, Peter Maloney, James Murtaugh, Scott Sowers and Michael Louis Wells, directed by William Carden, previewing from March 3rd, opening on March 8th. The dark comedy, adapted from the book by Ilya Zbarsky and Samuel Hutchinson, translated by Barbara Bray, is the story two scientists who were chosen by The Committee for Immortalization to embalm Vladimir Lenin after his death in 1924. Ensemble Studio Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

The Mercury Theatre Chicago production of C S Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, adapted by Jeffrey Fiske and Max McLean, with Max McLean and Karen Eleanor Wight, directed by Jeffrey Fiske, will preview from April 15th at the Westside Theatre, opening on May 3rd. 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. Westside Theatre is located at 407 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Pan Asian Repertory Theatre will stage the premiere of Lauren Yee's Ching Chong Chinaman, with Fay Ann Lee, James Chen, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Ron Nakahara and Jon Norman Schneider, directed by May Adrales, previewing from March 19th at the West End Theatre, opening on March 24th. The play addresses the cultural chasm between the contemporary Asian American family and their culture of origin. The West End Theatre is located in The Church of St Paul and St Andrew at 263 West 86th Street, on the corner of West End Avenue.

Lincoln Center Theater has announced plans to build a new theatre to house LCT3, its initiative dedicated to presenting the work of emerging playwrights, directors and designers, on top of the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Hugh Hardy of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture has designed a $41m two storey addition, comprising a glass ensconced 131 seater theatre, rehearsal and office space, and an outdoor terrace. Construction will begin this spring, with completion expected in late 2011 to early 2012. Lincoln Center Theater has already raised 90% of the funding through leadership support from its board of directors and Lincoln Center.

The Mint Theater Company will stage Jules Romains's Dr Knock, Or The Triumph Of Medicine, directed by Gus Kaikkonen, previewing from April 14th, opening on May 10th. A doctor in a small French village with a healthy population offers free consultations, in which he diagnoses exotic maladies in order to prescribe treatment - his business thrives as the locals quickly become hypochondriacs. The Mint Theater is located at 311 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

A new musical about the relationship of Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald, This Side Of Paradise, music and lyrics by Nancy Harrow, who also co-wrote the book with director and choreographer Will Pomerantz, with Maureen Mueller, Rachel Moultonda, Michael Shawn Lewis, Clarke Carmichael, Mandy Bruno, Jamie LaVerdiere and Michael Sharon, will preview from April 14th at the Theatre at St Clement's, opening on April 21st. The Theatre at St Clement's is located at 423 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

StageFARM will stage the premiere of Elizabeth Meriwether's Oliver!, about two friends from different generations, one who is 17 and one who is 60, directed by Evan Cabnet, will preview from May 8th at the Cherry Lane Theatre, opening May 17th. The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, between Barrow and Bedford Streets.

The Victory Gardens Theater Chicago production of Conviction, adapted by Ami Dayan and Mark Williams, from Oren Neeman's stage version of the novel by Yonatan Ben-Nachum, with Ami Dayan, Kevin Hart and Catharine Pilafas, will transfer to 59E59 Theaters, previewing from February 16th, opening on February 23rd. In Franco's 1960s Madrid, an Israeli scholar is questioned by a Spanish official for stealing a confidential Inquisition file. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that David Mamet's A Life In The Theatre, a two hander tracing the relationship of a veteran actor and an aspiring newcomer who share a dressing room in a tatty regional theatre, will be Broadway bound in the fall, directed by Neil Pepe, courtesy of producers Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler; and that The Nutty Professor, a musical adaptation of the 1963 film about a nerdy academic who takes a potion that turns him into a Don Juan, book by Jerry Lewis, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Rupert Holmes, is also aiming for Broadway in the late fall. The Rumour Machine grinds on.