News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 8th August 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the recent Transport Group Judson Memorial Church Gymnasium production of the musical Lysistrata Jones, book by Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn, which relocates the story of Aristophanes's Lysistrata to a contemporary college, where the girls refuse sexual favours to the basketball team until they win a game, directed and choreographed by Dan Knechtges, will be remounted on Broadway, previewing from November 12th at the Walter Kerr Theatre, with an official opening on December 14th. Casting has yet to be confirmed. The design team comprises scenery by Allen Moyer, costumes by David C Woolard and Thomas LeGalley, lighting by Michael Gottlieb, and sound by Tony Meola. The producers are Paula Herold and Alan Wasser.

An Evening With Patti LuPone And Mandy Patinkin, with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin performing a selection of musical theatre songs, accompanied by Paul Ford, directed by Patinkin, with musical staging by Ann Reinking, which has been seen in various cities across the country, will play a limited Broadway season, previewing from November 16th at the Barrymore Theatre, with an official opening on November 21st. The design team comprises scenery by David Korins, lighting by Eric Cornwell, and sound by Daniel Gerhard. The producer is Staci Levine.

White Horse Theatre Company will stage Tennessee Williams's Suddenly Last Summer, the steamy Southern drama, combining Williams's usual themes, including homosexuality, incest, revenge and cannibalism, with Elizabeth Bove, Douglas Taurel, Lacy J Dunn, Lue McWilliams, Haas Regen, Carol Ann Foley and Heather Lee Rogers, directed by Cyndy Marion, will preview from September 16th at the Hudson Guild Theatre, opening on September 19th. The Hudson Guild Theatre is located at 441 West 26th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Psycho Clan's 8th Halloween season haunted house experience Nightmare: Fairy Tales, created by Timothy Haskell and Chip Meyrelles, will run at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, from September 29th to November 5th. Visitors become characters in re-enactments of the original versions of well known (and some lesser known) fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm, Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen and others at their most gruesome and horrific - and then they have to find their way out. The creative team includes production design by Paul Smithyman, art direction by Justin Haskell, lighting by Garin Marshall, props by Aaron Haskell and costumes by Candice Thompson, with additional designs by Sylva Ventiko. Another element will be a sensory assaulting 5-D theatre experience called The Experiment, created and directed by John Harlacher and Timothy Haskell. Experienced from a chair in a small lab, visitors are part of a focus group for research on the threshold for fear. The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center is located at 107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey Streets.

It has been confirmed that the Goodman Theatre Chicago production of David Henry Hwang's Chinglish, a comedy about a Midwesterner's business trip to China, where he learns how much he doesn't understand, directed by Leigh Silverman, will preview at the Longacre Theatre from October 11th. Casting has yet to be announced. It is performed in a blend of English and Mandarin (with English surtitles). The design team comprises scenery by David Korins, costumes by Anita Yavich, lighting by Brian MacDevitt, sound by Darron West, and projection by Jeff Sugg. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Roy Gottlieb, Barry & Carole Kaye and David and Barbara Stoller in association with Goodman Theatre.

The fall season at the Irish Repertory Theatre will include the American premiere of Eriu Dance Company's Noctu, which pushes the boundaries of the Irish dance aesthetic and explores new expression possibilities, conceived and directed by Breandan de Gallai, previewing from September 6th, opening on September 12th; and Brian Friel's Dancing At Lughnasa, the story of 5 sisters living in rural Ireland in the 1930s, directed by Charlotte Moore, previewing from October 19th, opening on October 30th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Lauren Ambrose will play the title role in the Center Theater Group production of the musical Funny Girl, book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill, which traces the early life of 20th century stage, screen and radio star Fanny Brice, directed by Bartlett Sher, with musical staging by Christopher Gattelli, a opening at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on February 1st, beginning a journey back to Broadway. The producers are Bob Boyett, Sonia Friedman Productions, Jean Doumanian, Stacey Mindich and Tim Levy. The design team comprises scenery by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, and sound by Scott Lehrer.

CAP 21 Theatre Company will stage Southern Comfort, a new musical based on Kate Davis's 2001 documentary about transgender friends in rural Georgia, book and lyrics by Dan Collins, music by Julianne Wick Davis with Annette O'Toole and Jeff McCarthy, directed by Tom Caruso, previewing on October 5th, opening on October 6th. The CAP21 Black Box Theater is located at 18 West 18th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Nicole Ari Parker will join Blair Underwood in the proposed Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, which follows the woes of a faded Southern belle, and her road to madness aided by her violent brother in law, directed by Emily Mann, next spring, courtesy of producer Stephen Byrd and Front Row Productions; that the recently opened London production of Bruce Joel Rubin-Dave Stewart-Glen Ballard's Ghost The Musical, adapted from the film about a man trapped as a ghost between this world and the next, trying to communicate with his girlfriend through a phoney psychic, is looking for a Broadway transfer next April; that Hugh Jackman will perform his musical theatre In Concert show in London next spring, while he is filming Les Miserables, with a Broadway season in mind next fall, courtesy of producer Robert Fox; and that Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Zippel and Charlotte Jones are working on a 'chamber' version of the musical The Woman In White, adapted from the Wilkie Collins melodrama, focusing on the principal characters, to be performed by a cast of 9 or 10, with US and British touring productions in mind. The Rumour Machine grinds on.