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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 8th October 2012

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the recent La Jolla Playhouse production of the musical Hands On A Hardbody, book by Doug Wright, music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green, lyrics by Amanda Green, based on the documentary film about an auto dealership that launches an endurance contest in which 10 economically-strapped strangers compete to win a truck, with the original cast of Keith Carradine, Hunter Foster, Mary Gordon Murray, Allison Case, Jay Armstrong Johnson, David Larsen, Jacob Ming-Trent, Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone, Jim Newman, Connie Ray, Jon Rua, Keala Settle, Dale Soules, Scott Wakefield and William Youmans, directed by Neil Pepe, with musical staging by Sergio Trujillo, will preview from February 23rd at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with an official opening on March 23rd. The design team comprises scenery by Christine Jones, costumes by Susan Hilferty, lighting by Kevin Adams, and sound by Steve Canyon Kennedy. The producers are Broadway Across America, Barbara Whitman, Latitude Link, Dede Harris, Sharon Karmazin, and Howard and Janet Kagan.

New York Theatre Workshop will stage Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas, which brings together a group of fictional characters and historic figures on Christmas Eve 1864, incorporating traditional carols and music of the era, with Alice Ripley, Bob Stillman, de'Adre Aziza, Sumaya Bouhbal, K Todd Freeman, Chris Henry, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Antwayn Hopper, Jonathan-David, Karen Kandel and Sean Allan Krill, directed by Tina Landau, previewing from November 13th, opening on December 5th. New York Theatre Workshop is located at 79 East 4th Street, between Bowery and 2nd Avenue.

Forthcoming productions by LCT3, Lincoln Center Theater's new works initiative in the Claire Tow Theater, will include Kirsten Greenidge's Luck Of The Irish, concerning an African American family who may lose their home when an old deal comes back to haunt them, directed by Rebecca Taichman, from January 28th; and Daniel Pearle's A Kid Like Jake, which explores the unexpected challenges of marriage and parenting in the competitive world of Manhattan privilege, directed by Evan Cabnet, from June 2nd.

On The Casting Couch: Laurie Metcalf will be joined by Daniel Stern, Zoe Perry and John Schiappa in Sharr White's The Other Place, opening at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre on January 10th.

A contemporary folk rock musical, Son Of A Gun, about the love life of the heir apparent to a family folk band, book by Chris Cragin and Don Chaffer, music and lyrics by Don Chaffer, additional music and lyrics by Lori Chaffer, with Van Hughes, Ryan Link, Alex Branton, Billy Brimblecom Jr, Michael Castillejos, Lori Fischer, Rebecca Hart, Jimmie James and Martin Landry, directed by Gabriel Barre, will play at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row from November 1st. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Korner Theatrical in association with the Negro Ensemble Company will stage Paul Carter Harrison's musical The Great MacDaddy, an episodic 10 decade examination of the African-American journey across 20th century America, with J Kyle Manzay, Khalil Kain and Charles Weldon, directed by Alfred Preisser, at 777 Theater from November 10th. 777 Theater is located at 777 8th Avenue, between 47th and 48th Streets.

Peter Michael Marino will perform Desperately Seeking The Exit, charting the doomed process of turning his screenplay of the film Desperately Seeking Susan into a 4m stage musical featuring the music of Blondie, in London in 2007, directed by John Clancy, at the Peoples Improv Theatre, from October 14th. The Peoples Improv Theatre is located at 123 East 24th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues.

Aaron Posner's My Name Is Asher Lev, adapted from the novel by Chaim Potokl, about a boy prodigy who wants to become an artist, against the will of family, community and tradition, with Ari Brand, directed by Gordon Edelstein, will preview from November 8th at the Westside Theatre, opening November 28th. The producer is Darren Bagert. The Westside Theatre is located at 407 West 43rd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Balancin' Productions will stage Crystal Skillman's Follow, in which two estranged brothers say goodbye to the woman they've loved in her dying hour, but with the arrival of her daughter, are forced to face their decades long rift of truth and lies, with Addie Johnson, Matthew Lewis and Jerry Matz, directed by Daniel Talbott, at Fan Fare Theatre, from October 19th. The Fan Fare Theatre is located at 100 East 4th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues

The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame have been announced. They are actors Betty Buckley and Sam Waterston, director Trevor Nunn, playwrights Christopher Durang and Paula Vogel, and artistic directors Andre Bishop and Michael Kahn, with costume designer Martin Pakledinaz inducted posthumously. The 42nd annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on January 28th. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre.

National Yiddish Theatre/Folksbiene will stage The Golden Land, by Zalmen Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld, using period music and other source material to create an evocation of New York as it absorbed wave upon wave of Jewish immigrants from the 1880s into the 1910s, and again, before and after World War II, directed by Bryna Wasserman, at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, from October 28th. The Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 25th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.