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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th February 2009

The acclaimed fall 2008 Old Vic London production of Alan Ayckbourn's trilogy The Norman Conquests, directed by Matthew Warchus, will transfer to Broadway, with the original cast of Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter and Amanda Root, previewing from April 7th at the Circle In The Square Theatre, with an official opening on 23rd April. The plays, Table Manners, Living Together and Round And Round The Garden follow a group of characters over a weekend, one showing the events taking place in the dining room, one in the living room and one in the garden. Three play marathons will be performed on Saturdays at 11am, 3pm and 8pm. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Rob Howell, lighting by David Howe, and sound by Simon Baker for Autograph. The Broadway producers are Sonia Friedman Productions, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Steven Baruch, Tom Viertel, Dede Harris, Tulchin/Bartner/Lauren Doll, Harriet Newman Leve, Eric Falkenstein/Jamie deRoy, Michael Filerman/Jennifer Manocherian, in association with Pam Laudenslager/Remmel T. Dickinson, Jane Dubin/True Love Productions, Barbara Manocherian/Jennifer Isaacson.

On The House is a new 2 for 1 ticket promotion for over 30 Off Broadway shows, which will run from February 15th to March 1st. Participating shows include Altar Boyz, Becky Shaw, The Cripple Of Inishmaan, Enter Laughing, Forbidden Broadway, Freshwater, Fuerza Bruta, Garden Of Earthly Delights, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Our Town, Sleepwalk With Me, This Beautiful City, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya. The scheme also offers ticket buyers a complimentary beverage when dining at participating restaurants. Further information and a full list of shows can be found on the OTH web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Classic Stage Company's Young Company, which creates classical works specially tailored for young audiences, will stage a contemporary 90 minute version of William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, featuring a cast of MFA acting students from Columbia University, directed by Tony Speciale, from February 23rd, with a schedule that includes daytime and evening performances. Any child under 12 gets in free if they come with a paying adult. Classic Stage Company is located at 136 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues.

A new musical Rooms: A Rock Romance, music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman, book by Goodman and Miriam Gordon, with Leslie Kritzer and Doug Kreeger, directed by Scott Schwartz, with choreography by Matt Williams, will preview from February 27th at New World Stages, opening on March 16th. It is the story of a singer/songwriter and musician, as they search for the balance between ambition and happiness, from 1970s Glasgow to 1980s New York. The producer is Van Hill Entertainment. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Wreckio Ensemble will stage the world premiere of Karly Maurer's Rooftops, a futuristic satire on the economic divide in American society, with Randi Berry, Katie Braden, Mike Bradley, Dechelle Damien, Tara Grieco, Jessica Kelly, Lauren Turner Kiel, Anna Lamadrid, Beth McGregor, Al Miro, Meret Oppenheim, Mika Porro and Benjamin Spradley, directed by Kimberlea Kressal, previewing from March 5th at The Milagro at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, opening on March 7th. Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center is located at 107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Stanton Streets.

Forthcoming productions at Theatre Row include: Zombie, written and performed by Bill Connington, adapted from the novella by Joyce Carol Oates, about a mild mannered man who follows his romantic delusions to horrific extremes, preying on young men, hoping to create a zombie who will be his forever, from February 18th at The Studio, produced by Razors Edge Productions; and the American premiere of James McManus's Cherry Smoke, about a violent club fighter and his runaway girlfriend, who longs for a more simple life, with Marianna McClellan, Doug Nyman, Kate Rogal and Jay Rohloff, directed by Jade King Carroll, from February 21st, at the Kirk Theatre, produced by The Clockwork Theatre. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Matthew Broderick will be joined by Jonathan Cake, Anna Madeley, Steven Weber, Tate Ellington, Jennifer Mudge and Samantha Soule, in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Christopher Hampton's The Philanthropist, opening at American Airlines Theatre on April 26th.

American Actor's Company will stage Craig Wright's The Unseen, about two prisoners trying to crack the code of their cryptic imprisonment by a brutal, totalitarian regime, with Thomas Ward, Steven Pounders and Stan Denman, directed by Lisa Denman, previewing from March 5th at the Cherry Lane Theatre, opening on March 8th. The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, between Barrow and Bedford Streets.

Hayley Heaton's The Man In The Newspaper Hat, with Anne Fizzard and Angus Hepburn, directed by Katrin Hilbe, will play at the 45th Street Theatre from March 5th. It is an imagined account of the creation of Elizabeth Bishop's poem 'Visits to St Elizabeths', written during her visits with the poet Ezra Pound, who was remanded to St Elizabeths in 1946 after having stood trial for treason. The producer is Many Tracks. The 45th Street Theatre is located at 345 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that the British Ambassador Theatre Group has plans for new Broadway productions of Frank Loesser's musical The Most Happy Fella, directed by Casey Nicholaw, and Simon Bent's Elling, about a dysfunctional couple trying to convince their social worker that they have reassimilated back into society, directed by Doug Hughes, and transfers of the recent London production Neil LaBute's Fat Pig, a caustic comedy about how a man reacts to his friends' horror when he dates an overweight woman, and the current small scale actor/musician production Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, adapted from the 1954 movie, and is looking for a building in Manhattan that could be converted into a two theatre complex - one commercial, and one to develop new work. The Rumour Machine grinds on.