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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th August 2010

A new musical, Wonderland, book by Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy, music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Jack Murphy, directed by Gregory Boyd, with choreography by Marguerite Derricks, will preview from March 21st at a Nederlander theatre yet to be announced, with an official opening on April 17th. It is a contemporary story about a woman who has lost her joy in life, is estranged from her husband, alienated from her daughter and in danger of losing her career, who finds herself in Wonderland where she encounters strange though familiar characters that help her rediscover the wonder in her life. Prior to this the show will play at the Ferguson Hall at the David A Straz Jr Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida from January 4th to 16th. The producers are the David A Straz Jr Center for the Performing Arts, William Franzblau and Nederlander Presentations.

TACT/The Actors Company Theatre has announced its 2010/2011 season at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row. Vaclav Havel's The Memorandum, a satire of bureaucracy gone mad, inspired by the absurdities of life in Eastern Europe under Communism, directed by Jenn Thompson, will preview from October 25th, opening on November 4th; and George Abbott and John Cecil Holm's Three Men On A Horse, a Depression era comedy about a man with an ability for predicting the winners of horse races, directed by Scott Alan Evans, will preview from February 15th, opening March 23rd. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Other forthcoming productions at Theatre Row will include Luigi Creatore's An Error Of The Moon, a fictional portrait of the brothers Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, the star actors of their day, with Margaret Copeland, Erik Heger, Andrew Veenstra and Brian Wallace, directed by Kim Weild, previewing from August 13th at the Beckett Theatre, opening on August 30th, a Theater 21 production; and the premiere of Caidy Daigle's A Home Across The Ocean, in which a couple think they're ready to start a family, and when a foster child and a poet from London arrive into their lives, they find out how ready they are, directed by Dev Bondarin, at The Studio, from September 16th, produced by MTWorks.

On The Casting Couch: Francesca Faridany, Annika Boras, Gibson Frazier, David Greenspan, Tom Nelis and Howard Overshown will head the cast in Sarah Ruhl's Orlando, opening at Classic Stage Company on September 23rd; Elizabeth Marvel will be joined by Tina Benko, Marton Csokas, Lynda Gravatt, Cristin Milioti, Thomas Jay Ryan, Greig Sargeant, Sanjit De Silva, Christopher Evan Welch and Nick Westrate in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, opening at New York Theatre Workshop on September 30th; and Steve French, Celisse Henderson, Hannah Laird, Chesney Snow, Graham Stevens, Denise Summerford and Tommar Wilson will comprise the cast of the Kristen Anderson-Lopez-James-Allen Ford-Russell M Kaplan-Sara Wordsworth musical In Transit, opening at 59E59 Theaters on October 5th.

It has been confirmed that the Public Theater's recent sellout satirical rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, book and direction by Alex Timbers, which relocates U.S. President Andrew Jackson to the world of celebrity culture, featuring Benjamin Walker in the title role, choreographed by Danny Mefford, will preview from September 20th at the Jacobs Theatre, with an official opening on October 13th.

The Plays That Changed My Life, recently published by Applause Books and the American Theatre Wing, offers readers a unique peek into the theatrical influences of some of the nation's most important dramatists. The book asks the question: What was the play that changed your life, inspired you, showed you something entirely new, or was so thrilling, surprising, breathtaking or poignant, that you were never the same? It is filled with tributes, memories, anecdotes and other insights that connect past to present and make this volume a must have for theatre enthusiasts. The contributors are Edward Albee, David Auburn, Jon Robin Baitz, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Charles Fuller, A R Gurney, Beth Henley, Tina Howe, David Henry Hwang, David Ives, Donald Margulies, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, John Patrick Shanley, Diana Son, Regina Taylor, and Doug Wright, with an introduction by Paula Vogel. All together, the playwrights featured here have won more than 40 Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, Obies, and MacArthur genius grants.

Roundabout Theatre Company has added a further production to its Roundabout Underground programme of new works. David West Read's The Dream Of The Burning Boy, in which the sudden death of a high school overachiever exposes a secret that could destroy those left behind, or bring them closer together, directed by Evan Cabnet, will preview from February 25th in the Black Box Theatre at the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, opening on March 20th. The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center is located at 111 West 46 Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Pioneers Go East Company will stage I Fioretti In Musica, an 'Opera In Danza', libretto and direction by Gian Marco Lo Forte, music by Sasha Zamler-Cahart and Ryan Carter, adapted from a 14th century book of Italian poems about 4 events in the life of St Francis of Assisi, but relocating the stories to contemporary New York, with choreography by Philip Montana, opening at La MaMa E.T.C. on September 30th. The staging is inspired by Commedia Harmonica Italiana form of the late 15th Century, where the singers perform in concerto and the dancers are the visual interpreters of the music throughout the stage, together with puppets and masks made of recycled materials and refuse. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

Craig Wright's Mistakes Were Made, a comedy in which a theatre producer becomes so engrossed in a new project that he is completely oblivious to the world collapsing around him, with Michael Shannon and Mierka Girten, directed by Dexter Bullard, will preview from November 5th at the Barrow Street Theatre, opening on November 14th. The producers are Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter in association with A Red Orchid Theatre, Chicago. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street, between 7th Avenue and West 4th Street.

Clubbed Thumb theatre company will stage the premiere of Sheila Callaghan's Roadkill Confidential, in which a possibly rogue G-man stalks a stalled out artist with a suspicious affinity for accident victims, with Alex Anfanger, Rebecca Henderson, Polly Lee and Danny Mastrogiorgio, directed by Kip Fagan, previewing from September 7th at the 3LD Art & Technology Center, opening on September 10th. The 3LD Art & Technology Center is located at 80 Greenwich Street, at Rector Street.