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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th October 2006

Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy will star in Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee's courtroom drama Inherit the Wind, directed by Doug Hughes, opening at Lyceum Theatre next March. The play is based on the famous Scopes 'Monkey' trial of 1925, where lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan battled over the right of a science teacher to educate his students on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions and the Shubert Organization

Steve Solomon's one-man comedy My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish And I'm In Therapy! (the clue to the subject matter is in the title) bringing to life over 30 characters from his past, directed by John Bowab, will play at the Little Shubert Theatre, 422 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues, with previews from November 3rd, opening on December 8th. The producers are Rodger Hess, Abby Koffler, Howard Rapp, Arnold Graham and Ed Frankel.

Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House, with Vanessa Aspillaga, Blair Brown, Jill Clayburgh, John Dossett and Concetta Tomei, directed by Bill Rauch, currently previewing at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, will have an official opening on October 30th. The play is the story of a well ordered household that is turned upside down when an interesting new maid arrives.

Laura Bell Bundy will star in Legally Blonde, the musical based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, which will preview from April 3rd at the Palace Theatre, with an official opening on April 29th. The show is the story of a cosmetics friendly sorority girl who follows her boyfriend to law school, and when he dumps her for someone more serious, sets out to become a swat. It has book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe. The show will play a pre Broadway season at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco from January 23rd. The producers are Hal Luftig, Fox Theatricals and Dori Berinstein, in association with MGM Onstage, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber.

The world premiere of Suzanne Glass's The Milliner featuring Michel Gill, Julia Haubner, Caralyn Kozlowski, Maria Cellario, Donna Davis, Steven Hauck and Glenn Kalison, directed by Mark Clements, will preview from October 24th at East 13th Street Theatre, opening on November 1st. The play is a tale of 'passion, fashion and music', about the consequences of a Jewish hat maker's return to Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War. The East 13th Street Theatre is located at 136 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues.

The Culture Project production of Ariel Dorfman's Speak Truth To Power, based on Kerry Kennedy's book chronicling the struggles of 51 activists who have championed human rights all over the world, including the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, Helen Prejean, directed by Terry Kinney, will open on October 15th at 45 Bleecker, located at 45 Bleeker Street, between Mulberry and Mott Streets. The cast includes Carolyn Baeumler, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Megan Byrne, Stephen Kunken, Aasif Mandvi, Lois Markle, Ellen McLaughlin, Charles Parnell, Keith Randolph Smith, and Danton Stone together with a rotating cast of celebrities. It is part of the Impact Festival, a multi genre event, which includes theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts, comedy and debate, focussing on human rights, social justice and political action, featuring more than 50 events throughout the city. Further information can be found on the Impact Festival web site via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Public Theater, which is participating in playwright Suzan-Lori Parks's project of writing a play a day for a whole year, by staging the 365 Days/365 Plays National Festival from November 13th 2006 to November 12th 2007, has recruited 65 New York theatre companies to help. Each week one participating theatre will produce seven plays in the cycle, which may be staged readings or fully produced productions, in traditional theatre spaces or site specific locations. During July, each week's plays will be performed by up to five theatres. At First Sundays, a free public performance series on the first Sunday of every month at The Public Theater, participants will be invited to showcase their work.

The Rumour Machine says: that the smash hit production of Eugene O'Neil's A Moon For The Misbegotten at London's Old Vic Theatre, starring Kevin Spacey and Eve Best, is to transfer to Broadway, but because of the stars' commitments, probably not until next fall (Best is already signed for a UK production of As You Like It early in the new year); and that Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan's new play about the extended interviews David Frost had with Richard Nixon after his resignation from the White House, following the Watergate scandal, starring Michael Sheen and Frank Langella, will transfer from London's Donmar Warehouse studio theatre next month for a three month West End season, before it travels to Broadway. The Rumour Machine grinds on.