News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 9th November 2009

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the Goodman Theatre Chicago production of the musical Million Dollar Quartet, inspired by the 1956 recording session that brought together Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley in the Sun Records studio in Memphis, book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, featuring the singers' hit songs, directed by Eric Schaeffer, will transfer to Nederlander Theatre, previewing from March 13th, ahead of an official opening in April. Casting has yet to be confirmed, but the current Chicago cast features Lance Guest, Levi Kreis, Rob Lyons, Eddie Glendening, Brian McCaskill and Kelly Lamont. The producers are Relevant Theatricals, John Cossette Productions, Northern Lights Inc., Broadway Across America, and James L Nederlander.

Lincoln Center Theater has announced the remainder of the 2009/2010 season of LCT3, its initiative dedicated to presenting the work of emerging playwrights, directors and designers, staged at The Duke on 42nd Street. It will comprise the New York premiere of Ellen Fairey's Graceland, a comedy-drama about two estranged siblings who are reunited when they try to make sense of their father's recent suicide, directed by Henry Wishcamper, previewing from May 3rd, opening on May 17th; and the world premiere of the musical On The Levee, book by Marcus Gardley, music and lyrics by Todd Almond, conceived and directed by Lear deBessonet, based on a true story of an almost forgotten flood in Greenville, Mississippi in 1927, previewing from June 14th, opening on June 28th. The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Maripat Donovan, who created Late Night Catechism, will revist the character of Sister in Sister's Christmas Catechism, co-written with Marc Silvia and Jane Morris, which will preview from November 27th at The Downstairs Cabaret Theatre at Sofia's, opening on December 3rd. It is a comic 'CSI Bethlehem' style retelling of the story of the nativity. The producer is Entertainment Events. Sofia's is located at 227 West 46th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

On The Casting Couch: Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming will be joined by Reeve Carney in the title role in Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, which, despite rumours about problems in raising finance, still aims to begin previews at the Hilton Theatre on February 25th, although no official opening date has been announced; and it has now been confirmed that the original cast of Patrick Breen, Maddie Corman, Sean Dugan, Patrick Heusinger, Connie Ray and Cotter Smith will return for the Broadway transfer of Geoffrey Nauffts's Next Fall, opening at the Helen Hayes Theatre on March 11th.

Forbidden Broadway: Behind The Mylar Curtain by Gerard Alessandrini, creator of the legendary theatrical spoof, recently published by Applause Books, documents and dishes the dirt on the long running show, which played to acclaim both Off Broadway and across the U.S. The book, co-authored with Michael Portantiere, boasts hundreds of photos of the various incarnations of Forbidden Broadway, which has spoofed musicals from Cats to The Light In The Piazza, as well as stars including Liza Minnelli, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters and Barbra Streisand. It includes not only the history of the show, together with behind the scenes stories, but over 100 parody lyrics. The Tony and Drama Desk Award winning musical revue premiered at Palsson's Supper Club in January 1982, and concluded performances at the 47th Street Theatre on March 1st this year.

The recent Barrow Group Theater production of Jon Marans's The Temperamentals, which weaves together the personal and the political to tell a relatively unknown story of the establishment of the first gay rights organization in the U.S., with Michael Urie and Thomas Jay Ryan, directed by Jonathan Silverstein, will be remounted at New World Stages, previewing from February 18th, opening on February 28th. The producers are Daryl Roth and Stacy Shane. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park festival at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park next summer will comprise The Merchant Of Venice, in which a Jewish moneylender, angered at the discrimination he has suffered, demands a 'pound of flesh' from someone who has defaulted on a debt, directed by Daniel Sullivan, and The Winter's Tale, about a king who abandons both wife and daughter because of suspicion, and false accusations of betrayal, with whom, some years later, now repentant, he is finally reconciled, directed by Michael Greif, performed by one company of actors, playing in repertoire from June 9th to August 1st.

The Accidental Pervert, written and performed by Andrew Goffman, directed by Charles Messina, with choreography by Sherri Norige, will preview from December 4th at The Players Theatre, opening on January 23rd. The show styles itself as "the true account of one boy's odyssey to manhood via a childhood dominated by pornography, an addiction accumulated after the boy happens upon his father's collection of XXX-rated video tapes in the bedroom closet". The Players Theatre is located at 115 Macdougal Street, between West 3rd Street and Minetta Lane.