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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th January 2011

Lincoln Center Theater has announced a further production in its 2011 LCT3 season, the initiative dedicated to presenting the work of emerging playwrights, directors and designers, staged at The Duke on 42nd Street. Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles, about a nonagenarian and her grandson, who is grieving for his best friend, with Mary Louise Wilson and Gabriel Ebert, directed by Daniel Aukin, will preview from June 6th, opening on June 20th. The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The Dog Run Rep production of The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller by Jeff Cohen, based on Christopher Stokes's story of what might have happened to the Rockefeller heir, who disappeared in Papua, New Guinea, in 1961, with David Brown Jr, Shannon Dorsey, Tracy Jack, David King, Daniel Morgan Shelley and Aaron Strand, directed by Alfred Preisser, which had a limited run premiere last fall, is to return, previewing from February 2nd at the Arclight Theatre, opening on February 9th. The Arclight Theater is located at 152 West 71st Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue.

The Vineyard Theatre will stage a new interactive work called Interviewing The Audience, written and performed by Zach Helm, inspired by Spalding Gray's technique of inviting volunteers onstage and interviewing them, previewing from February 3rd, opening on February 10th; and the premiere of Christopher Shinn's Picked, about what happens to a young actor when he is cast as the lead in a big budget Hollywood movie, opening in late March. The Vineyard Theatre is located at 108 East 15th Street, between Union Square East and Irving Place.

The Midtown International Theatre Festival, which offers the chance for self-produced Off Off Broadway plays, musicals, and for the first time dance, to be presented, is seeking submissions for its 12th season, from July 11th to 31 st. The MITF presents more than 200 performances of 40-60 shows over a 3 week period each year, in 4 theatres on the same block of 36th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues. The basic deal is that MITF pays the theatre and marketing costs, and individual shows pay for everything else. Submissions must be received by February 21st. Further information and an application form can be found on the MITF web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Stolen Chair Theatre Company will stage Kiran Rikhye's Kinderspiel, about a scandalous Weimar-era club where adults play like children and customers pay to watch, adapted and directed by Jon Stancato, with David Skeist, previewing from February 3rd at the Wings Theater, opening on February 5th. The Wings Theater is located at 154 Christopher Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets.

The annual Broadway Backwards concert, which features male singers performing songs traditionally sung by women and women singing tunes written for men, will take place at the Longacre Theatre on February 7th. The benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community, will feature Clay Aiken, Alan Cumming, Denis O'Hare, Tituss Burgess, Len Cariou, Kevin Chamberlin, Robin De Jesus, Jose Llana, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Debra Monk, Bobby Steggert Brian Charles Rooney and Tony Yazbeck, plus other performers to be announced later, directed and choreographed by Robert Bartley.

On The Casting Couch: James Beaman, Keith Gerchak, Bill Nolte, Sarah Stiles and Bruce Warren will comprise the cast of the Stephen Cole-David Krane musical The Road To Qatar!, opening at The York Theatre Company's Theatre at Saint Peter's on February 3rd; Chris Chalk, Michael Balderrama, Neal Huff, David Patrick Kelly and Amanda Mason Warren will feature in Nathan Louis Jackson's When I Come To Die, opening at the Duke on 42nd Street on February 10th; and Dane Cook and Josh Hamilton will be joined by Julia Stiles in the Neil LaBute's Fat Pig, opening at the Belasco Theatre on April 26th

Creation Production Company will stage the premiere of Susan Mosokowski's A World Apart, about a mother abbess and priest who venture beyond their cloistered lives, in the hope that the can do more with what they learn, with Antoinette LaVechia, Andy Paris and Amelia Workman, directed by Jean Randich, at the Flea Theater from February 4th. The Flea Theatre is located at 41 White Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

The Broadway League has announced figures for Broadway shows in the calendar year 2010. Box office receipts totalled $1.037bn, up from $1.004bn in 2009, from total attendances of 12.11m, up from 11.88m.The week ending January 2nd (usually the best week in the year) was probably the highest grossing week in recorded history at $34,997,571.

Joel Fields's romantic comedy How I Fell in Love, with Mark Doherty, Erik Heger, Polly Lee and Roya Shanks, directed by Jules Ochoa, will preview from January 21st at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre, opening on January 30th. Two lost souls haplessly seeking romance as they stumble into adulthood start to question the meaning of fate, friendship, and true love. The Dorothy Strelsin Theatre is located in the Abingdon Theatre Centre at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Public Theater will stage William Shakespeare's Timon Of Athens to inaugurate its Public LAB Shakespeare project, comprising minimalist productions, focussing on actor, text and the story, with Richard Thomas, directed by Barry Edelstein, from February 15th. It is the story of a rich man who gives away most of his fortune to his friends, but finds when he needs help from them, that it is not forthcoming. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street, between Astor Place and West 4th Street.

The Rumour Machine says: that Abe Burrows's Cactus Flower, based on the French comedy by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy, about a man who invents a wife so that he doesn't have to marry his girlfriend, but then has to hire a surrogate when the girlfriend demands to meet her, directed by Michael Bush, will open at the Westside Theatre Upstairs in March, produced by Daryl Roth. The Rumour Machine grinds on.