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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th August 2008

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, the stage adaptation of the 1954 film, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, and book by David Ives and Paul Blake, from the screenplay by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, which has been seen in San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Los Angeles and St. Paul, directed by Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Randy Skinner, will play a season at the Marquis Theatre, from November 14th to January 4th. Two World War II veterans turned song and dance men follow a singing sisters act to a Christmas booking at a Vermont lodge, owned by their former army commander, which is suffering from lack of snow - love and precipitation conquers all. And yes, there will be a snowfall over the audience during the title number. The design team comprises scenery by Anna Louizos, costumes by Carrie Robbins, lighting by Ken Billington and sound by Acme Sound Partners. The producers are Kevin McCollum, John Gore, Tom McGrath, Paul Blake, The Producing Office, Dan Markley, Sonny Everett and Broadway Across America in association with Paramount Pictures.

The Culture Project's 2008/2009 season will include the New York premiere of In Conflict, adapted and directed by Douglas C Wager, from Yvonne Latty's book about the experiences of a diverse group of 17 Iraq War veterans, previewing from September 18th, opening on September 24th; and Ronan Noone's one man play The Atheist, a dark comedy about a reporter who will do anything to get his next front page story, performed by Campbell Scott, directed by Justin Waldman, previewing from October 6th, opening on October 12th. The Culture Project's current Mercer Street theatre has been sold, and the company will present the season at the Barrow Street Theatre, while it seeks a new permanent home. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street at 7th Avenue South.

Redshift Productions will stage the U.S. premiere of Carl Djerassi's Taboos, with Helen Merino, John G Preston, Julie Leedes, Jenn Schulte and Blake Delong, directed by Melissa Maxwell, previewing from September 10th at the SoHo Playhouse, opening on September 19th. It explores the collision of emotions and science of planned parenthood through a lesbian couple and an infertile Christian couple both looking to have a child. SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th Avenue and Varick Street.

Anthony Horowitz's Mindgame, with Keith Carradine and Lee Godart, directed by Ken Russell, will preview from October 28th at the SoHo Playhouse, opening on November 9th. A writer of pulp crime novels arranges an interview with a notorious serial killer, but once inside at the asylum, he finds nothing and no one can be believed or trusted. The producers are Monica Tidwell, Darren Lee Cole and Michael Butler.

The 17th annual Broadway On Broadway event, the free outdoor concert in Times Square celebrating the start of the new Broadway season, will be held at 11.30am on September 14th. It will feature performances from almost every musical current and upcoming on Broadway, backed by a 30 piece orchestra. The event is presented by the Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance. Further information can be found on the Broadway On Broadway web site via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Quarrel, adapted for the stage by David Brandes and Joseph Telushkin from their 1991 television film based on Chaim Grade's short story, with Reuven Russell and Sam Guncler, will preview from September 2nd at the DR2 Theatre, opening on September 7th. It is the story of two estranged friends, torn apart by personal betrayal and uprooted by war, who meet after years of separation, during which time one has become an Orthodox rabbi, and the other a secular writer. The producers are Gallant Arts, Matt Okin and Melanie Sylvan. The DR2 Theatre is located at 103 East 15th Street, between Union Square East and Irving Place.

The Kaufman Center has announced its 2008/2009 Broadway Close Up season, an inside look at the world of musical theater, hosted by Sean Hartley. It will comprise: Jones & Schmidt, a tribute to the work of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, who are best known for their record breaking Off Broadway musical The Fantasticks, on October 6th; Maltby & Shire, looking at the work of Richard Maltby Jr and David Shire, whose musicals include Baby, Big and Taking Flight, on November 3rd; and Bound For Broadway, hosted by Liz Callaway, featuring songs from five new musicals and interviews with their writers, on December 8th. The Family Matinees series - a family friendly tour through the world of musical theatre - will feature morning events devoted to the work of Frank Loesser on January 11th; Jerry Herman on February 1st; and Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty on April 5th. The Merkin Concert Hall is located at 129 West 67th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Further information can be found on the Merkin Concert Hall web site via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

MCC Theatre will stage Michael Weller's Fifty Words, a look at modern marriage, as seen through one couple's long night's journey into day, with Norbert Leo Butz and Elizabeth Marvel, directed by Austin Pendleton, previewing from September 10th at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, opening on September 28th. The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets.

The musical Rock Of Ages, set in a Hollywood rock club in 1987, book by Chris D'Arienzo, featuring a back catalogue of 1980s pop songs, with Constantine Maroulis, directed by Kristin Hanggi, with choreography by Kelly Devine, will preview from September 30th at New World Stages, opening on October 16th. The producers are Carl Levin, Matt Weaver, Scott Prisand, Janet Billig Rich, Hillary Weaver, Jeff Davis, Charles Rolecek and Barry Habib. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Keen Company's 2008/2009 season at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row will comprise Jan de Hartog's The Fourposter, a two hander that spans 35 years in the relationship of a couple, directed by Blake Lawrence, from October 7th; Beasley's Christmas Party, a family show telling the story of a curious journalist and his extremely unusual next door neighbours, directed by Carl Forsman, from December 2nd; and the New York premiere Gerald Sibleyras's Heroes, translated by Tom Stoppard, about three World War I veterans plotting to escape from their veterans home, also directed by Carl Forsman, from February 24th. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.