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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th September 2007

The 21st Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction, the outdoor fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be held from 10am to 7pm on Sunday September 23rd in Shubert Alley. It will feature stalls with a host of theatrical memorabilia donated by the theatrical community and a celebrity autograph and photograph booth, plus one off theatrical experiences in the Live Auction at 4.30pm. Among the experiences so far announced (with more to come) are: 'Conduct the Music of the Night' - sit with the orchestra for an entire performance of The Phantom Of The Opera, and then and conduct the exit music from the conductor's podium, plus two house seats for another performance and dinner afterwards; 'Join The Jersey Boys' - appear as a bar patron in the Silhouette Club in Act 1 of The Jersey Boys and watch Act 2 from backstage, plus 2 tickets for your friends to watch your Broadway debut, and dinner afterwards; 'A night in Rent' - an on stage appearance in Rent in the group therapy scene, join the cast in song and even say your name, a curtain call bow and your name in the Playbill, a cast jacket with your name embroidered on the front, and 12 house seats for your friends to watch your performance. Last year's Flea Market raised $505,832. Shubert Alley is located alongside the Shubert and Booth Theatres between 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. Online (Fleabay) and phone bids for the auction can be placed until September 22nd. Further information can be found on the BC/EFA web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Saturday Night Underground is a new variety show featuring interviews and performances from New York personalities, which will play at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, at 11pm on select Saturday evenings from September 15th through December. The season opener, hosted by Ben Rimalower and Our Lady J, will feature Justin Bond, Natalie Joy Johnson, Ben Curtis, Lance Horne and Eli Bolin. The Laurie Beechman Theatre is located in the West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42nd Street at 9th Avenue.

Paul Rudnick's latest work The New Century, directed by Nicholas Martin, will open at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center next spring. It comprises four short plays, featuring diverse characters from a concerned Long Island mother of at least three gay children, to an accomplished Midwestern craftswoman, to a flamboyant resident of Palm Beach, who meet under surprising and comic circumstances.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the current London production of John Buchan's 1920s stiff upper lip British spy story The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow, from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, in which 4 actors play more than 150 characters, directed by Maria Aitken, will preview from December 28th at the American Airlines Theatre, with an official opening on January 10th. This follows a run at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston from September 14th, with a cast comprising Charles Edwards, repeating his London performance, Jennifer Ferrin, Cliff Saunders and Arnie Burton. The producers are Roundabout Theatre Company in association with Bob Boyett, Harriet Leve/Ron Nicynski, Stephanie P McClelland, Fiery Angel and the Huntington Theatre Company.

The Roundabout Theatre Company's plans for next year include a Broadway production of Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses, adapted from the 18th century novel by Pierre-Ambroise-Francois Choderlos de Laclos, the story of a game of sexual corruption, deceit and betrayal, as two aristocrats scheme to seduce two innocent victims, directed by Rufus Norris, at the American Airlines Theatre in the spring; and an Off Broadway staging of Christopher Durang's The Marriage Of Bette And Boo, which presents three decades of marriage, divorce, alcoholism, nervous breakdowns and death - blended in a mix of irony, humor and farce - played out in 33 quick scenes, directed by Walter Bobbie, from June 13th, at the Laura Pels Theatre, at 111 West 46 Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The typically eclectic fall season at Performance Space 122 (PS 122) will include: Dood Paard with MedEia, which combines American and British pop tunes and numerous interpretations of the Medea story to create a piece told from the point of view of the chorus; The International Show: A Panikk Transatlantique, featuring Iver Findlay, Alexander Gerner, Young Jean Lee and Marie Nerland collaborating on a multimedia live art work; Avant-Garde-Arama Goes Clubbing, a collaboration of curators of the downtown club scene with an installation by Ande Whyland; a live-art, dance and multimedia piece What If Saori Had A Party? by John Moran and Saori Tsukada, exploring the relationship between American and Japanese culture in the form of an abstracted Japanese children's show (like Teletubbies on acid); The Archery Contest, A Radio Play, by John Jahnke and The Hotel Savant, exploring the aural vs visual definitions of theatre; and 500 Clown, who combine circus arts, improv and physical theatre with 500 Clown Frankenstein and 500 Clown Christmas. PS 122 is located at 150 1st Avenue at East 9th Street.

PS 122 will also present the New York debut of the London performance troupe Duckie with C'est Duckie!, an interactive nightclub performance experience with a vaudeville slant, from December 21st to January 20th at CSV Cultural Center, located at 107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey Streets. Further information can be found on the PS 122 web site, via the link from Off Broadway Venues and Companies, in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Salt Lake City Pioneer Theatre Company's production of Lerner and Loewe's Gold Rush musical Paint Your Wagon, with a revised book by David Rambo, featuring Emily Rabon Hall, Enrique Acevedo, Dennis Parlato and Anne Stewart Mark, directed by Charles Morey, opening on September 28th, is aiming for a Broadway transfer; that John Lithgow may star in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons next spring; and that a musical adaptation of the 1980 film 9 To 5, about three secretaries taking revenge on their chauvinist boss, with a book by Patricia Resnick, based on her screenplay, and music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, is aiming for Broadway in the spring of 2009. The Rumour Machine grinds on.