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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th September 2012

Spotlight On Broadway is a new project of the City of New York's Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment designed to celebrate the history of Broadway, by highlighting the theatres and people who contribute to Broadway's unique cultural legacy. The web site aims to inform the broadest possible audience about the rich history of the Broadway Theater in New York City, from the early 20th century to the present. The project will create an unprecedented archive of multimedia Broadway storytelling, and when complete, by the fall of next year, will comprise a series of 40 short documentaries, each providing a portrait of a Broadway theatre. It has just been launched with the histories of the Al Hirschfeld, Angus Wilson, Booth, Majestic and Richard Rogers. The Spotlight On Broadway web site can be found via the link from Information in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Atlantic Theater Company has announced the final productions in its 2012/2013 season. Craig Lucas's The Lying Lesson, in which a woman who may or may not be the movie star Bette Davis plays a relentless game of cat and mouse with her new assistant, with Carol Kane, directed by Anna D Shapiro, will preview from February 6th at the Linda Gross Theater, opening on February 13th; and Rod McLachlan's Good Television, about a reality television show that chronicles families staging an intervention to help a loved one battle addiction, directed by Robert Krakower, will preview from May 22nd at Atlantic Stage 2, opening on June 4th. The Linda Gross Theater is located at 336 West 20th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, and Atlantic Stage 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Roundabout Theatre Company will stage Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly, a two character comedy that unfolds on the 4th of July near the end of World War II in the romantic setting of a moonlit boat house in rural Missouri, directed by Michael Wilson, previewing from February 8th at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, opening March 5th. The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center is located at 111 West 46 Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Musicals Tonight!, which presents concert stagings of neglected musicals, directed and choreographed by Thomas Sabella-Mills, has added a further production to the beginning of its 2012/2013 season. Red, Hot And Blue, book by Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, about a former manicurist, an ex-con and a square boyfriend, will play from October 2nd to 14th. Performances are at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row, located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues. The producer is Mel Miller.

On The Casting Couch: Joely Richardson will join Ethan Hawke in Anton Chekhov's Ivanov, opening at the Classic Stage Company on November 4th; Beth Leavel, Mark Jacoby, Valerie Wright, Adam Heller and Michael Mandell will reprise their performances when the Bob Martin-Tom Meehan-Matthew Sklar-Chad Beguelin show Elf - The Musical, returns to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on November 9th; and Norbert Leo Butz and Katie Holmes will be joined by Judy Greer, Josh Hamilton and Jayne Houdyshell in Theresa Rebeck's Dead Accounts, opening at the Music Box Theatre on November 29th.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the shows in its 24th Festival of New Musicals, featuring industry only staged readings of 8 new works, to be held at New World Stages on October 11th and 12th. They include: Bonfire Night, book, music and lyrics by Justin Levine, the story of the plot to blow up the British parliament in 1605; The Circus In Winter, book by Beth Turcotte, music and lyrics by Ben Clark, adapted from the novel by Cathy Day, about a man searching for redemption and grace under the big top; Nobody Loves You, book and lyrics by Itamar Moses, music and lyrics by Gaby Alter, a behind the scenes look at a television dating programme; and Triangle, book by Thomas Mizer, Curtis Moore and Joshua Scher, music by Curtis Moore, lyrics by Thomas Mizer, in which two couples from different eras, 1911 and 2011, discover what it means to risk everything you believe for love. Since 1989 the festival has presented 288 musicals and 510 writers, and 75% have found subsequent productions as a direct result of the festival, including Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. Further information can be found on the NAMT web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Transport Group will stage Jonathan Franzen's autobiographical essay House For Sale, about returning to his childhood home in Missouri to empty and sell the family house following his mother's death, adapted and directed by Daniel Fish, with Rob Campbell, Merritt Janson, Lisa Joyce, Christina Rouner and Michael Rudko, previewing from October 13th at the Duke on 42nd Street, opening on October 21st. The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that a double bill of Martin Halpern's What The Babe Said, a behind-the-scenes look at baseball, and Joint Return, in which an estranged couple complete their final tax return, with Tony Lo Bianco, directed by John Tillinger, is aiming for an Off Broadway debut early next year, courtesy of producer Jeff Briton; that a revised version of Flashdance The Musical, book by Tom Hedley, book and lyrics by Robert Cary, music and lyrics by Robbie Roth, adapted from the 1983 film, about a welder and part time exotic dancer who dreams of winning a place at a dance school and becoming a ballet dancer, which played in London last year, is aiming for Broadway next August, directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, courtesy of producers Thomas Viertel, Steven Baruch, Richard Frankel and Marc Routh; and that Chazz Palminteri's Human, in which chance encounter on a Central Park bench thrusts two diametrically opposed men into a fight for their lives, directed by Jerry Zaks, is also aiming for Broadway in the 2013/2014 season, courtesy of producers Scott and Brian Zeilinger. The Rumour Machine grinds on.