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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th October 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the current Stratford Shakespeare Festival Ontario production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, chronicling the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazereth, currently featuring Paul Nolan, Josh Young, Chilina Kennedy, Brent Carver and Bruce Dow, directed by Des McAnuff, with choreography by Lisa Shriver, will preview from March 1st at the Neil Simon Theatre, with an official opening on March 22nd. The design team comprises scenery by Robert Brill, costumes by Paul Tazewell, lighting by Howell Binkley, video by Sean Nieuwenhuis, and sound by Jim Neil. The producers are Dodger Properties and the Really Useful Group.

It has been confirmed that the Center Theater Group Los Angeles production of the musical Funny Girl, book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill, which traces the early life of 20th century stage, screen and radio star Fanny Brice, with Lauren Ambrose and Bobby Cannavale, directed by Bartlett Sher, with musical staging by Christopher Gattelli, will open at the Imperial Theatre in April. The design team comprises scenery by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, and sound by Scott Lehrer. The producers are Bob Boyett, Sonia Friedman Productions, Jean Doumanian, Stacey Mindich, Tim Levy and Center Theatre Group.

ARLA Productions and Rosalind Productions will stage Alan Lester Brooks's A Splintered Soul, about a group of Jewish refugees who arrive in San Francisco from Poland in 1947 but are haunted by their past, with Lisa Bostnar, Ella Dershowitz, Michael Samuel Kaplan, David Lavine, John Michalski, Anya Migdal, Kenny Morris and Sid Solomon, directed by Daisy Walker, previewing from October 21st at Theater Three, opening on October 24th. Theater Three is located at 311 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Cell will present Heroes And Other Strangers, written and performed by Zac Jaffee, charting a New York camera shop assistant's odyssey in 1971 San Francisco in search of two runaway teenagers, directed by Christian Haines, previewing from 1st November, opening on 3rd November. The Cell is located at 338 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

It has been confirmed that the musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, original book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Burton Lane, new book by Peter Parnell, about a psychiatrist starts an impossible affair with one of his patient's 'former selves', a 1940s jazz singer, with Harry Connick Jr, will also feature Jessie Mueller, David Turner, Kerry O'Malley, Drew Gehling and Sarah Stiles, directed by Michael Mayer, previewing from November 12th at the St James Theatre, with an official opening on December 11th. The design comprises scenery by Christine Jones, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Kevin Adams, and sound by Peter Hylenski. The producers are Liza Lerner, Tom Hulce, Ira Pittelman and Broadway Across America.

Rebecca Gilman's Boy Gets Girl, which relates what follows from a blind date when someone refuses to take no for an answer, with Kate Dulcich, Talisa Friedman, David Hudson, Kellie Johnson, William Peden, Gregory Ryan and Robert W Smith, directed by Michael Menger, will preview from November 3rd at the Access Theatre, opening on November 5th. The producer is Harry Diesel Productions. The Access Theatre is located at 380 Broadway, between Walker and White Streets.

The 24th season of the Food For Thought series of lunchtime readings of one act plays by Broadway performers at the Paley Center for Media will include Robert Anderson's You Know I Can't Hear You When The Water's Running, with Bob Dishy, Judy Graubart and Tony Roberts, on October 11th; and A R Gurney's The Guest Lecturer on October 17th; Jean-Paul Sartre's The Wall on October 26th; a play by Dorothy Parker on October 31st; Horton Foote's The Prisoner's Song and a new play by Susan Charlotte on November 4th; Athol Fugard's Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act on November 9th; Terence Rattigan's Separate Tables on November 17th; Tennessee Williams's The Last Of My Solid Gold Watches on November 21st; Harold Pinter's The Collection on November 28th; Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray on December 2nd; Thornton Wilder's Such Things Only Happen In Books on December 9th; a play by J M Barrie on December 13th; and George Bernard Shaw's Dark Lady Of The Sonnets on December 15th. Lunch is from 12noon, the performance begins at 2pm, and a question and answer session follows. The Paley Center for Media is located at 25 West 52nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

FN Do it Productions is staging Vampure, book, music and lyrics by Mary Ann Hedderson and LJ Regine, a late night Rocky Horror-esque romp about 7 vampires forced into rehab to cure their addiction to blood, directed by Joshua John McKay, at the Richmond Shepard Theatre. The Richmond Shepard Theatre is located at 309 East 26th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

Joseph Gallo's Two-Man Kidnapping Rule, which depicts one comical evening in the lives of three, 20 something suburban men friends who find themselves at a crossroads, with Curran Connor, Duane Cooper and Andy Lutz, directed by Robin A Paterson, will preview from October 29th at the New Ohio Theatre, opening on November 5th. The New Ohio Theatre is located at 154 Christopher Street, between Greenwich and Washington Streets.

Saviana Stanescu's Aliens With Extraordinary Skills the story of a female European circus clown's struggle to find happiness and a green card in New York City, with Debby Brand, Doug Rossi, Abby Savage, Viet Vo, Gabrielle Young and Richard Zekaria, directed by Joan Kane, will open at Theatre 54 at Shetler on November 2nd. The producer is Ego Actus. Theatre 54 at Shetler is located at 244 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.