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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th December 2007

Atlantic Theater Company will stage the world premiere of Almost An Evening, a triple bill of plays by Ethan Coen, with F Murray Abraham, Mark Linn-Baker, Mary McCann, Elizabeth Marvel, Jonathan Cake, J R Horne, Jordan Lage, Del Pentecost and Joey Slotnick, directed by Neil Pepe, previewing from January 9th, at Atlantic Stage 2, opening on January 22nd. The bill comprises Waiting, in which 'someone waits somewhere for quite some time', Four Benches, a voyage of self-discovery that takes a British intelligence agent to steam baths and park benches, and Debate, in which cosmic questions are asked but not much is learned. The Atlantic Theater Company is located at 336 West 20th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The 2008 season of the 92nd Street Y's Lyrics & Lyricists series, featuring the songs of a particular writer or era, will comprise: It's Magic: The Lyrics Of Sammy Cahn, with Laura Marie Duncan, Julian Fleisher, Capathia Jenkins, Karen Morrow and Clarke Thorell, directed by Ted Sperling, from January 12th to 14th; Life Is a Cabaret: A Tribute To Fred Ebb, directed by Rob Fisher, from February 23rd to 25th; I've Got Your Number: Romance, The Rat Pack And Carolyn Leigh, with Debby Boone, James Naughton and Karen Ziemba, directed by Deborah Grace Winer, from March 29th to 31st; The 1959 Broadway Songbook, with Jeff Harnar, Klea Blackhurst, David Burnham, Melissa Errico and Donna McKechnie, from May 3rd to 5th; and Did The American Songbook End In 1965?, with Francesca Amari, Kelly Houston, Lee Lessack, Stacy Sullivan, directed by Andrea Marcovicci, from May 31st to June 2nd. The 92nd Street Y is located at 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

Theater for the New City is to stage All Aboard The Marriage Hearse, a new comedy written and directed by Matt Morillo, with Nicholas J Coleman and Jessica Durdock, from 3rd January. It is the story of a typical co-habitating, Catholic/Jewish, twentysomething couple living in Manhattan, who have differing views as to whether they should get married. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets.

Nicole Golden will perform Lisa Kron's one person play 2.5 Minute Ride, directed by Matt M Morrow, previewing from January 18th at Altered Stages, opening January 19th. Brooklyn, Sandusky and Auschwitz collide in a comic and poignant tale of one woman's journey through life. Altered Stages is located at 212 West 29th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Wanda's World, a 'tween' musical, book by Eric H Weinberger, music and lyrics by Beth Falcone, will receive its premiere at the 45th Street Theatre on January 16th, directed and choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett. It is the story of a young girl with a birthmark who dreams of being accepted by her classmates, and creates a fantasy talk show where she helps other kids solve their problems, but finds real life is different. The producers are Amas Musical Theatre in association with Terry Schnuck. The 45th Street Theatre is located 54 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The New York Theatre Workshop will stage Jessica Blank and April Yvette Thompson's Liberty City, a partly autobiographical tale of a family's struggle for survival in a poor multicultural city in Miami in the 1980s, performed by Thompson, directed by Blank, previewing from 15th February, opening on 4th March. New York Theatre Workshop is located at 79 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery.

The 2008 City Center Encores! series, presenting great but less often performed American musicals in concert, will comprise: Applause, book by Betty Comden, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, adapted from the film All About Eve, with Christine Ebersole, directed by Kathleen Marshall, from February 7th to 10th; Juno, book by Joseph Stein, music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein, adapted from Sean O'Casey's Juno And The Paycock, with Victoria Clark, directed by Garry Hynes, from March 27th to 30th; and No, No, Nanette, book by Otto Harbach, music by Vincent Youmans, lyrics by Irving Caesar, with Rosie O'Donnell and Beth Leavel, directed by Walter Bobbie, from May 8th to 12th.

Forthcoming productions at La MaMa E.T.C. include Michael Gorman's The Honor And Glory Of Whaling, telling the story of the legendary New England fishing captain Robby Foerster and his struggle with heroin addiction, with David Bennett, David Branch, Ruth Coughlin, J P Guimont, Al Joyce, Michael Kimball and Anita Menotti, directed by David Bennett and Michael Gorman, from December 28th, produced in association with The Forty Hour Club; and the Italian company Teatro Del Carretto, making its New York debut with a surreal adult adaptation of Pinocchio, and a contemporary reworking of Biancaneve (Snow White), in fusions of spoken word, movement, puppetry, masks, large and miniature objects, light and shadows, sound effects and music, with Giandomencio Cupaiuolo, Elsa Bossi, Elena Nene Barini, Nicolo Belliti, Carlo Gambaro, Giacomo Pecchia, Giacomo Vezzani, and Johnathan Bertolai, directed by Maria Grazia Cipriani, from January 10th. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 66 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

Clubbed Thumb will stage Jordan Harrison's Amazons And Their Men, with Gio Perez, Heidi Schreck, Brian Sgambati and Rebecca Wisocky, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, previewing from January 3rd at the Ohio Theater, opening on January 5th. A director who used to make films for a fascist government is starring in her own film about the Trojan War, but the actors start disappearing, and it becomes difficult to ignore the real war outside the sound stage. The Ohio Theater is located at 66 Wooster Street, between Spring and Broome Streets.

Jujamcyn Theaters has launched Givenik, a new way to combine the purchase Broadway and Off Broadway tickets with a donation to a charitable organization. The Givenik web site offers theatregoers the opportunity to both give and get, as 5% of the ticket price of all purchases goes directly to a not-for-profit organisation of the ticket buyer's choice, in addition to which, the site features special savings and added value offers for tickets. Over 150 charitable organisations both large and small are already taking part. Further information can be found on the Givenik web site via the link from Box Office in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that singer Usher may star in a new revised Broadway production of the Clifford Odets-William Gibson-Charles Strouse-Lee Adams musical Golden Boy, about a boxer who has an affair with his manager's mistress; and that the recent Primary Stages production of Horton Foote's Dividing The Estate, about a family that must confront its past as it prepares for its future, directed by Michael Wilson, is aiming for a Broadway transfer next November. The Rumour Machine grinds on.