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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th July 2010

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the current London production of the musical Sister Act, adapted from the 1992 movie about a disco singer fleeing the mob, who is given protective custody in a convent, where she clashes with the Mother Superior, but revolutionises the choir, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, will transfer to Broadway in the spring. Jerry Zaks will replace the London director Peter Schneider, but the remainder of the creative team, choreographer Anthony van Laast, scenic designer Klara Zieglerova, costume designer Lez Brotherston, lighting designer Natasha Katz and sound designer Mick Potter, will be retained. The producers are Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment UK.

Playwrights Horizons has announced a further production in its 2010/2011 season. The premiere of Bathsheba Doran's Kin, about a Texan Ivy League poetry scholar, and an Irish personal trainer, whose disparate family and friends cross great distances, both psychologically and geographically, with Lily Rabe, directed by Sam Gold, will open next spring. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Soho Rep will stage the premiere of Gregory S Moss's Orange, Hat & Grace, a darkly comic exploration of language and ecology in a world that is falling apart, with Reyna de Courcy, Stephanie Roth Haberle and Matthew Maher, directed by Sarah Benson, from September 16th. Soho Rep is located at 46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

The 12th season in the Musicals Tonight! series, which presents concert stagings of neglected musicals, will comprise Cole Porter, Herbert Fields and B G DeSylva's Panama Hattie, about a saloon owner in the Canal Zone, who falls in love with a Philadelphia socialite, who will only marry her if she can win the affection of his young daughter from a former marriage, from October 12th to 23rd; Charles O'Neal, Abe Burrows and Ralph Blane's Three Wishes For Jamie, about an Irishman granted three wishes: to travel, to marry and to have a son, who finds the first two are easy, but the third is more difficult, from October 26th to November 6th; Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and George S Kaufman and Moss Hart's I'd Rather Be Right, in which a couple can't get married until he gets a raise, and his boss says not until Roosevelt balances the budget, and in a dream they meet him, from February 8th to 20th; the U.S. premiere of Ivor Novello and Jerome Kern, H M Harwood and George Grossmith Jr, and Adrian Ross and Clifford Grey's Theodore & Co, based on the French comedy by Paul Gavault, from March 15th to 27th; and Sigmund Romberg, Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields's Up In Central Park, telling the story of Old New York during the time of the Tweed Ring and Thomas Nast, from March 29th to April 10th. The producer is Mel Miller. Performances are at the McGinn/Cazale Theater, located on Broadway at 76th Street.

Inside Intelligence will stage Sylvia Plath's Three Women, in which 3 diverse women reveal what every woman knows about having a child, seeking a greater universal truth about the human condition, directed by Robert Shaw, from October 5th at 59E59 Theaters. Playing alongside will be New Umbrella's staging of Edward Anthony's Wish I Had A Sylvia Plath, in which the heroine of Plath's novel The Bell Jar, must mix, blend and whip her memories, fantasies and illusions into the most perfect poem of her life, performed by Elisabeth Gray, directed by Anthony Wilks. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

Punch And Judy: A Short History With The Original Dialogue, published by Dover Publications, chronicles of the life, times, and travels of the world's most famous puppet couple. This survey by John Payne Collier examines Punch and Judy's moral and cultural significance, as well as the people who played them behind the curtain. Scholarly yet entertaining, it includes 30 illustrations by Victorian artist George Cruikshank, Charles Dickens's illustrator of choice. This is a reprint of the Rimington and Hooper, New York, 1929 edition.

Ignited States Production Company will stage This Is Storybox, an interactive experience, with three stories, inspired by three different audience members, improvised by the actors, but with the audience member included as the protagonist of the story, featuring Carolyn McCandlish, Amanda Miller, Sarah-Doe Osborne and Julio Pena, directed by Shea Elmore, at Shelter Studios from July 29th. Shelter Studios is located at 244 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

Following a premiere at The LAB Theatre in Minneapolis, the musical Power Balladz, created by Mike Todaro and Dan Nycklemoe with Peter Rothstein, featuring hits of the 70s, 80s and 90s, with Dieter Bierbrauer, Scott Richard Foster and Mary Mossberg, directed by Todaro, will preview from August 5th at the Midtown Theatre, opening on August 19th. Midtown Theatre is located at 163 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Speranza Theatre Company will stage Nick Starr's The Awesome Dance, a dark comedy that follows four souls through multiple lifetimes, with Dileep Rao, Julie Cavaliere and Rachel Cornish, directed by Malinda Sorci, previewing from September 2nd at the Cherry Pit Theatre, opening on September 8th. The Cherry Pit Theatre is located at 155 Bank Street, between Washington and West Streets.

The Open Book will stage Marvin Kaye's double bill comprising Mister Jack, an interactive comedy inspired by the legend of Don Juan, and Don Juan's Final Night, adapted from the play by Edmond Rostand, with Gioia deCari, Stacey Jenson, Marvin Kaye, H Clark Kee, Michele Payne, Eric Rolland and Nancy Temple, opening at The Drilling Company Theatre on August 12th. The Drilling Company Theatre is located at 236 West 78th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

The Rumour Machine says: that the revised version of the musical It's A Bird...It's A Plane...It's Superman, book by David Newman and Robert Benton, revised by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, with Matt Cavenaugh, Patrick Cassidy and Zakiya Young, directed by Kevin Moriarty, currently playing at Dallas Theater Center, is looking for a Broadway transfer; and that Hugh Jackman may return to Broadway next year in Nora Ephron's Stories About McAlary, based on episodes from the life of the journalist Mike McAlary. The Rumour Machine grinds on.