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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 12th October 2009

It has finally been confirmed that Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera, book by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, with Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess in the leading roles, directed by Jack O'Brien, with choreography by Jerry Mitchell, will open at the Adelphi Theatre in London on 9th March, with the New York premiere following on 11th November. It is set 10 years after the original show, in Coney Island in New York, where the Phantom is running a sideshow, at which Christine comes to perform, bringing her 10 year old son.

Cirque du Soleil will stage a new theatrical production, Banana Shpeel, written and directed by David Shiner, previewing from February 4th at the Beacon Theatre, opening on 11th February. The show will comprise a mix of styles that blends comedy with tap, hip hop, eccentric dance and slapstick, linked by a narrative that ignites a succession of wacky adventures. It is a co-production with MSG Entertainment. The Beacon Theatre is located at 2124 Broadway, between West 74th and 75th Streets.

On The Casting Couch: Kristen Johnston will be joined by Anna Chlumsky in So Help Me God!, opening at the Lucille Lortel Theater on December 2nd; and Victor Garber will be joined by Harriet Harris, Brooks Ashmanskas, Lisa Banes, Nancy E Carroll, Alice Duffy, Holley Fain, Pamela Jane Gray, James Joseph O'Neil, Richard Poe and Marc Vietor in Noel Coward's Present Laughter, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on January 21st.

The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame have been announced. They are actors Jim Dale, John McMartin and Lynn Redgrave, producers Roger Berlind and Theodore Mann, and composers Stephen Schwartz and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with playwright and actor and Charles Ludlum inducted posthumously. The 39th annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on 25th January. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre.

Encore Entertainment Productions will stage Owen Davis's The Haunted House, a comedy thriller in which a couple's honeymoon at a summer cottage is interrupted by the discovery of a dead body, with Bernie Cacchione, Douglas B Giorgis, Judy Jerome, Patrick Oliver Jones, Sean Macbride Murray, Trip Plymale, Warren Schultz, Jackie Sokol, Dawn Timm and T D White, directed by Tom Holmes, at The Crowne Theatre in the Producer's Club from October 25th. The Producer's Club is located at 358 West 44th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Robin Williams's one man show, Weapons Of Self-Destruction, which was scheduled to be seen on Broadway earlier this year, but was cancelled because of the actor-writer-comedian's health scare, will now play at the Town Hall from November 23rd to 25th, November 30th and December 1st to 3rd. The Town Hall is located at 123 West 43rd Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway.

The Accidental Repertory Theater's first production will be Brecht On Brecht, a compilation of the plays, poems, songs and letters of the German writer Bertolt Brecht, adapted and translated by George Tabori, with Virginia Armitage, Judy Krause, Audrey Lavine, Jerry Marsini, Anne Pasquale, Robert Rowe and Louis Vuolo, directed by John Strasberg, previewing from October 29th, opening on November 1st. The Accidental Repertory Theater is located at 555 8th Avenue, Suite 403, between 37th and 38th Streets.

Madisson Street Productions in association with Boo-Arts Productions will stage James L Larocca's Penang, about two disillusioned young soldiers who meet while on leave during the Vietnam War, directed by Donya K Washington, previewing from November 5th at The Workshop Mainstage Theater, opening on November 7th. The company comprises Ray Chao, Jacqueline Gregg, Yoriko Haraguchi, Rushi Kota, Chris LaPanta, Scott Raker, Peter Sabri, Jeffrey Evan Thomas and Kurt Uy. The Workshop Mainstage Theater is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Jim Brochu will perform his one man play Zero Hour, in which a reporter attempts to interview the famously volatile Zero Mostel, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage, and backstage lore, directed by Piper Laurie, playing at the Theatre at St Clement's from November 14th. The producers are Kurt Peterson and Edmund Gaynes in association with The Peccadillo Theater Company. The Theatre at St Clement's is located at 423 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

InViolet Repertory Theater will stage the premiere of Melanie Angelina Maras's Kiss Me On The Mouth, a comedy about two best friends looking for different kinds of 'Mr Right' who find that reality conflicts with aspiration, with Ken Matthews, Aubyn Philabaum, Megan Hart and Troy Lococo, directed by Stephen Adly Guirgis, previewing from November 3rd at Center Stage, opening on November 5th. Center Stage is located at 48 West 21st Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.