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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 13th February 2012

Radio City Music Hall has confirmed that Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana, written and directed by Francois Girard, music by Nick Littlemore, with choreography by Elena Kolyadenko and Debra Brown, featuring cast of 75 international artists, will return for a second season from June 6th to September 2nd. In an abandoned theatre a magician who has lost his love, and with her his magic, begs the Gods for her return, and is plunged into a world inhabited by surreal creatures. The creative team, under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberte, includes creative direction by Line Tremblay, scenery and props by Stephane Roy, costumes by Alan Hranitelj, lighting by Alain Lortie, images by Raymond St-Jean and sound by Steven Dubuc.

The Public Theatre will stage No Place To Go, a humorous, irreverent and personal musical ode to the unemployed, written and performed Ethan Lipton, directed by Leigh Silverman, in Joe's Pub from March 14th. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street, between Astor Place and West 4th Street.

Red Bull Theater will stage Jean Genet's The Maids, a devious triangle of love, hatred and disgust involving two maids and one mistress, with Ana Reeder, Jeanine Serralles and J Smith-Cameron, directed by Jesse Berger, previewing from March 6th at the Theater at St Clement's, opening on March 15th. Theater at St Clement's is located at 423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Second Stage Theatre has announced the world premieres that will form its 9th Uptown Series at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre: Alena Smiths The Bad Guys, in which the reunion of childhood buddies unearths events from the past, from May 21st; and Kenneth Lin's Warrior Class, about a man who finds the ghosts of his college days come back to haunt him when he runs for Congress, directed by Evan Cabnet, from July 11th. The McGinn/Cazale Theatre is located 2162 Broadway, at 76th Street.

Theatre producers Tom Viertel, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel and Steven Baruch are to launch 54 Below, a nightclub and restaurant, located beneath Studio 54, which will feature cabaret by musical theatre performers. It will open in June with a two week engagement by Patti LuPone, who will be followed by Broadway regulars including Ben Vereen, Brian d'Arcy James, Megan Hilty, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Linda Lavin, Andrea Martin, Rebecca Luker, Julia Murney, Jackie Hoffman, Lea DeLaria, Eden Espinosa and Michael Arden. The 160 capacity venue will feature up to three shows nightly and will have audio and video recording capabilities. 54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

Co-Op Theatre East will stage Twelfth Night: Wall Street, which relocates William Shakespeare's play in the contemporary financial sector, with Dana Hunter, Haleigh Ciel, Amanda Renee Baker, Sam Williams, Charles Hinshaw, Mike Rehse, Tyrus Holden, Samantha Bruce, Kerrie Bond, Ramon Torres, Myles Rowland and Rose Kearns, directed by Casey Cleverly, at the Looking Glass Theatre from February 23rd. The Looking Glass Theatre is located at 422 West 57th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Signature Theatre Company has confirmed that the new work written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan will be called Medieval Play, and is set against the classic comic background of late 14th century ecclesiastical politics, previewing from May 15th at The End Stage Theatre at the new Pershing Square Signature Center, opening on June 7th. The Pershing Square Signature Center is located at 480 West 42nd Street, between Dyer and 10th Avenues.

HotForTheatre will stage I Heart Alice I, written and directed by Amy Conroy, an unflinching and personal love story of two exceptional, opinionated women, who have been in love for the best part of six decades, with Amy Conroy and Clare Barrett, previewing from February 29th at the Irish Arts Centre, opening on March 4th. The Irish Arts Centre is located at 553 West 51st Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues

Tragedians of the City will stage an all male production of William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, the story of love across two warring families, with Michael Piazza, John Early, Paul Corning, Sam Dash, Clayton Early, Paul Eddy, Chris Hale, Matt Hanson, Glenn Hergenhahn, Will Irons, Dan Jones, Vladimir Margolin, John-Michael Scapin, Scott Walker and Ben Weaver, directed by Anya Saffir, at the American Theatre of Actors from February 29th. The American Theatre of Actors is located at 314 West 54th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Michel Wallerstein's Flight, about a man's search for truth, love and his identity against the backdrop of his mother's deterioration, with Maddie Corman, Maria Tucci and Jonathan Walker, directed by Padraic Lillis, previewing from March 2nd at the DR2 Theatre, opening on March 7th. The producers are Alchemy Theatre Company in association with Playwrights' Playground NYC. The DR2 Theatre is located at 103 East 15th Street, between Union Square and Irving Place.

The Talking Band will stage Sidney Goldfarb's Hot Lunch Apostles, a mash up of sex and religion that follows a travelling troupe of carnival strippers who resort to performing Bible stories in order to survive in a climate of religious fervor and economic desperation in America, in an 'immersive performance', with Loudon Wainwright, Jack Wetherall, Will Badgett, Ellen Maddow, Tina Shepard, Nichi Douglas and Ed Rosenberg, directed by Paul Zimet, previewing from March 1st at the Ellen Stewart Theater, opening on March 8th. The Ellen Stewart Theatre is located at 74A East 4th Street between The Bowery and 2nd Avenue.

Heiress Productions will stage Thirds, by Jacob M Appel, adapted by Kevin Brewer, a comedy in which three sisters fall out about what to do when they jointly inherit their mother's house, with Laura Faith, Jenna Panther, Kelly Strandemo and Leigh Williams, directed by Zac Hoogendyk, previewing from March 1st at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on March 3rd. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.