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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th January 2013

The recent Encores! Special Event Cotton Club Parade, a musical revue celebrating Duke Ellington's years at the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1920s and '30s, conceived by Jack Viertel, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with singers, dancers, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars, under the direction of Wynton Marsalis, which recently played at City Center, will be remounted on Broadway at a theatre yet to be announced in the fall. The producers are Alan D Marks, Barbara Marks, Wade Turnbull, Steve Hendel, Ruth Hendel and Tom Kirdahy.

Bette Midler will perform John Logan's new one person play I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, as the legendary, larger than life, tough and witty Hollywood 'superagent', directed by Joe Mantello, which will open at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced on April 24th. The producers are Graydon Carter, Arielle Tepper Madover, James L Nederlander and The Shubert Organization.

Primary Stages' 2013/2014 season at 59E59 Theaters will include Chad Beguelin's Harbour, in which a ne'er do well mother and her daughter arrive unannounced and unwelcome at the plush Sag Harbour home of her brother, directed by Mark Lamos, opening in July; and a new as yet untitled play by Charles Busch, about female impersonator who, when his elderly landlady dies in her sleep, takes on her identity in order to hang on to her valuable Greenwich Village townhouse, with Busch and Julie Halston, directed by Carl Andress, in March. In addition Eric Simonson's play telling the story of New York Yankees' Yogi Berra, provisionally titled The Yankees, conceived and directed by Fran Kirmser, will premiere at a theatre yet to be announced in October. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

Fiona Shaw will perform the premiere stage adaptation of Colm Toibin's novella The Testament Of Mary, in which, following the crucifixion, the mother of Jesus, questions her son's death, his divinity and the followers who called him the son of God, directed by Deborah Warner, previewing from March 26th at the Walter Kerr Theatre, opening on April 22nd. The design team will comprise scenery by Tom Pye and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton. The producer is Scott Rudin.

The Kindling Theater Company's inaugural production will be the premiere of Michael Rabe's The Future Is Not What It Was, a dark comedy set in a world where society's moral compasses have been broken, the church has lost its currency, and no one seems to have any answers, with Katie Blake, Maryam Hassouni, Maya Kazan, Eddie Liu, Rhett Owen and Michael Rabe, directed by Jay Stull, previewing from January 12th at Walkerspace, opening on January 21st. Walkerspace is located at 46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

The Irish Repertory Theatre will stage the musical Donnybrook!, book by Robert E McEnroe, music and lyrics by Johnny Burke, drawing from the movie The Quiet Man, about the code of masculinity in Ireland, with James Barbour, Jenny Powers, Ted Koch, Samuel Cohen, Patrick Cummings, Terry Donnelly, Kathy Fitzgerald, Mary Mallen, Barbara Marineau, Kern McFadden, Kevin McGuire and David Sitler, directed by Charlotte Moore, with choreography by Barry McNabb, previewing from February 7th, opening on February 17th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Tom Hanks will be joined by Maura Tierney and Courtney B Vance in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy, opening at the Broadhurst Theatre on April 1st; and Bobby Cannavale, Marin Ireland, Chip Zien, Adam Rapp, Richard Kind, Brenda Wehle and Reg Rogers will head the cast of Clifford Odets's The Big Knife, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on April 16th.

Ike Holter's Hit The Wall, a play with music by Dan Liopton, the story of the birth of the gay rights movement outside New York City's Stonewall Inn on June 27th 1969, with Rania Salem Manganaro, Arturo Soria, Nick Bailey, Jessica Dickey, Ben Diskant, Nathan Lee Graham, Matthew Greer, Gregory Haney, Sean Allan Krill, Ray Rizzo, Carolyn Michelle Smith and Indigo Street, directed by Eric Hoff, will preview from February 19th the Barrow Street Theatre, opening on March 10th. The producers are Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian, Tom Wirtshafter, Patrick Daly, Burnt Umber, Roger E. Kass, Starry Night Entertainment, BarLor Productions, Christian Chadd Taylor, Marc and Lisa Biales. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street, between 7th Avenue and West 4th Street.

The Caravan Theatre Company will stage The One Hundred Year Flood, written and directed by Peter B Hodges, a comic drama about art, romance and real estate, as five women battle for control of a downtown theatre in a comic drama about art, romance and real estate, with Ama Birch, Margaret Catov, Yvonne Cole, Rachel Marcus and Kristen Olds, playing at the Gene Frankel Theatre from January 30th. The Gene Frankel Theatre is located at 24 Bond Street, between Lafayette Street and Bowery.

The Rumour Machine says: that the stage adaptation of the Disney film Aladdin, with a new book by Chad Beguelin and an expanded score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, which had a tryout season at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre in the summer of 2011, will follow Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theatre; and that last year's London production of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, in which a vaudeville double act that broke up in acrimony is reunited for a television special, with Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths, directed by Thea Sharrock, is now aiming for Broadway in the 2013/2014 season, courtesy of producers Sonia Friedman Productions and Richard Willis. The Rumour Machine grinds on.