News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th April 2009

The Vineyard Theatre and Playwrights Horizons have announced the joint production of a new musical, The Burnt Part Boys, book by Mariana Elder, music by Chris Miller, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, directed by Erica Schmidt, which will receive a 'lab production' at the Vineyard from 26th May, and a full production at Playwrights Horizons next spring. Set in West Virginia in 1962, it is the story of a group of teenagers whose fathers were killed 10 years earlier in a coal mining accident, who, when they learn that the mine will be reopened, are determined to keep it closed. The Vineyard Theatre is located at 108 East 15th Street, between 4th Avenue and Irving Place, and Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The New Group will stage Ian Bruce's Groundswell, with Larry Bryggman, David Lansbury and Souleymane Sy Savane, directed by Scott Elliott, previewing from May 4th at The Acorn at Theatre Row, opening on May 18th. It is the tale of two men who run a South African Guest Lodge trying to persuade a businessman to finance their ambition to of striking it rich in the local diamond industry. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Naomi Wallace's Things Of Dry Hours, with Delroy Lindo and Roslyn Ruff, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, will preview from May 22nd at New York Theatre Workshop, opening on June 8th. It is the story of an African American out of work Sunday school teacher and member of the Communist Party and his daughter, whose lives get turned upside down when they take in a mysterious white factory worker on the run. New York Theatre Workshop is located at 79 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery.

The Play Company and Ma-Yi Theater will stage the New York premiere of Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap, a comedy set in a West Texas suburb, where a Korean American family prepares for the return of the husband and father who left them 15 years earlier to go back to his native Korea, with James Saito, Michi Barall, Mia Katigbak, Peter Kim and Hoon Lee, directed by Trip Cullman, previewing from May 9th at The Wild Project, opening on May 17th. The Wild Project is located at 195 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A and B.

59E59 Theaters is to present Americas Off Broadway, a season featuring critically acclaimed regional productions, from May 8th to July 3rd. It will comprise: the Chester Theatre Company of Chester MA production of Morris Panych's The Dishwashers, examining the lives of a team of wage slaves in the basement scullery of an upscale eatery, with Tim Donoghue, Jay Stratton, John Shuman and Jeff Vatore, directed by Byam Stevens, from May 8th; The Kitchen Theatre Company of Ithaca NY production of Brian Dykstra's A Play On Words, with Dykstra and Mark Boyette, about two lifelong friends scheming up something big, directed by Margaret Perry, from May 13th; the Mix Blood Theatre Company of Minneapolis MN production of Carlyle Brown's Pure Confidence, a story set against a backdrop of fast horses, gritty racetracks and high stakes betting, directed by Marion McClinton, from May 22nd; the Project Y of Washington DC production of Karl Gajkdusek's FUBAR, in which a couple's world is ripped apart by a random act of violence, directed by Larissa Kokernot, from June 11th; and the Waterwell of New York NY production of #9, a music theatre piece diving into a world of digital immersion, where the virtual is more real than reality, directed by Tom Ridgely, from June 5th. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

Don't Leave It All To Your Children, a musical revue written and directed by Saul Ilson, celebrating the journey as baby boomers become seniors, with Barbara Minkus, Marcia Rodd, Steve Rossi and Ronnie Schell, musical staging by Rudy Tronto, will preview from May 6th at the Actors Temple Theatre, opening on May 20th. The Actors Temple Theatre is located at 339 West 47th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Girls Night: The Musical, by Louise Roche, featuring 1980s disco hits, about five friends in their 30s and 40s during a girls night out at a karaoke bar, with Sonya Carter, Renee Colvert, Laurie Gardner, Justine Hall and Carly Sakalove, directed by Jack Randle, will preview from June 2nd at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre at Sofia's, opening on June 4th. Downstairs Cabaret Theatre at Sofia's is located at 227 West 46th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. The producer is Entertainment Events.

Anna Deavere Smith's Let Me Down Easy, an exploration of the power of the body and the resilience of the human spirit, featuring first person accounts from a wide variety of sources, directed by Leonard Foglia, will preview from September 15th at Second Stage Theatre, opening in October. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, at 8th Avenue.

The Babel Theatre Project will stage the U. S. premiere of Chloe Moss's Christmas Is Miles Away, which examines whether three friends can grow up together, or if they will inevitably grow up alone, with Emily Landham, Roger Lirtsman and Alex Fast, directed by Geordie Broadwater, previewing from May 1st at the Connelly Theatre, opening on May 4th. The Connelly Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B.

For Lovers Only (Love Songs…Nothing But Love Songs), a new musical revue featuring nearly 100 love songs from pop to Puccini, with Glenn Allen, Monica L Patton, Dominique Plaisant, Trisha Rapier and Kevin Vortmann, directed and choreographed by Christopher Scott, will preview from April 24th at New World Stages, opening on May 11th. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.