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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th May 2007

David Mamet's latest comedy November, directed by Joe Mantello, will open on Broadway next January, at a theatre yet to be announced, produced by Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel. The action takes place over one day in the White House, as the incumbent President's re-election campaign crumbles, under the assault of pressure groups and revelations of financial improprieties.

The Radio Theatre presents King Kong, adapted and directed by Dan Bianchi, with the classic story of a giant ape brought from his jungle home to Depression Era New York, performed as a radio play, at the Red Room, from 24th May to 10th June. The cast comprises Patrick O'Connor, Karyn Plonsky, Tom Lacey, Mark Vance, Cash Tilton and Patrick Flynne. The Red Room is located at 85 East 4th Street, 3rd floor, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

Roundabout Theatre Company will present George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, starring Jefferson Mays, directed by David Grindley, previewing from September 14th at the American Airlines Theatre, with an official opening on October 11th. Now more famous as 'My Fair Lady without the songs', the period social comedy tells the story of the transformation of a flower seller into a lady by an eccentric phonetics professor. It will feature scenic and costume design by Jonathan Fensom, lighting design by Jason Taylor and sound design by Gregory Clarke.

Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell will reprise their performances when the Olivier Award winning Menier Chocolate Factory London production of Sunday In The Park With George, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, directed by Sam Buntrock, opens on Broadway at Studio 54, previewing from January 18th, ahead of an official opening on February 14th. The show is about the nature of art, telling the story of the creation of French Pointillist painter Georges Seurat's painting 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte' and of the characters it portrays. It will be presented by Roundabout Theatre Company, Boyett Ostar, the Menier Chocolate Factory, Neal Street Productions and Mark Rubinstein.

Meanwhile Roundabout, which in addition to operating the American Airlines Theatre and Studio 54 on Broadway, and the Laura Pels Theatre Off Broadway, is negotiating with the Durst Organization and Bank of America for a 20 year lease on the Henry Miller Theatre. This theatre is currently being reconstructed behind the original facade, as part of a new 54 story office development, and is due to open in the fall of 2008. Unlike its existing theatres, which host fixed run productions, Roundabout would use the Henry Miller for unlimited runs. The Henry Miller was the original home of Roundabout's Tony Award winning production of Cabaret, and its last tenant prior to reconstruction was the musical Urinetown.

The first Shortened Attention Span One Act Festival will present 20 short plays by 18 authors at The Players Theatre Loft, between June 14th and July 8th. Each piece will run no more than 20 minutes, and the plays will be staged in groups of 5, with each group showing for one week. Every week the audience favorite will receive a $100 prize. The producers are Carlo Rivieccio and Christy Benanti. The Players Theatre Loft is located at 115 MacDougal Street, between West 3rd Street and Minetta Lane. Further information on the plays and schedules can be found on the Players Theatre web site, via the link from Off Broadway Companies & Theatres in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Faith Prince and Harvey Fierstein will star in a new musical A Catered Affair, directed by John Doyle, based on Paddy Chayefsky's teleplay and the 1956 movie written by Gore Vidal, which will open on Broadway next spring, at a Jujamcyn theatre yet to be announced. The show, with book by Harvey Fierstein, and music and lyrics by John Bucchino, is set in the Bronx of 1953, as a couple decide whether to spend their life savings on a family business, or their only daughter's marriage with a lavish 'catered affair'. The show will play a pre Broadway season at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, this September. The producers are Jujamcyn Theaters, Harvey Entertainment/Ron Fierstein and Richie Jackson.

This year's free Stars In The Alley concert, featuring cast members from nearly every show playing on Broadway, will take place in Shubert Alley on Wednesday June 6th at 11am. The concert will also feature the presentation of the Star Award, which recognizes an individual in public or government service who has demonstrated significant support for Broadway. The event is produced by The League of American Theatres and Producers. Shubert Alley is located between 44th and 45th Streets, at the side of the Shubert and Booth Theatres. Audience members should enter on 44th Street. Further information can be found on The League web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The York Theatre Company has announced this year's Musicals In Mufti series, which offers rarely performed musicals in staged concert performances. It will comprise It's a Bird. . . It's a Plane. . . It's Superman, book by David Newman and Robert Benton, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Lee Adams, in which the Man of Steel faces a mad scientist and an evil newsman, while fighting for both the hand of Lois Lane and with his own personal demons, directed by Stuart Ross, from June 15th to 17th; the New York premiere of I And Albert, book by Jay Presson Allen, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, telling the love story between Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, directed by Michael Montel, from June 29th to July 1st; Bajour, book by Ernest Kinoy, music and lyrics by Walter Marks, based on Joseph Mitchell's New Yorker short stores, about an NYU anthropology student whose study of nomadic gypsies brings her in contact with a tribal leader, directed by Kent Gash, from July 13th to 15th; and The Day Before Spring, the first collaboration of book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, and music by Frederick Loewe, about a married woman who meets the man she almost eloped with ten years earlier and is tempted to leave her husband, directed by David Glenn Armstrong, from July 27th to 29th. The York Theatre Company's Theatre at St. Peters is on 54th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Primary Stages has announced the final production in its upcoming 23rd season, which will be the world premiere of Brooke Berman's Hunting And Gathering, about four interconnected New Yorkers who seek a home in a world of temporary sublets, couch surfing and unstable love, directed by Leigh Silverman. It joins the previously mentioned New York premieres of Michael Hollinger's Opus, directed by Terrence J Nolan; Horton Foote's Dividing The Estate, directed by Michael Wilson; and Willy Holtzman's Something You Did. Further information can be found on the Primary Stages web site, via the link from Off Broadway Companies & Theatres in the Links section of New York TheatreNet