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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th July 2008

The musical Godspell, book by John-Michael Tebelak, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, an adaptation of St Matthew's gospel relating the events leading up to the crucifixion, with Gavin Creel, directed by Daniel Goldstein, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, will preview from September 29th at the Barrymore Theatre, with an official opening on October 23rd. The producer is Adam Epstein. The design team is expected to comprise scenery by David Korins, costumes by Miranda Hoffman, lighting by Ben Stanton and sound by Mike Farfalla.

FringeNYC, the 12th annual New York International Fringe Festival, running from August 8th to 24th, will present the work of over 200 theatre companies from around the world, in 20 venues, with shows ranging from traditional comedies and dramas to musicals, performance art, dance, spoken word and multimedia works. Highlights will include Peter Barr Nickowitz's The Alice Complex, in which a feminist icon is held captive in her home by a student, with Xanthe Elbrick and Lisa Banes, directed by Bill Oliver; Michael Laurence's one man show Krapp, 39, inspired by Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape; Michael Small's musical Kaboom!, a combination of hipster satire and traditional farce, directed by B T McNicholl; Jeffrey Lependorf's Tim Gunn's Podcast (a reality chamber opera), a behind the scenes look at 'reality' television, with John Schenkel, directed by Linda Lehr; Aaron Hodges and Christopher Loar exchanging roles nightly as two versions of the same person in Christopher Loar's Clone, directed by Rafael Gallegos; The Fabulous Kane Sisters In Box Office Poison, written and performed by Marc Geller and Bill Roulet, about two sisters who must solve a mystery to prevent their own murders; and the musical Revolution On The Roof, book by Aaron Latham, score by Dan Shay and Will Manning, supplemented by the songs of Joan Baez, about 1960s anti-war revolutionaries, directed by Sergio Alvarado. Further information can be found on the FringeNYC web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Four Chairs Theatre Company will stage Larry Kunofsky's What To Do When You Hate All Your Friends, with Todd D'Amour, Carrie Keranen, Josh Lefkowitz, Susan Louise O'Connor and Amy Staats, directed by Jacob Krueger, at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row from 19th July. It tells what happens when a man who hates friends is attracted to a woman at the center of a group that has perfected friendship through special rules and a rigid ranking system. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Diverse City Theater Company will stage Cassandra Medley's Noon Day Sun, with Gin Hammond, Ron Cephas Jones, Melanie Nicholls King, Michael McGlone, David Newer and Penelope Darcel, directed by Gregory Simmons, at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row from August 14th. A negro-identified woman who is passing for white crosses paths with her black husband from the past.

Big Sky Theatre Company will stage Tennessee Williams's Summer And Smoke, with Mary Sheridan, Michael Frederic, Samuel Adams, Jessica Angleskhan, Mia Bankston, Kevin Crouch, Prudence Wright Holmes, Hana Kalinski, Clyde Kelley, Jorge Montenegro, Stu Richel and Melodie Wolford, directed by Tlaloc Rivas, at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, from August 20th. Set in Mississippi in 1916, it is the tale of the daughter of a minister whose youthful passion is rekindled by the return of a neighbour's prodigal son.

The 2007/2008 season at Soho Rep will comprise Sarah Kane's Blasted, notorious for its scenes of brutality and violence, and bleak view of the future, with Marin Ireland, Reed Birney and Louis Cancelmi, directed by Sarah Benson, from October 2nd; the world premiere of Dan LeFranc's Sixty Miles To Silver Lake, which covers seven years in the relationship of a boy and his father, directed by Anne Kauffman, from November 25th, co-presented with Page 73 Productions; and The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma production of Rambo Solo, conceived and directed by Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska, about an actor's obsession with the film Rambo: First Blood, in March. Soho Rep is located at 46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

Pulse Ensemble Theatre will produce the 4th annual free open air Harlem Summer Shakespeare production in Riverbank State Park of Twelfth Night, set it in modern day New York City, with a multi-cultural company, directed by Alexa Kelly, playing Thursdays through Sundays from August 7th to 24th. The cast comprises Sean Fredericks, Annie Paul, Raushanah Simmons, R J Foster, Brian Richardson, Richard Vernon, Mark Hilgers, David McLellan, Loren Fenton, Nick Flemming, Camille Mazurek, Justin M Carter and Clarence Sailor. Riverbank State Park Amphitheatre is located at 145th Street and Riverside Drive, overlooking the Hudson River. Further information can be found on the PET web site, via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Strain Theatre Company will stage Morris Panych's 7 Stories, with Connor Paolo, Toni-Ann Gardiner, Alice Kremelberg, Thomas James Lombardo, Thomas Patel, Erica Terpening-Romeo and Rachel Troy, directed by Greg T Parente, at the Gene Frankel Theater, from 7th August. A man contemplating suicide at the top of a 7 storey apartment building hears the stories of its eccentric residents, and decides that they are more likely to jump than he is. The Gene Frankel Theater is located at 24 Bond Street, between Lafayette Street and The Bowery.

Manhattan TheatreSource and Dark Brew Productions will stage Keith Reddin's All The Rage, a modern day Jacobean revenge tragicomedy, painting a picture of a world spinning out of control, as everybody has a gun and is ready to use it, with Greg Stuhr, Anne Bobby, Steve Deighan, Benjamin Jaeger-Thomas, Rich Fromm, Medina Senghore, Laura Schwenninger, Ryan Michael Jones, Jeff Plunkett and Peter Reznikoff, directed by Daryl Boling, from 30th July. Manhattan TheatreSource is located at 177 MacDougal Street, between 8th Street and Waverly Place.

The Rumour Machine says: that producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig have acquired the rights to develop the 2005 film Kinky Boots, a comedy about a drag queen cabaret performer who helps revitalise a failing British shoe company by creating a line of fetish wear, into a musical; and that Tim Rice has written the script for a musical based on the life of 16th century Italian politician and philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli and is now searching for a composer to join the project. The Rumour Machine grinds on.