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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th September 2009

Many shows have made the journey from Off Broadway to Broadway, but now for the first time, it's happening in reverse. The Tony Award winning musical Avenue Q, which has just closed at the John Golden Theatre (having originated Off Broadway, at the Vineyard Theatre) will re-open at New World Stages on October 9th. The show is a kind of adult Sesame Street, with a mixture of real and puppet performers, carrying the warning "full puppet nudity, not suitable for children". It has a book by Jeff Whitty, and music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and is directed by Jason Moore, with choreography by Ken Roberson. The show retains the same producers: Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, The Vineyard Theatre and The New Group. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Cabaret performer Michael Feinstein will star in a new show called All About Me, created with writer Peter Ackerman, backed by a small orchestra, opening at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced in February. It will be produced by Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel.

There will be a free screening of a remastered high definition edition of the movie The Wizard Of Oz, in Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, on September 29th. It will be preceded by a concert featuring songs from the movie score performed by Jennifer Hudson, Julianne Hough and Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson at 7.30pm. The nearest entrances to Rumsey Playfield are at 69th Street and 5th Avenue on the East Side or at 72nd Street and Central Park West on the West Side.

Lincoln Center Theatre will stage the world premiere of A R Gurney's The Grand Manner, about the actress Katharine Cornell and the heyday of the Broadway theatre in the late 1940s, directed by Mark Lamos, previewing from May 27th at the Mitzi E Newhouse Theater, opening on June 24th.

The 2009 Brits Off Broadway Festival, featuring new works from the UK, which will run at 59E59 Theatres from November 3rd to January 4th, will include: Matt Wilkinson's Red Sea Fish, about a retired thief who is attracted to a young runaway, directed by Frank McCabe, produced by Two Bins; the U.S. premiere of My Wonderful Day, written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, a child's take on the increasingly bizarre actions of the adults in the household in which she finds herself, with Ayesha Antoine, Terence Booth, Ruth Gibson, Paul Kemp, Petra Letang and Alexandra Mathie, produced by the Stephen Joseph Theatre Company; Wolves At The Window, Toby Davies's adaptation of the macabre and comic Edwardian stories of Saki, directed by Thomas Hescott, produced by Arcola Theatre; and Merrick, The Elephant Man, written by Mary Swan and Saul Jaffe, directed by Mary Swan, a one man performance by Saul Jaffe, combining burlesque, new circus and physical theatre to tell the story of Joseph Merrick, produced by Proteus Theatre Company; plus cabaret performances by Simon Green, and the satirical trio Fascinating Aida. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues. Further information can be found on the BOBF web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The children's musical comedy Dear Edwina, book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler, music by Zina Goldrich, directed by Timothy McDonald, will return to the DR2 Theatre, on December 11th, playing daytime performances. In the show within the show, the title character and her friends audition their musical, which offers advice on all kinds of daily problems, with the hope of taking part in a festival. The producer is Daryl Roth. The DR2 Theatre is located at 103 East 15th Street, between Union Square East and Irving Place.

Antoinette LaVecchia will perform her solo show, How To Be A Good Italian Daughter (In Spite of Myself), centering on the relationship between an immigrant Italian mother and her Americanised daughter, directed by Ted Sod, previewing from October 2nd at the Cherry Lane Studio Theatre, opening on October 9th. The Cherry Lane Studio Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, between Barrow and Bedford Streets.

The Pan Asian Repertory Theatre will stage Imelda: A New Musical, book by Sachi Oyama, music by Nathan Wang, lyrics by Aaron Coleman, a biomusical about the wife of the former dictator of the Philippines, with Jaygee Macapugay, Liz Casasola, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Brian Jose, Alan Ariano, Angelica-Lee Aspiras, Billy Bustamante, Leanne Cabrera, Sacha Iskra, Loresa Lanceta, Jonelle Margallo and Romney Piamonte, directed by Tim Dang, previewing from September 22nd at the Julia Miles Theatre, opening on September 30th. It is produced in association with East West Players. The Julia Miles Theatre is located at 424 West 55th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.