News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 14th December 2009

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Matthew Lombardo's Looped, with Valerie Harper as ageing actress Tallulah Bankhead trying to dub a line of dialogue in her final movie, seen recently at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, directed by Rob Ruggiero, will transfer to the Lyceum Theatre, previewing from February 19th, with an official opening on March 14th. The design team comprises scenery by Adrian W Jones, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Ken Billington, and sound by Michael Hooker and Peter Fitzgerald. The producers are Tony Cacciotti, Chase Mishkin, David Steiner and Leonard Soloway.

Identity Productions will stage the premiere of Nicholas Linnehan's Erosion, with Teisha Bader, Jimmy Brooks Jr, Joane Cajuste, Frank Cruz, Marc A Graiser, Gillian Hurst, Diana K Lee, Max Rhyser, Daniela Thome and Matt Weaver, directed by Andrew Rothkin, previewing on January 13th at the Spoon Theater, opening on January 14th. It is the story of how an encounter at a group therapy session results in a parasitic relationship of drugs and dependency, which ultimately threatens destruction. The Spoon Theater is located at 38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

It has now been confirmed that the British Chichester Festival Theatre/Royal Court Theatre/Headlong Theatre production of Lucy Prebble's Enron, based on the scandal surrounding the fraudulent activities of the U.S. energy company, directed by Rupert Goold, will preview from April 8th at the Broadhurst Theatre, with an official opening April 27th. It will feature a new all American cast. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Anthony Ward, lighting by Mark Henderson, video and projection by Jon Driscoll, and sound by Adam Cork. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Matthew Byam Shaw, Act Productions, Caro Newling for Neal Street Productions and the Shubert Organization.

Strudel Productions will stage Howard Korder's Search And Destroy, the story of a small time producer, who resorts to drug dealing and deception to raise the finance to film a book written by a pseudo-religious, late night self help guru, directed by Nick Meo, opening at the Kraine Theater on January 14th. The cast comprises Kelly Miller, Errickson Wilcox, Tina Jensen, Geoff Lerer, Andrew Kaempfer, Bruce Barton, Stephanie Weyman, Logan Tracey, Ken Hailey, Gustavo Obregon, Kila Packett, Matt Swanston and John Reoli. The Kraine Theater is located at 85 East 4th Street, between The Bowery and 2nd Avenue.

The Broadway League has released its audience demographic analysis of the 2008/2009 season. The average age of the Broadway theatregoer was 42.2 years old, up from 41.5 the previous season, but those aged 25-34 accounted for 16% of all tickets sold, the highest for that age group since the 1999/2000 season. Unsurprisingly, theatregoers were an affluent group, with an average reported income of $195,700. 73% had earned a college degree, with 36% going on to earn a graduate degree.

Of the total of 12.15m tickets sold, international visitors accounted for 21%, while tourists from home and abroad accounted for 63%. Online was the most popular method of purchasing tickets, chosen by 40% of ticket buyers. The typical playgoer saw 8 shows, while the musical attendee saw 4. Those who saw 15 or more shows comprised 5% of the audience. Further information can be found of the Broadway League's web site, via the link from Organisations, in the Links section of New York TheatreNet

It has been announced that All About Me, featuring Michael Feinstein and Dame Edna Everage, written by Christopher Durang, directed by Jerry Zaks, previously scheduled for the Golden Theatre, will now play at Henry Miller's Theatre, previewing from February 19th, with an official opening on March 18th. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Robert G Bartner and the Ambassador Theater Group.

The Foundary Theatre will present David Greenspan performing a double bill comprising his play The Myopia, an 'epic burlesque of tragic proportions', featuring multiplicity of characters, and Gertrude Stein's 1934 lecture on theatre, Plays, previewing from January 6th at Atlantic Stage 2, opening on January 10th. Atlantic Stage 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The musical Wicked has become the first show in Broadway history to gross more than $2m at the box office in a single week of performances. The show took $2,086,135 with a total attendance of 14,472 during Thanksgiving week, ending November 29th.

Making It On Broadway, week long intensive courses where students explore the realities of what it means to be a modern Broadway professional, will run from December 27th to January 2nd, and January 4th to 9th. Currently scheduled to teach are Sutton Foster, Gavin Creel, Alice Ripley, Laura Benanti, Ana Gasteyer, Kate Baldwin, Robin De Jesus, Erin Dilly and Dave Clemmons. The sessions will take place at 353 Studios, 353 West 48th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. Further information can be found on the MIOB web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet

On The Casting Couch: Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams and Leslie Kritzer, will be joined by Tom Wopat, Norm Lewis, Euan Morton and Matthew Scott in Sondheim On Sondheim, opening at Studio 54 on April 22nd.

A Steady Rain has become the all time top fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, with a total of $1,549,952 during the recently completed annual 6 week fundraising drive. A record breaking total of $4,630,695 was raised by the 60 participating Broadway, Off-Broadway and National Touring Shows in its 21st year, surpassing the previous high of $3,927,000 set in 2007. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised more than $170m for services for people with AIDS and other serious illnesses. The organization also awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family services organizations across the United States.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Broadway production of 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, directed by Daniel Goldstein, produced by Adam Epstein, postponed because of investment problems last fall, has now been rescheduled in the 2010/2011 season. The Rumour Machine grinds on.