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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th October 2007

The Ensemble Studio Theatre, in partnership with the Alfred P Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project, will stage the U.S. premiere of Damien Atkins's Lucy, with Lisa Emery, Lucy DeVito, Christopher Duva, Keira Naughton and Scott Sowers, directed by William Carden, previewing from October 24th, opening on October 29th. It is the story of a woman whose life is turned upside down when she is forced to care for her estranged teenage daughter who is autistic. Ensemble Studio Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Comedian Jackie Mason will play what is claimed will be his final new solo show on the New York stage, Jackie Mason - The Ultimate Jew, tackling 'election year issues' at New World Stages from March 18th to May 25th. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Actors Company Theatre will stage Milan Stitt's The Runner Stumbles, with Mark L Montgomery, Ashley West, Cynthia Darlow, Chris Hietikko, James Murtaugh, Julie Jesneck, Jamie Bennett, Christopher Halladay and Christina Bennett Lind, directed by Scott Alan Evans, previewing from October 28th at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on November 4th. It is based on the true story of a young Catholic nun, who went missing from a convent-school in 1906, and whose bones were found buried in the rectory of the church a decade later, leading to the revelation of a church cover up, and finally a conviction for her murder. Theatre Row, is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Theatre Museum Awards presentation, hosted by Jim Dale, will be held October 29th at the National Arts Club, in an evening that will include performances by Broadway artists. The awards honour individuals and organisations that have made contributions to theatre education and theatre history preservation. This year's ceremony will honour actress Ellen Burstyn, co-president of The Actors Studio and the first woman president of Actors' Equity with the Lifetime Achievement Award, New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley with the Theatre History Preservation Award, dancer, actor, choreographer and educator Carmen de Lavallade with the Theatre Arts Education-Individual Award, and Arts Horizons with the Theatre Arts Education-Organization Award for their work in the public schools. Paul Sorvino, James Naughton, Theatre Museum President Helen Guditis and Pia Lindstrom will make the presentations. Further information can be found on the Museum's web site, via Organisations & Information in the Links section of New York TheatreNet. The National Arts Club is located at 15 Gramercy Park South (20th Street) between Park Avenue and Irving Place.

Retro Productions has announced the first season in its residency at the Spoon Theater. A R Gurney's What I Did Last Summer, a coming of age story set on the home front during the last days of World War II, with Lauren Coppola, Heather E Cunningham, Lauren Kelston, Ted Romero, Ben Schnickel and Aubrie N Therrien, directed by Ric Sechrest, will open on November 7th; and Sally Nemeth's Mill Fire, about how, after an explosion at the local mill which takes the lives of several of the town's men, one of the widows, refuses to grieve in the conventional, quiet mode thought proper for 1978, opening on 7th May. The Spoon Theater is located at 38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenue.

Alexander Dinelaris's The Chaos Theories, with Alison Fraser, Richard Bekins, Ted Koch, Todd Gearhart, Maryann Towne, Darcie Siciliano, Amanda Montavani and Max Darwin, directed by Stewart M Schulman and Dinelaris, will play at McGinn/Cazale Theater from November 1st. The play is set in a downtown New York City eatery, where 21 diverse characters collide in encounters that range from humorous to shocking and tragic. The producers are Shotgun Productions and The Resistance Theatre Company. The McGinn/Cazale Theater is located at 2162 Broadway, at 76th Street.

Kathryn Chetkovich's Acts Of Love, with Andrew Dawson, Andrew Rein, Abby Royle and Diane Tyler, directed by Marc Geller, will preview from November 1st at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on November 6th. When a guy brings his new girlfriend home to meet his parents, secrets of a 25 year marriage are revealed. The producer is Dangerous Arrangement, Inc.

Chuckleball: Jailhouse Jocks, a sports comedy and parody musical revue, with Katey Daniel, Noah DeBiase, Mike Mitchell Jr and Justin Senense, written and directed by Jason Goldstein (who also produces) and Ian Nemser, will preview from October 24th in the Studio Theatre at the Snapple Theater Center, opening on October 26th. The 'sporting Forbidden Broadway' previously played at The Producer's Club Theatre in 2004, and has been seen in other versions across the country since then. The Snapple Theater Center is located at 210 West 50th Street, at Broadway.