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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 15th December 2008

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the MCC Theater production of Neil LaBute's Reasons To Be Pretty, a comic drama about how a guy's social circle is thrown into turmoil when his remark about a female co-worker's pretty face (and his girlfriend's lack thereof) get back to the girlfriend, which premiered at the Lucille Lortel Theatre earlier this year, directed by Terry Kinney, with fight direction by Manny Siverio, is Broadway bound, and will preview from March 6th at the Lyceum Theatre, with an official opening on April 2nd. The original cast featured Piper Perabo, Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski and Pablo Schreiber, who are expected to make the transfer, but have yet to be confirmed. The original design team comprised scenery by David Gallo, costumes by Sarah J Holden, lighting by David Weiner, music and sound by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen. The show will be Labute's Boradway debut. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler.

Roundtable Ensemble will stage Linda Escalera Baggs's Silent Heroes, with Dionne Audain, Julie Jesneck, Kelly Ann Moore, Sarah Saunders, Lisa Velton Smith and Rosalie Tenseth, directed by Rosemary Andress, previewing from January 8th at Theatre 54 at Shetler Studios, opening on January 11th. Shortly after the end of the Vietnam War, the wives of six Marine Corps pilots await news after fighter has crashed, knowing only that one of their husbands is not coming home. Shelter Studios is located at 244 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

Andrea James's Yanagai! Yanagai!, a combination of story, music, puppetry and magic realism, based on the culture of Australia's native Yorta Yorta people, with Harold Dean James, Cezar Williams, Joy Kelly, Tyree Giroux, Rashidah Bernay Fowler, Janet Miranda and Matt Langer, directed by Harold Dean James and Karen Oughtred, will receive its American premire at La MaMa E.T.C. on January 8th. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players will stage I've Got A Little Twist: A New G & S Musical Revue, with Colm Fitzmaurice, Michele McConnell, Stephen Quint, Angela Smith, David Wannen and David Auxier, who also compiled and directs, at the Triad Theatre from 8th January. The Triad Theatre is located at 158 West 72nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

Southern Gothic Novel: The Aberdeen Mississippi Sex-Slave Incident, a one man soap opera style comedy, written and performed by Frank Blocker, directed by Cheryl King, will preview from January 7th at Stage Left Studio Theatre, opening on January 21st. Stage Left Studio Theatre is located at 438 West 37th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Trick Saddle will stage Wickets, a radical adaptation of Maria Irene Fornes's Fefu And Her Friends, by Jenny Rogers, with Katie Apicella, Lee Eddy, Jessica Jolly, Christianna Nelson, Maria Parra, Kristen Rozanski, Lucas Steele, Jona Tuck and Elizabeth Wakehouse, directed by Clove Galilee and Jenny Rogers, previewing from January 3rd at 3LD Art & Technology Center, opening on January 8th. Set inside an airplane on a transatlantic flight, the entire theater becomes the stage with action taking place in and around the audience. Immersed in a mystery, eight 1970s stewardesses find themselves split between the private self and the public persona, exploring the progress in 30 years of feminism. 3LD Art & Technology Center is located at 80 Greenwich Street at Rector Street.

The Lodger, adapted by Maire Martello from Marie Belloc Lowndes's novel about the unsolved Jack the Ripper murders in East London at the turn of the 20th century, with Kristen Lowman, George Innes, Amanda Jones and John Martello, directed by Antony Marsellis, will play at the Workshop Theatre from January 8th. The Workshop Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Black Door Theatre Company and Horse Trade Theatre Group will stage Mike Leigh's Ecstasy, about four blue collar friends in London in 1979, and their struggles to escape the confines of their lives and the people in them, with Lore Davis, Stephen Heskett, Gina Lemoine, Josh Marcantel, Brandon McCluskey and Mary Monahan, directed by Sara Laudonia, previewing from January 5th at The Red Room, opening on January 9th. The Red Room is located at 85 East 4th Street,

3rd floor, between The Bowery and 2nd Avenue.

The Living Theatre will stage Jack Gelber's play with music The Connection, jazz score by Freddie Redd, with Rene Maclean, Gary Brackett, Eric Olson, John Kohan, Eno Edet, Anthony Sisco, Brad Burgess, Jeff Nash, David Copley, Albert Lamont, Enoch Wu and Judith Malina, who also directs, previewing from December 30th, opening on January 8th. The groundbreaking 1950s play portrays a group of junkies and jazz musicians, waiting in a loft for a dealer to bring them a fix, while they are being filmed for a movie about their lives. The Living Theatre is located at 19 Clinton Street, between East Houston and Stanton Streets.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Sydney, Australia production of Eugene Ionesco's Exit The King, which charts the gradual death of a monarch who has reigned past his allotted time, with original star Geoffrey Rush joined by Susan Sarandon, directed by Neil Armfield, will transfer to Broadway, probably playing at the Barrymore Theatre, next spring; that Evan Rachel Wood, possibly alongside Jim Sturgess, will feature in Spider-Man The Musical, with a score by U2's Bono and the Edge, directed by Julie Taymor, which is expected to open at the Hilton Theatre next fall; and that the current London production of Alan Ayckbourn's trilogy, The Norman Conquests, in which the story of a group of characters over a weekend is played out simultaneously in three different areas of a house, with Table Manners in the dining room, Living Together in the living room and Round And Round The Garden in the garden, directed by Matthew Warchus, will play at the Circle in the Square Theatre next fall. The Rumour Machine grinds on.