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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th January 2012

It's Official! As previously forecast here, a gospel-infused musical comedy Leap Of Faith, book by Janus Cercone and Warren Leight, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, based on the 1992 film about a fraudulent faith healer, with Raul Esparza, Jessica Phillips and Kendra Kassebaum, directed by Christopher Ashley, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, will preview from April 3rd at the St James Theatre. The producers are Michael Manheim, James D Stern, Douglas L Meyer, Tom Viertel, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Steven Baruch, Jujamcyn Theaters, Annette Niemtzow/S Silva Daryl Roth/Robert G Bartner, Debi Coleman, Dancap Productions and Center Theatre Group.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, William Shatner will play a 3 week season of his one man show Shatner's World: We Just Live In It, taking audiences on a voyage through his life and career, from Shakespearean stage actor to internationally known icon and raconteur, previewing from February 14th at the Music Box Theatre, with an official opening on February 16th, starting a national tour. The producers are Innovation Arts & Entertainment, Larry A Thompson Organization, Adam Troy Epstein, Larry A Thompson, Seth Keyes, and Josh Sherman.

Alvin Puentevella and The American Theatre of Actors will stage the original 4 hour version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, about a young prince's compulsion to exact revenge on his uncle for the murder of his father and the assumption of the throne, performed in full Renaissance costume, with Thomas Leverton, Jessica Jennings, W Griffith Barker, Vincent Bivona, Jane Culley, Sergio Diaz, Garrett Dill, Armand Eisen, William Greville, John Paul Harkins, Alan Hasnas, Vincent Iannuzzi, Jason Morris and Harrison Valerio, directed by James Jennings, at ATA's Chernuchin Theatre from January 25th. The Chernuchin Theatre is located at 314 West 54th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Signature Theatre will stage Edward Albee's The Lady From Dubuque, with Jane Alexander, Catherine Curtin, Michael Hayden, Peter Francis James, Tricia Paoluccio, Laila Robins, Thomas Jay Ryan and C J Wilson, directed by David Esbjornson, previewing from February 14th as the inaugural production in The End Stage Theatre, opening on March 5th. A surreal Pirandellian style play, it is about the arrival of a mysterious woman at the house of a younger woman with a terminal illness (or is it?). The new Signature Center is located at 480 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Mentalist Marc Salem will perform Mind Over Manhattan, featuring 'a series of mesmerizing and mystifying mind games', at the Concert Hall in the New York Society for Ethical Culture, from February 18th. The producers are Metropolitan Talent and WestBeth Entertainment. The New York Society for Ethical Culture is located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West.

WorkShop Theatre Company will stage Eddie Antar's The Navigator, in which a man fallen on hard times finds that his car's navigation system starts giving him the answers to all his problems, with Kelly Anne Burns, Nicole Taylor, Joseph Franchini and Michael Gnat, directed by Leslie Kincaid Burby, previewing from February 9th, opening on February 11th. WorkShop Theatre Company is located at 312 West 36th Street, 4th floor, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Literally Alive's musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, by Michael Sgouros and Brenda Bell, will play weekend daytime performances at The Players Theatre from February 12th. Each performance will be preceded by an arts workshop, where children can experience activities that demonstrate how the arts make stories come alive, as well as create fun arts and crafts. The Players Theatre is located at 115 MacDougal Street, at Minetta Lane.

Dog Park, a comedy about an Upper West Side dog park that is being closed due to an evil real estate tycoon's commercialization project, written and directed by Maura Kelley, with Willy Alvarez, Walter Cline, Kali Katzman, Zander Meisner, Kim St Clair, Cem Uyanik, Nathan Winklestein, Ken Bolander, Channing Brauer and Adam Le Bow, will open at The Drilling Company Theatre on January 25th. The producer is TheaterSmarts. The Drilling Company Theatre is located at 236 West 78th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

Canal Park Playhouse will stage the premiere of D B Gilles's Inadmissible, a dark comedy about the Machiavellian realties of the college admission process, with Charise Greene, Richard Hoehler and Kathryn Kates, directed by Sherri Eden Barber, previewing from January 25th, opening on February 1st. Canal Park Playhouse is located at 508 Canal Street, between Washington and Greenwich Streets.

The Working Theater will stage Rob Ackerman's Call Me Waldo, a comic and insightful look at the workplace, when an ordinary electrician begins channelling the spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with Matthew Boston, Brian Dykstra, Rita Rehn and Jennnifer Dorr White, directed by Margarett Perry, previewing from February 14th at the June Havoc Theatre, opening on February 22nd. The June Havoc Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that the award winning 2010 Regents Park Open Air Theatre London production of the James Lapine-Stephen Sondheim musical Into The Woods, in which characters from a number of fairytales don't live happily ever after, directed by Timothy Shreader and Liam Steel, may be remounted by Shakespeare In The Park at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park this summer; that that the stage adaptation of the 1957 Rodgers and Hammerstein television musical Cinderella, with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane, aiming for Broadway next Christmas, will be directed by Mark Brokaw, courtesy of Robyn Goodman and Aged in Wood Productions; and that the Classic Stage Company will stage the musical Passion, book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, adapted from a Victorian novella set in an Italian military town, where a woman's obsessive love threatens a soldier and his married mistress, directed by John Doyle, in February 2013. The Rumour Machine grinds on.