News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th March 2009

Signature Theatre Company and Hartford Stage are to co-produce The Orphans' Home Cycle, a series of 9 plays by Horton Foote, some new, some previously produced, in 3 parts, directed by Michael Wilson, which will play at the Signature's Peter Norton Space from 29th October to 11th April, following their showing at Hartford Stage. The cycle tells the story of a man in a small Texas town as he learns to become a husband, father, and patriarch. Part I begins at the turn of the 20th century with the plays Roots In A Parched Ground, Convicts and Lily Dale, and follows the leading character in his formative years. Part II focuses on life with his new wife, and comprises The Widow Claire, Courtship and Valentine's Day. Part III begins with the turmoil of World War I and ends with the characters looking to the future of their family and land, in 1918, Cousins and The Death Of Papa. Signature Theatre is located at 555 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues

Mark Schultz's The Gingerbread House, a dark fairy tale of upward mobility and inverted priorities, in which a couple's pursuit of a better life destroys their family, with Bobby Cannavale, Jason Butler Harner, Jackie Hoffman, Sarah Paulson and Ben Rappaport, directed by Alex Kilgore, will preview from April 11th at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, opening on April 18th. The producer is stageFARM. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is located at 224 Waverly Place, between West 11th Street and Perry Street.

The Lotte Lehmann Foundation, the not for profit group that advocates the art song, and promotes the legacy of the late German singer, is auctioning autographed musical phrases by noted composers, including Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodney Bennett, Danny Elfman, John Corigliano, William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon and Ned Rorem, as a fundraiser. Each composer has provided a few measures of one of their compositions in their own handwriting. Interested parties can view and read about the items, and bid online, until the auction ends at midnight on May 12th. Further information can be found on the LLF web site, via the link form Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Leslie Jordan will perform his solo show My Trip Down The Pink Carpet, weaving together a collection of true life stories, from childhood agonies to Hollywood fame, directed by David Galligan, previewing from April 15th at the Westside Theatre, opening on April 20th. The producer is Robert Harris. The Westside Theatre is located at 407 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The third in the New York City Center Encores! Summer Stars series, presenting great American musicals in simply staged productions, will be The Wiz, book by William F Brown, music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, the reinvention of The Wizard Of Oz, adapted from the books of L Frank Baum, told from an African American perspective, directed by Thomas Kail, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, previewing from June 12th, playing from June 18th to July 3rd. New York City Center is located at West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.

MCC Theater will stage the premiere of the musical Coraline, music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt, book by David Greenspan, adapted from the novel by Neil Gaiman, about a lonely girl who steps into a perfected replica of her own world, but finds that dreams are dangerous when realised, with Jayne Houdyshell, Julian Fleishert, Francis Jue, January LaVoy, Elliot Villar, William Youmans and David Greenspan, directed by Leigh Silverman, previewing from May 7th, opening on June 1st. MCC Theater is resident at Lucille Lortel Theatre, located at 121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets.

The musical Catch Me If You Can, book by Terrence McNally, music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, adapted from the 2002 movie telling the true story of a con man Frank Abagnale Jr, and a federal agent who pursues him over many years, with Norbert Leo Butz, Aaron Tveit, Tom Wopat, Kerry Butler, Linda Hart, Rachel deBenedet and Nick Wyman, directed by Jack O'Brien, with choreography by Jerry Mitchell, will play a prospective pre Broadway season at 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, from July 23rd to August 14th.

Nicu's Spoon will stage Don Thompson's Tibet Does Not Exist, with Oliver Conant, Katie Labahn, Susannah McLeod, Sammy Mena, Scott David Nogi, Tim Romero, Sara Thigpen and Peter Quinones, directed by Pamela Butler, previewing from April 8th at the Spoon Theater, opening on April 11th. An exiled Tibetan Lama becomes the house guest of a Yale economics professor, and while taking him on a journey through the history of Tibet, provokes some painful revelations. The Spoon Theater is located at 38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Maieutic Theatre Works will stage the premiere of Jacqueline Goldfinger's The Oath, with Sarah Chaney, Anthony Crep, Louise Flory, Robin Madel, Dianna Martin and Maureen O'Boyle, directed by Cristina Alices, previewing from April 23rd at the Arclight Theatre, opening on April 25th. In this Southern Gothic tale, a wandering preacher is embroiled in the passions and politics of a swampy Florida outpost ruled with a macabre sense of justice by two rival sisters. The Arclight Theater is located at 152 West 71st Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue.

The Rumour Machine says: that David Mamet's latest play Race, will premiere on Broadway in December, produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler; and that Elena Roger will reprise her West End performance as Eva Peron in a 30th anniversary Broadway production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Evita next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.