News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th June 2014

Manhattan Theatre Club will stage Nick Payne's Constellations, a romantic comedy centring on the relationship between a bee keeper and cosmology academic, with Jake Gyllenhaal, directed by Michael Longhurst, previewing from December 16th at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre, with an official opening January 13th. It will be presented by arrangement with the Ambassador Theatre Group and Dodger Properties.

Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, set at a dinner party hosted by a successful Muslim-American lawyer, who is moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his cultural roots, where events get out of hand, with Hari Dhillon, Karen Pittman, Gretchen Mol and Josh Radnor, directed by Kimberly Senior, will preview from September 27th at the Lyceum Theatre, with an official opening on October 23rd. The design team comprises scenery by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Jennifer Von Mayrhauser, lighting by Ken Posner, and sound by Jill DuBoff. The producers are The Araca Group and Lincoln Center Theater.

The 16th annual Broadway Barks fundraising event, with artists from Broadway shows taking part, will be held in Shubert Alley on July 12th from 3pm to 6pm, produced by Broadway Care/Equity Fights AIDS. Co-hosted by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, the dog and cat adopt-a-thon benefits New York City animal shelters and adoption agencies, and includes celebrity presentations of pets from animal shelters throughout the city. Shubert Alley is located alongside the Shubert and Booth Theatres between 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

Broadway In Bryant Park, the free outdoor performances by company members from Broadway and Off Broadway musicals, returns for a 14th season from July 10th to August 16th, on Thursdays from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. Companies involved will include: Stomp, Rocky, Wicked, If/Then, Pippin, Chicago, Les Miserables, Atomic, iLuminate, The Phantom Of The Opera, Piece Of My Heart, Cinderella, Avenue Q, Bullets Over Broadway, Rock Of Ages, Once, Holler If Ya Hear Me, A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder, Jersey Boys, Heathers, 50 Shades! The Musical, Matilda, On The Town, Mamma Mia! and Motown The Musical. Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library on 6th Avenue, between 40th and 42nd Streets. Further information can be found on the BIBP web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The 39th annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival, Manhattan's oldest short play festival, will take place from August 4th to 10th, at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Plawrights Horozons. 30 plays have been selected from over 900 submissions to be performed over 5 nights. The final 6 will be performed on the last night, and then published by Samuel French. Over 500 companies and schools from the U.S. and abroad have participated in the festival through the years, and Samuel French has published over 190 of the submitted plays. Further information can be found on the Samuel French web site, via the link from The Emporium in the Links section of New York TheatreNet. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Peccadillo Theater Company will present the Penguin Rep production of Erasmus Finn's Drop Dead Perfect, an outlandish comedy that celebrates and satirizes 1950s television and Hollywood melodramas, with Everett Quinton, directed by Joe Brancato, previewing from July 15th at the Theatre at St Clements opening on July 20th. The Theatre at St Clements is located at 423 W 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The 2015 City Center Encores! series, presenting great but less often performed musicals in concert, will include Lady, Be Good, book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson, music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, in which a penniless brother and sister crash a garden party in hopes of some quick nourishment, performed with previously cut numbers restored, from February 4th to 8th; Paint Your Wagon, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe, about a gold miner and his daughter whose worlds are changed when she finds gold (and love) near their camp, from March 18th to 22nd; and Zorba!, book by Joseph Stein, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, adapted from Zorba The Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis, the story of a larger-than-life jack-of-all-trades who lives every day as if it will be his last, from May 6th to 10th. New York City Center is located 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The premiere of Catherine Filloux's Selma '65, a solo play performed by Marietta Hedges, exploring the stories of white civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo and FBI informant Tommy Rowe, who was among the Ku Klux Klan members who murdered Liuzzo in 1965, directed by Eleanor Holdridge, will open at La MaMa E.T.C. on September 26th. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East 4th Street, between Bowery and 2nd Avenue.

The Rumour Machine says: that the musical Honeymoon In Vegas, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, book by Andrew Bergman adapted from his screenplay of the 1992 movie, in which a reluctant groom and enthusiastic bride find their marriage plans disrupted by a Las Vegas wise guy, which premiered last season at the Paper Mill Playhouse, with Rob McClure, directed by Garry Griffin, with choreography by Denis Jones, may be heading to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in the fall; and that The Nutty Professor, a musical adaptation of the 1963 Jerry Lewis film about a nerdy academic who takes a potion that turns him into a Don Juan, book and lyrics by Rupert Holmes, music by Marvin Hamlisch, which premiered under Lewis' direction, in 2012 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, is aiming for Broadway in the late fall. The Rumour Machine grinds on.