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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th July 2007

The Culture Project will present the New York premiere of Tings Dey Happen, a one man show written and performed by Dan Hoyle, relating his experiences in Nigeria while a Fulbright scholar studying oil politics, directed by Charlie Varon, previewing from July 26th, opening on August 7th. The Culture Project is located at 55 Mercer Street, between Broome and Grand Streets.

The Cherry Lane Theatre has announced its 2007/2008 season. It will include Katori Hall's Hoodoo Love, a southern tale of love, magic, jealousy and secrets, directed by Lucie Tiberghien, opening on October 29th; and a double bill of Edward Albee's absudist family comedies The American Dream and The Sandbox, playing from March 4th. The season will also include the Mentor Project, where three nationally renowned dramatists mentor three new playwrights for the entire season, with Jules Feiffer, Charles Fuller and Michael Weller as mentors. Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, off 7th Avenue, below Bleecker Street.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, South Pacific, the musical about the clash of cultures between American service personnel and the locals on a Pacific island during World War II, directed by Bartlett Sher, will play at the Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre from 28th February. The show has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, and book by Oscar Hammerstein and Joshua Logan, based on Tales of the South Pacific by James A Michener.

Walmartopia: The Musical!, book by Catherine Capellaro, music and lyrics by Andrew Rohn, directed by Daniel Goldstein, with choreography by Wendy Seyb, first seen at the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival, will preview from August 21st at the Minetta Lane Theatre, opening September 3rd. The musical political satire of big business and eternal smiley faces, projects a disgruntled Wal-Mart employee to 2036 where the company dominates the entire world. The producers are Leading Light, LLC and Outside the Big Box Productions. The Minetta Lane Theatre is located at 18 Minetta Lane, between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street.

The 2007/2008 season at the New Victory Theater will once again feature acclaimed shows from around the world, including the National Theatre of Scotland/Improbable Theatre production of The Wolves In The Walls, a 'musical pandemonium' based on the book by Neil Gairman and Dave McKean, directed by Vicky Featherstone and Julian Crouch, with choreography by Steven Hoggett; Mayhem Poets, featuring three New Jersey slam poets who mix hip-hop and humor; John Lithgow performing songs from his latest children's album 'The Sunny Side Of The Street'; the French Canadian new circus company 7 Fingers in Traces, fusing basketball, skateboarding, music, dance and comedy; the UK's Kneehigh Theatre Company production of Annie Siddons's Rapunzel, retelling the Grimms's fairy tale about the girl with the long blond hair in a new way, using puppetry, live music and animation, directed by Emma Rice; and the Israeli Nephesh Theatre production of Yossi Vassa and Shai Ben Attar's One Of A Kind, based on the real life journey to Israel by a family of Ethiopian Jews.

On The Casting Couch: Xiomara Laugart will play the title role in Celia, the biomusical about Celia Cruz, opening at New World Stages on September 12th; F Murray Abraham, Dylan Baker and Katie Finneran will join Bobby Cannavale and Alison Pill in Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius, opening at the Biltmore Theatre on October 4th; Claire Danes will make her Broadway debut alongside Jefferson Mays in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on October 18th; and Lynn Redgrave, will star in MCC Theater Company's production of Mick Gordon and A C Grayling's Grace, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre from January 23rd.

Fresco Productions will present the musical Reconstructing Mama, music and lyrics by N David Williams, book and lyrics by Stephen Svoboda, who also directs, with choreography by Randall Pollard, featuring Jonathan White, Ariana Shore, Lauren Connolly, Danny Marr and Chris Teutsch, previewing from 9th August at the Kirk Theater on Theatre Row, opening on 12th August. Set in Westchester County over the course of one night, it chronicles a family's attempt to redefine themselves in the wake of their mother's death. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Greetings From Yorkville, a two handed musical about a couple of Midwest songwriters trying to make their way in New York show business, book and lyrics by Anya Turner, music by Robert Grusecki, will be performed by the creators, previewing from September 25th at the SoHo Playhouse, opening on October 4th. The production will be realizead according to the original concept and direction of the late Thommie Walsh. The SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th Avenue and Varick Street.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem's 2007/2008 season will include: William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, directed by Alfred Preisser, presented free in various parks throughout New York City from July 27th to August 10th; Langston Hughes's Black Nativity, set in Times Square in 1973, also directed by Alfred Preisser, with choreography by Tracy Jack, at The Duke at Theatre Row, from November 30th to December 30th; Euripides's Trojan Women, in a contemporary version by director Alfred Preisser, at the new Harlem Stage Gatehouse Theatre, 150 Convent Avenue at 135th Street in Harlem, from January 10th to February 10th; and the premiere of Ty Jones's Emancipation, about the slave rebellion of 1831, directed by Christopher McElroen, also at the Gatehouse Theatre, from April 10th to May 10th. Further information can be found on the CToH web site, via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Karl Gajdusek's Fair Game, about a female presidential candidate and a scandal that could ruin her, with Joy Franz, Caralyn Kozlowski, Brian Sgambati, Sarah-Doe Osborne and Ray McDavitt, directed by Andrew Volkoff, will preview from August 17th at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on August 20th.

Broken Watch Theatre Company is staging Padraic Lillis's Two Thirds Home, with Peggy J Scott, Aaron Roman Weiner and Ryan Woodle, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, previewing from 21st July at the Michael Weller Theatre, opening on 26th July. Two sons at their mother's funeral meet her female lover, who reveals truths that strain their relationship and the identity they have built for themselves. The Michael Weller Theatre is located at 311 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.