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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 16th October 2006

Theresa Rebeck's The Scene, featuring Patricia Heaton, directed by Rebecca Taichman, will preview from December 12th, and open January 11th, at Second Stage Theatre. The black comedy follows an out of work New York actor who has an affair with an Ohioan ingenue and finds himself more morally and spiritually lost than he was before. This will be followed at Second Stage by Terrence McNally's Some Men, set at a gay wedding, where the guests are moved to consider their own lives and loves, and the degrees of liberation they have achieved, directed by Trip Cullman, opening on February 23rd. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, just off 8th Avenue.

The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in have been announced. They are actors Patti LuPone, George Hearn and Elizabeth Wilson, playwright Brian Friel, and designers Willa Kim and Eugene Lee, with playwrights Wendy Wasserstein and August Wilson inducted posthumously. The 36th annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on 29th January. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre.

Tim Crouch will perform his play An Oak Tree, previewing at the Barrow Street Theatre, at 27 Barrow Sreeet, 7th Avenue/Bleeker Street, on October 27th, opening on November 4th. The two person play takes place during a performance by a hypnotist, who inadvertently calls up as a volunteer a man from his past whose daughter he killed in a car accident. The twist is that each night Crouch will be joined by a different actor, who has neither seen nor read the play they are in.

When The Lights Go On, 'a new 1940's musical', written, directed and starring Bill Daugherty, with Paul Kropfl, Christina Morrell and Connie Pachl, previews from October 28th, at the Triad Theatre, 158 West 72nd Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue, opening on November 1st. The show is set during a live radio broadcast in the ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel during World War II, and through 28 songs of the period, it presents a picture of a country supporting its combat efforts and the sacrifices that war can bring.

On The Casting Couch: Kristin Chenoweth will be joined by Brian d'Arcy James, Marc Kudisch and Walter Charles in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of The Apple Tree, opening at Studio 54, on December 14th; and Niall Buggy, David Costabile, Alan Cox, Dermot Crowley, Michael FitzGerald, Morgan Hallett, Geraldine Hughes, Susan Lynch, Graeme Malcolm and Chandler Williams will star in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Translations, opening at the Biltmore Theatre on January 25th.

The Peccadillo Theater Company's production of John Murray and Allen Boretz's 1937 farce Room Service, with David Edwards, Fred Berman, Dale Carman, Sterling Coyne, Scott Evans, Blythe Gruda, Robert O'Gorman and Kim Rachelle, will return for a 12 week season at the SoHo Playhouse previewing from November 18th, opening on November 28th. The plot involves a theatrical producer in a Times Square hotel with 19 actors and a playwright, trying to rehearse a show, find a backer, and dodge the manager's attempts to get him to settle his bill. The producers are the Peccadillo Theater Company, Jonathan Reinis Productions, Jeffrey Sine and The StoryLine Project. The SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th Avenue and Varick Street.

The Transport Group's production of Tad Mosel's rarely performed Pulitzer Prize winning play All The Way Home, based on James Agee's novel A Death In The Family, about a woman suddenly confronted with the death of someone close to her in 1915 Tennessee, directed by Jack Cummings III, will preview from October 26th at the Connelly Theatre, opening on November 5th. The cast includes Barbara Andres, Patrick Boll, John Braden, Alice Cannon, Corinne Edgerly, Chandler Frantz, Patrick Gilbert, Joseph Kolinski, Michael Lewis, Tom Ligon, Ben Masur, Joanna Parson, Monica Russell, Irma St. Paule and Letty Serra. The Transport Group's next production will be Under The Florescent Light, a new musical conceived by Jack Cummings III, developed with Adam Bock, featuring original songs from a variety of composers and lyricists, exploring the comedies and tragedies in the highly pressurised lives of workers in a major financial institution, previewing from March 29th. The Connelly Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B.

The third annual Broadway Unplugged concert, created and hosted by Scott Siegel, with Broadway artists performing without microphones, will be staged at The Town Hall on November 13th. The event will feature American musical theatre songs performed by around 20 artists, including Sutton Foster, John Lloyd Young, Beth Leavel, Chuck Cooper, Marc Kudisch, Euan Morton, Nancy Anderson, Sarah Uriarte Berry, Bill Daugherty, Jeffry Denman, Lisa Howard, Cheyenne Jackson, Douglas Ladnier, Norm Lewis, Liz McCartney, William Michals and Connie Pachl. The Town Hall is located 123 West 43rd Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway.