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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th June 2013

Lincoln Center Theater has announced its 2013/1214 season. In the Vivan Beaumont Theater: William Shakespeare's Macbeth, the tale of bloody ambition, with Ethan Hawke, directed by Jack O'Brien, previewing from October 24th, opening on November 21st, with scenery by Scott Pask, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Japhy Weideman, and sound by Mark Bennett; and Moss Hart's Act One, chronicling the life of the playwright and director from his poor Bronx beginnings to his becoming a Broadway fixture, adapted and directed by James Lapine, previewing from March 20th, opening on April 17th, with scenery by Beowolf Boritt, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Ken Billington, and sound by Daniel Moses Schrier. In the Mitzi E Newhouse Theater: the premieres of Bruce Norris's Domesticated, a story of politics and gender, with Laurie Metcalf, directed by Anna D Shapiro, previewing from October 10th, opening on November 4th; and Anthony Giardina's The City Of Conversation, about a behind the scenes mover and shaker in Washington, and the gains and losses inflicted on her family over a period of 30 years, directed by Doug Hughes, previewing from April 10th, opening on May 5th.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, A Christmas Story, The Musical!, based on the stories of Jean Shepherd, about a young boy getting into scrapes in the period leading up to Christmas, book by Joseph Robinette, score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, directed by John Rando, with choreography by Warren Carlyle, will play at the Theater at Madison Square Garden from December 11th to 29th. The design team comprises scenery by Walt Spangler, costumes by Elizabeth Hope Clancy, lighting by Howell Binkley, and sound by Ken Travis. The producers are Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Timothy Laczynski, Mariano Tolentino, Louise H Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Alison Eckert, Bob Bartner, Michael Jenkins, Angela Milonas and Bradford W Smith.

The 14th annual Midtown International Theatre Festival, which runs from July 15th to August 4th, has announced the list of 62 productions that will feature. The MITF will present more than 200 performances in 4 theatres, encompassing fully staged performances, world premieres, revivals, staged readings, solo shows, multimedia presentations and talkbacks. Among the shows selected are: Garrett Lander's How To Make A Robot, about a humanlike robot that starts acting human; Andrew Ade's A Question Of Taste, in which two rebels for the same cause but from different generations are thrown into the same prison cell; Matthew Ethan Davis's Sleep At Your Own Risk, about a man struggling with the phenomenon of sleepwalking while trying to hold on to the love of his life; Tyrone Stanley's Soul On Fire - The Musical, a musical drama set in a seemingly perfect utopian community - but is it?; and Jung Han Kim's A Tree, A Dog, And An Ordinary Man, about a surreal world, where animals and plants can talk, and a tree and a dog share an apartment with an ordinary man. Further information can be found on the MITF web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Great Moments In Theatre by Benedict Nightingale, recently published by Oberon, offers a 'highlights and lowlights of theatre' from the Aeschylus's The Oresteia in 458 BC, to the premiere of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem in 2009. Each informative and entertaining entry is between 650 and 850 words in length, covering a remarkable diversity of theatrical openings and events, many of historical interest and importance, and many more witnessed by Nightingale personally during his 50 year career as a critic. The plays and shows that he crisply, authoritatively and readably brings alive range from Sheridan's School For Scandal to Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, from Gogol's Government Inspector to Synge's Playboy Of The Western World, which provoked serious riots in the Dublin of 1907 - and not forgetting Lionel Bart's legendary flop Twang!!. Nightingale collects in one readable, vivid, painstakingly researched, witty, insightful - and above all enthusiastic - volume, what he believes to be the greatest moments in theatre. And if he doesn't know, who does?

Undercover Productions will stage Joan Beber's Ethel Sings - Espionage In High C, a fantasy drama that embraces Ethel Rosenberg and St Joan, aiming to rehabilitate the woman executed as a spy in 1953, directed by Jules Aaron, at Walkerspace, from 27th June. Walkerspace is located at 46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

The 14th annual Broadway Barks fundraising event, with artists from Broadway shows taking part, will be held in Shubert Alley on July 15th from 3.30pm to 6.30pm, 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.

Horse Trade Theater Group will present the Theater In Asylum production of #Coriolanus, a contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare's epic play that recounts the tragedy of a man at the mercy of media, politics, and Twitter, in an interactive performance in which audience members are encouraged to join the conversation and live tweet during the show, adapted and directed by Paul Bedard, with Russell Peck, Martin Boersma, Julia Giolzetti, Madelline Reed and Julie Robles, choreographed by Katie Palmer, previewing on July 5th at Under St Marks, opening on July 6th. Under St Marks is located at 94 St Marks Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.