News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th August 2009

Martin McDonagh's A Behanding In Spokane, a black comedy involving a man searching for his missing hand, two con artists, and an overly curious hotel clerk, directed by John Crowley, will receive its world premiere at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced on March 4th next year. The producer is Robert Fox.

The Kaufman Center has announced its 2009/2010 Broadway Close Up season in the Merkin Concert Hall, an inside look at the world of musical theater, hosted by Sean Hartley. It will comprise: Girls Like Us, based on the best selling book by Sheila Weller, featuring the music of Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon, performed by Liz Callaway, Barbara Walsh, Capathia Jenkins, Jessica Molaskey and Ann Hampton Callaway, on October 5th; John Kander, featuring the work of the composing half of Kander and Ebb, performed by David Hyde Pierce, Karen Ziemba, Debra Monk, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley on October 26th; Bound For Broadway, hosted by Liz Callaway, featuring songs from five new musicals and interviews with their writers, on November 16th; Gerard Alessandrini, featuring the creator of Forbidden Broadway discussing his work, illustrated by gems from 25 years of spoofery, on December 7th; and Striking 12, performed by the trio GrooveLily - Gene Lewin, Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda - book and lyrics by Milburn, Vigoda and Rachel Sheinkin, and music by Vigoda, telling of a grumpy overworked New Yorker who resolves to spend New Year's Eve alone in his apartment, when an unexpected visitor brings some much needed cheer, on December 31st. The Family Matinees series - a family friendly tour through the world of musical theatre - will feature morning events devoted to the work of Jule Styne on January 10th; Alan Menken on February 7th; and Leonard Bernstein on March 7th. The Merkin Concert Hall is located at 129 West 67th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Further information can be found on the Merkin Concert Hall web site via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The next production at the Irish Repertory Theatre will be Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones, about an ex-convict who cons his way into becoming dictator on a remote island in the Caribbean, with John Douglas Thompson, directed by Ciaran O'Reilly, previewing from October 7th, opening on October 18th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The Women's Project's 2009/2010 season at the Julia Miles Theatre will comprise the world premieres of Liz Duffy's Or, a whimsical comedy about the 17th century female playwright and spy Aphra Benn, directed by Wendy McClelland, from October 29th; and Rachel Axler's Smudge, a dark comedy about the changing face of the American family as a hopeful young couple give birth, directed by Pam MacKinnon, from January 3rd; plus a further production yet to be announced. The Julia Miles Theater is located at 424 West 55th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Rocco Landesman, Broadway theatre producer and president of the Jujamcyn Theatrical Organization, has been appointed as the new chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts, the country's largest national funder of the arts. Nominated to the position by President Barack Obama, Landesman has been confirmed by the Senate. Landsman becomes the 10th chairman in the organization's 45 year history. Landesman has long been involved with various artistic, civic and educational groups, including the Municipal Arts Society, an advocacy organization concerned with New York City's public spaces and preservation, the Times Square Alliance, and the Educational Foundation of America. The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans in all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases, and providing leadership in arts education.

The Actors Company Theatre's 2009/2010 season at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row will include Sidney Howard's The Late Christopher Bean, both a satire on the destructive power of greed, and a touching view of a family in turmoil, directed by Jenn Thompson, previewing from November 1st, opening on November 11th; and T S Eliot's The Cocktail Party, an exploration of self-deception and redemption, examining physical and spiritual needs, directed by Scott Alan Evans, previewing from March 7th, opening on March 17th. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Origin Theatre Company will stage Spinning The Times, comprising short plays woven from articles in the New York press viewed from an Irish perspective, by Geraldine Aron, Lucy Caldwell, Rosalind Haslett, Rosemary Jenkinson and Belinda McKeon, with Aidan Kelly and Mary Murray, directed by M Burke Walker, previewing from September 2nd at 59E59 Theatres, opening on September 6th. 59E59 Theatres is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Madison and Park Avenues.

The Flea Theare's 2009/2010 season will include Roger Rosenblatt's The Oldsmobiles, in which a couple perched on top of the Manhattan Bridge, contemplate what's left to come, and if it is worth living for, previewing from October 1st, opening on October 17th; The Great Recession, comprising 10 minute plays exploring the impact of the current economic crisis by Thomas Bradshaw, Sheila Callaghan, Erin Courtney, Will Eno, Itamar Moses and Adam Rapp, previewing from November 20th, opening on December 10th; Henri Becque's The Vultures, the 1882 play exposing everything from human avarice to institutional fraud, performed in two parts in repertory, previewing from February 25th, opening on February 28th; and Bathsheba Doran's The Parents' Evening, in which a mother and father confront conflicted views about parenting and the boundaries of love, previewing from April 16th, open May 6th. The Flea Theatre is located at 41 White Street, between Church Street and Broadway.