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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th November 2008

It has now been confirmed that the musical Vanities, book by Jack Heifner, music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, adapted from Heifner's Off Broadway comedy charting the journey of three All-American girls as they mature from cheerleaders to sorority sisters to independent women, between the 1960s and the 1980s, with Lauren Kennedy, Sarah Stiles and Anneliese van der Pol, directed by Judith Ivey, with musical staging by Dan Knechtges, will preview from February 2nd at the Lyceum Theatre, with an official opening on February 26th. The design team comprises scenery by Anna Louizos, costumes by Joe Aulisi, lighting by Paul Miller, and sound by Tony Meola. The producers are Junkyard Dog Productions and Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, in association with Demos Bizar Entertainment.

Second Stage Theatre will stage Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw, with Annie Parisse, David Wilson Barnes, Emily Bergl, Kelly Bishop and Thomas Sadoski, directed by Peter DuBois, previewing from December 16th, opening on January 8th. When a newlywed couple fixes up two romantically challenged friends, the evening takes a dark turn, and crisis and comedy ensue. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, at 8th Avenue.

The 2009 season of the 92nd Street Y's Lyrics & Lyricists series, featuring the songs of a particular writer or era, will comprise: Rodgers &...: Inside Five Collaborations, hosted and directed by Martin Charnin, January 10th to 12th; It Started With A Dream: David Zippel - Lyrics He Wrote, Lyrics He Wishes He Wrote, hosted and directed by David Zippel, February 21st to 23rd; Sunny Side Up: Roaring Through The Twenties With DeSylva, Brown & Henderson, directed by Robert Kimball, April 4th to 6th; The Man That Got Away: Ira After George, hosted and directed by Rex Reed, May 9th to 11th; and Sunday In New York: Mel Torme In Words And Music, hosted and directed by Billy Stritch, June 6th to 8th. The 92nd Street Y is located at 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

Experimental theatre company Les Freres Corbusier will stage the world premiere of Dance Dance Revolution, inspired by the video game of the same name, with songs by Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz, featuring B Brian Argotsinger, Van Hansis, Greg Hildreth, Amelia McClain, Vayu O'Donnell, Ben Steinfeld and Ian Unterman, created by the company, directed by Alex Timbers, with choreography by Danny Mefford, from December 3rd at the Ohio Theater. The futuristic dance spectacular is the story of how a dance prophet helps to overthrow a 'fascistic no-fun government'. The Ohio Theater is located at 66 Wooster Street, between Spring and Broome Streets.

Mandy Patinkin, accompanied by Paul Ford, will play a short season of Mandy Patinkin: Back At the Public!, presenting three concert programs: Mamaloshen (a collection of traditional, classic, and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish), Celebrating Sondheim (a figurative journey through the music and lyrics of the legendary composer) and Dress Casual (featuring works from the great American songbook) in repertoire, at the Public Theater, from December 8th to 21st. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street, between Astor Place and East 4th Street.

Access Theater and Blue Coyote Theater Group will stage Call Me Anne, a one man show written and performed by Phillip Taratula, a multi character biographical comedy about the actress Anne Heche, directed by Matt McGrath, with choreography by Laura Sheehy, previewing from December 2nd, opening on December 5th. The Access Theater is located at 380 Broadway, between Walker and White Streets.

Stephen Sondheim: A Life In The Theater, will feature composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and former New York Times theatre critic Frank Rich, in conversation about Sondheim's career, collaborations, inspirations, and theatrical and cinematic resume, at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, on January 18th at 8pm.

Rising Phoenix Repertory and Piece By Piece Productions will stage Keith Reddin and Meg Gibson's Too Much Memory, with Laura Heisler, Peter Jay Fernandez, Aria Alpert, MacLeod Andrews, Martin Moran, Seth Numrich, Jamel Rodriguez, Ray Anthony Thomas and Wendy vanden Heuvel, directed by Meg Gibson, previewing from 2nd December at the Fourth Street Theatre, opening on 9th December. It is a contemporary retelling of the Greek story of Antigone, a drama of family conflict and social turmoil, using a collage of mythology and modernity, incorporating texts by Richard Nixon, Tom Hayden, Peter Brook, Anne Carson, Pablo Neruda, Susan Sontag, and Hannah Arendt. The Fourth Street Theatre is located at 83 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery.

The Rumour Machine says: that the recent Goodspeed Musicals production of the musical The Story Of My Life, book by Brian Hill, music and lyrics by Neil Bartram, about a writer who is creatively blocked as he attempts a compose tribute to his lifelong friend, with Malcolm Gets and Will Chase, directed by Richard Maltby Jr, will transfer to Broadway in February, courtesy of producer Chase Mishkin; and that James Gandolfini, Hope Davis and Marcia Gay Harden will star in a Broadway transfer of David Pugh's hit London production of Yasmina Reza's comedy The God Of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton, directed by Matthew Warchus, in which two couples debate different styles of parenting, following a squabble between their children that turned violent. The Rumour Machine grinds on.