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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th December 2007

The Godlight Theatre Company will stage the New York premiere of Eric Simonson's adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five or: The Children's Crusade, directed by Joe Tantalo, with movement direction by Hachi Yu, and fight choreography by Josh Rendree, previewing from January 11th at 59E59 Theaters, opening on January 22nd. The cast comprises David Bartlett, Ashton Crosby, Darren Curley, Gregory Konow, Deanna McGovern, Dustin Olson, Nick Paglino, Aaron Paternoster, Michael Shimkin and Michael Tranzilli. The absurdist classic tells the story of a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens and experiences all the phases of his life simultaneously. 59E59 Theaters are (unsurprisingly) located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

The Moveable Arts Winter Retreat, a 3 day intensive workshop, offering up to 30 students the opportunity to meet experienced professionals, entitled Minding Your Show Business, will take place at The Times Square Arts Center, from December 27th to 29th. The sessions will include The Business Of Stage To Screen with Audra McDonald; a dance class with Jennifer Lee Crow; Backstage Etiquette with Jessica Dermody; Yoga For The Actor with Jeslyn Kelly; The Casting Director with Merri Sugarman; and a Cyrano Workshop with Daniel Sherman. Further information can be found on the Moveable Arts web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links Section of New York TheatreNet.

The Pearl Theatre Company's production of Machiavelli's The Mandrake, in a new translation by Peter Constantine, with Rachel Botchan, Bradford Cover, Dominic Cuskern, T J Edwards, Rocelyn Halili, Edward Seamon, Carol Schultz and Erik Steele, directed by Jim Calder, will preview from January 8th, opening on January 20th. The play presents a picture of a world where cunning, vice, and mischief win the day. The Pearl Theatre Company is located at 80 St Marks Place, between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Terrence Howard and Anika Noni Rose will star in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, opening at the Broadhurst Theatre on March 6th; Paulo Szot, Kelli O'Hara, Matthew Morrison and Danny Burstein will lead the cast of the musical South Pacific, opening at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on April 3rd; and Laura Linney and Ben Daniels will be joined by Sian Phillips, Mamie Gummer, Kristine Nielsen, Benjamin Walker, Rosie Benton and Derek Cecil in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on May 1st.

New Federal Theatre will stage Richard Abrons's Three Travellers, with Judith Lightfoot Clark, Kenneth Maharaj, Kathleen McNenny and Stephen Schnetzer, directed by Jay Broad, previewing from January 13th, at the Theatre at St Clements, opening January 24th. It is the comic tale of three jaded western tourists searching for answers to their discontent in the wisdom of an India Guru. The Theatre at St Clements is located at 423 West 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Partial Comfort Productions will stage the world premiere of Chad Beckim's The Main(e) Play, with Michael Gladis, Alexander Alioto, Susan Dahl, Curran Connor and Allyson Morgan, directed by Robert O'Hara, previewing from January 16th, at The Lion Theater on Theatre Row, opening on January 23rd. Two brothers, one a New York actor, the other a stay at home dad, confront the loss of tradition when they return home for Thanksgiving. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

American Opera Projects' First Chance program will preset concert performances of Stephen Schwartz's Seance On A Wet Afternoon, based on the novel by Mark McShane and Bryan Forbes's screenplay, a psychological thriller about a spiritual medium who kidnaps a girl in order to gain fame by 'finding' her through seances; Conrad Cummings's The Golden Gate, adapted from the novel by Vikram Seth, about love, life, and loss in the magical and innocent San Francisco of the early 1980's; and Moni and Mina Yakim's Unruly Horses based on the life and songs of the Soviet Union folk hero Vladimir Vysotsky; on January 18th, 19th and 20th at South Oxford Space at 138 South Oxford Street in Brooklyn, and the Rose Studio of The Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center. The company for all three shows will comprise Lauren Flanigan, Caroline Worra, Michael Zegarski, Jessica Miller, Daniel Neer, Lucas Richter, Grant Clarke, Daniel Hoy, Garrett McClenahan and Katie Micha.

The Culture Project production of Betrayed, the debut play by The New Yorker contributor George Packer, a story of three young Iraqis who are motivated by hope to go work for the Americans, until they begin to wonder who, if anyone, can be trusted, directed by Pippin Parker, will preview from January 25th, opening on February 5th. The Culture Project is located at 55 Mercer Street, between Broome and Grand Streets.

The Flying Machine will stage Jason Lindner's Journey To The End Of The Night, a one person play performed by Richard Crawford, directed by Joshua Carlebach, from January 8th, at the Gene Frankel Theater. The piece combines an exploration the life of controversial French writer Louis-Ferdinand Celine, with an adaptation of his novel Journey To The End Of The Night, set in Europe during the First World War and its aftermath. The Gene Frankel Theater located at 24 Bond Street, between Lafayette Street and The Bowery.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has been awarded a 2 year grant of $1m from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to aid in preserving various sectors of the performing arts through audio and visual documentation. The grant, which begins next February, will be used for the preservation of 25 live jazz, contemporary dance and theatre performances; to record some 45 oral histories relating to the performances in order to capture the history and creation of live art; and the preservation of over 70 hours of oral histories relating to the work of choreographer Martha Graham, which will allow the material to be made available to the public. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located on the Lincoln Center campus at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, adjacent to Lincoln Center Theater.

Counting Squares Theatre will present Howard Korder's Boys' Life, with Ryan Nicholoff, Ed Davis, Dena Kology, Abigail Flynn and Chris Worley, directed by Dena Kology, from January 22nd, at Kraine Theater. The play examines three pals on the verge of adulthood as they manoeuvre their way through the sexual mores of 1980s America. The Kraine Theater is located at 85 West 4th Street, between The Bowery and 2nd Avenue.

MCC Theater is staging the American premiere of Mick Gordon and A C Grayling's Grace, in which a family confronts the issues of faith and religion, with Lynn Redgrave, Philip Goodwin, Oscar Isaac and K K Moggie, directed by Joseph Hardy, previewing from January 23rd, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, opening on February 11th. The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets.