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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th July 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Rebecca, the musical adaptation of the novel by Daphne du Maurier, in which a man brings his second wife to the house where the shadow of his first wife still remains, original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton, probably featuring Sierra Boggess, directed by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello, with Graciela Daniele expected to choreograph, will preview from March 27th at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced, with an official opening on April 22nd. The producers are Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza, in association with Tony Fusco and Larry Feinman, by arrangement with and based on the Vereinigte Buhnen Vienna.

The Abingdon Theatre Company's 2011/2012 season will comprise John Morogiello's Blame It On Beckett, set in the literary office of a regional theatre, where an intern struggles to balance her artistic integrity with the demands of her personal and professional life, directed by Jackob G Hofmann, previewing from October 7th, opening on October 16th; Jan Buttram's Lost On The Natchez Trace, about a Mississippi slave auctioneer in 1825, who has to rely on a runaway slave to save him when he falls into a swamp, directed by Kate Bushmann, previewing from February 3rd, opening on February 12th; and Frank Tangredi's Lifeline, in which a middle aged, divorced and unemployed landlord, trying to help his troubled tenant, discovers that some lives may not be easily fixed, directed by Jules Ochoa, previewing from March 9th, opening on March 18th. Abingdon Theatre Company is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Jonas Hassen Khemiri's Invasion!, which uses wit and theatricality to talk about serious racial and cultural divisions in society, seen earlier this year at Walkerspace, will return at the Flea Theater, with the original cast of Francis Benhamou, Andrew Guilarte and Bobby Moreno, joined by Nick Choksi, directed by Erica Schmidt, previewing from September 6th, opening on September 13th. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Church Street and Broadway.

The LAByrinth Theater Company's 2011/2012 season at the Bank Street Theater will include the premieres of David Bar Katz's The Atmosphere Of Memory, in which the production of a writer's autobiographical play is complicated by his mother playing the mother, and his father remembering events differently from him; Frequently UnAnswered Questions, a play with music written and performed by Daphne Rubin-Vega, about the consequences of a mother's choice and the bonds of a family; and Brett C Leonard's Ninth And Joanie, in which old wounds are reopened at an Italian American family funeral in 1980s Philadelphia. The Bank Street Theater (formerly The Cherry Pit) is located at 155 Bank Street, between Washington and West Streets.

On The Casting Couch: Jonathan Groff and Rutina Wesley will feature in Jeff Talbott's The Submission, opening at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on September 26th.

The Keen Company's 2011/2012 season at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row will comprise Lanford Wilson's Lemon Sky, based on Wilson's experiences in his teenage years as he crossed the country to live with his estranged father and his new family, directed by Jonathan Silverstein, previewing from September 13th, opening on September 27th; and Tina Howe's Painting Churches, a comedy that examines the changing dynamics in the parent-child relationship later in life, directed by Carl Forsman, previewing from February 14th. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Josh Koenigsberg's Herman Kline's Midlife Crisis, telling what happens when a doctor, struggling with the tedium of career and marriage, discovers a bag of narcotics on a patient's body, with Adam Lefevre, Kathryn Kates, Mary Quick and Bobby Moreno, directed by Sherri Eden Barber, will preview from August 7th at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on August 14th. The producers are Kelcie Beene and Anthony Francavilla.

New York City Opera, which is leaving its current home at Lincoln Center on financial grounds, has announced its 2011/2012 season, with performances in various venues around the city. The previously announced U.S. premiere of Prima Donna, music by Rufus Wainwright, libretto by Bernadette Colomine, about a faded opera singer in Paris determined to make a comeback, featuring Melody Moore, directed by Tim Albery, and Verdi's La Traviata, with Laquita Mitchell and David Pomeroy, directed by Jonathan Miller, will play at the Gilman Opera House at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Fort Greene, beginning in February; Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, directed by Christopher Alden, will be staged at the Gerald Lynch Theater at John Jay College, near Lincoln Center, in March; the New York premiere of Georg Philipp Telemann's Orpheus, a twist on the Orpheus myth that focuses on the character Orasia, whose jealousy brings about the fall of Orpheus and Eurydice, directed by Rebecca Taichman, will play El Museo Del Barrio, on the upper East Side in May; and a long tern association with the Public Theatre, with free performances of operas based on a Shakespeare plays, will begin at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in the fall of 2012.

A new contemporary romantic musical set in Puerto Rico, Soldier's Song, book, music and lyrics by Jim Cohen and Joanne Lee Drexler Cohen, with J W Cortes, directed by Angelica Torn, will preview from July 21st at the Poet's Den Theater, opening on July 28th. The producer is Raphael Benavides Productions. Poet's Den Theater is located at 309 East 108th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

Lincoln Center Theater has announced a further production in its 2011/2012 LCT3 season, the initiative dedicated to presenting the work of emerging playwrights, directors and designers, staged at The Duke on 42nd Street. Julia Brownell's All-America, exploring the dynamics of the modern American family, directed by Evan Cabnet, previewing from October 24th, opening on November 7th. The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish And I'm STILL In Therapy, written and performed by Steve Solomon, a follow up to his earlier autobiographical show, will preview from August 5th at the Midtown Theater, opening on August 10th. The Midtown Theater is located at 163 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.