News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 18th November 2013

Lincoln Center's 2014 American Songbook series, featuring the work of a particular writer or performer, will include the songs of Randy Newman, with James Naughton, on 28th January; Patina Miller in concert on January 31st; the songs of Michael John LaChiusa, with LaChiusa joined by Emily Skinner, Marc Kudisch and Mary Testa, on February 1st; the songs of Henry Krieger, with Erin Davie, Emily Padgett and Rebecca Luker, on February 13th; Jonathan Groff in concert on February 13th; the songs of Joni Mitchell, with Jessica Molaskey, on February 20th; Ann Harada in concert on February 22nd; A 24 Decade History Of Popular Music, performed by Taylor Mac, on March 5th; Jim Caruso's Cast Party Goes To The Movies, with Caruso joined by Billy Stritch, Marilyn Maye, Jane Monheit, Christina Bianco and Jeffry Denman, on March 7th; Norm Lewis in concert on March 8th; Rebecca Naomi Jones in concert on April 4th; and Unsung Carolyn Leigh, with Jenny Powers, Max von Essen and Drew Gehling, on April 5th.

On The Casting Couch: Clea Alsip, Michael Cyril Creighton, Dominic Fumusa, Emma Galvin, Jessica Hecht and Patrick Kerr will head the cast of Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss, opening at Playwrights Horizons on March 2nd; Steven Boyer will be joined by Marc Kudisch, Sarah Stiles, Geneva Carr and Michael Oberholtzer in Robert Askins's puppet comedy Hand To God, opening at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on March 11th; and Ramin Karimloo, Will Swenson, Caissie Levy and Nikki M. James will be joined by Andy Mientus and Charlotte Maltby in the Alain Boublil-Claude-Michel Schonberg musical Les Miserables, opening at the Imperial Theatre on March 23rd.

Forthcoming productions at IRT Theater will include Leah Nanako Winkler's Death For Sydney Black, a story of teen bullying, high-school cliques torn asunder, and revenge exacted, with Allison Buck, Beth Hoyt, Emily Kratter, Danielle Slavick, Samantha Strelitz and Natalie Woolams-Torres, directed by Kip Fagan, previewing from December 1st, opening on December 7th, produced by the TerraNova Collective; and the premiere of Sarah Shaefer's The Gin Baby, in which, having turned her back on suicide, a young woman faces the consequences as she commits herself to a psych ward, directed by Daniel Talbott, previewing from January 19th, opening on January 20th, produced by Kid Brooklyn, Addie Johnson-Talbott and Mermaid Sand Productions. The IRT Theater is located in the Archive Building at 154 Christopher Street, at Washington Street.

Pioneering Poet Of Light: Photographer Florence Vandamm And The Vandamm Studio, the latest exhibition at the New York Public Library Of The Performing Arts, running until February 28th, provides a unique opportunity to see images from one of the greatest records of 20th century performing arts. The prints, contact sheets, and glass plate and acetate negatives of theatre, music and dance in London from 1908 to 1923 and New York from 1924 to 1963, comprises an archive of more than 75,000 images. Florence and Tommy Vandamm moved to New York from London in the 1920s when their portrait studio business declined. In 1928 they undertook a contract with the Theatre Guild to photograph all of their productions. Tommy concentrated on documenting the stage work while Florence took responsibility for the portraits. Hallmarks of the Vandamms' collective work are the beautiful compositions they achieved and the flattering images they created. Their accomplishment came with meticulous attention to detail. A painter's eye is apparent and spontaneity is absent in their stage shots and portraits alike, which they carefully planned, composed, and lit. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza.

Page 73 Productions will stage George Brant's Grounded, the story of an ace fighter pilot whose unexpected pregnancy forces her to trade in her airborne career for one operating military drones from a windowless trailer outside the Las Vegas desert, with Hannah Cabell, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, previewing from January 8th at Walkerspace, opening on January 16th. Walkerspace is located at 46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

The 25th annual Gypsy Of The Year Competition, the variety show featuring Broadway 'Gypsies' (chorus members from Broadway and Off Broadway shows), which is the culmination of the fall fundraising effort of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will take place at the Minskoff Theatre at 4.30pm on December 9th and 2pm on December 10th, hosted by Seth Rudetsky. Awards will be presented to the companies that raised the most money, and for the winning talent presentation. Last year's show raised $3,902,608, making a total of over $52.9m so far. Further information can be found on the BC/EFA web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Metropolitan Playhouse is staging Mrs Sidney Frances Bateman's Self, a Victorian comedy of bad family manners, with Page Clements, Doug Farrell, Sidney Fortner, Marie Louise Guinier, Erica Knight, Drew Ledbetter, Gary Lizardo, Matt McAllister, Noelle McGrath, Kyle Payne and Howard Thoresen, directed by Alex Roe, now previewing, opening on 22nd November. The Metropolitan Playhouse is located 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B.

The Rumour Machine says: that Harold Prince is developing The Diamond As Big As The Ritz, a musical adaptation of the F Scott Fitzgerald short story about a boy whose school chum claims his family the richest in the world, and on visiting, finds that they are also greedy and corrupt, book by Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Charles Strouse, lyrics co-written by Eric Price, with Broadway in mind. The Rumour Machine grinds on.