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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th March 2007

The Women's Project will stage the premiere of transFigures, devised and directed by Lear deBessonet, using material drawn from sources as diverse as Bathsheba Doran, Joan of Arc and Henrik Ibsen, previewing from April 6th at the Julia Miles Theater, opening on April 16th. It is inspired by the phenomenon known as 'Jerusalem Syndrome', a psychosis that causes tourists to assume the mantle of Biblical figures and parade through the Holy City. The cast comprises David Adkins, Dylan Dawson, Juliana Francis, Nate Schenkkan, T Ryder Smith and Marguerite Stimpson. The Julia Miles Theater is located at 424 West 55th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Lauren Ambrose and Oscar Isaac will play the title roles, with Camryn Manheim as the Nurse, in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo And Juliet, directed by Michael Greif, playing from June 5th to July 8th at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The accompanying production has been confirmed as A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Daniel Sullivan, playing from August 7th to September 9th.

The New York premiere of Beyond Glory, with Stephen Lang, who has also adapted Larry Smith's book, directed by Robert Falls, will replace the planned run of Brian Friel's The Home Place in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Off Broadway season at the Laura Pels Theatre, previewing from May 25th, and opening June 21st. Larry Smith's Beyond Glory: Medal of Honor Heroes in Their Own Words tells the stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, giving first hand accounts of the actions which resulted in each of them receiving the nation's highest military award. The show has toured military installations across the globe, and played in the United States Senate in 2005 as part of a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Defense. The Laura Pels Theatre is located at 111 West 46 Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Paul Grellong's Manuscript, a dark comedy that centers on three college freshmen, whose discovery of an unpublished manuscript drives them into a series of comic and cruel consequences, which played a season at the Daryl Roth Theatre in 2005, will return to the Studio Theatre on Theatre Row, opening on April 4th. The cast will feature Greg Cayea, Duane Langley and Lisa Peart, directed by Alex Lippard. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Clubbed Thumb theatre company has announced details of its Summerworks 2007 festival, running from May 30th to June 23rd at the Ohio Theatre at 66 Wooster Street, between Spring and Broome Streets. Highlights will include Jordan Harrison's Amazons And Their Men, Karl Gajdusek's Greedy, and an opening night show entitled America! The 50 States Of Our Union. TheatrePlayscripts Inc is publishing Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays From Clubbed Thumb, an anthology of selected plays produced by the company. Clubbed Thumb is also currently accepting proposals for its second Biennial Commission, which awards $15,000 to write and develop a play based upon the company's guidelines. The closing date for submissions is July 15th. Further information can be found on the Clubbed Thumb web site, via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Reverie Productions will stage Eric Winick's Rearviewmirror, with Mark Alhadeff, Sarah Nina Hayon and Audrey Lynn Weston, directed by Carl Forsman, previewing from March 31st at 59E59 Theaters, opening on April 5th. At an outdoor rock festival, three lonely souls embark on a search for spiritual fulfilment, finding solace in loud music, deviant sex, and films of the 1970's. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Italy's world renowned marionette company Colla Marionette Company will present an abridged version William Shakespeare's Macbeth at New Victory Theater from 20th to 29th April. It will feature a full cast of 3ft tall marionettes, designed by master Italian craftsmen and manipulated by expert puppeteers. The battle scenes will be filled with armies of horses and soldiers, fog and bats, the witches' cauldron will steam and Banquo's ghost will ooze blood. The puppets will be voiced by a cast of CST actors, seated in full view of the audience.

The Rumour Machine says: that Chris D'Arienzo's 1980s jukebox musical Rock Of Ages, set in a fictional club on LA's Sunset Strip, is looking to open Off Broadway in the fall; that Scarlett Johansson may make her Broadway debut alongside Russian baritone Dimitri Hvorostovsky in Lincoln Center Theater's upcoming revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical South Pacific next March; and that the current London production of Frank Loesser's musical Guys And Dolls, directed by Michael Grandage, will transfer to Broadway next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.