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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th May 2008

The nominations for this year's New York Tony Awards have been announced. Heading the field are In The Heights with 13 nominations including Best Musical, Book and Original Score, Lin-Manuel Miranda - Best Actor Musical (Leading) and Thomas Kail - Best Director (Musical); South Pacific with 11, including Best Musical Revival, Kelli O'Hara - Best Actress Musical (Leading), Paulo Szot - Best Actor Musical (Leading) and Bartlett Sher - Best Director (Musical); Sunday In The Park With George with 9, including Best Musical Revival, Jenna Russell - Best Actress Musical (Leading), Daniel Evans - Best Actor Musical (Leading) and Sam Buntrock - Best Director (Musical); and 7 each for August Osage County, including Best Play, Deanna Dunagan and Amy Morton - Best Actress Play (Leading), and Anna D Shapiro - Best Director (Play); Gypsy, including Best Musical Revival, Patti LuPone - Best Actress Musical (Leading) and Arthur Laurents - Best Director (Musical); and Passing Strange, including Best Musical, Stew - Best Actor Musical (Leading). Brits made a strong showing among the plays, taking 3 of the 4 nominations for Best Play, Best Actor Play (Leading) and Best Director (Play). The winners will be announced at the 62nd Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall on 15th June. The full list of nominees, and further information about the live webcast of the event, can be found on the Tony Awards web site, via the link from Organisations section of New York TheatreNet

A 'new' Gershwin musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It, book by Joe DiPietro, and score from the George and Ira Gershwin back catalogue, featuring Harry Connick Jr, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, will open a at the Colonial Theatre in Boston on December 16th, prior to a prospective Broadway transfer next March. It is a comedy about a Long Island playboy and his entanglements with bootleggers and golddiggers. It features scenic design by Derek McLane, costumes by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting by Kenneth Posner and sound by Acme Sound Partners. The producers are Scott Landis, Broadway Across America, Ira Pittleman, Tom Hulce, Roy Furman, Maberry Theatricals, Ann Marie Wilkins, and Emanuel Azenberg.

Anthony Neilson's Stitching, with Meital Dohan and Gian Murray Gianino directed by Timothy Haskell, will receive its U.S. premiere previewing from June 17th at The Wild Project, opening on June 25th. It is about a couple who love each other so madly that they are driving each other crazy, as they role play with reality and fantasy to the point where they are no longer sure what is real. The producers are Adamanto Productions and Electric Pear, in association with Liebman Entertainment. The Wild Project is located on 195 East 3rd Street between Avenues A and B.

The 11th season in the Musicals Tonight! series, which presents concert stagings of neglected musicals, comprises Marguerite Monnot and Alexandre Breffort's Irma La Douce, about a Parisian lady of the night who works to support her lover (against his wishes) so he poses as rich man and becomes her exclusive a client, but the strain proves too much and he 'kills' him, and is arrested, playing from October 14th to 26th; Lee Pockriss's Tovarich, about two members of the Russian nobility working as servants to Americans in 1920s Paris, while avoiding the Communists sent to capture and return them to Moscow, playing from October 28th to November 9th; Jerome Kern and P G Wodehouse's Cabaret Girl, in which the producers of a follies show try to bring together a show girl and society boy against the wishes of her family, playing from March 3rd to 15th; Fats Waller's Early To Bed, about an over-the-hill matador who falls in love with an old girl friend, who now runs a brothel, where the borders include an American track team who think they're at a finishing school where the girls wear very little clothing, playing from March 17th to 29th; and Cole Porter's You Never Know, in which master and servant switch places and fall in love with mistress and maid who have also switched places, playing from April 14th to 26th. The producer is Mel Miller. Performances are at the McGinn/Cazale Theater, located on Broadway at 76th Street.

Living Image Arts will present Coming Home, a triple bill of short plays, previewing from 29th May at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on May 31st. The bill comprises Linda Faigao-Hall's Sparrow, with Luz Lor and Banaue Miclat, about an expat Phillipino who returns home to find that her friend has become involved with a terrorist group, directed by Ian Morgan; Maria Gabriele's Counting, with Maria Gabriele and Maria Elizabeth Ryan, in which incoming and outgoing prisoners meet in the holding cell of a penitentiary, directed by Christine Farrell; and William K Powers's Last Call On Bourbon Street, with Tyler Bunch, Amanda Bruton, Todd Davis, Andrew Eisenman, Stu Richel and Raushanah Simmons, in which the regulars in a New Orleans bar confront an insurance man who has come to shut it down, directed by Alexa Polmer. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

TheatreworksUSA's 20th annual Free Summer Theatre Program will feature the premiere of the musical The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks, book, music and lyrics by Joe Iconis, adapted from Nancy McArthur's children's book, directed by John Simpkins, with choreography by Jennifer Werner, playing daytime performances from July 16th at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, opening July 24th. It is the story of two brothers who share a messy room with piles of dirty socks, but when they send away for some 'Amazing Beans' that sprout into very large plants, their socks start disappearing. The company comprises Jason Williams, Lance Rubin, Lorinda Lisitza, Lauren Marcus, Jeffrey Omura and Kilty Reidy. A limited number of free tickets will be available to individuals at the theatre each day one hour prior to show time, while summer camps, youth programs and other social service organizations can make reservations for groups of ten or more. The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets.

Alanna Ubach will perform her one woman show Patriotic Bitch, in which she portrays women from different societies, countries and walks of life, and reveals their frustrations about how hard it is to catch a break in this world, directed by Ian Mccrudden, previewing from May 29th at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, opening June 5th.

The legendary musical The Fantasticks, which ended its revival run at the Snapple Theater Center's Jerry Orbach Theater on February 24th, is to make a comeback, on or about June 20th. It is a coming of age fable, about a boy and girl whose romance is engineered by their fathers, but is cemented by their experience of the world outside, music by Harvey Schmidt, book and lyrics by Tom Jones, who directed the revival, which opened August 23rd 2006. The original production at the Sullivan Street Playhouse ran for over 17,000 performances, from May 1960 to January 2002, making it the world's longest running musical. The Snapple Theater Center is located at West 50th Street and Broadway.