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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th July 2010

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the Public Theater's recent sellout satirical rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, book and direction by Alex Timbers, which relocates U.S. President Andrew Jackson to the world of celebrity culture, featuring Benjamin Walker in the title role, choreographed by Danny Mefford, will transfer to Broadway, previewing from September 21st the Jacobs Theatre. The design team comprises scenery by Donyale Werle, costumes by Emily Rebholz, lighting by Justin Townsend, and sound by Bart Fasbender. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and the Public Theater.

Stephen Adly Guirgis's Den Of Thieves, an outrageous black comedy about a heist of drug money that goes wrong with lethal consequences, with Peter Carlaftes, Michelle Cox, Wesley Curtis, Ralph John Lucci, Giovanni Rho, Julia Sun and Chris Triana, directed by David Triacca, will play at the Chernuchin Theatre at The American Theater of Actors, from August 19th. The producer is Glen Hagen Theatrical. The American Theater of Actors is located at 314 West 54th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, which satirises the corporate world of the 1960s, through the relentless rise of a window washer, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Abe Burrows, Jack Wein, featuring Daniel Radcliffe, directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, will preview from February 26th at the Hirschfeld Theatre, with an official opening on March 27th. The producers are Broadway Across America, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Joseph Smith, Michael McCabe and Candy Spelling.

Emerging Artists Theatre will stage Chris Weikel's Penny Penniworth, a 'Reduced Shakespeare Company' style show, in which Christopher Borg, Jamie Heinlein, Jason O'Connell and Ellen Reilly play multiple characters in a 'lost' story by Charles Dickens, directed by Mark Finley, from September 8th at TADA Theatre. TADA Theatre is located at 15 West 28th Street, 2nd floor, between Broadway and 5th Avenue.

It has been confirmed that David Mamet's A Life In The Theatre, a two hander, tracing the relationship of a veteran actor and an aspiring newcomer who share a dressing room in a tatty regional theatre, with Patrick Stewart and T R Knight, directed by Neil Pepe, will preview from September 21st at the Schoenfeld Theatre, with an official opening on October 12th. Stewart played the same role in a London production in 2005. The design team will comprise scenery by Santo Loquasto, costumes by Laura Bauer, and lighting by Kenneth Posner. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler and Debbie Bisno Productions.

Lincoln Center Theater has announced the first productions in its 2010/2011 season of LCT3, its initiative dedicated to presenting the work of emerging playwrights, directors and designers, staged at The Duke on 42nd Street. Nick Jones's The Coward, a period comedy set in 18th century England, about young man who initiates a duel, but then finds that he can't go through with it, directed by Sam Gold, will play from November 8th; and Nathan Louis Jackson's When I Come To Die, the story of a death row inmate who struggles to understand why his life has been spared after his scheduled execution goes awry, directed by Thomas Kail, will play from January 31st. The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

A revised version of the musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, original book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Burton Lane, about a shrink who treats a chainsmoker and uncovers her paranormal gifts, and past lives, book revised by Peter Parnell, reconceived and directed by Michael Mayer, will play at the Vineyard Theatre in January. The Vineyard Theatre is located at 108 East 15th Street, between Union Square East and Irving Place.

On The Casting Couch: Frances McDormand and Tate Donovan will head the cast of David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People, opening at the Friedman Theatre on March 3rd.

It Must Be Him, a comedy with songs by Kenny Solms, music by Larry Grossman, lyrics by Ryan Cunningham, about a down on his luck comedy writer from the heyday of variety television desperately trying to rekindle his career, with Peter Scolari, John Treacy Egan, Liz Torres, Patrick Cummings, Jonathan C Kaplan, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Ryan Duncan, David Margulies, Alice Playten, Edward Staudenmayer and Jessica Tyler Wright, directed by Daniel Kutner, will preview from August 24th at the Peter J Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons, opening on September 1st. The producers are Orin Wolf and Off the Aisle Productions. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The York Shakespeare Company will stage Randy Cohen's The Punishing Blow: An Illustrated Lecture Delivered By Order Of The Orange County Criminal Court, performed and directed by Seth Duerr, opening at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row, on August 13th. A college professor, ordered to give a lecture proving his redemption following an anti-Semitic outburst, finds his personal life intrudes on political correctness. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Divine Sister, written by and featuring Charles Busch, a comic homage to nuns, from the singing to the socially-conscious, as seen by Hollywood over the years, with Alison Fraser, Amy Rutberg, Jennifer Van Dyck, Jonathan Walker and Julie Halston, directed by Carl Andress, will preview from September 12th at the SoHo Playhouse, opening on September 22nd. The producer is Daryl Roth. SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th Avenue and Varick Street.

The Rumour Machine says: that Brian Yorkey has been drafted in to work on the book of the musical Catch Me If You Can, original book by Terrence McNally, music and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, adapted from the 2002 movie telling the true story of a young and successful con man, directed by Jack O'Brien, with choreography by Jerry Mitchell, which is aiming for Broadway next spring, courtesy of producers Hal Luftig and Margo Lion; that Samuel L Jackson and Halle Berry may star in Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, which imagines a meeting in a hotel room on the night before the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, in which he is forced to confront his past and the future of his people, last year's surprise Off West End Laurence Olivier Award winning play, directed by Kenny Leon, in the fall, courtesy of Jean Doumanian Productions, in partnership with Sonia Friedman Productions; and that a production of Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire, with an African American cast, possibly headed by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, directed by Emily Mann, will be Broadway bound early next year, courtesy of producer Stephen Byrd. The Rumour Machine grinds on.