News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 19th November 2007

Because of the stagehands strike, performances in the 27 Broadway theatres affected have been cancelled through 25th November. Official openings scheduled during this period have been postponed until the dispute is over.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, a Broadway transfer of the London production of Peter Shaffer's Equus, with Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths, directed by Thea Sharrock, will begin performances in at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced on September 25th next year. The play is a series of sessions in which a psychiatrist tries to discover why a stable boy blinded six horses. The producers are David Pugh, LLC and the Shubert Organization.

The 30th season of the Women's Project at the Julia Miles Theatre will include Peggy Stafford's Wapato, a quirky comedy about tribal rituals, forgiveness, and women of a certain age, directed by Rebecca Patterson, from December 7th; the world premiere of Trista Baldwin's Sand, in which a young American soldier lost in a desert in the Middle East confronts powers foreign and domestic, secular and divine, real and imagined, from February 1st; and the New York premiere of Catherine Trieschmann's crooked, a tale of a 14 year old aspiring writer grappling with matters of faith, fantasy, and the flesh, directed by Liz Diamond, from April 11th; plus a site specific production Corporate Circus, about financial dealing, during May at the World Financial Center. The Julia Miles Theater is located at 424 West 55th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Runt Of The Litter, written by and starring Bo Eason, directed by Larry Moss, will preview from November 30th at 37 Arts Theatre, opening on December 9th. The semi-autobiographical work is the story of two competing brothers in a family of overachievers. The producers are Tom Quinn, Peter Fitzgerald, Larry Safir, Dawn Eason and Forbes Candlish. 37 Arts Theatre is located at 450 West 37 Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Second Stage Theatre will stage a new musical, Next To Normal, music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, with Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James, directed by Michael Greif, with musical staging by Sergio Trujillo, previewing from January 16th, opening February 13th. It is the story of how an almost average suburban family comes to grips with a long buried secret. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, at 8th Avenue.

Young performers in Broadway shows are taking part in The Knitting Project, organised by Broadway Kids Care, an initiative to knit scarves for veteran actors living at the Actors Fund's Lillian Booth Actors' Home as well as for New York City's homeless population. All front of house and backstage members of the Broadway community are also invited to join them in their efforts. Broadway Kids Care will perform a holiday concert at the Lillian Booth Actors' Home, where they will distribute the scarves they have knitted to retired members of the Broadway community. Broadway Kids Care brings together the children from current and past Broadway shows, affording them the opportunity to perform community service and, in the process, instill a strong philanthropic sensibility and foster a sense of community among the young actors and their families.

The next production at the Irish Repertory Theatre will be George Bernard Shaw's The Devils' Disciple, with Jenny Fellner, Curzon Dobell, Sean Gormley, Cristin Milioti, Craig Pattison, Lorenzo Pisoni, Darcy Pulliam, Robert Sedgwick, John Windsor-Cunningham and Richard B Watson, directed by Tony Walton, previewing from December 5th, opening December 13th. The comedy, set during the American War of Independence, is about a man who rebels not just against the British, but against his strict Puritan upbringing. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The Adding Machine: A Chamber Musical, score by Joshua Schmidt and book by Schmidt and Jason Loewit, directed by David Cromer, will open at the Minetta Lane Theatre in February. Based on Elmer Rice's 1923 expressionist play, it is the tale of an everyman anti-hero named Mr Zero, who finds his job replaced by the new tool of the title and snaps - murdering his boss. The cast of the premiere production at the Next Theater in Evanston, Illinois, including Joel Hatch, Amy Warren and Cyrilla Baer, are expected to remain with the show. The producer is Scott Morfee. The Minetta Lane Theatre is located at 18 Minetta Lane, between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street.

The Rumour Machine says: that two of the producers of Xanadu are developing a stage musical adaptation of the Joyce Maynard novel and 1995 film To Die For, about a ruthlessly ambitious television weather girl; that the Roundabout Theatre Company is to workshop Maury Yeston and Thomas Meehan's musical adaptation of Alberto Cassella's play Death Takes A Holiday, in which the Grim Reaper visits earth to discover why people are so fearful of him; and that composer Frank Wildhorn and book and lyric writer Jack Murphy are working on a musical adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's classic adventure novel The Count Of Monte Cristo. The Rumour Machine grinds on.