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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th August 2007

New York Theatre Workshop's 2007/2008 season will include Moliere's The Misanthrope, in a new contemporary version by Tony Harrison, with Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Jason C Brown, Bill Camp, Florencia Lozano, Joan MacIntosh, Alfredo Narciso, Thomas Jay Ryan and Jeanine Serralles, directed by Ivo van Hove, previewing from September 13th, opening on September 24th; Beckett Shorts, comprising Samuel Beckett's Act Without Words I & II, Eh Joe, and Rough For Theatre, with Mikhail Baryshnikov, David Neumann, Karen Kandel and Bill Camp, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis, opening in December; Naomi Wallace's Things Of Dry Hours, about a dangerous collision of gender, race and ideology in Depression-era Alabama; and the Elevator Repair Service's adaptation of William Faulkner's stream of consciousness novel The Sound And The Fury, about the decay and fall of an aristocratic family, in April. New York Theatre Workshop is located at 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery.

Maxwell Anderson's Night Over Taos, the true story of a Mexican freedom fighter, Pablo Montoya, who in 1847 led a siege to protect New Mexico from being ceded to the United States, directed by Estelle Parsons, will preview from September 20th at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, between East 9th and East 10th Streets, opening on October 1st.

Manhattan Theatre Club has announced the final show in the 2007/2008 season at its Broadway home, the Biltmore Theatre. William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba, the story of an empty marriage in a Midwestern town, in which the arrival of a young boarder provokes unspoken passions to rise to the surface, with S Epatha Merkerson, directed by Michael Pressman, will begin previews on January 3rd, with an official opening on January 24th. The production was recently seen in at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles.

On The Casting Couch at Lincoln Center Theater: Marc Kudisch, Erin Davie, Natalie Venetia Belcon, John Kassir, David Patrick Kelly, Julyana Soelistyo and Jeremy Webb comprise the cast of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's musical The Glorious Ones, previewing from October 11th at the Mitzi E Newhouse Theater, with an official opening on November 5th; and Jonathan Cake, Michael Cerveris, John Cullum, Martha Plimpton and Phylicia Rashad will lead the cast of William Shakespeare's Cymbeline, previewing from November 1st at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, with an official opening on December 2nd.

Elaine Stritch will perform her award winning one woman show Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, which traces her career through a string of Broadway plays and musicals, written with John Lahr, directed by George C Wolfe, for a season at the Cafe Carlyle from January 1st to 19th. The Cafe Carlyle is located within the Carlyle Hotel at 35 East 76th Street at Madison Avenue.

The bi-annual program 20at20 will return from September 4th to 16th, in which Off Broadway shows will offer $20 tickets at the box office starting 20 minutes before show time. The participating shows will include Altar Boyz, The Awesome 80s Prom, Celia, The Fantasticks, Forbidden Broadway, The Gazillion Bubble Show, The JAP Show, The Misanthrope, My First Time, My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, And I'm In Therapy, Naked Boys Singing, Neva Small: Not Quite An Ingenue, Perfect Crime, Stomp, Walmartopia and Will Durst: The All-American Sport Of Bipartisan Bashing. Some shows will accept cash only for these tickets. Further information can be found at the 20at20 web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Transport Group's 2007/2008 season will comprise the world premieres of two musicals at the Connelly Theatre, Crossing Brooklyn, a modern love story set in post 9/11 New York City, about two young dedicated public school teachers, book and lyrics by Laura Harrington, music by Jenny Giering, directed by Jack Cummings III, with choreography by Scott Rink, previewing from October 19th, opening on October 28th; and Marcy In The Galaxy, music and lyrics by Nancy Shayne, book by Michael Patrick King and Shayne, a self examination by a woman whose dream of being a New York artist has failed to come true, exploring dreams, disappointment, family and first love, also directed by Jack Cummings III, previewing from March 28th, opening on April 6th. The Connelly Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B.

Elephant Eye Theatricals, the Chicago based theatrical development and production company, whose aim is to create new book musicals for Broadway, has announced additional partnerships with 7 non-profit regional venues and 3 commercial producers. Elephant Eye was originally founded in 2005 by producers Stuart Oken and Michael Leavitt, and five non-profit regional companies, known as Five Cent Productions. It takes its name from 'where the corn is as high as' from the lyric in Oklahoma!. Projects in development include The Addams Family, based on Charles Addams characters, book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, directed and designed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch of Improbable Theatre; Bruce Lee: Journey To The West, book by David Henry Hwang, music and lyrics by David Yazbek, following the mythic journeys of the martial arts star, and the Chinese warrior god The Monkey King, directed by Bartlett Sher; and Saved, based on the film set in a Christian high school where students, teachers and parents find faith in unexpected places, music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, book and lyrics by John Dempsey and Rinne Groff, directed by Gary Griffin, developed with Playwrights Horizons, where it will premiere next May.

Frankenstein, a 'serious minded' musical inspired by Mary Shelley's gothic novel, original story adaptation by Gary P Cohen, book and lyrics Jeffrey Jackson, music Mark Baron, with Hunter Foster, directed Bill Fennelly, will preview from October 10th at 37 Arts, opening on November 1st. The producers are Gerald Goehring and Douglas C Evans, in association with Michael F Mitri and David S Stone. 37 Arts is located at 450 West 37th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Mike Nichols will direct two projects next year: Clifford Odets's Country Girl, probably starring Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand on Broadway in the spring, and the Off Broadway premiere of Beau Willimon's Farragut North starring Jake Gyllenhaal, at Second Stage in the fall; and that Cry-Baby, a new musical based on the film of the same name about a bad boy who falls for a good girl in 1950s Baltimore, book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger, directed by Mark Brokaw, is aiming for a spring Broadway debut, following a try out at La Jolla Playhouse in December. The Rumour Machine grinds on.