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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th September 2010

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the Australian musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, adapted by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, from the 1994 film about three drag queens on a road trip to Alice Springs, using existing disco songs, directed by Simon Phillips, with choreography by Ross Coleman, currently playing in London, will preview from February 28th at the Palace Theatre, with an official opening on March 20th, following a season in Toronto beginning in next month. The cast will be headed by Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson, Nick Adams and C David Johnson. The design team comprises scenery by Brian Thomson, costumes by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, lighting by Nick Schlieper, and sound by Jonathan Deans. The producers are Liz Koops and Garry McQuinn, Specific Films, Allan Scott Productions, Roy Furman, James L Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Terri and Timothy Childs, Ken Greiner and Chip Meyrelles, Chugg Entertainment, Michael Buckley, Bruce Davey, Stewart F Lane / Bonnie Comley, Thierry Suc, Robert G Bartner, Volcano Project, David Mirvish, Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment / Spirtas-Mauro Productions/MAS Music Arts & Show.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, a new musical The Book Of Mormon, book by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez, telling the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda, co-directed by Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw, who will also choreograph, will preview from February 24th at the O'Neil Theatre, with an official opening on March 24th. The lead producers are Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino.

The Prospect Theater Company will stage the musical comedy Once Upon A Time In New Jersey, book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo, music by Stephen Weiner, directed by Cara Reichel, with choreography by Remy Kurs, at the Hudson Guild Theatre, from October 2nd. The cast comprises Jeremy Cohen, Jason Collins, Denise DeMirjian, Mishaela Faucher, Jonathan Gregg, Briga Heelan, Jason Kappus, Theresa Kloos, Alex Krasser, Catherine LeFrere, John Mervini, Samia Mounts, David Perlman, Darcy Yellin and Noah Zachary. It is an Italian-American fairy tale set in 1956 Hoboken, with a love quadrangle comprising a sandwich make, a counter girl, the local hunk and a dance teacher. The Hudson Guild Theatre is located at 441 West 26th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: David Duchovny and Amanda Peet will be joined by John Earl Jelks and Tracee Chimo in Neil LaBute's The Break Of Noon, opening at Lucille Lortel Theatre on November 15th; Ethan Hawke, Natasha Lyonne, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Becky Ann Baker, Thomas Guiry and Gordon Clapp will feature in Tommy Nohilly's Blood From A Stone playing at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row from December 13th; and Marisa Tomei and Frank Whaley will star in Wallace Shawn's Marie And Bruce, at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, from March 3rd.

New York Neo-Futurists will stage (un)afraid, written and performed by Jill Beckman, Cara Francis, Ricardo Gamboa and Daniel McCoy, celebrating and examining the concept, causes and consequences of fear, both in our society and in ourselves, directed by Rob Neil, opening at The Living Theatre on October 14th. The Living Theatre is located at 21 Clinton Street between Houston and Stanton Streets.

Cause Celebre will stage Susan Charlotte's Love Divided By/Times Three, a play with music by Billy Goldenberg, about a dancer who is losing her memory, and a dance teacher who has blotted out her memories, with Loni Ackerman, Marilyn Sokol, Lisa Bostnar, Kevin Stapleton and Fatima Ptacek, directed by Antony Marsellis, with choreography by Gene Castle, opening at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row on October 7th. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The next production at Irish Repertory Theatre will be the premiere of Kelly Yonger's Banished Children Of Eve, adapted from Peter Quinn's epic novel set in the Civil War summer of 1863, as the Bowery explodes with racial tension and the City of New York rushes toward the fatal July draft riots, directed by Ciaran O'Reilly, previewing from October 13th, opening on October 24th. The cast comprises Malcolm Gets, David Lansbury, Christopher Borger, Rory Duffy, Amber Gray, Patrice Johnson, Graeme Malcolm, Kern McFadden, Jonny Orsini and Amanda Quaid. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Nicu's Spoon will stage David Lindsay-Abaire's Kimberly Akimbo, with Wynne Anders, Elizabeth Bell, Phrannie Lyons, William Reid and David Tully, directed by Oliver Conant, previewing from October 7th at The Spoon Theatre, opening on October 10th. It tells the story of a teenager with a rare condition that causes her body to age four and half times faster than it should, so she becomes trapped inside the frail physical body of an elderly woman. The Spoon Theatre is located at 38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenues.