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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th December 2010

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the Royal Court Theatre London production of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, a comic picture of contemporary rural England, with original stars Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook, directed by Ian Rickson will preview from April 2nd at the Music Box Theatre, with an official opening on April 21st. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Ultz, lighting by Mimi Jordan Sherin, and sound by Ian Dickinson. The producers are Royal Court Theatre Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Roger Berlind and Robert G Bartner.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Tyne Daly will reprise her recent Kennedy Center performance in Terrence McNally's Master Class, inspired by the classes opera singer Maria Callas gave at Juilliard in the 1970s, directed Stephen Wadsworth, previewing from May 24th at the Friedman Theatre, with an official opening on June 21st.

Hotel Savant will stage Men Go Down, written and directed by John Jahnke, a critique of contemporary political leadership through the story of an ancient Greek king who abandons his war torn country for the safety of a cliff side cave, with Melody Bates, Alexander Borinsky, Tim Eliot, Michael Ingle, Mikeah Jennings, Liz Santoro, Hillary Spector and Tanisha Thompson, at the 3LD Art & Technology Center, from January 6th. The 3LD Art & Technology Center is located at 80 Greenwich Street, at Rector Street.

On The Casting Couch: Jaime Ray Newman, Patricia Conolly, Michael Countryman, Francesca Faridany, Mikaela Feely-Lehmann, Rick Holmes, John Keating, Peter Maloney, Jaime Ray Newman, Patricia O'Connell, Jeremy Shamos, Joey Slotnick and Tom Patrick Stephens will feature in David Auburn's adaptation of Langdon Mitchell's The New York Idea, playing at the Lucille Lortel Theatre from January 6th; Gregg Edelman, Ari Brand, Daniel Davis, Carolyn McCormick and Elvy Yost will comprise the cast of A R Gurney's Black Tie, opening at 59E59 Theaters on February 11th; and Adam Chanler-Berat, Christian Borle, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Teddy Bergman, Arnie Burton, Matt D'Amico, Brandon Dirden, Carson Elrod, Kevin Del Aguila, Greg Hildreth, Karl Kenzler and David Rossmer will form the cast of Rick Elice's adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter And The Starcatcher, opening at the New York Theatre Workshop on March 9th.

Nicu's Spoon will stage Cinderella, book and lyrics by Nicholas Linnehan, music by Ian Werhle, a contemporary family musical retelling the classic story, opening at The Spoon Theatre, on 8th January. The Spoon Theatre is located at 38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Alan Bowne's Beirut, the story of a Brooklyn man quarantined in the Lower East Side after being tested positive for a deadly, nameless virus, and his girlfriend, who crosses the lines to save him, with Meital Dohan, Sammi Rotibi and Tony Ray Rossi, directed by the Zoppa Brothers, previewing from January 5th at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on January 8th. The producers are the Athena Theater Company, Exhibit Z and Stephen J Palmsese. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Jovanka Bach's Nightsong For The Boatman, in which a washed-up poet is stopped from jumping off a bridge by a sardonic boatman who attempts to trick him into giving his life to the devil, with John DiFusco, Nicole Scipione, Alex Wells, Michael Byrne, Donna Luisa Guinan, Geoffrey Hillback, Amanda Landis and John Landis, adapted and directed by John Stark, will preview from January 6th at the TBG Arts Complex, opening on January 13th. The TBG Arts Complex is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Forthcoming productions at The Flea Theater will include: Pants On Fire's Metamorphosis, a play with music that relocates to World War II London Ovid's epic poem, telling fantastical love stories of gods and humans that pursue the theme of physical transformation, adapted and directed by Peter Bramley, music by Lucy Egger, with Jonathan Daveport, Jo Dockery, Mabel Jones, Tom McCall, Alex Packer and Hannah Pierce, playing from January 5th; and Trista Baldwin's American Sexy, which looks at American sexuality in the digital age, with Satomi Blair, Veracity Butcher, Seth Moore, Scot Morse, Briana Pozner, Ian Quinlan, Nicky Schmidlein and Ron Washington, directed by Mia Walker, previewing from January 15th, opening on January 29th. The Flea Theatrer is located at 41 White Street, between Church Street and Broadway.

The 41st anniversary season of the 92nd Street Y's Lyrics & Lyricists series, featuring the songs of a particular writer or era, will comprise: Frank And Tony And Peggy And Me: Making Music With The Great Singers - Celebrating Bucky Pizzarelli's 85th Birthday, with Darius de Haas and Judy Kuhn, hosted by John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, on January 8th; On A Clear Day: The Musical Vision of Burton Lane, hosted by David Loud, on February 12th; Stage Door Canteen: Broadway Responds To WWII, hosted by Ted Chapin, on March 12th; The Crowds At El Morocco: The Heyday Of The New York Nightclubs, hosted by Deborah Grace Winer, on April 30th; and Carried Away: Being Comden And Green, hosted by Phyllis Newman, on May 21st. The 92nd Street Y is located at 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

The Rumour Machine says: that Patti LuPone may star in a Broadway revival of the Michael Stewart-Jerry Herman musical Hello Dolly!, courtesy of Nederlander Presentations, prior to which, An Evening With Patti LuPone And Mandy Patinkin, which has played dates across the country, may have a limited Broadway run at a Shubert theatre; and that Katie Holmes may star in William Mastrosimone's psychological drama Extremities, directed by Kenny Leon, during the 2011/2012 Broadway season, courtesy of producers Debbie Bisno and Ray Gaspard. The Rumour Machine grinds on.