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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 21st January 2008

Primary Stages's 2008/2009 season at 59E59 Theaters will comprise the New York premieres of A R Gurney's Buffalo Gal, about the dilemma of a fading television celebrity who returns to her home town to star in The Cherry Orchard, but is then offered a role in Hollywood, directed by Mark Lamos, from July 22nd; Lee Blessing's A Body Of Water, about two people who wake up in a house in an idyllic setting but don't know who or where they are, directed by Maria Mileaf, from September 16th; and Donald Margulies's Shipwrecked! An Entertainment - The Amazing Adventures Of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By Himself), which examines how far we are willing to blur the line between fact and fiction in order to leave our mark on the world, from January 27th; and the world premiere of Tina Howe's Chasing Manet, a comedy about two seniors plotting their escape from a nursing home, with Jane Alexander, from March 25th.

Meanwhile, the final production in Primary Stages's current season will be the New York premiere of Willy Holtzman's Something You Did, with Joanna Gleason and Jordan Charney, directed by Carolyn Cantor, previewing from March 18th, opening on April 1st. It centers on a 1960s radical, who has served nearly 30 years in prison for her part in the accidental killing of a police officer during an anti war protest, and is now eligible for parole in a post 9/11 world, where bombing is terrorism and dissent is treason. 59E59 Theaters are (unsurprisingly) located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

Samuel Beckett's Endgame, (the one with the blind man in the wheelchair and his parents in dustbins) with Elaine Stritch, John Turturro and Alvin Epstein, directed by Andrei Belgrader, will play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Harvey Theater from April 25th to May 17th. The Brooklyn Academy of Music Harvey Theater is located at 651 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, between Ashland Place and Rockwell Place.

Nairoby Otero will perform her new one person play 'Til Sunday, directed by Michelle Tattenbaum, from February 21st at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre in the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex. It is the story of a young mother coming to the US from Cuba with her daughter in search of a better life, looking at what it means to be Cuban, what it means to be an immigrant, and what it means to be American. The producer is Loeber Productions. The Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Forthcoming productions by Manhattan Theatre Club at New York City Center will include the New York premiere of Itamar Moses's The Four Of Us, examining what happens to the relationship of two writers when one of them suddenly becomes hugely successful, with Gideon Banner and Michael Esper, directed by Pam MacKinnon, previewing from March 6th, opening on March 25th; and the world premiere of Liz Flahive's From Up Here, directed by Leigh Silverman, in association with Ars Nova, previewing from March 27th, opening on April 16th. New York City Center is located at 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Ars Nova will present the world premieres of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Boom, a comedy in which the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, directed by Alex Timbers, from March 5th; and the musical Jollyship The Whiz-Bang, an underground-pirate-puppet-rock spectacular, book and lyrics by Nick Jones and music by Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, directed by Sam Gold, from May 14th. Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Fabulous Divas Of Broadway will make its New York debut previewing from February 13th at St. Luke's Theatre, opening on February 27th. In the one man show which he wrote, performs and directed, Alan Palmer describes his love of musical theatre through songs as performed by 18 Broadway leading ladies, from Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews, Judy Garland, and Chita Rivera to Christine Ebersole, Patti LuPone, Sutton Foster and Kristin Chenoweth.

James Andreassi, Heidi Armbruster, Kelly AuCoin, Ryan Duncan, Ronald Guttman, John Hayden, Joe Hickey, Carlos Lopez, Ned Noyes, Maria Parra, Joe Rayome, Nicole Shalhoub and Teresa Yenque will comprise the cast in The Mint Theater Company's world premiere of the original version of Ernest Hemingway's only full length play The Fifth Column, directed by Jonathan Bank, beginning performances on February 26th. The play is set during the Spanish Civil War, about a counter espionage agent working for the Loyalist cause, who falls in love with a journalist. The Mint Theater Company is located at 311 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Carmen Pelaez will perform her one person show Rum & Coke, directed by Carl Andress, previewing from February 1st at the June Havoc Theatre at the Abingdon Theater Arts Complex, opening on February 13th. It is a comic look at life through a Cuban perspective. The June Havoc Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

29th Street Rep will present Kate Harris's stage adaptation of Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 film The Conversation, in which a guilt ridden surveillance expert ends up a victim of his own technology, with David Mogentale, directed by Leo Farley, previewing from April 3rd, opening on April 10th. The associate producer is Darren Lee Cole. 29th Street Rep is located at 212 West 29th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Levy Lee Simon will perform Same Train, his musical journey of the African-American experience in the 20th century, with Ayeje Feamster, Eddie Goines, Harrison Lee, Kami Percinthe and Cedric Turner, directed by Mary Beth Easley, at The Algonquin Theater from February 13th. The piece comprises seven of Levy Lee Simon stories, with music and lyrics by Mark Bruckner, interweaving spoken word with gospel, jazz and blues. The Algonquin Theater is located at 123 East 24th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues.

Hotel Savant will stage Antonin Artaud's adaptation of Percy Bysshe Shelley's verse drama The Cenci, in a new version by Richard Sieburth, with Anthony Torn, Lauren Blumenfeld, Anna Fitzwater, Mauricio Salgado, Kobi Libii, Alexander Nifong, Joshua Seidner, Alexander Lane, Tanisha Thompson and Todd D'Amour, directed by John Jahnke, previewing from February 5th at the Ohio Theatre, opening on February 7th. The version of a Roman scandal of 1599, a lurid account of a wealthy family felled by incest, murder, and Papal oppression, will be staged within a maze that runs throughout the building. The Ohio Theatre is located at 66 Wooster Street between Spring and Broome Streets.

John Ahlin will perform his one person comedy Gray Area, directed by Seth Barrish, previewing from February 13th at the Barrow Group Theatre, opening on February 18th. It is the story of a critic who attacks Civil War re-enactors, in retaliation for which they stage a 'redress for the ages', and what ensues is the Civil War's last battle. The Barrow Group Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.