News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 21st May 2007

The Royal Court Theatre London production of Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll, directed by Trevor Nunn, complete with original headliners Brian Cox, Sinead Cusack and Rufus Sewell, plus Nicole Ansari and Alice Eve, will preview from October 19th at the Bernard B Jacobs Theatre, with an official opening on November 4th. The play is set in Czechoslovakia and Britain, moving between 1956, 1968 and 1990, with two different views on the Czech revolt against communism - a performer in a Czech rock band and a British Marxist philosopher. It features scenic design by Robert Jones, costume design by Emma Ryott, lighting design by Howard Harrison and sound design by Ian Dickinson. The producers are Sonia Friedman Productions, Bob Boyett, Ostar Enterprises, Roger Berlind and Tulbart Productions, in association with Lincoln Center Theater.

The 21st Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction, the outdoor fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be held on September 23rd, from 10am to 7pm, in Shubert Alley. It will feature stalls with a host of theatrical memorabilia donated by the theatrical community, a Celebrity Table where autographs or photos with stars from Broadway, Off Broadway and television can be purchased, and over a dozen one off theatrical experiences, such as house seats for a show plus a walkon part, visit with the star in their dressing room or dinner afterwards, a backstage tour, or chance to conduct the exit music in the orchestra pit, in the Live Auction at 4.30pm. Last year's Flea Market raised $505,832. Online and phone bids for the auction can be placed until September 22nd. Shubert Alley is located between 44th and 45th Streets, at the side of the Shubert and Booth Theatres. Further information can be found on the BC/EFA web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Greenhouse Effect, a new multi-character solo comic play, written and performed by Michael Deep, directed by Kate Bushmann, will preview from June 2nd at Dorothy Strelsin Theatre at Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, opening on June 12th. A mix of passion and politics pervades the story, as a man wrestles over whether to abandon his family (sometimes touching, but always somewhat touched). Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Studio Dante will present the world premiere of Anastasia Traina's From Riverdale To Riverhead, with Catherine Curtin, Ken Forman, Bess Rouss, Annabella Sciorra and Angelica Torn, directed by Nick Sandow, previewing from May 30th, opening on June 2nd. Home truths are revealed as four women drive through a snowstorm to visit a prisoner at Riverhead Correctional Facility. Studio Dante is located at 257 West 29th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The 18 musicals that will be part of the 4th annual New York Musical Theatre Festival's Next Link Project have been announced. Among those chosen are Austentatious, book by Matt Board, Jane Caplow, Kate Galvin, Luisa Hinchliff and Joe Slabe, music and lyrics by Matt Board and Joe Slabe, about an amateur theatre company mounting a stage adaptation of Pride And Prejudice; Love Sucks, book by Stephen O'Rourke, music by Brandon Patton, and lyrics by Brandon Patton and Stephen O'Rourke, a punk rock version of Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost; and War Brides, book by Ronald Sproat, music by Christopher Berg, and lyrics by Frank Evans, in which British war brides fight government red tape to be reunited with their American GI husbands after World War II. The shows will be presented at various Off Broadway venues from September 17th to October 7th. Around 20 other new musicals, to be announced later this summer, will also be part of the event, which will include panels and seminars featuring industry leaders, readings, concerts and cabaret performances. Further information can be found on the NYMF web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Matthew Schnecks Badge, a dark comedy about a 28 year old man who remains attached to the Boy Scouts, until his Scout Master's uninhibited sister walks into his life, making him do very 'unScoutlike' things, with Greg McFadden, Glynis Bell, Tara Falk and Darrell James, directed by Jenn Thompson, will receive its world premiere at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater on June 18th. The producer is BeaconNY Productions. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is located at 224 Waverly Place, between West 11th Street and Perry Street.

A new plan created by business leaders and township officials, with the aid of a local banking institution, should help the financially troubled Paper Mill Playhouse stay in business. The four part plan includes a 'significant' loan from Investors Savings Bank, increased support from the Board of Trustees and other business leaders in finding guarantors for the loan, financial support from the township of Millburn, and an administrative reorganization that will incorporate a sound longer term business and financing plan. Since the publicity surrounding Paper Mills's crisis, ticket sales have increased, so the remainder of the current season is now assured, and Pirates!, an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates Of Penzance, will run from June 7th to July 8th.

AntiGravity: The 2007 Tour, a performance event that melds 'aerial acrobatics, extreme sports and urban dance with technology and popular culture', conceived, directed and choreographed by Christopher Harrison, in collaboration with Team AntiGravity, will play at the Hammerstein Ballroom from June 27th to July 1st. The show, which is the company's fourth full length original production, promises two 'satellite stages' on the Ballroom's main floor, and 'plenty of incredible aerial action overhead'. It is presented in New York by Manhattan Center. The Hammerstein Ballroom, is located at 311 West 34th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Following its first holiday visit to the Hilton Theatre last year, Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! - The Musical, will return, this time to St James Theatre, from November 1st through January 6th. The classic tale of a grumpy hermit who hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville, with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason, and music by Mel Marvin, which includes 2 songs from the 1966 animated film, is directed by Matt August, with choreography by John DeLuca. No casting has been announced. Patrick Page starred in the premiere run, which set a new performance record for a Broadway theatre, by playing 12 shows a week, including 8 on weekends alone. The producer is Running Subway Productions.