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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 21st November 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the recent Paper Mill Playhouse production of Newsies, a musical adaptation of the 1992 Disney film inspired by the real life Newsboy Strike of 1899, book by Harvey Fierstein, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, directed by Jeff Calhoun, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, will preview from March 15th at the Nederlander Theatre, with an official opening on March 29th. Most of the original cast are expected to make the transfer. The design team comprises scenery by Tobin Ost, costumes by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Jeff Croiter and projections by Sven Ortel.

The National Theatre London production of Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors, which relocates Carlo Goldini's The Servant Of Two Masters to the coastal town of Brighton in the 1960s, with James Corden, directed by Nicholas Hytner, will transfer to Broadway, previewing from April 6th at the Music Box Theatre, with an official opening on April 18th. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Mark Thompson, lighting by Mark Henderson, and sound by Paul Arditti. The producers are Bob Boyett and the National Theatre.

It has been confirmed that the London production of Peter Quilter's End Of The Rainbow, a play with music about the last days of Judy Garland, with original star Tracie Bennett, joined by Michael Cumpsty, Tom Pelphrey and Jay Russell, directed by Terry Johnson, will preview from March 19th at the Belasco Theatre, with an official opening on April 2nd. The producers are Lee Dean, Laurence Myers, Jenny Topper and Joey Parnes.

The theatrical publishing and licensing company Samuel French, has begun to release its titles, including plays and musical librettos, in eBook format via Apple's iBookstore, for use on iPhone, iPod and iPad. Starting with around 100 titles, including works by Dale Wasserman, Charles Busch, Israel Horovitz, Ray Cooney and Marsha Norman, the aim is to have 1,000 available by the end of the year. Samuel French is also preparing the scripts for use on the Kindle, Nook and Sony eReader via all online retailers next year. Most plays will retail for $8.99. Further information can be found on the Samuel French web site, via the link from The Emporium in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

A Christmas Carol, As Told by Charles Dickens (Himself) uses Charles Dickens's own performing version of the classic Christmas story of redemption, adapted by Greg Oliver Bodine, directed by David F Chapman, playing at the Canal Park Playhouse from December 1st. Canal Park Playhouse is located at 508 Canal Street, between Washington and Greenwich Streets.

Stephen Sondheim's second volume of his collected lyrics, Look, I Made A Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes And Miscellany has just been published by Knopf. The book combines the lyrics from Sondheim's shows from Sunday In The Park With George to Sondheim On Sondheim, and material from films and television, plus songs cut from shows, written for personal special occasions, and even unproduced projects. As with the first volume, all are combined with personal reflections and stories about their creation and production. His anecdotes are rich with history, personal insights, and intimate details, in addition to which, there is a wealth of background material, with manuscript pages, first night telegrams, typescripts and pencil notes all reproduced. Throughout the book, Sondheim analyses his work and dissects his own songs, as well as offering candid views on the work of others. Brilliant, poignant, scathing, and funny, it gives an unparalleled insight into the craft of theatre songwriting.

The 23rd annual Gypsy Of The Year Competition, the variety show featuring Broadway 'Gypsies' (chorus members from Broadway and Off Broadway shows), which is the culmination of the fall fundraising effort of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will take place at the New Amsterdam Theatre at 4.30pm on December 5th and 2pm on December 6th, when awards will be presented to the companies that raise the most money, and for the winning talent presentation. Hosted by Seth Rudetsky, the show will also include a reunion of the original Broadway cast of Grease for a special 40th anniversary tribute. Last year the event raised $3,776,720, pushing the competition's 22 year total to $44,136,720. Further information can be found on the BC/EFA web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Axis Theatre will stage the 10th anniversary of its production of Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a family musical, based on a winter themed fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, written and directed by Randy Sharp, with Marc Palmieri, David Crabb, Lynn Mancinelli, Jim Sterling, Brian Barnhart, George Demas, Britt Genelin, Spencer Aste, Edgar Oliver, Laurie Kilmartin and Marlene Berner, opening on December 2nd. The Axis Theatre is located at 1 Sheridan Square, between West 4th Street and Washington Place.

The next production at Irish Repertory Theatre will be the return of Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas In Wales, a poignant evocation of distant Christmases in the seaside town of his youth, adapted and directed by Charlotte Moore, previewing from December 7th, opening on December 11th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Jim Parsons may star in a Roundabout Theatre Company production of Mary Chase's Harvey, a comedy in which a man befriends a 6ft 3in rabbit that only he can see, next spring; that a gospel-infused musical comedy Leap Of Faith, book by Janus Cercone and Warren Leight, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, based on the 1992 film about a fraudulent faith healer, directed by Christopher Ashley, is aiming for Broadway next fall, courtesy of producer Thomas Viertel; and that that Bernadette Peters and Martin Short may star in a Broadway production of the Tom Jones-Harvey Schmid musical I Do! I Do!, based on Jan de Hartog's play The Fourposter, charting the course of a couple's relationship, courtesy of producers Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, John Gore and Beth Williams of Broadway Across America. The Rumour Machine grinds on.