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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 21st December 2009

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Ken Ludwig's farce Lend Me A Tenor, about the backstage panic involved in getting an opera superstar on stage in the 1930s, with Anthony LaPaglia, Tony Shalhoub, Jan Maxwell, Mary Catherine Garrison, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jay Klaitz and Brooke Adams, directed by Stanley Tucci, will preview from March 11th at the Music Box Theatre, with an official opening on April 4th. The producers are The Araca Group, Stuart Thompson, Carl Moellenberg, Rodney Rigby, Olympus Theatricals, Broadway Across America, Lisa Cartwright and Wendy Federman/Jamie deRoy.

In house productions in the current season at Dicapo Opera Theatre will include the New York premiere of Thomas Pasatieri's Hotel Casablanca, a comic tale of love, guns and mistaken identity deep in the heart of 1940s Texas, adapted from the classic Feydeau farce A Flea In Her Ear, opening on January 22nd; the world premiere of Francesco Ciluffo's Il Caso Mortara, based on the true story of a 19th century Italian Jewish boy who was taken from the home of his parents and raised as a Christian on the orders of the Pope, opening on February 25th; and Puccini's Madama Butterfly, opening on 15th April. The Dicapo Opera Theatre is located at 184 East 76th Street, between 3rd and Lexington Avenues.

Lincoln Center will open its own discount ticket booth, housed in the new David Rubinstein Atrium, on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets, on January 7th, offering the opportunity to purchase same day reduced price tickets for performances by its resident companies. The booth will accept cash and credit card payments. Tickets will be sold Tuesdays to Sundays (with Monday performances sold on Sundays) from midday, with a limit of 2 tickets per person. Discounted tickets for Lincoln Center Theater performances will also be made available at the TKTS booths. The atrium also features a cafe, free Wi-Fi, and free weekly performances at 8.30pm on Thursdays.

On The Casting Couch: Abigail Breslin and Alison Pill will be joined by Matthew Modine, Jennifer Morrison and Elizabeth Franz in William Gibson's The Miracle Worker, opening at the Circle in the Square Theatre on March 3rd; John Cullum, Brandon Victor Dixon and Colman Domingo will head the cast in the John Kander-Fred Ebb-David Thompson musical The Scottsboro Boys, opening at the Vineyard Theatre on March 10th; and Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes will be joined by Brooks Ashmanskas, Katie Finneran and Tony Goldwyn in the by Neil Simon-Burt Bacharach-Hal David musical Promises, Promises, opening at the Broadway Theatre on April 25th

Target Margin Theater will stage The Really Big Once, written and directed by David Herskovits, exploring Tennessee Williams's collaboration with director Elia Kazan on the play Camino Real, based on correspondence, notebooks, memoirs and other documentary material from the period 1948 to 1953, opening in April at the Ontological Theater. The Ontological Theater is located at St Mark's Church, 131 East 10th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

The Culture Project's 2010 season will comprise Swimming Upstream, created by Eve Ensler and Carol Bebelle, about the events in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; Yael Farber's Molora, a radical retelling of the Oresteia set during South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Colin Greer's Heschel, giving the Polish American Rabbi Abraham Heschel's perspectives on racial justice, anti-Semitism, and war; and Yael Farber's RAM: The Abduction Of Sita Into Darkness, an adaptation of the Indian epic The Ramayana.

The Public Theater is to launch a new Shakespeare Initiative, designed to engage the hearts and imaginations of teenagers. It will include Shakespeare Spring Break, an intensive workshop focussing on The Merchant Of Venice and The Winter's Tale (being presented by Shakespeare in the Park this summer) centering on textual analysis of the plays, running from March 29th to April 2nd; and A Midsummer Day's Camp, for aspiring actors, to include acting, voice, movement, games, text analysis, clowning and stage combat, running from August 2nd to 13th, culminating in a performance at the Public Theater on August 14th.

Future productions at 59E59 Theaters will include the rUDE mECHANICALS Theater Company world premiere of Shawn Nacol's Rough Sketch, about a pair of animators trying to complete an over budget and behind schedule children's movie, while snowed in over the holidays, with Tina Benko and Matthew Lawler, directed by Ian Morgan, previewing from January 14th, opening on January 17th; and the Luna Stage production of The Man In Room 306, a solo play written and performed by Craig Alan Edwards, a portrait of Martin Luther King on the night before his assassination, as he struggles with himself, his future, and the soul of a non-violent movement shadowed by the rise of Black Power, directed by Cheryl Katz, previewing from January 15th, opening on January 20th. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

The Guerilla Shakespeare Project will stage William Shakespeare and John Fletcher's The Two Noble Kinsmen, a tragicomedy about two cousins whose friendship sours when they fall in love with the same woman, with Jacques Roy, Jordan Reeves, Kimiye Corwin, Ginger Eckert, Jordan Kaplan, Craig Wesley Divino, Zachary Fine, Scott Raker and Lindsay Torrey, directed by Diana Buirski, from January 7th, at the Medicine Show Theatre. The Medicine Show Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that the current Signature Theatre Company/Hartford Stage production of Horton Foote's The Orphans' Home Cycle, the series of 9 plays about a family, may transfer to Broadway, courtesy of Jeffrey Richards and Daryl Roth; and that Playwrights Horizons' 40th anniversary season will include the New York premiere of Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I, about identical twins with the same name, featuring Elizabeth Ashley and Brian Murray, directed by Emily Mann. The Rumour Machine grinds on.