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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 22nd February 2010

It's Official! As previously forecast here, David Herson's La Bete, a Moliere style comedy pitting the head of the royal court sponsored theatre troupe against a foppish, frivolous street entertainer in 17th century France, with Joanna Lumley, Mark Rylance and David Hyde Pierce, directed by Matthew Warchus, will open at the Comedy Theatre in London on July 7th, followed by a Broadway transfer, opening at a Shubert theatre yet to be announced in September. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Mark Thompson, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, and sound by Simon Baker. The producers are Sonia Friedman Productions and Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Robert Bartner and Roy Furman.

Red Fern Theatre Company will stage +30NYC, a programme of short plays examining how actions today will directly affect life in 30 years' time, previewing on March 4th at Center Stage NY, opening on March 6th. The plays comprise Bekah Brunstetter's Rosa's Little Jar Of Fear, in which a young girl deals with the endless resource of terror at the airport, directed by Dominic D'Andrea; Victor Ismael Cazares's Dodo Solastalgia, about how genetic ties can drive you crazy, directed by Scott Ebersold; Christine Evans's Fish Bowl, showing how medical tests of the future put a new perspective on life in the fish bowl, directed by Melanie Moyer Williams; Michael John Garces's In The Zone, where, on a trading floor of the future, New Yorkers barter for what really matters, directed by Portia Krieger; Ashlin Halfnight's Remembrancer Vessel, revealing a family's cryogenic hopes and worst nightmares, directed by Melanie Moyer Williams; Mac Rogers's Footprint, showing that even green living takes its toll on the environment and relationships, directed by Daniel Talbott; and Tommy Smith's Thirty Story Masterpieces, about an older woman and a young man trapped in a high-rise in Manhattan, directed by Jessi D Hill. Center Stage NY is located at 48 West 21st Street, 4th Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

The Off Broadway Alliance, the organisation comprised of producers, general managers, venue owners, press agents and marketing personnel in Off Broadway theatres, will present the first in a series of planned seminars focusing on the culture, business and history of Off Broadway theatre on February 28th at the Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center. Entitled The Bad Boys Of Off Broadway, the event will feature playwrights Adam Rapp and Christopher Shinn, plus additional participants yet to be announced, with drama critic David Cote as moderator. The seminars are aimed at anyone with an interest in Off Broadway, from the theatregoer to the professional practitioner. The Snapple Theater Center is located at 210 West 50th Street at Broadway.

Godlight Theatre Company will stage the world premiere of Matt Pelfrey's adaptation of John Ball's In The Heat Of The Night, directed by Joe Tantalo, previewing from 19th March at the 59E59 Theaters, opening on March 28th. The cast comprises Gregory Konow, Sean Phillips, Nick Paglino, Michael Shimkin, Julianne Nelson, Ashton Crosby, Ryan O'Callaghan, Bryce Hodgson, Sam Whitten and Scarlett Thiele. When a white man's body is discovered in Alabama in 1962 a black stranger is arrested, but he is a visiting homicide detective, and the only person capable of solving the unsolvable crime. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

Lincoln Center Theater has confirmed details of its 2010/2011 season.The premiere of the musical Women On The Verge, book by Jeffrey Lane, music and lyrics David Yazbeck, adapted from Pedro Almodovar's 1988 Spanish comedy film Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, about a group of women whose relationships with men lead to a tumultuous 48 hours of confusion and passion, directed by Bartlett Sher, will preview from October 2nd at the Belasco Theatre, opening on November 4th. The premiere of John Guare's A Free Man Of Color, a racially charged re-telling of America's coming of age set in New Orleans in 1802, directed by George C Wolfe, will preview from October 21st at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, opening on November 18th. The British National Theatre's production of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse, adapted by Nick Stafford, directed by Tom Morris and Marianne Elliott, in collaboration with South African puppet company Handspring, will transfer to the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, previewing from March 17th next year, with an official opening on April 14th. It tells the story of a boy who goes to the battlefield in the First World War to rescue his horse. The design team comprises, scenery and costumes by Rae Smith, puppets by Adrian Kohler, lighting by Paule Constable, video by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, and sound by Christopher Shutt.

Sin, adapted by Mark Altman from Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story The Unseen, a comedy that pits a happily married couple against the devil, with Marilyn Chris, Paul Collins, Jessiee Datino, Pierre Epstein, Sarah Grace Wilson and Grant James Varjas, directed by Kent Paul, will preview from March 9th at the Rose Nagelberg Theatre at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, opening on March 17th. The Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 55 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street.

Untitled Theater Company #61 will stage the world premiere of Edward Einhorn's Rudolf II, set in 1600 Prague, telling the story of the emperor, whose interests included alchemy, astronomy and open sexuality, with Adriana Disman, Joe Gately, Eric Oleson, Shelley Ray, Timothy McCown Reynolds, Yvonne Roen and Jack Schaub, directed by Henry Akona, from March 5th at the Bohemian National Hall. The Bohemian National Hall is the original home of the Manhattan Theatre Club, and this production will be the first after more than 15 years of restoration. It is located at 321 East 73rd Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues.