News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd April 2012

The Amoralists will stage the premiere of Derek Ahonen's The Bad And The Better, a dark detective tale about two brothers, one with everything to lose, one with everything to prove, with Byron Anthony, William Apps, Selene Beretta, James Kautz, Nick Lawson, Sarah Lemp, Sarah Roy, Anna Stromberg, Jordan Tisdale and Vanessa Vache, as well as newcomers to the troupe including Clyde Baldo, Reuben Barsky, Penny Bittone, Regina Blandon, Ugo Chukwu, Wade Dunham, Edgar Eguia, Rebeca Fong, Chris Lanceley, David Lanson, Judy Merrick, David Nash, Cassie Paras, James Rees, Lucas Seigal, Dan Stern, Kelley Swindall and Chris Wharton, directed by Daniel Aukin, previewing from June 14th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons, opening on June 19th. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Judy Kuhn and Melissa Errico will feature in the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical Passion, opening at the Classic Stage Company next February; and Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana will head the cast of the revised version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Cinderella, opening during the 2012/2013 Broadway season

Kari Floren's Revisiting Wildfire, which explores the complex relationship of two 50 something women whose madcap friendship was forged as college roommates, with Allyce Beasley and Lynne Wintersteller, directed by Eve Brandstein, will preview from June 1st at ArcLight Theatre, opening on June 6th. The producer is Right Down Broadway. The ArcLight Theater is located at 152 West 71st Street, between Columbus Avenue and Broadway.

The Alloy Theater Company will stage William Luce's Bronte: A Portrait Of Charlotte, a one person show about the 18th century British writer, based on letters written between Bronte and her childhood friend and confident Ellen Nussey, with Maxine Linehan, directed by Timothy Douglas, previewing from May 3rd at Theater 511 at Ars Nova, opening on May 8th. Theater 511 is located at 511 West 54th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be, a biography of Lionel Bart, by David Stafford and Caroline Stafford, published by Omnibus Press, tells a classic backstage story of triumph and disaster. Lionel Bart wrote some of the most popular and enduring songs of the past 60 years, but while he had a breathtaking theatrical imagination, he was also flawed and damaged. Best known for creating Oliver!, Bart also wrote a huge catalogue of pop songs for early British rock'n'rollers. He was a millionaire aged 30 in the 60s, bankrupt in the 70s, but made a comeback in the 90s. In producing this revealing biography, the authors gained access to Bart's personal archives, including his unfinished autobiography, his letters and scrapbooks, and also interviewed his secretaries, friends, family, counsellors, and many of the performers, musicians and producers who worked with him. They detail the ups and downs, and how, fatally believing his own publicity, he signed away the rights to Oliver! in order to finance the ill feted show Twang, which virtually ended his career.

The Drilling Company will stage its 18th free Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot, season, with The Merry Wives of Windsor, the comedy featuring the further adventures of Falstaff from Henry IV, written at the request of Elizabeth I, from July 5th to 21st, and Coriolanus, about a soldier who becomes a ruler but cannot master the art of politics, from July 26th to August 11th, directed by Kathy Curtiss and Hamilton Clancy, performed in a municipal parking lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets.

Live IN Theater will stage The Ryan Case 1873, an interactive theatrical murder mystery set on the streets of the city, where audience members solve a notorious crime, based on a real 19th century case, created by Carlo D'Amore, on Saturdays at 2pm from April 28th to July 28th. The event starts at Fontana's Bar, 105 Eldridge Street, between Grand and Broome Streets.

Mind The Gap Theatre will stage Georgia Fitch's Adrenalin...Heart, about an intense affair between a single mother and a reluctant drug dealer on a north London estate, with Mia Moreland and Lain Gray, directed by Paula D'Alessandris, at the Space on White from April 26th. The Space on White is located at 81 White Street, between Broadway and Lafayette Street.

According to the musical Wicked has made its creators multimillionaires. Producers and investors in the show, which celebrated its 8th anniversary at the Gershwin Theatre October 30th 2011, have enjoyed more than $300m in profits from productions worldwide. Original novelist Gregory Maguire, book writer Winnie Holzman and music and lyricist Stephen Schwartz have earned more than $95m between them, while director Joe Mantello has earned over $23m, choreographer Wayne Cilento over $6.3m, set designer Eugene Lee over $6.6m, and costume designer Susan Hilferty over $2.2m.

Theater for the New City's Street Theater Company will stage its 36th annual tour of free performances in streets, parks and playgrounds throughout the 5 boroughs from August 4th, performing the musical 99% Reduced Fat, or, You Can Bank On Us, book, lyrics and direction by Crystal Field, music by Joseph Vernon Banks. The company comprises 27 actors, 12 crew members, 2 assistant directors and 5 musicians, performing on a travelling stage containing an elaborate assemblage of trap doors, giant puppets, smoke machines and a huge running screen or 'cranky' providing continuous movement behind the actors.

The Rumour Machine says: that the sellout production of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse may move from Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater to another Broadway house in the fall, in order to make way for a possible 60th anniversary revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King And I, which may star Kelli O'Hara. The Rumour Machine grinds on.