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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd July 2012

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Scandalous: The Life And Trials Of Aimee Semple McPherson, book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford, music by David Friedman and David Pomeranz, a biomusical about the controversial Jazz-Age evangelist, with Carolee Carmello, Ed Watts and Roz Ryan, directed by David Armstrong, with choreography by Lorin Latarro, will preview from October 13th at the Neil Simon Theatre, with an official opening on November 15th. The design team comprises scenery by Walt Spangler, costumes by Gregory A Poplyk, lighting by Natasha Katz, and sound by Ken Travis. The producers are Dick & Betsy DeVos, Foursquare Foundation and Jeffrey Finn, in association with The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle.

It has been confirmed that the British Royal Shakespeare Company production of the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda, book by Dennis Kelly, music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, about a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers, directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Peter Darling, which is currently playing in London, will preview from March 4th at the Shubert Theatre, with an official opening on April11th. The producers are the RSC and The Dodgers.

Theresa Rebeck's Dead Accounts, a dark comedy about corporate greed and small town values as a prodigal son who returns to his family home, with Katie Holmes, directed by Jack O'Brien, will open at the Music Box Theatre in the fall. The producer is Jeffrey Finn.

The Mint Theate will stage Allan Monkhouse's Mary Broome, a comedy set in 1911, where a housemaid shocks a wealthy family when she reveals that she is pregnant by the family's wayward son, with Rod Brogan, Janie Brookshire, Katie Fabel, Kristin Griffith, Roderick Hill, Julie Jesneck, Patricia Kilgarriff, Graeme Malcolm, Douglas Rees, Erica Swindell, and Jill Tanner, directed by Jonathan Bank, previewing from August 18th, opening on September 10th. The Mint Theatre is located at 311 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Cougar The Musical, book, music and lyrics by Donna Moore, in which three disillusioned middle aged women develop a taste for young men, with Danny Bernardy, Brenda Braxton, Catherine Porter and Babs Winn, directed and choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, will preview from August 10th at St Luke's Theatre, opening on August 26th. St Luke's Theatre is located at 308 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

New Georges's 2012/2013 season will comprise Kara Lee Corthron's ALICEGRACEANON, in which 3 oddly connected heroines - a curious girl who falls down a rabbit hole, the lead singer of an iconic 60s rock band, and the nameless star of a druggie diary - inhabit 3 separate worlds, playing out their stories, directed by Kara-Lynn Vaeni, playing at The Irondale Center from October 18th; and Lynn Rosen's Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero Is Born, in which two people who escape the dreary reality of their job by playing Dungeons & Dragons find escape becomes reality, as their alter egos are released upon the world, directed by Shana Gold, playing at The New Ohio Theatre from April 1st. The Irondale Center is located at 85 South Oxford Street, between Lafayette and Greene Avenues, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and The New Ohio Theatre is located at 154 Christopher Street, between Greenwich and Washington Streets.

On The Casting Couch: Amy Ryan and David Schwimmer will be joined by John Cullum, Darren Pettie and Sarah Sokolovic in Lisa D'Amour's Detroit, at Playwrights Horozons from August 24th; Douglas Hodge will be joined by Clemence Poesy, Patrick Page, Bill Buell and Kyle Soller in Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on October 11th; Shuler Hensley will head the cast of Samuel D Hunter's The Whale at Playwrights Horozons from October 12th; and Al Pacino will be joined by Bobby Cannavale, David Harbour, Richard Schiff and Jeremy Shamos in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, opening at the Schoenfeld Theatre on November 11th.

Loverly: The Life And Times Of My Fair Lady by Dominic McHugh, published by Oxford University Press, is a behind-the-scenes look at the 5 year creation of the first worldwide megamusical hit. Using previously unpublished documents, McHugh charts the development of the show from George Bernard Shaw's persistent refusal to allow his play Pygmalion to be made into a musical, through the quarrel that led lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe to part ways halfway through writing the show, to the final months of frantic preparation leading to the premiere in March 1956. This book is the first to offer a comprehensive analysis of the creative process, including sketches for the show, looking at the lines cut during the rehearsal and tryout periods, to demonstrate how Lerner evolved the relationship between Higgins and Eliza in such a way as to maintain the delicate balance of ambiguity that characterizes their association in the published script, and early versions of songs, as well as cut and unused numbers.

The Women's Project's 2012/2013 season at City Center Stage II will comprise the premiere of Laura Marks's Bethany, a darkly comic exploration of the limits of morality in desperate times through the story of financially strapped single mother, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, from January 11th; Elfriede Jelinek's Jackie, translated by Gitta Honegger, an intensely theatrical dissection of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and the myths surrounding her, directed by Tea Alagic, from February 24th; and Allison Moore's Collapse, an odyssey that explores the real and imagined circumstances that push people to the edge, directed by Jackson Gay, from May 19th. City Center Stage II is located at 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.