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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd August 2010

The 19th annual Broadway On Broadway event, the free outdoor concert in Times Square celebrating the start of the new Broadway season, will be held at 11.30am on September 12th. It will feature performances from almost every musical current and upcoming on Broadway, backed by a 30 piece orchestra. The event is presented by the Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance. Further information can be found on the Broadway On Broadway web site via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Soho Rep's 2010/2011 season will comprise the world premiere of Gregory S Moss's Orange, Hat & Grace, in which a woman living in a cabin in the woods, finds her orderly life upended by a feral suitor and the reappearance of a figure from her past, with Matthew Maher, Stephanie Roth Haberle and Reyna de Courcy, directed by Sarah Benson, previewing from September 15th, opening on September 23rd; Jomama Jones: Radiate, a part theatre, part performance art and part concert bioevent, with Jomama Jones, Helga Davis and Sonja Perryman, directed by Kym Moore, previewing from December 28th, opening on January 4th; and the U.S. premiere of Debbie Tucker Green's Born Bad, following a family trying to make sense of their past, which they all remember differently, directed by Leah C Gardiner, previewing from March 30th, opening on April 7th. Soho Rep is located at 46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

The British Royal Shakespeare Company has confirmed the dates and casting for its 6 week residency in a full scale replica of its Courtyard Theatre constructed in the historic Park Avenue Armory, as part of next year's Lincoln Center Festival. As You Like It, with Katy Stephens, Jonjo O'Neill, Richard Katz, Mariah Gale, Forbes Masson and Charles Aitken, will open on July 7th; Romeo And Juliet, with Sam Troughton, Mariah Gale, Forbes Masson, Jonjo O'Neill and Noma Dumezweni, will open on July 11th; King Lear, with Greg Hicks, Samantha Young, Kelly Hunter, Katy Stephens and Kathryn Hunter, will open on July 16th; The Winter's Tale, with Greg Hicks, Kelly Hunter, Samantha Young, Tunji Kasim, Brian Doherty and Noma Dumezweni, will open on July 22nd; and Antony And Cleopatra, with Darrell D'Silva, Kathryn Hunter, John Mackay, Brian Doherty and Clarence Smith, will open on July 29th.

Carly Mensch's Now Circa Then, in which two historical re-enactors come face to face with the 1890s Lower East Side immigrant couple they are re-enacting, directed by Jason Egan, will play at Ars Nova, from September 14th. Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

The Kaufman Center has announced its 2009/2010 Broadway Close Up season in the Merkin Concert Hall, an inside look at the world of musical theatre. It will comprise: Ridiculously Talented! Songs By Composers And Lyricists You Probably Don't Know But Should, featuring work by new writers, performed by Sally Wilfert, Demond Green and Wilson Bridges, hosted by William Finn, on September 20th; Fire and Rain - The Songs Of James Taylor, performed by Heidi Blickenstaff, Michael Winther, Will Chase and Benjamin Schrader on October 4th; Off Broadway Close Up, featuring songs from Off Broadway shows of all periods, performed by Tom Jones, Josh Grisetti, Bobby Steggert, Jeffry Denman, Donna English, Susan Blackwell, Christine Pedi, Jason Robinson and Christopher Sieber, on October 25th; All The Things You Are - Jerome Kern, performed by Rebecca Luker, Kate Baldwin, Matthew Scott and Graham Rowat, on November 15th; and Bound For Broadway, with songs from two new musicals and some of the shows previously featured in this slot in the last 10 years, performed by Bobby Lopez, Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison, Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey, Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell, hosted by Liz Callaway, on December 6th. The Merkin Concert Hall is located at 129 West 67th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Further information can be found on the Merkin Concert Hall web site via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The 22nd season of the Food For Thought series of lunchtime readings of one act plays by Broadway performers at the Players Club, from September 13th, will comprise: Revue, Review, writings of critics accompanied by readings of excerpts from the shows they reviewed; Tennessee Williams's Night Of The Iguana; Neil Simon's Visitor From Mamaroneck; Horton Foote's The Man Who Climbed The Pecan Trees and Susan Charlotte's The Jeweler; Betty Comden and Adolph Green's Triangle and Edith Wharton's The Dilettante; George Bernard Shaw's The Six Of Calais; Neil LaBute's Auto Bahn and Dorothy Parker's The Sexes and New York To Detroit; Thornton Wilder's The Rivers Under The Earth; Harold Pinter's The Homecoming; excerpts from Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman, A View From The Bridge and The Price; and an unknown work by Noel Coward. Lunch is from 12noon, the performance begins at 2pm, and a question and answer session follows. The Players Club is located at 16 Gramercy Park South, on East 20th Street, between Park Avenue and Irving Place.

On The Casting Couch: Elizabeth Marvel will be joined by Tina Benko, Marton Csokas, Sanjit De Silva, Lynda Gravatt, Cristin Milioti, Thomas Jay Ryan, Greig Sargeant, Christopher Evan Welch and Nick Westrate in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, opening at New York Theatre Workshop on September 21st; Benjamin Walker will be joined by original cast members Maria Elena Ramirez, Jeff Hiller, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Ben Steinfeld, Greg Hildreth, Kate Cullen Roberts, Emily Young and James Barry in the Alex Timbers-Michael Friedman musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, opening at the Jacobs Theatre on October 13th; David Duchovny will be joined by Amanda Peet in Neil LaBute's The Break Of Noon, opening at at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on November 15th; and Jeffrey Wright, Veanne Cox, Reg Rogers and Paul Dano will feature in John Guare's A Free Man Of Color, opening at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on November 18th.

The 14th annual Broadway Blessing, the interfaith service that brings together members of the theatre community to ask a blessing on the new season, will take place at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, at 7pm on September 13th. Clergy from the Cathedral, Congregation Ezrath Israel/The Actors' Temple and St Clement's Episcopal Church will participate in the event, together with the Broadway Blessing choir, Broadway performers including Kate Burton and Edward Watts, and Project Dance. The event was conceived and is directed by journalist and author Retta Blaney. The Cathedral of St John the Divine is located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, at 112th Street.