News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd September 2013

Heart And Lights, written by Doug Wright, celebrating New York City as seen through the eyes of two cousins, who discover their grandmother's surprising past by uncovering the secrets of the city she loved, featuring the Rockettes in a way they have not been seen before, with jazz, ballet, modern dance and tap choreography, directed and choreographed by Linda Haberman, will preview from March 27th at Radio City Music Hall, with an official opening on April 3rd.

Second Stage Theatre's recent Uptown Series production of the musical Murder For Two, book and music by Joe Kinosian, book and lyrics by Kellen Blair, a murder mystery in which one actor plays the detective, one actor plays all the suspects, and they both play the piano, with Jeff Blumenkrantz and Brett Ryback, directed by Scott Schwartz, with choreography by Wendy Seyb, will transfer to New World Stages, previewing from October 23rd, opening on November 6th. It will be presented by Second Stage Theatre in association with Jayson Raitt, Barbara Whitman and Steven Chaikelson. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

50 Shades! The Musical, a parody of the publishing phenomenon Fifty Shades Of Grey, book by Al Samuels, Amanda Blake Davis, Emily Dorezas, Jody Shelton, Ashley Ward and Dan Wessels, music and lyrics by Samuels, Davis, Shelton, Ward and Wessels, with Amber Petty, Chris Grace, Glennis McCarthy, Sheila O'Connor, Tiffany Dissette, Nick Semar, BJ Gruber, Caroline Reade and Chris Sams, directed by Samuels, will preview from November 18th at The Elektra Theatre, opening on January 9th. The producers are Royal Mile Entertainment, Marshall Cordell and Andrew Asnes. The Elektra Theatre is located at 669 8th Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

On The Casting Couch: Adam Jacobs, Courtney Reed, James Monroe Iglehart, Jonathan Freeman, Brian Gonzales, Brandon O'Neill, Jonathan Schwartz and Clifton Davis will head the cast of the Chad Beguelin-Alan Menken-Howard Ashman-Tim Rice musical Aladdin, opening at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 20th.

Bedlam will stage George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, relating the life and trial of Joan of Arc, previewing from November 8th at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre, opening on November 14th, playing in repertoire with William Shakespeare's Hamlet, about the pursuit of revenge for a father's death, previewing from November 15th, opening on November 19th, performed by Eric Tucker, Ted Lewis, Tom O'Keefe and Andrus Nichols, directed by Eric Tucker. The Lynn Redgrave Theatre is located at 45 Bleecker Street, at Lafayette Street.

Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, a dark comic thriller in which a writer in a totalitarian state is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories because of their similarities to a number of local child murders, directed by Peter Jensen, will play at the Gloria Maddox Theater from October 16th. The Gloria Maddox Theater is located at 151 West 26th Street, 7th floor, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Strippers, Showgirls And Sharks: A Very Opinionated History Of The Broadway Musicals That Did Not Win The Tony Award by theatre critic Peter Filichia, recently published by St Martin's Press, provides a gimlet-eyed look at the quintessential American art form. Peter Filichia ponders the questions Did the best musical always win Best Musical? and Were there other factors that kept a more deserving show from winning? as he looks at all 153 previous Tony Best Musical Nominees that didn't win. In 1957, the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story were bested by the 76 trombones of The Music Man; in 1959, when Ethel Merman and a variety of strippers took the stage, there was a tie between The Sound Of Music and Fiorello; in 1971, Stephen Sondheim's Follies and its ghostly showgirls lost to a contemporary retelling of Two Gentlemen Of Verona; and in 2004, the puppets of Avenue Q saw off Elphaba and Glinda in Wicked. For anyone who has never understood why their favourite show was beaten by something they hated Filichia sheds some well informed light.

Psycho Clan's 10th Halloween season haunted house experience Nightmare: Killers 2, created by Timothy Haskell, John Harlacher and Steve Kopelman, will run at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, from September 27th to November 2nd. Visitors enter a labyrinth of rooms, each featuring a gruesome serial killer from past to present, including Harrison Graham, Aileen Wournos and Charles Manson. The creative team comprises production design by Paul Smithyman, art direction by Justin Haskell and David Hinkle, lighting by Garin Marshall, sound by David Roy and costumes by Sarah Swafford. In the lobby, the Killer Acts stage will feature artists of the grand guignol and beyond who regale and entertain the waiting audiences. The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center is located at 107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey Streets.

The Rumour Machine says: that All That Glitters, an unauthorised biomusical about Liberace, book, music, lyrics, direction and choreography by Alexander DeJong, book by James A Walsh, music by Tom Nelson, with 3 actors portraying the pianist at different stages in his life, including Richard Kline as the mature showman, is aiming for Broadway in the 2014/2015 season, courtesy of AX Productions; and that a biomusical about the cowboy star Roy Rogers, with a book by Marshall Brickman, is also is aiming for Broadway in the 2014/2015 season, courtesy of the Roy Rogers Family Entertainment Corporation, Happy Trails and the Spangler Group. The Rumour Machine grinds on.