News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 23rd November 2009

The world premiere of The Scottsboro Boys, a musical about the 1930s Scottsboro Case, in which a group of innocent African American teenagers in Alabama were unjustly accused of attacking two white women, book by David Thompson, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, will preview from February 12th at the Vineyard Theatre, opening on March 10th, with a possible Broadway transfer in mind. The Vineyard Theatre is located at 108 East 15th Street, between Union Square East and Irving Place.

The Active Theater Company's 2009/2010 season at the WorkShop Theater will comprise: Lee Blessing's Two Rooms, which takes place in a hostage's cell in Beriut, and a room in Washington where his wife awaits his return, with Andy Kelso, Angelica-Lee Aspiras, Jason Emanuel and Raissa Dorff, directed by Glory Sims Bowen, from 3rd December; the musical Romance Romance, book and lyrics by Barry Harman, music by Keith Herrmann, a double bill of liaisons during weekends in the country in Vienna in the 19th century, and The Hamptons in the 20th century, directed by Marc Robin, from February 18th; and William Donnelly's Magnetic North, in which a young husband meets a woman from his past during a period of crisis in his marriage, from May 6th. The WorkShop Theater is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The current exhibition at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is Lincoln Center: Celebrating 50 Years, running until January 6th. It focuses on the evolution and influence of America's first performing arts center, featuring an extensive collection of historic and contemporary objects, including photographs, ephemera, correspondence, costumes, set pieces, props and video recordings. From its inception in the mid 1950s, Lincoln Center has been a powerful symbol of New York's core substance and style. Its scale, its architecture and urbanism, its concentration of talent culled from the realms of government, philanthropy, academia, architecture, art, and a broad spectrum of the performing arts, all powerfully embody main currents that run throughout New York City's history and collective character. The exhibition shows the complex and symbiotic relationship between Lincoln Center and New York City over the course of a half century, and the key role the complex has played in New York's development as an international cultural capital. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza.

The annual Voice 4 Vision Puppet Festival will be presented from December 3rd to 13th at the Theater for the New City. It will feature four shows in repertory: Billy Burns's Hobo No-no, an original play written for marionette theatre, about the trials and tribulations of a Chicago hobo in the Depression era; Luis Tentindo's The Mud Angels, inspired by a flood and restoration in Florence in 1966, using bunraku puppets; Patti Bradshaw's Next To The Last Poem, a day in the life of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pesso, and La Mome Bijoux, in which Brassai's famous photographic subject from 1930s Paris comes alive in the form of a puppet and object theater play; and Jane Catherine Shaw's Folktales Of Asia And Africa, three stories using kitchen utensils to play the characters; plus puppets on film and an exhibition of designs and puppet creations. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets.

The Shubert Organization, has entered into a 3 year development and production agreement with Broadway producers Robert Cole and Frederick Zollo, effective immediately. It is the first development deal that the Shubert Organization has had with producers in more than 25 years. The focus of Cole and Zollo's work with the Shubert Organization will be on developing and producing both new plays and revivals, as well as on collaborating with notable actors and directors, with the possibility of also bringing musicals and special events to the stage. The Shubert Organization owns and operates 21 theatres in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.

The 40th anniversary season of the 92nd Street Y's Lyrics & Lyricists series, featuring the songs of a particular writer or era, will comprise: Babalu: The American Songbook Goes Latin - Featuring The Music Of The Desi Arnaz Orchestra, with Lucie Arnaz, Raul Esparza, Valarie Pettiford, Kristine Bendul, Mark Stuart Eckstein and Desi Arnaz, Jr, January 9th to 11th; Misty: Johnny Burke After Hours, with Daryl Sherman, Eric Comstock, Barbara Fasano and Jeff Harnar, February 20th to 22nd; Fred & Ginger In So Many Words: The Astaire-Rogers Songbook, hosted by Deborah Grace Winer, with Karen Ziemba, James Naughton, Billy Stritch and Debbie Boone, March 20th to 22nd; Poisoning Pigeons In The Park: The Art Of The Satiric Comedy Song, hosted by Sheldon Harnick, May 8th to 10th; and In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening: The Stardust Of Hoagy Carmichael, hosted by Ted Sperling, with Laura Marie Duncan, Capathia Jenkins and Clarke Thorell, June 5th to 7th. The 92nd Street Y is located at 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

Prospect Theater Company will stage Evergreen: A New Holiday Musical, music and lyrics by Peter Mills, book by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel, with Anita Vasan, Lucy Sorlucco, Francesca Choy-Kee, Raphael Sacks, Whitney Kam Lee and David Foley Jr, directed by Cara Reichel, with choreography by Dax Valdes, from December 19th at the Marjorie S Deane Little Theater in the West Side YMCA. It tells the story of a little girl living in the desert who tries to find proof of the fir trees and snow that she's heard her grandmother describe, and ends up on a fantastic adventure. The West Side YMCA is located at 5 West 63rd Street, between Broadway and Central Park West.

The Rumour Machine says: that the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, production of Come Fly With Me, a dance musical inspired by the songs of Frank Sinatra, featuring Sinatra's voice, backed by a live on stage band, which follows four couples over the course of one night falling in and out of love, created, directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp, is looking for a Broadway transfer next spring, retaining the principal cast members; and that the York Theatre Company's production of the musical Enter Laughing, book by Joseph Stein, adapted from his play based on Carl Reiner's semi-autobiographical novel, music and lyrics by Stan Daniels, the story of an actor struggling to make his way in 1930s New York, directed by Stuart Ross, is looking for a Broadway transfer in the 2010/2011 season, courtesy of producer Dan Whitten. The Rumour Machine grinds on.