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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th March 2008

Roundabout Theatre Company's current production of John Buchan's 1920s stiff upper lip British spy story The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow, from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, in which 4 actors play more than 150 characters, directed by Maria Aitken, will transfer to the Cort Theatre, previewing from 29th April, opening on May 8th. The cast comprises Charles Edwards, repeating his performance from the original London production, Jennifer Ferrin, Cliff Saunders and Arnie Burton. It features scenic and costume design by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Kevin Adams and sound by Mic Pool. The producers are Bob Boyett, Harriet Newman Leve/Ron Nicynski, Stewart F Lane/Bonnie Comley, Manocherian Golden Productions, Olympus Theatricals/Douglas Denoff, Marek J Cantor/Pat Addiss, Roundabout Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company and Edward Snape.

Playwrights Horizons has announced its 2008/2009 season, which will include the world premieres of Nicky Silver's Three Changes, a comic and darkly suspenseful look at family life, as an Upper West Side couple receive a visit from a wayward brother, directed by Wilson Milam, and Kindness, written and directed by Adam Rapp, about the preciousness of life, the possibility for sympathy in a harsh world, and the meaning of mercy in the face of devastating circumstances; and the New York premieres of Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy, in which an American family's long held secrets are dragged to the fore in what may be its final reckoning, directed by Bartlett Sher, and Theresa Rebeck's Our House, a comedy that takes on a media obsessed culture intent on turning even the most sobering crisis into sexy entertainment. Two further productions will be announced later. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The recent Primary Stages production of Horton Foote's Dividing The Estate, about a family that must confront its past as it prepares for its future, directed by Michael Wilson, will transfer to Broadway at a Shubert theatre to be announced, previewing from October 23rd, with an official opening on November 20th. The previous cast, including Elizabeth Ashley, Arthur French, Hallie Foote, Penny Fuller and Gerald McRaney, will reprise their performances. The design team comprises scenery by Jeff Cowie, costumes by David C Woolard, lighting by Rui Rita, and original music and sound by John Gromada. The producers will be Lincoln Center Theater by arrangement with Primary Stages.

New York Story: Jerome Robbins And His World, an exhibition about the life and work of the director and choreographer, is running at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts until 28th June. It will include correspondence, setting and costume designs, press clippings, programs, posters, photographs and footage of Robbins's work. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza.

The Bridge Project, an initiative in which Sam Mendes will direct two classic plays each year to run in repertoire, with a company of British and American actors, that will play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Old Vic Theatre in London, and at other international venues, has confirmed its first season. William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, with Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack and Rebecca Hall, will open at BAM next January, and arrive at the Old Vic in the summer. The original first season comprising Shakespeare's The Tempest and Hamlet, with Stephen Dillane, which should have opened this year, was postponed when Dillane withdrew for personal reasons.

Roundabout Theatre Company will stage Bob Fosse's Dancin', the revue of musical numbers created by the master Broadway choreographer and director, for a season at Studio 54, previewing from April 17th next year, with an official opening on May 5th, prior to a national tour the following fall. The director will be Graciela Daniele, with Kathryn Doby re-creating the original choreography, and Ann Reinking and Nicole Fosse as creative consultants. The design team will comprise scenery by Peter Larkin, costumes by Willa Kim and lighting and projection by Jules Fisher (all members of the team on the original production) and sound by Jonathan Deans. It will be produced in association with Greg Young, Elaine Krauss, Dancap Productions, and Richard Levi.

The Rumour Machine says: that the coming of age musical Glory Days, book by James Gardiner, music and lyrics by Nick Blaemire, about four high school friends who reunite a year after graduation and discover how dramatically their lives have grown apart, with Steven Booth, Andrew C Call, Adam Halpin and Jesse J P Johnson, directed by Eric Schaeffer, which premiered in January at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, is looking for a Broadway transfer before the end of the current season, possibly at the Circle in the Square Theatre, presented by producers John O'Boyle and Ricky Stevens; and that August Wilson's Fences, which tells of the struggle of a former Negro League baseball player who finds himself working as a garbage collector in 1950s Pitsburgh, directed by Suzan-Lori Parks, is aiming for Broadway in the fall, courtesy of the producer of the original production Carole Shorenstein Hays. The Rumour Machine grinds on.