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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th November 2008

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the recent Goodspeed Musicals production of the musical The Story Of My Life, book by Brian Hill, music and lyrics by Neil Bartram, about a writer who is creatively blocked as he attempts to compose a tribute to his lifelong friend, with Malcolm Gets and Will Chase, directed by Richard Maltby Jr, will transfer to the Booth Theatre, previewing from February 3rd, with an official opening on February 19th. The design team comprises scenery by Robert Brill, costumes by Wade Laboissonniere, lighting by Ken Billington and sound by Carl Casella.

37 Arts, the 3 theatre complex at 450 West 37th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues, has been acquired jointly by The Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. The Baryshnikov Arts Center, which has its administrative headquarters in the offices above the theatres, will take over the 3rd floor theatre, which it will name the Jerome Robbins Theater. The Orchestra of St. Luke's will assume control of the theatres on the 1st and 2nd floors, which will be renamed the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and will continue to be available for rental to outside companies.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the world premiere of Michael Jacobs's Impressionism, about a world travelling photojournalist and a New York gallery owner who discover each other - and that there might be an art to repairing broken lives, featuring Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen, directed by Jack O'Brien, will preview from February 28th at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, with an official opening on March 12th. The producer is Ostar Productions.

Jim Neu's Gang Of Seven, with Mary Shultz, Tony Nunziata, Chris Maresca, John Costelloe, Byron Thomas and Kristine Lee, directed by Keith McDermott, will receive its premiere from December 4th at La MaMa E.T.C.. The comedy tells the story of how seven people get drunk with power when they gang together to rig the results of a focus group. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

WorkShop Theater Company is to stage Bob Stewart's dark comedy A Memory Play, in which a struggling playwright looking for commercial success decides to rewrite his parents' wedding day so that they don't get married, with Trey Albright, Susan Izatt and Artie Ray, directed by Gary Levinson, from December 3rd. WorkShop Theater Company is located at 312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Mercedes Ruehl and Lily Rabe will be joined by Benjamin Eakeley, Austin Lysy and Brenda Pressley, in Richard Greenberg's The American Plan, opening at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre on January 2nd; Kathleen Turner will accompany Charles Busch in Busch's Third Story, opening at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on February 2nd; and John Cullum and Tony Roberts, will head the cast of Gerald Sibleyras's Heroes, at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row from February 24th.

The Irish Repertory Theatre will stage Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas In Wales, comprising songs and stories from Thomas's memories of his childhood Christmases, with Victoria Mallory, Edwin Cahill, Kerry Conte, Jon Fletcher and Ashley Robinson, directed by Charlotte Moore, previewing from December 3rd, opening on December 7th. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Forthcoming events in the York Theatre Company's Developmental Reading Series will include: Conversation Piece, adapted by Barry Day, with Tony Walton, songs by Noel Coward, about an exiled French Duke in Regency Brighton, attempting to arrange a rich marriage for a young Parisian girl he is passing off as his ward, on December 2nd; Lighter: The Diet Musical, book, music and lyrics by Monica Bauer, in which a low-carb lady leaves her high-carb man in search of fame and fortune on American Weight Loss Idol, on December 11th; a double bill with book, music and lyrics by Seymour Barab, Mating Dance On The Upper West Side, adapted from A R Gurney's The Problem, about a sophisticated married couple who discover that politics can be a sexual turn-on, and At Last I've Found You, about special agents dispatched to wrest the secret of space travel from the of crew of an alien space ship, on December 15th; and The Happy Hypocrite, adapted by Tony Walton, with Barry Day, from a story by Max Beerbohm, with songs by Noel Coward, an adult fable set in Regency London concerning the unlikely romance between an innocent young entertainer and a profligate old rake, on December 16th. The York Theatre Company's Theatre at Saint Peter's is on 54th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Resonance Ensemble's 2009 season at Theatre Row will include the world premiere of Christopher Boal's 23 Knives, in which a physician is asked to uncover the truth about the Julius Caesar's assassination through a Greek technique called 'autopsy', directed by Eric Parness, and George Bernard Shaw's Caesar And Cleopatra, about the relationship of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, directed by Kent Paul, in repertory at the Clurman Theatre, from January 11th; and a new version of Austin Pendleton's Booth, about Junius and Edwin Booth, the two generations of 19th century actors, directed by Eric Parness, from May 16th, at the Lion Theatre. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.