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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th November 2014

David Farr's The Heart Of Robin Hood, an athletic adaptation of the folk tale in which Maid Marion is the main character, with songs written and performed by the bluegrass-roots band Parsonsfield, directed by Gisli Orn Gardarsson, with associate direction and choreography by Selma Bjornsdottir, and Walter Bobbie as creative consultant, will preview from March 10th at the Marquis Theatre, with an official opening on March 29th. The show is currently touring in Canada with a cast let by Gabriel Ebert, Euan Morton, Izzie Steele and Christian Lloyd. The design team comprises scenery by Borkur Jonsson, costumes by Emma Ryott, lighting by Bjorn Helgason, and sound by Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm.

The Shubert Organization, which owns 17 of the 40 Broadway theatres, has completed an agreement to acquire New World Stages, the complex of 5 Off Broadway playhouses, ranging in size from 199 to 499 seats, located at 340 West 50th Street. It is expected that the move will create opportunity for the company to transfer fading Broadway shows into the smaller Off Broadway theatres, as happened with Avenue Q, Peter And The Starcatcher and Million Dollar Quartet. It is also reported that the company has also purchased the former H B Day Warehouse at 604-606 West 48th Street, between 11th Avenue and the West Side Highway, and has a plan to build a 1,500 seater Broadway theatre between West 45th and 46th streets.

Meanwhile, the Catalyst Theatre production of Nevermore - The Imaginary Life And Mysterious Death Of Edgar Allan Poe, combining music, poetic storytelling and stagecraft to tell the life story of the Victorian writer of the macabre, written, composed and directed by Jonathan Christenson, with Gaelan Beatty, Shannon Blanchett, Beth Graham, Ryan Parker, Garett Ross and Scott Shpeley, choreographed by Laura Krewski, will preview from January 14th at New World Stages, opening on January 25th. It is presented by by Radio Mouse Entertainment, Martin Hummel, Caiola Productions, Terry Schnuck, Susan Jaffe Tane, and Hernreich-Horvath Productions.

On The Casting Couch: Diane Lane, Tony Shalhoub, Gayle Rankin and Mamoudou Athie will feature in Bathsheba Doran's The Mystery Of Love And Sex, opening at the Mitzi E Newhouse Theater, at Lincoln Center, on March 2nd.

Forthcoming productions at 59E59 Theaters will include the return of The Woodsman, created by James Ortiz from the forgotten writings of L Frank Baum, utilizing Bunraku puppetry and song, with Ben Bass, Will Gallacher, Alex J Gould, Lauren Nordvig, James Ortiz, Eliza Simpson, Meghan St Thomas and Sophia Zukoski, directed by James Ortiz and Claire Karpen Pettry, from January 13th, produced by Strangemen & Co in association with Robb Nanus and Rachel Sussman; Tom Dulack's The Road To Damascus, a thriller set in a future world where the first black Pope and the first 3rd party American President must work together to save the world, directed by Michael Parva, from January 20th, produced by The Directors Company; and Lonesome Traveller, written and directed by James O'Neil, celebrating the legacy of folk as the soundtrack of social change and moral revolution in America from the 1950s to the 1970s, from March 10th, produced by Rubicon Theater. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

Axis Company will stage the 13th season of its holiday family show Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, adapted from the tale by The Brothers Grimm, in which the child hero meets various colourful characters and learns a number of life lessons, with Spencer Aste, Brian Barnhart, Regina Betancourt, George Demas, Britt Genelin, Laurie Kilmartin, Lynn Mancinelli, Edgar Oliver, Marc Palmieri and Jim Sterling, directed by Randy Sharp, opening on December 5th. The Axis Theatre is located at 1 Sheridan Square, between West 4th Street and Washington Place.

Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble will stage the 'lost' 1923 Broadway musical Helen Of Troy, book by George S Kaufman and Marc Connelly, music and lyrics by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar, a satire on business, advertising and the traditional love story, set in Troy, New York, and New York City, directed by Barbara Vann, from January 16th. Medicine Show Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that the recent Williamstown Theatre Festival production of a revised version of the musical The Visit, book by Terrence McNally, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, adapted from the play by Friedrich Durrenmatt, with Chita Rivera as an oft-widowed millionaire determined to get revenge on every person from her hometown who did her wrong when she was a young girl, directed by John Doyle, with choreography by Graciela Daniele, may finally be Broadway bound next spring, possibly at the Helen Hayes Theatre; and that the Williamstown Theatre Festival premiere production of Joe DiPietro's Living On Love, based on Garson Kanin's Peccadillo, about an opera singer and her conductor husband working with ghost writers on competing memoirs, which featured Renee Fleming, Anna Chlumsky, Blake Hammond, Justin Long, Scott Robertson and Douglas Sills, directed by Kathleen Marshall, is also looking for a Broadway transfer. The Rumour Machine grinds on.