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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th December 2007

It has now been confirmed that the City Center Encores! Summer Stars production of the musical Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti, directed by Arthur Laurents, with Bonnie Walker reproducing Jerome Robbins's original choreography, will begin previews at the St James Theatre on March 3rd, with an official opening on March 27th. The entire cast of the Encores! production have been offered the chance to repeat their roles on Broadway, but only LuPone, Gaines and Benanti have currently been confirmed. The show, which has book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim is the story of the quintessential child star mother, and her daughter who became Gypsy Rose Lee. It will feature scenic design by James Youmans, costumes by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting by Howell Binkley, hair by Paul Huntley and sound by Dan Moses Schreier. The producers are Roger Berlind, The Routh - Frankel - Baruch - Viertel Group, Roy Furman, Debra Black, Ted Hartley, Roger Horchow, David Ian, Scott Rudin and Jack Viertel.

Fabrik, the latest work by experimental puppet theatre company Wakka Wakka, will receive its New York premiere at Urban Stages, previewing from January 17th, opening on January 23rd. Taking inspiration from Nordic and Yiddish folktales, the piece focuses on anti-Nazi activist and Polish businessman Moritz Rabinowitz. It is written, designed and directed by ensemble members David Arkema, Gabrielle Brechner, Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock, with Danny Goldstein as directing consultant. Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The children's musical Pinkalicious, book and lyrics by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, adapted from their book of the same name, music by John Gregor, directed by Teresa K Pond, will open at New World Stages on January 13th. It is the story of a girl who can't stop eating pink cupcakes and eventually turns pink from head to toe. The show was originally staged by the Vital Theatre Company at the Soho Playhouse earlier this year. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Barrow Street Fortnight, a festival of music, stand-up, improv and theatre, will run from January 9th to 20th. Events will include Asylum Street Spankers with the premiere of What? And Give Up Show Biz?; Trinidadian performance artist Roger Bonair-Agard's Masquerade: Calypso and Home; Two Men Talking, the evolving performance of a friendship featuring Paul Browde and Murray Nossel; an interactive family musical Yellow Shoes, presented by Lisa Biales; the sketch comedy troop FreeLoveForum; The Jesus Factor, the latest work from Brian Dykstra; Caitlin Miller in her one woman show, Way to Go!; and Damian Baldet with Pugilist. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street at 7th Avenue South.

Kerry Butler, Victoria Clark, Gavin Creel, Cheyenne Jackson, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Nellie McKay, Denis O'Hare, Mo Rocca, Claudia Shear and Tracie Thoms are among the actors who will take part in the inaugural presentation of The 24 Hour Musicals, at Joe's Pub on Monday January 21st. A group of 16 actors, 4 writers, 4 directors, 2 choreographers and 4 musical directors will come together on the evening of Sunday January 20th, and form teams to write and rehearse 4 short musicals to be performed 24 hours later. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Exchange and the Orchard Project. Joe's Pub is part of the Public Theater, located at 425 Lafayette Street, between Astor Place and East 4th Street. Further information can be found on The Exchange web site, via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies, in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Fool's Pearls Productions will stage Eric Overmyer's On The Verge or The Geography Of Yearning, directed by John Grabowski, from January 30th at the Gene Frankel Theatre. Helen Kim, Casey McClella and Madeline Virbasius-Walsh play three intrepid 19th century explorers, who encounter an assortment of creatures in the darkest of jungles and Himalayan peaks, all portrayed by Joey Schaljo. The Gene Frankel Theatre located at 24 Bond Street, between Lafayette Street and The Bowery.

The Flea Theater will stage Peter Handke's Offending The Audience, with Raniah Al-Sayed, Ivory Aquino, Felipe Bonilla, Jon Cage, Jaime Carrillo, Dan Cozzens, Yung-I Chang, Erwin Falcon, Drew Hildebrand, Emily Hyberger, Alexis Macnab, Bobby Moreno, Chance Mullen, Lisa Pettersson, Rachael Richman, Erin Roth, John Russo, Sarah Sakaan, Annie Scott, Sarah Silk, Ronald Washington and Jeff Worden, directed by Jim Simpson, previewing from January 21st, opening on January 31st. In the darkly humorous piece examining notions about theatre, life and death, a group of actors takes the stage and announces that there will be no play, and that the audience is to be the subject of the actors' gaze, instead of the other way round. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

Project Shaw, in residence at The Players Club, which aims to present readings of every sketch, full length and one act play written by George Bernard Shaw, has announced its 2008 season, directed and produced by David Staller. It will comprise: Geneva - January 21st, Too Good to Be True - February 11th, Good King Charles Days - March 17th, Farfetched Fables - April 21st, The Devil's Disciple - May 19th, Great Catherine and Annajanska, The Wild Grand Duchess - June 23rd, Major Barbara - July 21st, Caesar And Cleopatra - September 22nd, The Shewing-Up Of Blanco Posnet - October 20th, Jitta's Atonement - November 17th and Saint Joan - December 22nd. The Players Club is located at 16 Gramercy Park South, between Park Avenue and Irving Place.