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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th July 2011

Manhattan Theatre Club will stage the Broadway debut of Margaret Edson's Wit, about a poetry professor who undergoes experimental treatment for cancer, with Cynthia Nixon, directed by Lynne Meadow, previewing from January 5th at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre, with an official opening on January 26th. The world premiere of David Auburn's The Columnist, which had been previously announced for January dates, will now preview from April 3rd and open on April 25th.

It has been confirmed that that the recent Lincoln Center Theater production of Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities, the family drama that takes place over the course of a Christmas Eve, with a former matinee idol turned politician, his screenwriter wife and their novelist daughter, with Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach and Thomas Sadoski reprising their roles, joined by Judith Light and Rachel Griffiths, directed by Joe Mantello, will preview from October 12th at the Booth Theatre, with an official opening on November 3rd. The design team comprises scenery by John Lee Beatty, costumes by David Zinn, lighting by Kenneth Posner and sound by Jill B C DuBoff.

A new jazz musical, Play It Cool, conceived by Larry Dean Harris, book by Martin Casella and Larry Dean Harris, lyrics by Mark Winkler, music by Phillp Swann, with additional music by Jim Andron, Michael Cruz, Marilyn Harris, Emilio Palame and Larry Steelman, set in an underground nightclub in 1950s Hollywood, where everyone - staff and customers - has a secret, directed by Sharon Rosen, with choreography by Marc Kimelman, will preview from September 2nd at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on September 14th. The producer is Mary's Hideaway. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Fiasco Theater will restage its production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline, a saga of politics, the supernatural and love, in 1st century England, involving the King, his extended family and an attempted Roman invasion, with Jessie Austrian, Paul L Coffey, Andy Grotelueschen, Emily Young, and co-directors Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, seen earlier this year at the New Victory Theatre, previewing from August 27th at the Barrow Street Theatre, opening on September 8th. The producers are Theatre for a New Audience, Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street, between 7th Avenue and West 4th Street.

The Atlantic Theater Company has announced its 2011/2012 season, comprising the premieres of Adam Rapp's Dreams Of Flying Dreams Of Falling, a surreal play about the lives of two wealthy American families, showing how even the most polished can behave like animals, directed by Neil Pepe, at the Classic Stage Company from September 9th; Ethan Coen's Happy Hour, three one act comedies about an embittered barfly with a theory about what the world has become, a lonely young man and lonely young woman who can't see how right they are for each other, and a business traveler in a hotel room who wants to end it all, directed by Neil Pepe, at Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space from November 16th; Gabe McKinley's CQ/CX, a revealing and complex story about the collateral damage of unchecked ambition and compounded lies in the world of journalism, at Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space from January 25th; Fernanda Coppel's Chimichangas And Zoloft, examining the search for happiness and the mysteries of sexuality through the eyes of two brazen teenagers, directed by Jaime Castaneda, at Atlantic Stage 2 in the spring; and John Patrick Shanley's Sleeping Demon, about a Bronx Borough President who is forced by the mortgage crisis into a confrontation with a local minister, at the Linda Gross Theater next spring. Classic Stage Company is located at 136 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues; Signature Theatre Company is located at 555 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues; Atlantic Stage 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues; and the Linda Gross Theater is located at 336 West 20th St, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Beautiful Soup Theater Collective's adaptation of Lewis Carrol's Alice In Wonderland, written and directed by Steven Carl McCasland, with Emily Floyd, Mallory Berlin, Courtney de la Rigaudiere, Patrick Whitehead, Tracy Jennissen, Rory Allan Meditz, Stephanie Streisand, Allison Wimer, Anne Richmond and Steven Carl McCasland, will open a run of Saturday matinee performances at the SoHo Playhouse on July 30th. SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th Avenue and Varick Street.

Forthcoming productions at 59E59 Theaters will include Cirque De Legume, in which Jamie Carswell and Nancy Trotter perform the greatest vegetable circus act on earth, directed by Pablo Ibarluzea, previewing on September 6th, opening on 7th September; Michael West's Dublin By Lamplight, combining comedy, farce, tragedy and social commentary in the story of the launch of the Irish National Theatre in 1904, with Mark O'Halloran, Louis Lovett, Fergal McElherron and Karen Egan, directed by Tom Reing, previewing on September 7th, opening on 8th September, an Inis Nua Theatre production; and Bruce Graham's Any Given Monday, a comedy examining political correctness, class discrimination, contemporary marriage and definitions of right and wrong, directed by Bud Martin, previewing on October 6th, opening on October 7th, a Bud Martin/Act II Playhouse production.

Theater for the New City will stage Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith's Woody Guthrie Dreams, a play with music in which Guthrie looks back on his life, revisits long-forgotten memories, and performs his songs, directed by Isabel Milenski, with choreography by Sarah D Seely, from September 8th. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets.

The Amoralists will stage HotelMotel, a double bill of site specific plays set in a hotel room, comprising Animals And Plants, written and directed by Adam Rapp, in which two drug runners snowbound in a motel at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains are visited by a mysterious young woman who may or may not figure in their future, with Matthew Pilieci, William Apps, Katie Broad and Gretchen Hollis Steinbrunner; and Pink Knees On Pale Skin, written and directed by Derek Ahonen, a comedy about orgies gone bad and a drama about marriage and regret, with Sarah Lemp, Jordan Tisdale, James Kautz, Vanessa Vache, Byron Anthony, Anna Stromberg, Sarah Roy, Nick Lawson and Selene Beretta, previewing from August 4th at The Gershwin Hotel, opening on August 10th. The Gershwin Hotel is located at 7 East 27 Street, between Madison and 5th Avenues.