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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th August 2008

The New Group's 2008/2009 season at the Acorn Theater at Theatre Row will comprise Kevin Elyot's Mouth To Mouth, set at a family reunion, exploring the dreaded 'R' word (relationships): parents - children - siblings friends, and revealing a secret, with Christopher Abbot, David Cale, Lisa Emery, Elizabeth Jasicki, Darren Goldstein and Richard Topol, directed by Mark Brokaw, previewing from October 20th, opening November 6th; Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, which relocates Aeschylus's Oresteia to post Civil War New England, directed by Scott Elliott, previewing from January 13th, opening on February 4th; and Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's Handball, a black comedy in which handball court, earmarked to become a dog run, becomes a community battlefield in a gentrifying New York neighborhood, directed by Ian Morgan, previewing from April 27th, opening on May 14th. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues

Forthcoming productions at the Flea Theater will include Joseph Addison's Cato, an 18th century play about the Roman senator who joined with Pompey in an unsuccessful revolt against Julius Caesar, with Andre De Shields, directed by Jim Simpson, from October 10th; and Roger Rosenblatt's I Must Be Off, a double bill comprising The Oldsmobiles and Blueberry, also directed by Simpson, from November 13th. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

Among the events in the upcoming season of the 92nd Street Y's performing arts lectures, readings and concerts, are Joelle Wallach's Jewish Giants Of The American Songbook: Music As Melting Pot Mosaic strand, featuring Jerome Kern, examining the contribution of one of the most influential musical theatre composers of the 20th century, on November 22nd; Rodgers And Hart, looking at the songwriting team that completed nearly 30 musicals together, on December 13th.

Aquila Theatre, whose mission is to bring classical plays and great literary works to the widest audience, will stage the world premiere of Catch-22, Joseph Heller's modern American classic, adapted and directed by Peter Meineck, previewing from November 14th, opening on November 23rd; and the New York premiere of a three part staging of The Iliad, Homer's epic tale of the Trojan wars, also adapted and directed by Peter Meineck, from March 27th. Performances will be at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets.

Theatre for a New Audience's 2008/2009 season at The Duke on 42nd Street will comprise Theatre des Bouffes du Nord production of The Grand Inquisitor, Marie-Helene Estienne's adaptation of the Inquisitor section of Dostoevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov, with Bruce Myers, directed by Peter Brook, a co-production with New York Theatre Workshop, where it will play from play October 22nd; the New York premiere of Edward Bond's Chair, which explores theatricality in an austere and concentrated way without embellishment or decoration, with Stephanie Roth Haberle, directed by Robert Woodruff, from December 5th; William Shakespeare's Othello, directed by Arin Arbus, from February 14th; and William Shakespeare's Hamlet, with Christian Camargo, directed by David Esbjornson, from March 14th. New York Theatre Workshop is located at 79 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery, and The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The bi-annual program 20at20 will return from September 2nd to 14th, in which Off Broadway shows will offer $20 tickets at the box office starting 20 minutes before show time. The participating shows will include Altar Boyz, The Awesome 80s Prom, Babalu-cy!, A Brush With Georgia O'Keefe, East 14th, Edgar Allen Poe's Masque Of The Red Death/The Bells/The Tell-Tale Heart, Enter Laughing: The Musical, The Fantasticks, Fela!, Flamingo Court, Forbidden Broadway, The Gazillion Bubble Show, Give 'Em Hell, Harry!, Irena's Vow, Marie Antoinette: The Color Of Flesh, My First Time, Naked Boys Singing, Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant, Perfect Crime, The Quantum Eye, Stomp and Taboos. Some shows will accept cash only for these tickets. Further information can be found at the 20at20 web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

It has now been confirmed that David Mamet's American Buffalo, about a trio of third rate crooks in a Chicago pawnshop who plan the theft of a coin collection, with John Leguizamo and Cedric Kyles (aka Cedric the Entertainer), directed by Robert Falls, will preview from October 31st at the Belasco Theatre, with an official opening on November 17th. The producers are Elliot Martin, Ben Sprecher, Louise Forlenza, Wendy Federman and Nelle Nugent.

Atlantic Theater Company will stage David Pittu's What's That Smell: The Music Of Jacob Sterling, a musical satire that charts the career of eternally up-and-coming, not very talented (and fictitious) musical theatre composer, music by Randy Redd, with Pittu and Peter Bartlett, directed by Pittu and Neil Pepe, which will preview from September 2nd at Atlantic Stage 2, opening on September 10th. Atlantic Stage 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Psycho Clan's Nightmare: Bad Dreams Come True will return for a fifth Halloween season at the CSV Cultural Center from September 26th to November 6th. The classic walk through haunted house experience, created by Timothy Haskell and Chip Meyrelles, allows audiences to experience a collection of 'worst nightmares' live. There is also a second attraction, Nightmare: Legends, featuring a cast of legendary horror characters: Werewolf, Blob, Zombie, Vampire, Witch, Frankenstein, Mummy and, of course, a maniac with a chainsaw. The CSV Cultural Center is located at 107 Suffolk Street, between Delancey and Rivington Streets.

Advance Booking: The Australian Sydney Theatre Company production of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, which follows the woes of a faded Southern belle and her road to madness aided by her violent brother in law, with Cate Blanchett, directed by Liv Ullman, will play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, from November 27th to December 20th 2009.