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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th September 2006

The new season at The Flea Theater will include the world premiere of A R Gurney's comedy Post Mortem, with Tina Benko, Christopher Kromer and Shannon Burkett, set in the near future when a drama lecturer and student try to piece together a play destroyed by the Christian Right authorities, directed by Jim Simpson, previewing from October 18th and opening on November 2nd; Mac Wellman's Two September, about an idealistic young female writer in post World War II Vietnam, directed by Loy Arcenas, previewing November 19th and opening December 16th (Downstairs); and Twas The Night Before..., a holiday themed collection of ten minute plays by writers including Christopher Durang, Len Jenkin, Roger Rosenblatt, Elizabeth Swados and Mac Wellman, starring The Flea's resident company The Bats, previewing December 13th and opening December 23rd. The Flea Theater is at 41 White Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

Maxwell Caulfield, Nancy Opel, Peter Brouwer, Lori Gardner, Michael Hunsaker, Geoffrey Molloy, Jay Rogers and Kevin Townley will star in the world premiere of the comedy My Deah, a 'Southern-fried' version of Euripides's Medea, by John Epperson (the artist best known as Lypsinka), which brings a comic edge to the revenge tragedy, directed by Mark Waldrop, at the Abingdon Theatre Company, 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, previewing from October 13th, and opening on October 25th.

Jennifer Aniston, Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Anna Paquin, Brooke Shields, Patrick Wilson, Mariska Hargitay, Jesse L Martin, Rosie Perez, Amanda Peet, Lili Taylor, Anthony Mackie, Rachel Dratch, Fisher Stevens and Elizabeth Berkley are among the actors taking part in this year's The 24 Hour Plays On Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre on Sunday October 23rd. A group of actors, playwrights and directors will come together on the evening of Saturday October 22nd, and form teams to write and rehearse six short plays to be performed 24 hours later. Since its inception in 1995, The 24 Hour Plays have involved more than 100 writers, 1000 actors, and 300 new short plays have been produced. Further information from The 24 Hour Plays web site, which can be found via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble will present its second 'Play in a Pub' series, with Michael Frayn's adaptation of Chekhov's The Sneeze, comprising four lesser known short plays and stories, with Jason O'Connell, Dan Matisa and Laura Piquado, directed by John Giampetro, opening October 14th at the Ace of Clubs, below the ACME Restaurant on Great Jones Street at Lafayette Street in Greenwich Village. The Phoenix is also presenting The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield, which condenses all 37 plays to 90 minutes, opening on October 1st at The New York Improv, 318 West 53rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Resonance Ensemble's season at the Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues, comprises the world premiere of Charles L Mee's The Mail Order Bride, the tale of an older man who acquires a young Asian bride to the outrage of his family and friends, with Susan Louise O'Connor, John Henry Cox, Booth Daniels, Susan Ferrara, Vivia Font, Sue Jean Kim, Sam Kitchen, Peter McCain, Lori McNally and Melissa Miller, directed by Eric Parness, previewing from October 29th and opening on 4th November; playing in repertory with Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, about a man who decides to marry his daughter off to his doctor in return for free medical treatment, adapted and directed by Rebecca Patterson, featuring an all female cast: Virginia Baeta, Amy Driesler, Valentina McKenzie, Gisele Richardson, Samarra, Carey Urban and Kari Washington, with previews from October 27th, opening on 3rd November.

After a break to refresh its material - and sharpen its claws - Bush Wars: Musical Revenge, a satirical topical revue in 16 musical parodies, created and directed by Nancy Holson and Jay Falzone, conceived by Jim Russek, with Jay Falzone, Jason Levinson, Abigail Nessen, Mamie Parris and Chris Van Hoy, is previewing at Actors' Playhouse, 100 Seventh Avenue South, at Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village, prior to opening on October 4th.

The Soho Rep's new season opens on October 5th with the premiere of Adam Bock's The Thugs, a dark comedy about 'work, thunder and the mysterious things that are happening on the 9th floor of a big law firm', with Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Brad Heberless, Lynne McCollough, Chris Heuisler, Carmen Herlihy, Keira Keeley, Maria Elena Ramirez and Mary Shultz, directed by Anne Kauffman, playing until October 28th. Soho Rep is located at 46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

Undaunted by the fate of the 1988 Lawrence D Cohen/Michael Gore/Dean Pitchford Broadway musical Carrie, based on the horror novel by Stephen King, which closed after three days, Eric Jackson and Theatre Couture have created their own stage adaptation called Carrie: A Period Piece, which will open at P S 122 on December 6th and run through December 30th. The story is about an ostracized teenage girl, tormented at school and at home, who finds she has telekinetic powers and enacts her revenge. This version, which will include 'comedy and camp, and some horror, and maybe a little blood', will star drag performer Sherry Vine, with specially created puppets by Basil Twist. P S 122 is located at 150 1st Avenue at East 9th Street.