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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 25th October 2010

Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo, a darkly comic tale narrated by a tiger held captive in the Baghdad Zoo, played by Robin Williams, following the intertwined lives of two American marines and an Iraqi gardener as they search through the rubble of war for friendship, redemption and a toilet seat made of gold, directed by Moises Kaufman, will preview from March 10th at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced, with an official opening on March 31st. The producers are Robyn Goodman, Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Center Theatre Group.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music winter season will include the Abbey Theatre Dublin production of Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman, the story of a man disgraced following a fraud scandal and imprisonment, and the ramifications it has on his family, in a new version by Frank McGuinness, with Lindsay Duncan, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Cathy Belton, John Kavanagh, Amy Molloy, Marty Rea, and Joan Sheehy, directed by James MacDonald, opening on January 7th; the Australian Belvoir Street Theatre production of Nikolai Gogol's The Diary Of A Madman, adapted by David Holman, about the delusions of a minor civil servant in the repressive era of Tsar Nicholas I, with Geoffrey Rush and Yael Stone, directed by Neil Armfield, opening on February 16th; the Canadian Opera Company production of Igor Stravinsky's The Nightingale And Other Short Fables, with Olga Peretyatko, ¬Lothar Odinius, Ilya Bannik, Laura Albino, Michael Uloth, Adam Luther and Peter Barrett, directed by Robert Lepage, which fills the orchestra pit with 20,000 gallons of water and places the chorus and orchestra on stage with the cast, opening on March 1st; the all male British Propeller theatre company production of William Shakespeare's The Comedy Of Errors, about identical twins who are servants to identical twin masters, directed by Edward Hall, opening on March 16th; the British Cheek By Jowl theatre company production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, the bloody tale of ambition, with Will Keen and Anastasia Hille, directed by Declan Donnellan, opening on April 5th; and the London Donmar Warehouse production of William Shakespeare's King Lear, the story of a fallen king and those who seek his throne, with Derek Jacobi, directed by Michael Grandage, opening on April 28th;

Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Motherf**ker With The Hat, a high-octane, verbal cage match about love, fidelity, and misplaced haberdashery, with Bobby Cannavale, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Annabella Sciorra, Yul Vazquez and Chris Rock, directed by Anna D Shapiro, will preview from March 22nd at the Schoenfeld Theatre, with an official opening on April 11th. The design team comprises scenery by Todd Rosenthal, costumes by Mimi O'Donnell, and lighting by Donald Holder. The producers are Scott Rudin, The Public Theater, LAByrinth Theater Company and Stuart Thompson.

Donny & Marie - A Broadway Christmas, a holiday themed show starring Donny and Marie Osmond, in the style of their television specials, will play a season at the Marquis Theatre from December 9th to 19th. The producers are Greg Young, Jon B. Platt and Magic Arts & Entertainment in association with Eric Gardner and Greg Sperry.

On The Casting Couch: Brian Bedford will be joined by Paxton Whitehead, Santino Fontana, David Furr, Tim MacDonald, Paul O'Brien, Charlotte Parry, Sara Topham and Dana Ivey in Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest, opening at the American Airlines Theatre, on January 13th; and Daniel Radcliffe will be joined by John Larroquette in the Frank Loesser-Abe Burrows-Jack Wein musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, opening at the Hirschfeld Theatre on March 27th.

The latest exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is On Stage In Fashion, running until January 22nd. It celebrates the collaborations of performers with fashion designers, who together brought contemporary clothing style to theatre, opera and dance. The couture, sportswear and retail designers recognised that the introduction of clothing on stage would promote it to their targeted market: the performance audience. The exhibition features garments from the fashion and costume collections of the Museum of the City of New York together with designs, photographs and media from the Library' own collection to illustrate over 100 years of these 'mutually beneficial' collaborations. Among the designers featured are Lucile, Chanel, Lanvin, Milgrim, Mainbocher, Bill Blass, Christian Lacroix, Halston, Willi Smith and Isaac Mizrahi. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza.

The Rumour Machine says: that Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, about the relationships between past and present, order and disorder, and the certainty of knowledge, will open on Broadway next summer, possibly featuring Billy Crudup, directed by David Leveaux, who directed it in London last year, courtesy of producers Sonia Friedman, Bob Bartner and Roger Berlind; and that Philip Seymour Hoffman and Linda Emond will star in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman, the story of a small time travelling salesman with a blind belief in the American Dream, who, despite his lack of success, tries to force his failed ambitions and values onto his unwilling sons, directed by Mike Nichols, in the fall of next year. The Rumour Machine grinds on.