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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th January 2009

Roundabout Theatre will stage Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie, which relocates August Strinberg's play - a sexual liaison between a footman and his master's daughter - to a country house in Britain on the night of the Labour party's groundbreaking General Election victory in 1945, with Sienna Miller, directed by Mark Brokaw, at the American Airlines Theatre in September.

The 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival, which presents new works by writers at all levels of the theatre community, from working professionals to those whose work has not yet been produced, will run from September 28th to October 18th. Writers and composers are invited to submit 'production ready' musicals to the Next Link Project by March 2nd. 12 shows will be chosen by a jury that includes Susan Birkenhead, Jason Robert Brown, Robyn Goodman and Francesca Zambello. Writers will then have access to professional dramaturges to help them shape and develop their projects. Since its inception in 2004, NYMF has produced over 1,500 performances of almost 300 shows, including Altar Boyz, The Big Voice: God or Merman, Captain Louie, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Gutenberg! The Musical, Meet John Doe, My Vaudeville Man, Nerds:// A Musical Software Satire, Shout! The Mod Musical and most famously, [title of show]. Further information and an application form can be found on the NYMF website, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The National Asian American Theatre Company will stage the world premiere of Karen Hartman's Leah's Train, with Jennifer Ikeda, Raphael Aranas, Louis Ozawa Changchein, Kristine Haruna Lee and Mia Katigbak, directed by Jean Randich, previewing from February 6th at the TBG Theatre, opening on February 10th. A young doctor, who refuses to attend her grandmother's funeral, boards a train whose destination mysteriously becomes her Russian Jewish family's untold history. The TBG Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Working Man's Clothes will stage the American premiere of Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder's Fresh Kills, with Robert Funaro, Jared Culverhouse, Todd Flaherty and Therese Plummer, directed by Isaac Byrne, previewing from February 12th at 59E59 Theaters, opening on February 15th. When a restless married man turns to the internet for company, his family becomes the focus of attention for an obsessive teenager. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem production of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters, in which the siblings, living on a provincial estate, dream of moving to Moscow, but are each trapped in their own way, with Roger Guenveur Smith, Earle Hyman, Carmen de Lavallade, Sabrina LeBeauf, Reg E Cathey, Amanda Mason Warren, Carmen Gill, Billy Eugene Jones, Jonathan Earl Peck, Josh Tyson, Daphne Gaines, Phillip Christian, Jonathan Ramey and Nathan Dame, directed by Christopher McElroen, will preview from February 5th at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse Theatre, opening on February 18th. The Harlem Stage Gatehouse Theatre is located at 150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street.

Theater Ten Ten will stage George Bernard Shaw's The Philanderer, with Anne Gill, Tatiana Gomberg, Duncan Hazard, Shauna Horn, Greg Horton, Barrie Kreinik, Mickey Ryan and Julian Stetkevych, directed by Leah Bonvissuto, previewing from February 13th, opening on February 15th. It tells the story of a philosophizing philanderer who believes that only conventional people marry, but changes his mind when he meets his match in a 'new' woman. Theater Ten Ten is located at 1010 Park Avenue, between 84th and 85th Streets.

Louis Salamone and 45 Bleecker Street Theatre will present a Recession Special Double Bill, comprising Sailor Man, 'a darkly comic tribute to the exploits of a beloved spinach-eating seaman', written and performed by Ryan Iverson and Scott Peterman, with Lauren Blumenfeld, directed by Peter James Cook, with fight choreography by Jacob Grigolla-Rosenbaum, a co-production with The Two-Fisted Theatre Company, and Rumspringa, a comedy exploring the desire to experience life outside the normal, written and directed by Peter Zinn, with Jim Boerlin, C S Drury, Kirsty Meares and Mickey Sumner, previewing from January 29th in the Green Room, opening on February 11th. 45 Bleecker Street Theatre is located at 45 Bleecker Street, between Lafayette and Mott Streets.

The Flea Theater will stage the world premiere of the musical Kasper Hauser, book by Erin Courtney, music, lyrics and direction by Elizabeth Swados, with movement by Mimi Quillin, based on the true story of a wild child found on the streets of Nuremburg in 1828, relating what happens when he is introduced into society, previewing from February 13th, opening on February 28th. It will feature the resident acting company the Bats, including Adrienne Deekman, Jennifer Fouche, Beth Griffith, Nicolas Greco, Joseph Dale Harris, Arlo Hill, Michael Hopewell, Amy Jackson, Erica Livingston, Chad Lindsey, Vella Lovell, Preston Martin, Kelly McCormack, Colin Mew, Jason Najjoum, Eliza Poehlman, Hannah Shankman, Marshall York and Carly Zien. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

Blue Coyote Theater Group will stage the New York premiere of a quadruple bill of short plays by David Johnston, Conversations On Russian Literature, in which post Cold War espionage and intrigue collides with Russia's literary masters, Play Russia, a satire about the playwright Anton Chekhov, For Those Of Us Who Have Lived In France, revealing the Francophile desires of Henry Kissinger, Mary Queen of Scots and modern day American Lunelle Snead, and Mothra Is Waiting, about two middle aged chanteuses waiting for the cult horror classic bug Mothra to rescue them from their meaningless lives, directed by Kyle Ancowitz, Gary Shrader and Stephen Speights, previewing from February 11th at the Access Theater, opening on February 14th. The cast will comprise Frank Anderson, Laura Desmond, Tracey Gilbert, Carter Adams Jackson, David Lapkin, Jonna McElrath, Katherine Puma, Amanda Ronconi, Jane Titus and Matthew Trumbull. The Access Theater is located at 380 Broadway, between Walker and White Streets.