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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th February 2007

The Producers will end its run at the St James Theatre on April 22nd. It will be succeeded in the fall by Young Frankenstein, book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, adapted from the 1974 film, music and lyrics by Brooks, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, following an out of town season this summer. The movie, a parody of the classic horror films of the 1930s, featured a scene in which the Frankenstein monster is presented to the public in top hat and tails, performing Irving Berlin's Puttin' on the Ritz, which will be retained in the show.

Second Stage Theatre has announced two world premieres as part of the company's Uptown Festival this summer, which plays at the McGinn/Cazale Theater on Broadway at 76th Street. Marisa Wegrzyn's The Butcher Of Baraboo, about a woman whose husband has disappeared, and for which everyone suspects she was responsible, directed by Carolyn Cantor, will open on May 21st; and Josh Tobiessen's Election Day, in which the central character is distracted from making a trip to the polls by unexpected arrivals, directed by Jeremy Dobrish, will open on July 16th.

Primary Stages 2007/2008 season will include Horton Foote's Dividing The Estate, about a family that must confront its past as it prepares for its future with 'foxy cunning, fascination and hypocritical virtue'; Willy Holtzman's Something You Did, centering on a notorious 60s radical about to be released after serving nearly 30 years in prison for her part in the accidental killing of a police officer during an anti war protest; and Michael Hollinger's Opus, in which a string quartet's founder mysteriously disappears and the remaining members have to work with a replacement.

Barefoot Theatre Company will present the world premiere of Dog Day Afternoon, adapted from the 1975 film and directed by Frank Solorzano, at the Sargent Theatre at the American Theatre of Actors, from March 7th to 25th. Based on a true story, is about a Brooklyn bank robbery that develops into a hostage situation and a media circus. The cast comprises Solorzano, Jeremy Brena, Susan Ferrara, John Gazzale, Victoria Malvagno, Dolores McDougal, Roderick Nash, Amanda Plant, Lorraine Rodriquez, Rafi Silver, Anika Solveig, Joli Tribuzio and Christopher Whalen. The American Theatre of Actors is located at 314 West 54th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the Menier Chocolate Factory London production of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical Sunday In The Park With George, directed by Sam Buntrock, which has just won 5 Olivier Awards, will preview from January 18th 2008 at Studio 54, with an official opening February 14th. It will be presented by Roundabout Theatre Company and Boyett Ostar.

The Vortex Theater Company's 24th season, at the Sanford Meisner Theater, will comprise: a reinvented production of Gilbert and Sullivan's H M S Pinafore, from March 3rd to April 1st, featuring a cast of only seven - Billy Ernst, Sarah Hartley, Nich Kauffman, David Macaluso, Max Miller, Paul Sigrist and Jendi Tarde - and includes text and ideas from W S Gilbert's illustrated novel The Story of H.M.S. Pinafore, directed by Dave Dalton, with choreography by Carrie Cimma; the musical Kiss Of The Spider Woman, book by Terrence McNally, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb, directed by Gisela Cardenas from September 13th to October 14th, and Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, music by Joel Bravo, directed by Kristjan Thorgeirsson at Christmas. The Sanford Meisner Theater is located at 164 11th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets.

Lee Thuna's Fugue, with Charlotte Booker, Ari Butler, Lily Corvo, Liam Craig, Deirdre O'Connell, Danielle Skraastad, Rick Stear and Catherine Wolf, directed by Judith Ivey, will preview from March 13th at Cherry Lane Theatre, opening on March 21st. A woman in a 'fugue' state of amnesia, where the patient is running away from an intolerable memory, is assigned a young psychiatrist who is running from his own demons. The Cherry Lane is located at 38 Commerce Street, off 7th Avenue below Bleeker Street.

Double Edge Theatre will present the world premiere of Republic Of Dreams, a work by Ilan Stavans, inspired by the 'magic realism' art and writing of Bruno Schulz, using physical theatre, imagery, puppetry, live instrumental and choral music, directed by Stacy Klein, at La MaMa's The Annex at 66 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery, from March 8th to 18th.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Make Me A Song: The Music Of William Finn, the hit revue of well and lesser known songs by Finn from last summer's Hartford TheaterWorks, featuring Sandy Binion, Joe Cassidy, Adam Heller, Sally Wilfert, and pianist John DiPinto, conceived and directed by Rob Ruggiero, will preview from April 6th at the Zipper Theatre, opening on April 19th. The producers are Junkyard Dog Productions and Larry Hirschhorn, in association with Jayson Raitt. The Zipper Theatre is located at 336 West 37th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The New Group will present the world premiere of New York Times reporter and first time playwright Bernard Weinraub's The Accomplices, with Catherine Curtin, Jon Devries, Robert Hogan, Zoe Lister-Jones, David Margulies, Andrew Polk, Daniel Sauli, Mark Zeisler and Mark Zimmerman, directed by Ian Morgan, previewing from March 20th at Acorn Theater at Theatre Row, opening on April 9th. Based on actual events, it is the story of an underground resistance fighter to the British in Palestine, who arrives in America at the beginning of World War II seeking aid for the rescue of Jews in Europe, but finds his efforts blocked by both the Roosevelt administration and the Jewish establishment. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.