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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th March 2007

Patti LuPone will reprise her performance as the stage mother of all stage mothers from last summer's Ravinia Festival production of the Arthur Laurents-Stephen Sondheim-Jule Styne musical Gypsy, at City Center, as part of its new Encores! Summer Stars, a spin off of the Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert series. Previewing from July 9th, opening July 12th, and playing until July 29th, it will be directed by Laurents.

East Coast Artists will present the professional New York premiere of Waxing West, by the new wave Romanian playwright Saviana Stanescu, with Elizabeth Atkeson, Jason Lawergren, Kathryn Kates, Alexis McGuinness, Tony Naumovsky, Grant Neale, Dan Shaked and Marnye Young, directed by Benjamin Mosse, at La Mama E.T.C. from April 5th to 22nd. When a Romanian cosmetologist arrives in the U.S. to marry a computer engineer, she is haunted by Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, the former Romanian dictator and his wife, who are now vampires. La MaMa E.T.C. First Floor Theatre is located at 74A East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

Roundabout Theatre Company will stage John Van Druten's Old Acquaintance, with Harriet Harris, Margaret Colin and Lily Rabe, directed by Michael Wilson, previewing from June 1st at the American Airlines Theatre, with an official opening on June 28th. It is a drawing room comedy about two childhood friends who, though both are successful authors, have grown into very different adults.

The Vineyard Theatre has announced that the final production in its 25th anniversary season will be the New York premiere of American Fiesta, written and performed by Steven Tomlinson, directed by Mark Brokaw, previewing from April 14, and opening on April 26th. When an obsessive collector of brightly colored vintage Fiestaware ceramic dinnerware goes cross-country in search of the perfect specimens, he has a series of remarkable encounters with the locals. The Vineyard Theatre is located at 108 East 15th Street, between 4th Avenue and Irving Place.

Emergency Theater Project will stage the world premiere of Ashlin Halfnight's Mud Blossom, with Corinne Edgerly, Jennifer McCabe and Liz Myers, directed by Kate Pines, previewing from April 12th at Walkerspace, opening on April 14th. The play is about three generations of women living in a rundown farmhouse in the rural South, and how they hold their family together in a world that is fast becoming incomprehensible. Walkerspace is located at 46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Streets.

The Brits Off Broadway Festival, which will run at 59E59 Theatres from May 3rd to July 1st, has now completed its lineup. In addition to the previously mentioned Intimate Exchanges by Alan Ayckbourn and Memory by Jonathan Lichtenstein, it will comprise The Receipt, written and performed by Will Adamsdale and Chris Branch, in which a man searches the city for the owner of a receipt; Benjamin Davis's Silverland, 'a utopian vision of a dystopian future' set in a London on the brink of chaos in 2011, directed by Di Trevis; Mark Jenkins's Rosebud: The Lives Of Orson Welles, with Christian McKay, revisiting the glories of Welles's youth and his subsequent exile from Hollywood, directed by Josh Richards; Rabbit, written and directed by Nina Raine, about the relationship between a young woman and her dying father; and Al Smith's Radio, a satire on reality programming and the slippery nature of free speech, directed by James Yeatman. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues. Further information can be found on the BOBF web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Laurie Beechman Theatre in the West Bank Cafe will present An Evening of Short Musicals, with three shows written by students of New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, on April 6th, 13th and 20th. The musicals will include Erato Kremmyda and Sean Keogh's Playtime, with Randy Blair, Ben Kaplan and Kelly Felthous; Karlan Judd and Robin Share's Mrs Smith Goes To Washington, with Brittany Cornelius, Randy Blair, Sam Pinkleton, Michelle Hernandez and Sonya Cook; and Rob Broadhurst and Maggie Coleman's Momento Mori, with Lisa Asher, Miles Phillips, Courter Simmons and Eddie Varley, directed by Phil Geoffrey Bond and Ryan Mekenian. The Laurie Beechman Theatre is located at 407 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Joel Gross's The Color Of Flesh, with Amanda Jones, Jonathan Kells Phillips and Samantha Ives, directed by Robert Kalfin, will open at the 45th Street Theatre on April 5th. Set in 18th century France, the play depicts a love triangle embracing Queen Marie Antoinette, her best friend the portrait artist Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun and the radical aristocrat Count Alexis De Ligne. The producer is Earl Productions. The 45th Street Theatre is located at 354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.