News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th July 2010

Roundabout Theatre Company has confirmed that the musical Anything Goes, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, original book by P G Wodehouse and Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, revised by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, with Sutton Foster, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, will preview from March 10th at the newly renamed Stephen Sondheim Theatre (formerly Henry Miller's) with an official opening on April 7th. It tells the story of an extravagant group of passengers on a transatlantic liner in the 1930s. The design team will include scenery by Derek McLane, costumes by Martin Pakledinaz, and lighting by Peter Kaczorowski.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the shows in its 22nd Festival of New Musicals, featuring industry only staged readings of 8 new works, to be held on October 21st and 22nd. They include: The Bowery Boys, book and lyrics by David H Bell, music by Jeremy Cohen, co-creator Aaron Thielen, the story of a streetwise kid and his gang of bootblacks in Five Points New York in 1876; Lizzie Borden, book, lyrics and additional music by Tim Maner, music and lyrics by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, music by Alan Stevens Hewitt, a rock show revealing why the double murderer took up the axe, and how she became an American folk hero; Play It Cool, book by Martin Casella and Larry Dean Harris, music by Phillip Swann, lyrics by Mark Winkler, additional music by Jim Andron, Marilyn Harris, Emilio Palame and Larry Steelman, a jazz musical inspired by film noir, set an underground nightclub in 1953 Hollywood; and The Trouble With Doug, book and music by Will Aronson, book and lyrics by Daniel Mate, a contemporary comedic reimagining of Kafka's Metamorphosis, in which a young man transformed into a giant talking slug tries to cope with his situation. Since 1989 the festival has presented over 230 musicals and 420 writers, and 80% have found subsequent productions as a direct result of the festival, including Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Further information can be found on the NAMT web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

It has been confirmed that the British Live Theatre Newcastle production of Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters, inspired by a book by William Feaver, which tells the true story of a group of Ashington coal miners in the 1930s who invited a professor to give them art appreciation classes, directed by Max Roberts, with the original cast, comprising Christopher Connel, Michael Hodgson, Ian Kelly, Brian Lonsdale, Lisa McGrillis, Deka Walmsley, David Whitaker and Phillippa Wilson, will preview from September 14th at the Friedman Theatre, opening on September 30th. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Gary McCann, lighting by Douglas Kuhrt, and sound by Martin Hodgson.

On The Casting Couch: Cherry Jones will be joined by Sally Hawkins, Adam Driver, Mark Harelik, Edward Hibbert and Michael Siberry in George Bernard Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession, opening at the American Airlines Theatre on October 3rd.

Atlantic Theater Company has announced its 2010/2011 25th anniversary season, which because of renovation of the Linda Gross Theatre will see its mainstage productions playing elsewhere. These will include A double bill of Harold Pinter's The Collection, where a phone call and a surprise visitor set off a series of conversations about potential infidelities among two couples, and A Kind Of Alaska, where a woman wakes up after 30 years in a coma still thinking she's 16, at Classic Stage Company, 136 East 13th Street, from November 3rd; Langdon Mitchell's 1906 comedy The New York Idea, in a new version by David Auburn, about a couple whose plans to settle down together are thwarted by their previous spouses, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street, from January 6th; and the premiere of Four Pickups, four short plays centered around pickup trucks, directed by Neil Pepe, a co-production with St Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water Street, in DUMBO, Brooklyn, where it will play next April. Atlantic Stage 2 productions will include the world premiere of Lucy Thurber's Bottom Of The World, in which a woman examines her sister's last novel for insights into her death, directed by Caitriona McLaughlin, from September 3rd; and 10X25 One Act Festival, premiering short plays by playwrights who have worked with the company over the past 25 years, including Leslie Ayvazian, Annie Baker, Stephen Belber, Bekah Brunstetter, Moira Buffini, Kia Corthron, Tom Donaghy, John Guare, Peter Hedges, Kevin Heelan, Tin Howe, Craig Lucas, David Mamet, Peter Parnell, Keith Reddin, Kate Robin, Kate Moira Ryan, Eddie Sanchez, Lucy Thurber and Jeff Whitty.

Through The Night, a one man show written and performed by Daniel Beaty, telling the story of 6 African-American males, ages 10 to 60, who discover the power of possibility through one extraordinary event, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, seen earlier this year at the Riverside Theatre, will preview from September 10th at the Union Square Theatre, opening on September 26th. The producer is Daryl Roth. The Union Square Theatre is located at 100 East 17th Street, between Park Avenue South and Irving Place.

Theatre for a New Audience has announced its 2010/2011 season. Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground, the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg, adapted by Bill Camp and Robert Woodruff, featuring Camp, directed by Woodruff, will preview from November 7th at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street, opening on November 11th, a Yale Repertory Theatre production. William Shakespeare's Cymbeline, a saga of politics, the supernatural and love, in 1st century England, involving the King, his extended family and an attempted Roman invasion, performed by a company of 6, directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, will preview from January 13th at the New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street, opening on January 16th, a Fiasco Theater production. William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice, in which a Jewish moneylender, angered at the discrimination he has suffered, demands a 'pound of flesh' from someone who has defaulted on a debt, with F Murray Abraham, directed by Darko Tresnjak, will preview from February 27th at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce Street, opening on March 5th. William Shakespeare's Macbeth, the bloody tale of overreaching ambition, set in 2nd century Scotland, with John Douglas Thompson, directed by Arin Arbus, will preview from March 12th at The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street, opening on March 20th.

All-American Girls, written and directed by Layon Gray, the untold story of the all Negro female baseball team in 1945 Chicago, when women were called on to keep baseball alive while the men were away fighting in World War II, with Daphnee Duplaix, Mari White, Setor Attipoe, Yasha Jackson, Ashley Jeffrey, Arlene McGruder, Chantal Nchako, Catherine Peoples and Antoinette Robertson, will preview from August 4th at the Actors Temple Theatre, opening on August 25th. The producers are Edmund Gaynes, The Black Gents and The Layon Gray Experience. The Actors Temple Theatre is located at 339 West 47th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.