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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th November 2007

Following an agreement to end the stagehands strike (still to be ratified by Local One members) performances in the 26 Broadway theatres affected resumed on 29th November. Official openings that should have taken place during the strike have been rescheduled.

Soho Rep has found a 'non-traditional performance space' for its presentation of No Dice, the latest experimental work created by the Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, which will be staged at 66 White Street, the former Sydney's Playground, a 6,000 sq ft indoor playground, with previews from December 6th, opening December 8th. Conceived and directed by Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper, the 'epic of the everyday blown to transcendental proportions' has been distilled from over 100 hours of taped telephone conversations with actors, friends and family about their jobs, personal problems, aspirations and dreams. The cast comprises Anne Gridley, Thomas Hummel, Robert M Johanson, Zachary Oberzan and Kristin Worrall.

The 10th season of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, which celebrates the diversity of the American popular song, will include January 23rd: Deborah Voigt singing the songs of The Great White Way; January 25th: Rob Fisher Celebrates The Leonard Bernstein Songbook; January 26th: Kelli O'Hara performing songs by classic and up and coming writers; February 6th: This Is The Life: Eric Comstock Salutes Charles Strouse @ 80; February 9th: David Yazbek performing his own compositions; February 23rd: John Lloyd Young singing songs from the 1960s and 1970s; and February 29th: Christine Ebersole with a new show. Further information can be found on the Lincoln Center web site, via the link from Major Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Ensemble Studio Theatre will stage the world premiere of On The Way To Timbuktu, written and performed by Petronia Paley, directed by Talvin Wilks, from December 6th to 21st. It is the story of a happily married English Literature teacher who finds herself in love with a female student, and her past and present collide as she confronts the poetry and politics of her heart. The Ensemble Studio Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

The Vineyard Theatre has confirmed the final productions in its current season. The musical The Slug Bearers Of Kayrol Island (or The Friends Of Dr Rushower), book and drawings by Ben Katchor, music and lyrics by Mark Mulcahy, a darkly comic story set in and around Manhattan and a tropical factory island of exploited workers, directed by Bob McGrath, will preview from January 25th, opening in early February; and Jenny Schwartz's God's Ear, about a young couple who struggle with life after losing their son - their only guides being their daughter, the Tooth Fairy and G.I. Joe, directed by Anne Kauffman, will preview in April, a co-production with New Georges. The Vineyard Theatre is located at 108 East 15th Street, between 4th Avenue and Irving Place.

A new musical, Glimpses Of The Moon, adapted the novel by Edith Wharton, book and lyrics by Tajlei Levis, music by John Mercurio, directed by Marc Bruni, will play Monday nights at the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room from January 14th, with an official opening on January 21st. The Jazz Age New York set story features a couple of poor friends, who devise a plan to get married and live off the wedding gifts while they help each other find millionaire partners, which goes wrong when they fall in love. In addition to the resident cast of 6, each performance will feature a special guest star from the world of cabaret. The producer is Lemon Tree Productions. The Oak Room is located within the Algonquin Hotel at 59 West 44th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

The York Theatre Company production of a new children's musical A Kid's Life!, book by Cynthia Riddle and Peter Hunziker, music and lyrics by Corey Leland, with Carlos Avilas, Ashley Wallace, Mark Borum, Yoav Levin, Jessica Blyweiss, Joshua Greenwood and Kaitlin Becker, directed by Keith Markinson, with choreography by Ellie Mooney, will play daytime performances from December 8th to January 13th. It is the story of a day in the life of a boy, his dog and his new friend, as they encounter various anthropomorphic objects and animals and learn about the world. The York Theatre Company's Theatre at Saint Peter's is on 54th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Naomi Emmerson will perform Roger Peace's Piaf: Love Conquers All, a one woman musical drama about the French singer, with the songs in the original French, accompanied by Stephanie Layton, at the Soho Playhouse from 8th December. The producer is LVR Productions. Soho Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between Varick Street and 6th Avenue.

The Urban Stages premiere production of The Blue Bird, by Stanton Wood and Lori Ann Laste, adapted from the play by Maurice Maeterlinck, with Ronit Aranoft, Drew Battles, Diana Buirski, Jenny Gammello, Francis Mateo and Maureen Silliman, directed by Heath Cullens, will play daytime and early evening performances from 14th December. It is a 'multimedia extravaganza' about a materialistic Staten Island girl who goes on a fantastical journey with some magical household companions to find the fabled 'blue bird of happiness'. Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.