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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 26th November 2012

The Flea Theater is staging Amy Freed's Restoration Comedy, with Michael Axelrod, Jaspal Binning, Naomi Bland, Brantley Brice, Emily Brown, Allison Buck, Alex Coelho, Whitney Conkling, Matthew Cox, Greg Engbrecht, Eloise Eonnet, Kelechi Ezie, James Fouhey, Justin Garascia, Rosa Gilmore, Cleo Gray, Kerry Ipema, Finn Kilgore, Chase Kinney, Alex Mandell, Anthony Martinez, Jennifer McCormick, Bonnie Milligan, Zac Moon, Seth Moore, Erik Olson, Ivano Pulito, Alexander Seife, Stephen Stout, Liz Tancredi, Jennifer Tsay and Mari Yamamoto, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, opening on December 10th. The play is a combination of the 17th century bawdy English comedies, Colley Cibber's Love's Last Shift and John Vanbrugh's The Relapse. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Church Street and Broadway.

Cirque du Soleil's Totem, tracing the journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly, written and directed by Robert Lepage, featuring 52 artists from 19 countries, will make its New York debut in its Grand Chapeau on the grounds of Citi Field, in Queens, from March 14th.

Brian Friel's The Freedom Of The City, revolving around an inquiry into the shooting of three people during a civil rights demonstration, with Cara Seymour, Joe Sikora, James Russell, Ciaran Byrne, Clark Carmichael, Christa Scott-Reed, John C Vennema, Craig Wroe and Evan Zes, directed by Ciaran O'Reilly, will return to the Irish Repertory Theatre, from 2nd January. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Jump For Joy Productions will stage Adam Bock's The Drunken City, in which one of three brides to be on a bar crawl begins to question her future after a chance encounter with a recently jilted handsome stranger, with Nicholas Cocchetto, Tyrone Davis Jr, Samantha Payne Garland, David Marshall, Jen Ponton, and Kelly Strandemo, directed by Misti B Wills, previewing from November 30th at The WorkShop Theatre, opening on December 1st. The WorkShop Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

China's female percussion group, The Red Poppy Ladies, will make their U.S. debut performing Mulan The Musical, the classic folktale of a young girl's bravery in the face of adversity, at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwright's Horizon from December 18th. Playwright's Horizon is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Second Act Trouble: Behind The Scenes At Broadway's Big Musical Bombs by Steven Suskin, published by Applause, collects together 28 vivid first person accounts of 25 doomed musical productions, by people who were either intimately involved, or who reported on the events as they happened. It puts the reader with the creators, in the rehearsal rooms, at out of town tryouts, in late night, hotel room production meetings, and even after the fact recrimination sessions. Generally these accounts come from newspapers and magazines, which means they have previously been lost to history. Among the contributors are Patricia Boswoth, Mel Gussow, William Gibson, John Gruen, Ellen Stern, Caryl Rivers and Bruce Weber. The book ends with a 37 page account of the one performance 1965 Broadway debacle Kelly by Lewis H Lapham, to whom the producers gave complete access to all aspects of the production - even including him in a limo trip to see the tryout in Philadelphia.

The 24th annual Gypsy Of The Year Competition, the variety show featuring Broadway 'Gypsies' (chorus members from Broadway and Off Broadway shows), which is the culmination of the fall fundraising effort of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will take place at the New Amsterdam Theatre at 4.30pm on December 3rd and 2pm on December 4th, when awards will be presented to the companies that raised the most money, and for the winning talent presentation. Last year the event raised an all time high figure of $4,895,253, pushing the competition's 23 year total to $49,031,973. Further information can be found on the BC/EFA web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that Rupert Holmes's A Time To Kill, adapted from John Grisham's courtroom novel, directed by Ethan McSweeny, may be Broadway bound next spring, courtesy of producer Daryl Roth; that the Kirmser Ponturo Group (which previously produced the baseball themed Lombardi and Magic/Bird) is developing an as yet untitled play that will tell history of the New York Yankees baseball team; and that Universal are working on a musical adaptation of the 2008 film Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, about a dismissed London governess seeking new employment who enters the world of show business, book by Robert Harling music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. The Rumour Machine grinds on.