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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th July 2009

It has been confirmed that The Addams Family, a new musical with an original story featuring the macabre characters created by illustrator Charles Addams, book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, with Nathan Lane, Bebe Neuwirth, Terrence Mann, Carolee Carmello, Kevin Chamberlin, Jackie Hoffman, Zachary James, Adam Riegler, Wesley Taylor and Krysta Rodriguez, directed and designed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, with choreography Sergio Trujillo, will preview from March 4th at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, with an official opening on April 8th. The producers are Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions, by arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical. The show will play a pre Broadway season at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre in Chicago, opening on November 13th.

Manhattan Theatre Club has announced a further production in its 2009/2010 season at New York City Center Stage I. Bill Cain's Equivocation will preview from February 9th, opening on March 2nd. In England, in 1605, William Shakespeare is commissioned to write a play about current events: the Gunpowder Plot (a recent failed attempt to blow up Parliament and King James I), and in his research, makes unexpected discoveries. New York City Center is located at 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Lincoln Center Theater has announced the third production of LCT3, its initiative dedicated to presenting the work of emerging playwrights, directors and designers. Ann Marie Healy's What Once We Felt, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, will play at The Duke on 42nd Street from October 26th. Set in a darkening future, it follows a writer's journey through the world of publishing, as her book becomes the last print published novel ever. The Duke on 42nd Street is located at 229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Carnegie Hall's 2009/2010 season will include Sammy And Sam: A Tribute To Sammy Davis Jr And Sam Cooke, featuring Wayne Brady, on October 9th; Too Marvelous For Words: A Johnny Mercer Centennial Concert, with Ann Hampton Callaway and N'Kenge, on November 20th; Celebrate The Holidays With Sandi Patty! featuring Patty and the Young People's Chorus of New York City, on December 18th and 19th; Celtic Music: A Saint Patrick's Day Celebration, with Meav, Ronan Tynan, Liz Knowles and Kieran O'Hare, on March 12th; and The Best Of Lerner And Loewe, with Kelli O'Hara, Paulo Szot and The Clurman Singers on April 16th.

On The Casting Couch: Laura Benanti, Michael Cerveris, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Maria Dizzia, Thomas Jay Ryan, Wendy Rich Stetson and Chandler Williams will feature in Sarah Ruhl's In The Next Room (or the vibrator play), which will preview from October 22nd at the Lyceum Theatre, opening on November 19th; and Laura Linney will be joined by Alicia Silverstone in Donald Margulies's Time Stands Still, which will preview from January 5th at the Samuel J Friedman Theatre, opening on January 28th

Gorilla Repertory Theatre Company will stage free performances of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt, an epic journey in search of fame and fortune, in a new translation/adaptation by Laura Lynn MacDonald, directed by Christopher Carter Sanderson, on Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm, from August 6th to 29th at Summit Rock in Central Park (near 85th Street and Central Park West); and William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, the story of power, politics and honour, directed by Stephen Fried, on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, from August 7th to 30th, at the lawn below the New Leaf Cafe parking area in Fort Tryon Park. The company comprises Roger Grunwald, Neville Braithwaite, Ken Hailey, Caitlin Johnston, Sarah Mollo-Christensen, Gustavo Obregon, Heather Lee Rogers, Nalini Sharma, Josh Silverman and Frances You Sanderson.

A year long celebration of the playwright and director Garson Kanin will begin with Dreyfus In Rehearsal, written by Jean-Claude Grumberg and adapted by Kanin, with Paul Anthony Stewart, Lori Wilner, Bob Ari, Ari Butler, Holly Ann Butler, Lee Zarrett, Daniel Pollack, Teddy Bergman and Timothy Sekk, directed by Chad Larabee, from July 30th at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row. It follows a group of amateur actors rehearsing a play about Alfred Dreyfus (written by their ambitious young director) who are more concerned with their personal dramas than those in the play. The producers are Philip Morgaman, Emily Miller and Frankie Grande. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Dial 'N' for Negress, a musical satire on the 'blaxploitation' movies of the 1970s, book and lyrics by Travis Kramer, concept and music by Tom Oster and Kevin Smith Kirkwood, who also plays the transvestite title character, produced and directed by Jake Hirzel, with choreography by Jennifer L Mudge, will preview on September 10th at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on September 11th.

The world premiere of Charles L Mee's Coney Island Avenue, with Jenny Bennett, Claudeen Benoit, Angela Bonacci, Ruben Celeberti, Jennifer Leigh Cohen, Tim Dax, Sam Ghosh, William S Huntley III, Sandhya Jain, Max Jenkins, Haerry Kim, Aryeh Lappin, Franco Pristritto, Rachel Popson, Casey Robinson, Jerilyn Sackler, Bobby Savage, Lauren Sharpe, Chandra Thomas, Nitya Vidyasagar and Annie Yimat, directed by Anjali Vashi, with choreography by Bobby Savage, will play at the New York Theater Workshop 4th Street Theater from August 5th. Using spoken word, film, live and recorded music and dance, it presents an account of the varied lives and everyday struggles of the population of contemporary Brooklyn. The producer is Sixdollarsinmypocket Productions. The 4th Street Theater is located at 83 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery.