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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th August 2007

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of Tracy Letts's August: Osage County, with Ian Barford, Francis Guinan, Mariann Mayberry, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Jeff Perry, Rondi Reed and Rick Snyder, Deanna Dunagan, Kimberly Guerrero, Fawn Johnstin, Dennis Letts and Troy West, directed by Anna D Shapiro, is to transfer to Broadway, with previews from October 30th at the Imperial Theatre, ahead of an official opening on November 20th. The drama, set in rural Oklahoma, concerns a missing patriarch and the reunion of a family. It features scenic design by Todd Rosenthal, costume design by Ana Kuzmanic, lighting design by Ann Wrightson and sound design by Richard Woodbury. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jean Doumanian, Steve Traxler and Jerry Frankel in association with Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

H G Brown's The Lady Swims Today, with Robert Funaro, Kelli K Barnett, Vivienne Leheny, Jack Rodgerson, Rob Sheridan, Gordon Silva and Kate Udall, directed by Stephen Sunderlin, will preview from September 13th at the TADA! Theatre, opening on September 23rd. It is a 'film noir' style drama, set in 1984, in which three desperate men are tempted to join the heist of a lifetime. The TADA! Theatre is located at 15 West 28th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Kevin Kline, Jennifer Garner and Daniel Sunjata will star in Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, in a version by Anthony Burgess, directed by David Levaux, previewing from October 12th at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, toward an official opening on November 1st. Inspired by a true story, it is the classic tragicomic tale of the swashbuckler with the grande proboscis, and his doomed love, lived out through helping his pretty (but shallow) rival to woo her.

The Kaufman Center has announced its 2007/2008 Broadway Close Up season, an inside look at the world of musical theatre, which, due to renovation at Merkin Concert Hall, will be held at the TimesCenter. It will comprise: Stephen Schwartz: Magic To Do, hosted by Sean Hartley, at which the composer and lyricist will discuss his work, with songs performed by Debbie Gravitte, Liz Callaway and Marni Nixon, on October 1st; Sheldon Harnick: To Life!, also hosted by Hartley, at which the lyricist will talk about his writing, with songs performed by Rebecca Luker and David Margulies, on November 5th; and Bound For Broadway VIII, hosted by Liz Callaway, featuring songs from new musicals, on December 3rd. The TimesCenter is located within the New York Times building at 242 West 41st Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. Further information can be found on the Merkin Concert Hall web site via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Ma-Yi Theater Company will stage the world premiere of Lloyd Suh's The Children of Vonderly, with William Jackson Harper, Lynn Cohen, Jackie Chung, Graeme Gillis, Stephen Jutras, Hoon Lee, Shawn Randall, and Maureen Sebastian, directed by Ralph B Pena, previewing from September 22nd at the East 13th Street Theatre, opening on October 4th. It tells the story of an unconventional multi-ethnic family of adopted and disabled children, who band together after a crisis threatens to rip them apart. The East 13th Street Theatre is located at 136 East 13th Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues.

TheatreworksUSA will present the world premiere of the family friendly musical Max And Ruby, music and lyrics by Carol Hall, book by Glen Berger, directed by Randy White, with choreography by Tracy Bersley, previewing from December 7th at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, opening on December 9th, and playing until January 13th. The show is based on the series of stories about two rabbit siblings by Rosemary Wells, and the television program on Nick Jr and Noggin. The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets.

Theater for a New Audience's 2007/2008 season will include: Adrienne Kennedy's Ohio State Murders, in which a mystery unravels when a writer returns to her university to talk about the violence in her writing, with Lisa Gay Hamilton, directed by Evan Yionoulis, from October 27th; Biyi Bandele's Oroonoko, based on a novella by Aphra Behn, a journey from African kingship to slavery, rebellion and death, with Daniel Breaker, directed by Kate Whoriskey, from February 2nd; and William Shakespeare's Antony And Cleopatra, directed by Darko Tresnjak, from March 22nd. Productions will play at the Duke Theatre at Theatre Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The National Theatre of Greece production of Sophocles's Electra, in which Electra and her brother Orestes avenge the death of their father by killing their mother and her lover, directed by Peter Stein, will play at New York City Center from October 10th to 14th. The cast will feature Stefania Goulioti, Apostolis Totsikas, Karyofyllia Karaabeti, Lazaros Georgakopoulos, Miltos Sotiriadis, Yannis Fertis and Kora Karvouni. New York City Center is at 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The National Asian-American Theatre Company will stage the New York premiere of Jorge Ignacio Cortinas's Blind Mouth Singing, Alexis Camins, Mia Katigbak, Sue Jean Kim, Orville Mendoza and Jon Norman Schneider, directed by Ruben Polend, previewing from September 14th at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, opening on September 19th. It tells the story of an unconventional family headed by an overly strict matriarch. The Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 25th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues

Revolution, a multimedia, dance and rock 'n' roll piece, combining tap, jazz, tango and martial arts with a live rock band, original concept and choreography by Michael Schulster and Joel Hanna, music by Ryan Alfred and Chris Ryan, stage direction by Lloyd Culbreath, film direction by Jared Frank, with additional choreography by Nicki Loud, will play at The Joyce Theater from September 25th to October 7th. The company will comprise Allison Holker, Mike Warshaw, Krista Montone, Ryan Kasprzak, Rachel Kreiling, James Sutherland, Lanie McAuley, Sonia De Los Santos, Viktor Bernardo, Mack Price, Tom Roslak and Jimmy Guasto. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 8th Avenue, corner of 19th Street.

The Rumour Machine says: that the British musical Billy Elliot, adapted from the film about a boy who wants to become a dancer, music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, directed by Stephen Daldry, will preview at the Imperial Theatre from September 17th next year; and that the musical Children Of Eden, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by John Caird, directed by Scott Schwartz, telling the stories of the Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and Noah's Flood, which premiered unsuccessfully in London in 1991, is aiming for Broadway in the 2008/2009 season. The Rumour Machine grinds on.