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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th November 2006

The Public Theater has announced that its postponed production of Shakespeare's King Lear, starring Kevin Kline, directed by James Lapine, will now preview from February 9th. Other productions in this season at the Public are the musical Passing Strange, with book and lyrics by Stew, and music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, charting the journey of a young black bohemian searching for himself, directed and created in collaboration with Annie Dorsen, currently at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and previewing in January; and Craig Lucas's play Singing Forest, interweaving the stories of three generations of one family, from New York in 2000 to post Second World War Paris to Vienna in the 1930s, directed by Bartlett Sher, previewing in March.

The final production in the current season at Second Stage Theatre will be the New York premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, a re-imagining of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice through the eyes of its heroine, as she journeys to the underworld and struggles to retain memories of her lost love, directed by Les Waters, with musical staging by John Carrafa, previewing from May 29th and opening on June 12th. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, just west of 8th Avenue.

On The Casting Couch: Alfred Molina will be joined by Alvin Epstein, Elizabeth Franz, Jessica Hecht and Euan Morton in the American premiere of Patrick Marber's Howard Katz, the Roundabout Theatre Company production, previewing from February 2nd at the Laura Pels Theater, 111 West 46 Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, opening on March 8th.

A new musical In The Heights, book and lyrics by Quiara Alegria Hudes, music by Lin-Manuel Miranda - a mix of hip-hop, salsa and merengue - directed by Thomas Kail, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, will preview from January 9th at 37 Arts, opening February 8th. It will feature Mandy Gonzalez, Priscilla Lopez and Olga Merediz, withAndrea Burns, Janet Dacal, John Herrera, Christopher Jackson, Robin de Jesus, Karen Olivo and composer Miranda. The show follows two days in the life of the Latino community in the Washington Heights neighborhood. The Producers are Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Jill Furman. 37 Arts is located at 450 West 37th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the London production of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon For The Misbegotten, with Kevin Spacey, Eve Best and Colm Meaney, directed by Howard Davies, currently playing at the Old Vic Theatre, will transfer to Broadway, previewing from March 29th, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with an official opening on April 9th, playing until June 10th. It is the story of a quick witted young woman, her scheming father, and their landlord, an alcoholic washed up actor, to whom she is attracted. The producers will be Elliot Martin, Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer, co-producers in London.

Gotham Stage Company will present the New York premiere of Eric Houston's Becoming Adele, with Kimberly Stern, directed by Victor Mago, previewing December 15th, at the Clurman Theatre on Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues, opening on December 20th. It follows a spunky Brooklyn waitress, as she tries to carve out a better future for herself and her daughter. GSC will follow this next spring with Randall David Cook's Gin & Tonic, in which a retired Lutheran minister and his wife are forced to examine their faith when an unexpected guest arrives on their doorstep.

The Culture Project, which produces politically themed works, is leaving its current building at 45 Bleecker Street, with its two 199 and 99 seater spaces, and will take over the Manhattan Ensemble Theater's single 140 seater space, at 55 Mercer Street in January. The company is buying the remaining ten years on MET's lease in a cost cutting move. MET, which was established for dramatic adaptations of literary works and real life stories, will continue to produce, either at Mercer Street or elsewhere.

The next production by The New Group will be Wallace Shawn performing his play The Fever, in which an anonymous narrator wakes up in a war torn country with a terrible fever, unable to reconcile the privilege he has enjoyed with his current surroundings, directed by Scott Elliott, previewing from January 9th at the Acorn Theater on Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, opening on January 24th. This will be followed by Bernard Weinraub's The Accomplices.

The Midtown International Theatre Festival, which offers the chance for self-produced Off-Off-Broadway plays and musicals to be presented, is seeking submissions for its 8th season, from July 16th to August 5th next year. The MITF presents more than 200 performances of 40-60 shows over a 3 week period each year, in 4 theatres on the same block of 36th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues. The basic deal is that MITF pays the theatre and marketing costs, and individual shows pay for everything else. Submissions must be received by February 20th. Further information and an application form can be found on the MITF web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that Michael Rupert will be joining the cast of the upcoming musical Legally Blonde, opening at the Palace Theatre on April 29th; that the recent London revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday In The Park With George, featuring cutting edge animation by Timothy Bird, which began life at the Off Broadway style venue the Menier Chocolate Factory, is eying Studio 54 for a New York transfer next fall, with Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell reprising their performances; that Christine Baranski may star in Shakespeare's Antony And Cleopatra in Theatre for a New Audience's 2007/2008 season; and that Ian McShane will make his first Broadway appearance in four decades next fall, in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, directed by Daniel Sullivan. The Rumour Machine grinds on.