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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th January 2013

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the stage adaptation of the Disney film Aladdin, with a new book by Chad Beguelin and an expanded score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, will open at the New Amsterdam Theatre in the spring of next year, following a Christmas season at the Mirvish Theatre in Toronto. The design team will comprise scenery by Bob Crowley, costumes by Gregg Barnes, lighting by Natasha Katz, and sound by Ken Travis.

It has been confirmed that the recent touring production of the musical Jekyll & Hyde, book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, music by Frank Wildhorn, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's novella The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, with a cast headed by Constantine Maroulis, Deborah Cox, Teal Wicks, Laird Mackintosh and Richard White, directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun, will preview from April 5th at the Marquis Theatre, with an official opening on April 18th. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Tobin Ost, lighting by Jeff Croiter, projections by Daniel Brodie, and sound by Ken Travis. The producers are Nederlander Presentations, Independent Presenters Network, Chunsoo Shin, Luigi Caiola and Stewart F Lane/Bonnie Comley.

On The Casting Couch: Zachary Booth, Janie Brookshire, David Conrad, Lisa Joyce, Rachel Resheff, Will Rogers and Danielle Skraastad will feature in Lanford Wilson's The Mound Builders, opening at The Pershing Square Signature Center on March 17th; and Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf will be joined by Tom Sturridge in Lyle Kessler's Orphans, opening at the Schoenfeld Theatre on April 7th.

Repertorio Espanol will stage Lope de Vega's Fuenteovejuna, a contemporary interpretation of the tale of corruption, greed, passion, love and betrayal, directed by Julian J Mesri, from February 1st. Repertorio Espanol is located at 138 East 27th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Forthcoming productions at Theater For The New City will include Children Of Paradise, written and directed by Richmond Shepard, adapted from the biography of the Mime, Debureau, who performed in Paris in the 1840's, and was the first one to use Pierrot as the leading character instead of Harlequin, with Chris Douros, Denise M Whalen, Jenny Chang, Marcus Watson, Kendall Rileigh, Jonathan Hendrickson, Bruce Schaffer, T Valada-Viars and Alexander Merinov, from February 7th; Neil Koenigsberg's Off The King's Road, in which a retired and widowed American businessman's nostalgic trip to London is turned into an unexpected voyage of self discovery, with Jack Davidson, Amy Van Nostrand, Christopher Borg, Mihaela Mihut and Ethan Cohn, directed by Stefanie Sertich, from February 9th; and Nick Jones's Trevor, about a show-biz chimp whose career is on the rocks, who still has dreams of a TV comeback with Morgan Fairchild, with Steven Boyer, Geneva Carr, Nathaniel Kent, Andy Nogasky, Shawn Randall, Amy Staats and Colleen Werthmann, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, from March 28th, a Lesser America production. Theater For The New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets.

Bedlam will stage William Shakespeare's Hamlet, about a young prince's compulsion to exact revenge on his uncle for the murder of his father and the assumption of the throne, from February 7th; in repertoire with George Bernard Shaw's St Joan, the story of Joan of Arc, a farm girl who challenged both Church and State in 15th century France, from March 6th, both with Ted Lewis, Andrus Nichols, Tom O'Keefe and Eric Tucker, directed by Eric Tucker, at Access Theatre. Access Theater is located at 380 Broadway at White Street.

Perfect Catch: A Throwmantic Comedy, created and performed by Michael Karas and Jen Slaw, charting the unlikely romance that develops between two office co-workers, will return to Canal Park Playhouse from February 2nd. Canal Park Playhouse is located at 508 Canal Street, between Washington and Greenwich Streets.

Stolen Chair Theatre Company will stage Kiran Rikhye's The Man Who Laughs, adapted from the novel by Victor Hugo, about a man who is facially disfigured and looks as though he is always laughing, dramaturgy by Emily Otto, presented in the style of a silent film, with Raife Baker, Dave Droxler, Jon Froehlich, Molly O'Neill, Noah Schultz and Rebecca Whitehurst, directed by Jon Stancato, at Urban Stages from January 31st. Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The Foundry Theatre production of Bertold Brecht's Good Person Of Szechwan, in which a good-hearted, penniless, cross-dressing prostitute, is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman so she can master the ruthlessness needed to be a 'good person' in a brutal world, with Taylor Mac, directed by Lear deBessonet, will play at La MaMa E.T.C. from February 1st. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East 4th Street, between Bowery and 2nd Avenue.

WorkShop Theater Company will stage Scott C Sickles's Lightning From Heaven, relating Boris Pasternak and Olga Ivinskaya's struggle to complete and publish Doctor Zhivago, despite determined Soviet efforts to stop them, with Mary Ruth Baggott, Mick Bleyer, Ethan Cadoff, Jed Dickson, Bob Manus, David M Mead, Kari Swenson Riely, Michael Selkirk, Christine Verleny and Dustye Winniford, directed by Thomas Cote, previewing from February 15th, opening on February 16th. The WorkShop Theater is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will return to Broadway in the fall in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land and Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot, both of which feature two characters with an ambiguous relationship in uncertain circumstances, directed by Sean Mathias, performed in repertory, courtesy of producers Stuart Thompson and NOMANGO Productions. The Rumour Machine grinds on.