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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th February 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, about the early days of the AIDS crisis, with Joe Mantello, John Benjamin Hickey and Ellen Barkin, directed by Joel Grey, will preview from April 19th at the Golden Theatre, with an official opening on April 27th.

The fourth 24 Hour Musicals will be held on Monday March 7th at The Gramercy Theatre, with a VIP after party at the National Arts Club. A group of 16 actors, 4 writers, 4 directors, 2 choreographers and 4 musical directors will come together on the evening of Sunday March 6th, and form teams to write and rehearse 4 short musicals to be performed 24 hours later. Artists involved will include Mandy Gonzalez, America Ferrera, Julian Fleisher, Richard Kind, Marc Kudisch, Nellie McKay, Anthony Rapp and Nat Wolff. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Orchard Project. The Gramercy Theatre is located at 127 East 23rd Street, between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue South

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Gore Vidal's The Best Man, a play about power, ambition, political secrets, and ruthlessness in the race for the presidency, will return to Broadway in spring 2012, with James Earl Jones, directed by Michael Wilson. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Michael B Rothfeld and Darren Bagert.

SITI Company will stage Jocelyn Clarke's Room, a one person play that traces a creative spirit in crisis, based on the writing of Virginia Woolf, performed by Ellen Lauren, directed by Anne Bogart, at the Women's Project, from March 12th. The Women's Project is located at 424 West 55th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.

World Theatre Day, created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute, is celebrated annually on March 27th by the theatre community, with national and international events organised to mark the occasion. New York City World Theatre Day Coalition is comprised of representatives of theatre companies and advocacy groups whose goal is to promote World Theatre Day within the New York City theatre community by organising events, distributing the WTD message, and being a central location for companies to communicate their World Theatre Day plans. You can post an event or find out what events are happening at the NYCWTD web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, written and performed by Mike Birbiglia, sharing a lifetime of romantic blunders and miscues that most adults would spend a lifetime trying to forget, directed by Seth Barrish, will preview from March 18th at the Barrow Street Theater, opening on March 31st. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street, between 7th Avenue and West 4th Street.

On The Casting Couch: Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook will be joined by John Gallagher Jr, Max Baker, Geraldine Hughes and Molly Ranson in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, opening at the Music Box Theatre April 21st; and Tyne Daly will be joined by Sierra Boggess in Terrence McNally's Master Class, opening at the Friedman Theatre on June 21st.

New Perspectives Theatre Company will stage Michele A Miller's Mother Of God!, which investigates the politics of sex and religion embedded in the story of the coming of the Messiah, with historical context but creative license, both profane and profound, featuring Jon Cantor, Charles E Gerber, Ray Rodriguez, Marisa Petsakos, Keith Walker and Keona Welch, directed by Melody Brooks, previewing on March 10th at the Richmond Shepard Theatre, opening on March 11th. The Richmond Shepard Theatre is located at 309 East 26th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

Donna Lathem's Three By The Sea, a family friendly triple bill of tales of watery worlds, inspired by traditional Irish folktale, Native American and Mexican folklore, comprising Paddy And The Mermaid, Coyote's Moon and Foghorn Franny, with Elise Bernlohr, Laura Borgwardt, Maggie Delgadillo, Rob Esris, Jacob Mondry, Ali Schmidt and Zach Tait, directed by Julia Martin, will open at the Looking Glass Theatre on March 5th, playing weekend performances. The Looking Glass Theatre is located at 422 West 57th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues

The Rumour Machine says: that book writer Peter Parnell, composer Stephen Flaherty, lyricist Lynn Ahrens and director/choreographer Susan Stroman are working on a new dance musical for Lincoln Center Theater, set backstage at the Paris Opera Ballet, about the relationship between a young ballerina and the painter and sculptor Edgar Degas, which will workshop in June; and that the recent Arena Stage Washington production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, directed by Molly Smith, with choreography by Parker Esse, which returns in July, will transfer to Broadway in the late fall. The Rumour Machine grinds on.