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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th April 2008

David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, a behind the camera look at Hollywood, centring on a producer's decision to film a novel about a nuclear catastrophe and the end of the world, rather than his usual star laden surefire hit, with Jeremy Piven, directed by Neil Pepe, will open at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced on October 23rd. The producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler.

Second Stage Theatre's 2008/2009 season will include Howard Korder's Boys' Life, a candid look at three college buddies making their way in the big city, which lacerates the prolonged adolescence that often takes the place of modern manhood, opening in October; Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw, a comedy in which a newlywed couple fixes up two romantically challenged friends, but the evening takes a dark turn, directed by Peter DuBois, opening in February; and the world premiere of Douglas Carter Beane's Mr & Mrs Fitch, a comedy about two gossip columnists and the current obsession with celebrity culture, opening in April. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, at 8th Avenue.

Last year's New York International Fringe Festival hit Bash'd!, a gay rap opera, book and lyrics by Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow (who also perform it), music by Aaron Macri, directed by Ron Jenkins, will preview from June 12th at the Zipper Factory Theater, opening on June 23rd. It chronicles the tale of two star-crossed lovers who must cope with the reality of hatred when one is brutally beaten. The producers are Stephen Kocis, Carl D White, Paul Boskind and Michael Filerman. The Zipper Factory Theater is located at 336 West 37th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Steven Levenson's Girls Day, or Britney And Tara Stare Into The Void And The Void Stares Back, with Jenn Harris as Britney Spears and Sara Saltzberg as Tara Reid, plus Patch Darragh and Kathy Searle, directed by Evan Cabnet, will play from May 11th at Ace of Clubs. The tragicomedy sees the two girls 'celebrating' Britney's release from rehab in their own special way. Ace of Clubs is located at 9 Great Jones Street, between Broadway and Lafayette Street.

The Signature Theatre Company has announced its 2008/2009 season at the Peter Norton Space, which will celebrate the work of Negro Ensemble Company. Productions will include Leslie Lee's The First Breeze Of Summer, where the struggles of three generations of a family collide over the course of one sweltering weekend, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, from August 5th; Samm-Art Williams's Home, in which 3 actors portray more than 25 characters in a Southerner's epic journey north during the 1950s and 1960s, from November 11th; and Charles Fuller's Zooman And The Sign, about how a random act of violence has scared a once caring community into helpless silence, directed by Stephen McKinley Henderson, from March 3rd. The Peter Norton Space at Signature Theatre is located at 555 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Roundabout Theatre Company will stage David Rabe's Streamers, with Hale Appleman, Larry Clarke, Ato Essandoh, Brad Fleischer, Charlie Hewson, John Sharian and J D Williams, directed by Scott Ellis, previewing from October 17th at the Laura Pels Theatre, opening on November 11th. It is the story of four young soldiers fresh from boot camp in 1965, waiting anxiously as they watch the Vietnam conflict escalate, while their own internal tensions rise. This will be followed by the New York premiere of Lisa Loomer's Distracted, in which a contemporary American mother reaches out to teachers, psychotherapists, and neighbours to figure out if Attention Deficit Disorder is the root of her son's problems, with Cynthia Nixon, directed by Mark Brokaw, opening in February. The Laura Pels Theatre is located at 111 West 46 Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The next production by Theater Breaking Through Barriers will be A R Gurney's period comedy The Cocktail Hour, with George Ashiotis, Melanie Boland, Pamela Sabaugh and Nicholas Viselli, directed by Ike Schambelan, previewing from May 24th at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on June 6th. When a writer returns home to ask permission of his parents to produce a show he has written about them, old slights are remembered and old wounds reopened - over cocktails. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Babel Theatre Productions will stage James Carmichael's Stomp And Shout (An' Work It All Out), with Christopher Rubi, Geraldine Bartlett, Brian D Coats, Carolyn McCandlish, William Jackson Harper, Katrina Foy, Cary McClelland, Joe Mullen, Frank Rodriguez, Jeremy Schwartz, Joe C Sullivan and Andrew Zimmerman, directed by Geordie Broadwater, previewing from May 29th at the 45th Street Theatre, opening on June 1st. In the 1960s, two agents probe the mystery of the incomprehensible song lyric, entering a tangled web of record impresarios and youth culture, but as one agent's obsession grows, the other finds the line between his personal and professional lives blurring. The 45th Street Theatre is located at 354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Midlantic Theatre Company is to reinvent William Shakespeare's three Henry VI plays for today's shortened attention span - in a 2 hour version using only 12 of the most dramatically charged scenes - as Henry VI: An Experiment. It will feature a cast of 13: Virginia Hammer, Karl Hanover, Dylan Bluestone, David Palmer Brown, Ben Pologe, Topher Mikels, Thomas Cox, Larry Weeks, Jordon Reeves, Josh Thelin, Suzanne Hayes, Chanelle Benz, and Ben Curns, and 5 directors: Rodney Hakim, Gerald Glackin, David Palmer Brown, Virginia Hammer and Susan McCallum. The plays tell the story of the Wars of the Roses, as the houses of York and Lancaster battle with each other for the throne of England. Performances will be May 1st to 3rd and 8th to 10th at the Walker Space, located at 46 Walker Street, between Church Street and Broadway.