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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th May 2012

It has been confirmed that the musical Annie, book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, based on the comic strip character Little Orphan Annie, created by Harold Gray, set in Depression era New York, with Lilla Crawford in the title role and Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan, directed by James Lapine, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, will preview from October 3rd at the Palace Theatre, with an official opening on November 8th. The design team comprises scenery by David Korins, costumes by Susan Hilferty, lighting by Donald Holder, and sound by Brian Ronan. The producers are by Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Roy Furman, Debbie Bisno, Stacey Mindich, Nederlander Presentations, Jane Bergere/Daryl Roth and Eva Price/Christina Papagjika.

The 2012/2013 City Center Encores! series, presenting great but less often performed American musicals in concert, will comprise: a 20th Anniversary Gala Celebration concert, featuring Raul Esparza and Kelli O'Hara, on November 12th; Fiorello!, book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, the biomusical about New York City Mayor Fiorello H LaGuardia, from January 30th to February 3rd; It's A Bird…It's A Plane…It's Superman, book by David Newman and Robert Benton, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, based on the comic book hero, in March; and On Your Toes, book by George Abbott, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, a story mixing gangsters, vaudeville and classical ballet, in May. New York City Center is located 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

PTP/NYC will stage Caryl Churchill's Serious Money, a satire on the insider trading, corporate raiding and leveraged buyouts in the London of the late '80s, with David Barlow, Megan Byrne, Alex Draper, James O Dunn, Tara Giordano, Brent Langdon, Jeanne LaSala Taylor, Mathew Nakitare, Aubrey Dube, Gillian Durkee, Alicia Evancho, Charles Giardina, Meghan Leathers, Molly O'Keefe and Lucy Van Atta, directed by Cheryl Faraone, and Neal Bell's Monster, adapted from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, with Ken Cheeseman, Christo Grabowski, Paula Langton, Joe Varca, Noah Berman, Britian Seibert and John Zdrojeski, directed by Jim Petosa, playing in repertory at Atlantic Stage 2 from July 3rd. Atlantic Stage 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Public Theater's Mobile Shakespeare Unit will stage William Shakespeare's Richard III, the story of a ruthless rise to power, directed by Amanda Dehnert, touring throughout the city from July 17th to August 5th, and at the Public from August 7th.

The New Victory Theater has announced its 2012/2013 season of acclaimed family friendly shows from around the world, which will include from Brighton England, Tim Crouch's I, Malvolio, a compassionate reassessment of Shakespeare's puritan killjoy; Glasgow Scotland's Visible Fictions physical theatre production of Davey Anderson's The Mark Of Zorro, based on the character created by Johnston McCull; Austin, Texas's The Robot Planet with The Intergalactic Nemesis Book One: Target Earth, sci-fi adventure with aliens, adventure, conspiracy and intrigue, featuring 3 actors, a Foley artist and a 2 storey-high screen; Britain's The Opera Group and Opera North production of The Firework Maker's Daughter, music by David Bruce, libretto by Glyn Maxwell, adapted from the novel by Philip Pullman, about a girl's quest to become a firework maker; and Dublin, Ireland's Theatre Lovett production of The Girl Who Forgot To Sing Badly, in which Louis Lovett goes on a desperate mission, in which she learns about love, loss, the reassurance of goats and the courage to sing gloriously on or off-key. The New Victory Theatre is located at 209 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

These Seven Sicknesses, a 5 hour compilation of all 7 surviving plays by Sophocles: Oedipus, In Trachis, Philoktetes, In Colonus, Ajax, Elektra and Antigone, where the intermingling of chance and fate yields disquieting results, adapted by Sean Graney, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, will return to The Flea Theater from June 6th. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Church and Broadway.

Terminator Too, Judgement Play, conceived and directed by Thomas Blake, an interactive spoof of the 1991 action blockbuster movie Terminator 2, with Joya Mia Italiano, Yesenia Ayala, Conor Tansey, Jeremy Bent, Stephanie Griffiths, Sam Albertson and Petra Sanader, will play at Santos Party House from June 23rd. Santos Party House is located at 96 Lafayette Street, between Walker and White Streets.

The New Group's 2012/2013 season will include the premiere of Francine Volpe's The Good Mother, a psychological thriller about a single mother threatened by her past actions, with Gretchen Mol, directed by Scott Elliott; and Jonathan Marc Sherman's Clive, inspired by Bertolt Brecht's Baal, reflecting the highs and lows in the life of a dissipated songwriter in 1990s New York City, directed by and featuring Ethan Hawke, including an eclectic selection of classic American songs performed live; and the premiere of the musical Bunty Berman Presents..., book and lyrics by Ayub Khan Din, music by Ayub Khan Din and Paul Bogaev, charting a producer's efforts to keep a failing 1950s Bollywood studio in business, directed by Scott Elliott. Performances are in the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Make Music New York will hold its 6th festival of over 1,000 free concerts, featuring music of all genres and styles, in parks and streets throughout the five boroughs of New York City on June 21st, the summer solstice, from 10am to 10pm. The festival is modelled on France's Fete de la Musique, first held in 1982 in Paris, and an annual event throughout the country ever since. The idea has been picked up in various cities around the world, including London, Beijing, Tokyo and Sydney. In New York community groups, Business Improvement Districts, and hundreds of individual artists, both amateurs and professionals, have already signed on to produce free concerts on sidewalks, parks, closed streets and community gardens. Further information about taking part or attending an event can be found on the MMNY web site, via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Rumour Machine says: that A Christmas Story, The Musical!, based on the stories of Jean Shepherd, book by Joseph Robinette, score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, directed by John Rando, with choreography by Warren Carlyle, which toured last Christmas, will play a Broadway season from November 6th. The Rumour Machine grinds on.