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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th July 2008

It has been confirmed that the coming of age musical 13, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, directed by Jeremy Sams, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, will preview from September 16th at the Bernard B Jacobs Theatre, with an official opening on October 5th. It is the story of a boy who moves across the country when his parents divorce, and has to fit into a new High School. The show recently played at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam with a cast entirely made up of teenage performers. Broadway casting is still unconfirmed. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by David Farley, lighting by Brian MacDevitt and sound by Jon Weston. The producers are Bob Boyett, Roger Berlind, Tim Levy, Stacey Mindich, Ken Davenport, Broadway Across America, Jane Bergere, Carl Moellenberg, Sharon Karmazin, in association with The Araca Group.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the shows in its 20th Festival of New Musicals, featuring staged readings of 8 new works, to be held on October 20th and 21st. All the shows submitted for inclusion must be sponsored by NAMT member theatres or producers. They include: Beatsville, music and lyrics by Wendy Leigh Wilf, book by Glenn Slater, based on the film A Bucket Of Blood, about an artist in Greenwich Village in 1959 whose body of work consists of actual bodies; The Cuban And The Redhead, by Robert Bartley and Danny Whitman, a biomusical about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and how they transformed the new medium of television; Pamela's First Musical, book by Wendy Wasserstein, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel, about a young girl who sees her first Broadway musical and is inspired to write and direct her own; and See Rock City & Other Destinations, book and lyrics by Adam Mathias, music by Brad Alexander, a collection of short musicals set at various American tourist spots, each with characters struggling with their fears and expectations. Since 1989 the festival has presented over 200 musicals and 300 writers, and 75% have found subsequent productions as a direct result of the festival, including Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Further information can be found on the NAMT web site, via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The 2008/2009 season at the New Victory Theater will once again feature acclaimed shows from around the world, including Cranked, a hip-hop piece looking at dreams lost due to one man's addiction to crystal meth, presented by Green Thumb Theatre Vancouver; Scotland's Visible Fictions with a two man retelling of Jason And The Argonauts; Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger from Morocco fusing ancient acrobatic traditions with contemporary technology and design in Taoub; Swiss circus troupe La Famiglia Dimitri with their anarchic new vaudeville show; Madrid's Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca performing a world premiere flamenco piece created for family audiences; The Queen Of Colors, combining puppetry and live illustration created by Erfreuliches Theater from Germany; Japan's comedy duo Gamarjabot with their physical comedy show Rock 'n' Roll Penguin; and Australia's Daredevil Theater performing Tom Tom Club, an acrobatic piece set to beat boxing rhythms. The New Victory is located at 209 West 42nd Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

The 4th Annual Broadway Cabaret Festival, created and hosted by Scott Siegel, will run at The Town Hall, from October 17th to 19th. It will repeat the previous format, comprising A Tribute To Lerner & Loewe, with Brent Barrett, Jim Caruso, Alexander Gemignani, Celia Keean-Bolger, Sarah Jane McMahon, Euan Morton, Julia Murney, Daniel Reichard and Max von Essen; Colm Wilkinson Broadway & Beyond, with Wilkinson joined by Susan Gillmor; and Broadway Originals! an afternoon show featuring the original stars of Broadway shows re-creating their performances, including Lucie Arnaz, Stephen Mo Hanan, Karen Morrow and Pam Myers. The Town Hall is located at 123 West 43rd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The Directors Company will stage Dan Gordon's Irena's Vow, with Tovah Feldshuh, Sandi Carroll, Tracee Chimo, Steven Hauck, Scott Klavan, Peter Reznikoff, Thomas Ryan, Gene Silvers, John Stanisci and Maja Wampuszyc, directed by Michael Parva, previewing from September 7th at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, opening on September 22nd. It tells the true story of a woman forced to work as a housekeeper for a German general in Poland during World War II, who secretly cared for 12 Jewish refugees. The Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 55 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street.

Primary Stages has announced a further production in its 2008/2009 season at 59E59 Theaters. Love Child, written by and featuring Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton, a comedy about the night a classic play spoke so loudly to its audience that its audience felt compelled to talk back, will play in repertory with the previously announced Lee Blessing's A Body Of Water, opening on October 26th. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

Write Club NYC will stage Do Not Disturb, a bill of contemporary short plays and sketches set in a hotel room, featuring a wild diversity of characters and situations, by Carey Crim, Jeffrey James Keyes, Peter Macklin, Geoffrey Scheer and Benjamin T Scott, with Nathaniel P Claridad, Kelley Curran, Noshir Dalal, Mark Emerson Philip Guerette, Peter Macklin, Ryan Murray, Derek Peith, David Sajadi, Timothy Sekk, Sarah Sokolovic and Carrie Yaeger, directed by Terry Berliner, Carey Crim, Chad Larabee and Geoffrey Scheer, previewing from July 29th at 59E59 Theaters, opening on July 31st.

The Mint Theater's 2008/2009 season will include the American premiere of J B Priestley's The Glass Cage, set in Toronto in 1906, where the life of a puritanical household is disrupted when it is invaded by three liberal siblings, with Gerry Bamman, Chet Carlin, Michael Crane, Chad Hoeppner, Robin Moseley, Saxon Palmer, Jeanine Serralles, Sandra Struthers-Clerc, Fiana Toibin and Jack Wetherall, directed by Lou Jacob, from September 4th; and D H Lawrence's The Widowing Of Mrs Holroyd, about a catastrophe in the lives of a coal mining family, directed by Stuart Howard, from February 4th. The Mint Theater Company is located at 311 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Ben Elton's 'comedy of violence' Popcorn, in which a movie producer is held hostage, is Broadway bound in the fall, directed by Laurence Boswell, who staged the original London production in 1997, produced by Mark Rozzano for Hoo R Us Productions. The Rumour Machine grinds on.