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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 28th September 2009

It's Official! As previously forecast here, the recent London West End production of the musical A Little Night Music, book by Hugh Wheeler, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, which began life at Menier Chocolate Factory, with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angela Lansbury, Alexander Hanson (from the West End production), Aaron Lazar, Erin Davie, Leigh Ann Larkin, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka and Ramona Mallory, directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Lynne Page, will preview from November 24th at the Walter Kerr Theatre, with an official opening on December 13th. Adapted from Ingmar Bergman's 1955 movie Smiles Of A Summer Night, it is a story of tangled romances in turn of the 20th century Sweden. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by David Farley, lighting by Hartley T A Kemp, and sound by Dan Moses Shreier and Gareth Owen. The Producers are Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, the Menier Chocolate Factory, Roger Berlind, David Babani, Andrew Fell and Sonia Friedman Productions.

Big Apple Circus returns for its 32nd season at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park with its latest show Bello Is Back, featuring the daredevil clown Bello, Spain's juggler Picasso Jr, Russia's trampoline and trapeze artists Aniskin Troupe, aerialist Regina Dobrovitskaya, equestrians Christine and Sultan - and, of course, Grandma - from October 22nd to January 18th.

The Naked Angels production of Geoffrey Nauffts's Next Fall, an exploration of faith in a modern gay relationship, directed by Sheryl Kaller, which recently concluded an extended Off Broadway run at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, will be remounted on Broadway, opening at the Helen Hayes Theatre on March 11th. Casting has yet to be confirmed, but the original cast comprised Patrick Breen, Maddie Corman, Sean Dugan, Patrick Heusinger, Connie Ray and Cotter Smith. The producers are Barbara Manocherian, Richard Willis and Anthony Barrile in association with Naked Angels.

Stevie Holland will portray Linda Porter in Love, Linda: The Life Of Mrs Cole Porter, a new one woman musical about the life of the woman who was married to composer Cole Porter for 35 years, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, and book by Holland and Gary William Friedman, directed by Ben West, playing at the Triad Theater from October 28th. The producer is 150 Productions. The Triad Theatre is located at 158 West 72nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

The recent Midtown International Theatre Festival production of Jay Bernzweig's Made In Heaven, with Alex Anfanger, Kevin T Collins, Maia Madison and Steve Wilder, directed by Andrew Shaifer, will be remounted at the SoHo Playhouse, previewing from October 22nd, opening on November 2nd. When conjoined twins propose marriage to their mutual girlfriend, one of them reveals a secret so big it threatens to tear the brothers apart. The producers are Barbara Ligeti, Andrew Shaifer and Victor Syrmis. The SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th Avenue and Varick Street.

The Immediate Theatre Company and Monarch Theater will stage Desi Moreno-Penson's Ghost Light, in which a couple at a motel room for an afternoon of clandestine sex are interrupted by a security guard with alarming news about the room they are in, with Kate Benson, Bryant Mason and Hugh Sinclair, directed by Jose Zayas, previewing from October 14th at 59E59 Theaters, opening on October 14th. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

The Barrow Group Theatre Company will stage the U.S. premiere of Clare McIntyre's The Thickness Of Skin, in which two couples must decide to what lengths they will go in order to help their fellow men, with Alison Wright, Michael Chenevert, Myles O'Connor, Karin Sibrava, Wendy Vanden Heuvel and Eli Gelb, directed by Jacob White, opening at the TBG Studio Theatre, on October 10th. The TBG Studio Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Scarlett Johansson and Sean Hayes will feature in the musical Promises Promises, adapted from the movie The Apartment, book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David, directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, opening on Broadway in the spring; and that Paradise Found, a new musical based Joseph Roth's novel The Tale Of The 1002nd Night, about an impotent Shah with 139 wives, who travels to Vienna, where he falls in love with the empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, book by Richard Nelson, lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh, music by Johann Strauss II adapted by Jonathan Tunick, co-directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman, with prospectively John Cullum, Mandy Patinkin, Shuler Hensley, Judy Kaye and Emily Skinner, will premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark, London next June. The Rumour Machine grinds on.