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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 29th August 2011

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Ghost The Musical, adapted from the 1990 film about a man trapped as a ghost between this world and the next trying to communicate with his girlfriend through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer, book by Bruce Joel Rubin from his screenplay, music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Ashley Wallen, will open on Broadway at a Nederlander Theatre yet to be announced next April, following previews from March. The design team comprises scenery and costumes by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, projection by Jon Driscoll, and sound by Bobby Aitken. The producers are Colin Ingram Productions and David Garfinkle, Adam Silberman, Land Line Productions, Donovan Mannato, Michael Edwards & Carole Winter, in association with Paramount Pictures Corporation and ATG/Robert G Bartner.

The Primary Stages production of Motherhood Out Loud, exploring all aspects of motherhood, developed and directed by Lisa Peterson, with contributions by writers Leslie Ayvazian, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece Issaq, Claire LaZebnik, Lisa Loomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman and Cheryl L West, performed by Randy Graff, Mary Bacon, James Lecesne and Saidah Arrika Ekulona, will preview from September 20th at 59E59 Theaters, opening on October 4th. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

The 15th annual Broadway Blessing, the interfaith service that brings together members of the theatre community to ask a blessing on the new season, will take place at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, at 7pm on September 12th. Clergy from the Cathedral, Congregation Ezrath Israel/The Actors' Temple and St Clement's Episcopal Church will participate in the event, together with the Broadway Blessing choir, and Broadway performers including Richard Maltby Jr, Natalie Toro, Tony Haris and Project Dance. The event was conceived and is directed by journalist and author Retta Blaney. The Cathedral of St John the Divine is located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, at 112th Street.

The Kaufman Center has announced its 2010/2011 Broadway Close Up season in the Merkin Concert Hall, an inside look at the world of musical theatre. It will comprise: Bound For Broadway XI, featuring songs from 5 new musicals in development, hosted by Liz Callaway on September 26th; Lennon & McCartney, performed by Heidi Blickenstaff, Benjamin Schrader, Clarke Thorell and Michael Winther, hosted by Sean Hartley, on October 17th; Noel & Cole In Love, performed by Heidi Blickenstaff, Barbara Walsh, Stephen Bogardus, Michael Arden, Michele Ragusa and Graham Bickley, on November 7th and 9th; and Jerry Herman, with Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba, Gerard Alessandrini, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Pedi, Eric Comstock, Jason Graae, Barbara Fasano, Donald Pippin and Jason Robinson, on December 5th. The Merkin Concert Hall is located at 129 West 67th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Further information can be found on the Merkin Concert Hall web site via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

On The Casting Couch: Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker will be joined by Daphne Rubin-Vega and Wood Harris in the forthcoming Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, next spring.

The 7th Annual Broadway Cabaret Festival, created and hosted by Scott Siegel, at The Town Hall, will comprise: October 16th - Broadway Originals!, an afternoon show featuring the original stars of Broadway shows re-creating their performances; October 22nd - Elaine Stritch At The Town Hall; and October 28th - A Tribute To Judy Garland And Gene Kelly, with Lorna Luft, Noah Racey and Susan Stroman. The Town Hall is located at 123 West 43rd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Playwriting For Dummies by playwright Angelo Parra, recently published by John Wiley & Sons, aims to help writers at any stage of the process hone their craft and create the most dramatic and effective pieces. The book is a guide through every part of the playwriting process, from crystallising story ideas, formatting the script, and understanding the roles of the director and the creative team, to marketing and financing. Professional insights on writing include how to create believable characters, plots and dialogue, and develop ideas and themes. Whether you are an aspiring playwright looking to begin the process, or have already penned a masterpiece and need trusted advice to bring it into the spotlight, this book has it covered.

The annual Broadway On Broadway event, the free outdoor concert in Times Square celebrating the start of the new Broadway season, will be replaced this year by an event honouring the 10th anniversary of September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and how Broadway helped New Yorkers return to normalcy on September 13th, when the curtains again rose on the Great White Way. Broadway cast member will perform New York oriented songs at 4pm on 9th September. The event is presented by the Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance. Further information can be found on the Broadway On Broadway web site via the link from Festivals & Events in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Molly Moroeny's Kithless In Paradise, about cracks that form in a lifelong friendship, with Liz Frost, Brit Herring, Bob Manus, Tracy Newirth, David Wirth and Jill Melenie Wirth, directed by Niki Flacks, will preview from September 13th at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row, opening on September 20th. The producers are Bill Norrett and Cyrano Players. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

J Stephen Brantley's Eightythree Down, about a quiet New Years' Eve celebration that goes badly awry with the arrival of unexpected guests, with Melody Bates, Ian Holcomb, Bryan Kaplan and Brian Miskell, directed by Daniel Talbott, will open at Under St Marks on September 1st. The producers are Horse Trade Theater Group in association with Hard Sparks. Under St Marks is located at 94 St Marks Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.