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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 29th October 2007

Jazz vocalist de'Adre Aziza will join David Chandler, Michael Crane, Laura Heisler, Tom Nelis and Tobias Segal, in Jordan Harrison's Doris To Darlene, A Cautionary Valentine, opening at Playwrights Horizons on December 11th. There will be a Live For Five ticket lottery for the first preview on November 16th. This a new initiative created as part of the company's Arts Access program making available $5 tickets for the first preview performance of each Playwrights Horizons production through a lottery via the company's website. Playwrights Horizons is located at 416 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The names of this year's thespians to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame have been announced. They are actors John Cullum, Harvey Fierstein, Dana Ivey and Lois Smith, director Jack O'Brien, playwright Peter Shaffer; and librettist Joseph Stein, with theatre critic Mel Gussow inducted posthumously. The 37th annual ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre on 28th January. The Hall of Fame was created to honour performers and creatives who have made a lasting impression in American theatre. To be eligible for induction, a candidate must have a career that spans 25 years, with at least 5 major stage credits. They are chosen by 350 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association. Membership is marked by a plaque in the North Rotunda in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre.

On The Casting Couch: Harvey Keitel will play the (non-singing) title role in the New York premiere concert performances of Jerry Springer - The Opera, directed by Jason Moore, at Carnegie Hall on January 29th and 30th.

The Roundabout Theatre Company will stage Beth Henley's Crime Of The Heart, a comedy about three sisters and the trouble they have had with men, with Patch Darragh, Jennifer Dundas, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Jessica Stone and Chandler Williams, directed by Kathleen Turner, previewing from January 18th, at the Laura Pels Theatre, opening February 7th. The Laura Pels Theatre is located at 111 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

The Pearl Theatre Company, which specialises in straightforward revivals of classics, will stage George Farquhar's lesser-known Restoration comedy, The Constant Couple, with members of the resident company, Rachel Botchan, Robin Leslie Brown, Joanne Camp, Bradford Cover, Dominic Cuskern and Sean McNall, and guest artists Jolly Abraham, Meg McCrossen, Orville Mendoza, Jack Moran, John Pasha, Eduardo Placer, Caleb Rupp and David L Townsend, directed by Jean Randich, previewing from November 13th, opening on November 25th. The play follows the fortunes of two young couples as they navigate fops and flatterers, rivals and rustics (and their own double dealings) in London of the late 1600s. The 2007/2008 season will also include the world premiere of Peter Constantine's new translation of The Mandrake, blending modern sensibilities with Machiavelli's scathing critique of sexual politics, directed by Jim Calder, from January 8th; Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, in which a mother tries to shield her son from the moral lapses of his late father, directed by Regge Life, from February 26th; and Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest, the 'trivial comedy for serious people' that has been hailed as the greatest comedy in the English language, directed by J R Sullivan, from April 15th. The Pearl Theatre Company performs at 80 St. Marks Place, between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

The Culture Project will present Rebel Voices, with poet Staceyann Chin and musician Allison Moorer, leading a permanent cast that will be supplemented by visitors including Wallace Shawn, Lili Taylor, Ally Sheedy and David Strathairn, previewing from November 10th, opening on November 18th. It is an adaptation of Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's book Voices of a People's History of the United States, as told through first hand accounts from people who have shaped the course of U.S. history, often struggling against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Laurence Fishburne will return to Broadway in the one man show Thurgood by George Stevens Jr, based on the life of Thurgood Marshall, who rose from a childhood in the backstreets of Baltimore to the Supreme Court of the United States, directed by Leonard Foglia, previewing from March 30th at the Booth Theatre, with an official opening April 20th, playing until July 20th. The producer is Ostar Productions in association with the Westport Country Playhouse.

La MaMa E.T.C. will stage the world premiere of Leslie Lee's Mina, music by James David Jacobs, with Heather Massie, Laurence Cantor, Bern Cohen, Bridget Gethins, Christopher Johnson, Pamela Monroe, Matthew J Nichols, Juliet O'Brien, Heather Lee Rogers and Josh Silverman, directed by Cindy A Marion, with choreography by Rosalie Purvis, from 8th November. In a fusion of music, poetry and art, the piece tells the story of the revolutionary painter, poet, futurist and feminist Mina Loy, in a world where women were subjects not artists. La MaMa E.T.C's First Floor Theater is located at 74A East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.