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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 29th November 2010

The York Theatre Company will stage the premiere of the musical The Road To Qatar, book and lyrics by Stephen Cole, music by David Krane, based on an actual events, about two Jewish American musical theatre writers commissioned to write a larger than life Broadway style musical for the Emir of Qatar, previewing from January 25th, opening on February 3rd. The York Theatre Company's Theatre at Saint Peter's is located in Citigroup Center on 54th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Forthcoming productions at Theatre for the New City will include Matt Morillo's Angry Young Women In Low-Rise Jeans With High-Class Issues, a light to serious look at the psychology of contemporary women or 'nervous urban goddesses', with Ivan Perez, David Jenkins, Paul Eddy, Mia Van De Water, Angelica Rose Sirabella, Laurie Berich, Kitty Lindsay, Darlene Rae Heller, Shara Ashley Zeiger and Julia Giolzetti, directed by Bobbi Masters, from December 2nd; The Inventor, The Escort, The Photographer, Her Boyfriend And His Girlfriend, written and directed by Matt Morillo, in which five people barricaded into an apartment building during a snowstorm, look for love in all the wrong places, with David R Doumeng, Jessica Moreno, Tom Pilutik, Emily Campion and Maria Rowene, from January 6th; and Ira Hauptman's Starry Messenger, a new play about Galileo's resistance and ultimate capitulation to the Inquisition over his support for the Copernican Theory, with David Little, directed Susan Einhorn, from January 27th. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue at 10th Street.

The New Stage Theatre Company will present Mapping Mobius, written by Colm O'Shea, Marie Glancy-O'Shea and Ildiko Nemeth (who also directs), in which an aging scientist devises a set of experiments that blur the distinction between his inner and outer worlds, with Peter Schmitz, Chris Tanner, Markus Hirnigel, Jeanne Lauren Smith, Kaylin Lee Clinton, Florencia Minniti, Catherine Correa, Dana Boll, B J Rubin and Fabiyan Pemble-Belkin, at La MaMa E.T.C from December 2nd. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

On The Casting Couch: Andre Braugher will be joined by Andre Holland and Jay Wilkison in Matthew Lopez's The Whipping Man, opening at Manhattan Theatre Club Stage 1 at New York City Center on February 1st

Wakka Wakka will stage the premiere of Baby Universe (A Puppet Odyssey), written and directed by Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock, featuring over 30 expressive hand and rod puppets, a Stephen Hawking inspired robot, animated video projection and a space-age score, in a story of a future where scientists have created a new 'baby universe', capable of birthing a planet that can support the relocation of the earth's population, previewing from December 1st at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, opening on December 5th. The Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Apollo's Angels: A History Of Ballet by Jennifer Homans, recently published by Granta Books, presents a fascinating history of classical ballet, from its origins in 18th century France through the Italian influence in the 19th century, the dominance of Russia in the late 19th and early 20th century, up to the present. It begins in the courts of old Europe, where ballet began as an aristocratic etiquette and moved from Italy and France to Britain, Denmark, Russia and contemporary America. Homans argues that the evolution of steps, technique and choreography can only be understood in light of the great political and intellectual movements of the past 200 years. She shows how dance and dancers were influenced by the Renaissance and French Classicism, by Revolution and Romanticism, by Expressionism and Bolshevism, Modernism and the Cold War. Holman's book ends with the contemporary crisis in ballet now that 'the masters are dead and gone' and offers a plea for the centrality of classical dance in our civilisation. Beautifully written and illustrated, it is essential reading for anyone interested in history, culture and art.

The Production Company will stage Lally Katz's Goodbye New York, Goodbye Heart, which speculates on what it means to be 'alive' when people spend so much of their lives in virtual worlds, with Nicolle Bradford, Brian Robert Burns, Erin Maya Darke, Andrew Dawson, Ryan King, Polly Lee, Samantha Sherman, Danielle Slavick, Lucy Walters and Rae C Wright, directed by Oliver Butler, previewing on December 1st at the HERE Arts Centre, opening on December 2nd. The HERE Arts Centre is located at 145 6th Avenue, between Spring and Dominick Streets.

Blind Date, an interactive comedy created by and featuring Rebecca Northan, in which her character has a blind date with a member of the audience, with Jamie Northan and Bruce Horak, will preview from December 2nd at Ars Nova, opening on December 6th. Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Shelby Company will stage the premiere of Jonathan Goldberg's The Land Whale Murders, a tale of murder and deceit set in 1896, in which someone sinister is killing off members of the Four Elementals, New York City's quintessential brain trust, with Richard Hollman, Carl Howell, Nathaniel Kent, Amy Landon and Jennifer Joan Thompson, directed by Tom Ridgely, previewing from December 2nd at Theater Three, opening on December 4th. Theater Three is located at 311 West 43rd Street, 3rd floor, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that Tyne Daly will reprise her recent Kennedy Center performance in Terrence McNally's Master Class, inspired by the classes opera singer Maria Callas gave at Juilliard in the 1970s, directed Stephen Wadsworth, on Broadway next summer, courtesy of the Manhattan Theatre Club; and that the new Ivan Menchell-Frank Wildhorn-Don Black musical Bonnie & Clyde, about the Depression-era criminals who captured the imagination of the country, is aiming for Broadway next August, following its current run at Asolo Rep in Sarasota, Florida, featuring Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan, directed by Jeff Calhoun, courtesy of producers Jerry Frankel and Jeffrey Richards. The Rumour Machine grinds on.