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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 30th April 2007

The Summer Play Festival has announced the plays that will each get a week long full production at Theatre Row between July 10th and August 5th. The full line-up, selected from more than 1000 scripts submitted from all over the world, comprises: Alice In War by Steven Bogart, Blueprint by Bixby Elliot, Cipher by Cory Hinkle, Devil Land by Desi Moreno-Penson, Flesh And The Desert by Carson Kreitzer, The Gabriels by Van Badham, Half Of Plenty by Lisa Dillman, Lower Ninth by Beau Willimon, Minor Gods by Charles Forbes, Missing Celia Rose by Ian August, My Wandering Boy by Julie Marie Myatt, The Nightshade Family by Ruth McKee, Not Waving by Ellen Melaver, Novel by Anna Ziegler, Unfold Me by Joy Tomasko and Vrooommm! A NASComedy by Janet Allard. Further information can be found on the SPF web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

A new dance opera adaptation of Romeo And Juliet, written and directed by Ellen Stewart, with a multicultural cast of 26 headed by Noshir Dalal and Malaika Queano, choreographed by Renouard Gee and H T Chen, will preview from May 24th at La MaMa E.T.C. Annex, opening on May 27th. It sets the story as a travelling road show attended by the Montagues and Capulets in Verona, where one of the novelty acts is a dancer who performs a selection from Igor Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka. A new trio of women who are part of the Capulet household function as a Greek chorus. The first part of the production takes place outside La MaMa Annex, and it then moves upstairs to the theatre for the masked ball scene and the conclusion. La MaMa E.T.C. Annex is located at 66 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

The Flea Theater will present the world premiere of Mark Greenfield's I.E., In Other Words directed by Kip Fagan, previewing from May 17th and opening on June 1st. It tells the story of a young country boy who believes that if he takes a chance he will realize - and achieve - his big vague dreams in the city. The resident acting company The Bats: Josh Adler, Teddy Bergman, Kina Bermudez, Havilah Brewster, Jaime Robert Carrillo, Garrett Hendricks, Bobby Hodgson, Beth Hoyt, Richard Kass, Malcolm Madera, Kelly Miller, Bobby Moreno, Mary Jane Schwartz and Rob Yang will play 33 characters between them. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Broadway and Church Street.

Doug Grissom's new play Elvis People, which introduces both funny and touching characters who make up some of the 84% of all Americans who say their lives were touched by Elvis Presley in some way, directed by Henry Wishcamper, will preview from June 6th at New World Stages, opening on June 21st. The producer is Robert A Rush. New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The experimental theatre group The Civilians will stage a new musical Gone Missing, with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, directed by Steven Cosson, previewing from June 14th at the Barrow Street Theatre, opening June 24th. The company of Emily Ackerman, Damian Baldet, Stephen Plunkett, Robbie Sublett, Colleen Werthmann and Jennifer Morris will play more than 30 characters. The show, devised by the company, based on interviews conducted with New Yorkers, is about the ways in which people deal with, and relate to, loss in their lives - from their keys to their minds. The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street at 7th Avenue South.

The 12th annual free Lower East Side Festival of the Arts will bring together over 100 performing arts organizations based in the neighborhood at Theater for the New City on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25th to 27th. This year's participants include actor F Murray Abraham, talk show host Joe Franklin, performance artists Reno and Penny Arcade, writers Eduardo Machado and Mario Fratti and theatre companies such as The Living Theater, La MaMa E.T.C., New York Theatre Workshop and Joe's Pub. Additional attractions include film, multimedia, dance, poetry, puppeteers, musicians, readings and theatre pieces that reflect life on the Lower East Side, and an art installation representing over 30 fine artists, plus the music of Yip Harburg performed by his grandson Ben Harburg and others. On May 26th the festival offers a day long block party featuring performances and a community arts fair with food and crafts vendors. Theater for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets. Further information can be found on the TNC web site, via the link from Off Broadway Venues & Companies in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

Shelter Studios Theatrical Development Groups and GalCo Productions will stage Rose Coloured Glass by Susan Bigelow and Janice Goldberg, who also directs, with Anita Keal, Emily Zacharias and Brianne Moncrief, opening on May 5th at Theatre 54, Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. In a coming of age story set in 1930s Chicago, a young girl unites two mistrustful widows, her Irish grandma and their Jewish neighbour, in a struggle to rescue a boy from Nazi Germany.

The entire cast of the recent Yale Repertory Theatre production will reprise their performances in the New York premiere of Sarah Ruhl's eurydice, a re-imagining of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice through the eyes of its heroine, as she journeys to the underworld and struggles to retain memories of her lost love, directed by Les Waters, with musical staging by John Carrafa, previewing from May 30th Second Stage Theatre and opening on June 18th. The company comprises Maria Dizzia, Gian-Murray Gianino, Carla Harting, Ramiz Monsef, Joseph Parks, Charles Shaw Robinson and Mark Zeisler. Second Stage Theatre is located at 307 West 43rd Street, just west of 8th Avenue.

The Milk Can Theatre Company is presenting The Potluck Plays, seven ten minute plays, each inspired by a recipe, from May 3rd to 13th at The Michael Weller Theatre, 311 West 43rd Street (6th floor). The plays are Answering, written and directed by Tom Nondorf (inspired by a shitake-pumpkin ravioli recipe); Eggnogstic by Bethany Larsen, directed by Ryan Ratelle (eggnog cheesecake); Punch, written and directed by M L Kinney (rhubarb punch); Swimming Uptown by Cheryl Davis, directed by Jill Landaker (dishwasher salmon); Salad Days by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, directed by Kimberly VerSteeg (Jell-O salad); The Potato Play: A Brief & Inaccurate History Of The Potato, written and directed by Melissa Fendell (French fried potato); and The Cooking King by Sharon E Cooper, directed by Riv Massey (asparagus patina).