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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 30th July 2007

Raul Esparza, Ian McShane Michael McKean will star in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, directed by Daniel Sullivan, which will preview from November 16th at the Cort Theatre, with an official opening on December 4th. The design team will feature scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Jess Goldstein and lighting design by Kenneth Posner. The action takes place at a 'meet the in-laws' occasion with a typically Pinteresque family in north London. The producers are Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel.

The Mint Theater Company's 2007/2008 season will include Leo Tolstoy's The Power Of Darkness, a chronicle of corruption and penitence on a peasant farm in 1880s Russia, beginning performances on 6th September; and the world premiere of the original version of Ernest Hemingway's only full length play The Fifth Column, set during the Spanish Civil War, about a counter espionage agent working for the Loyalist cause, beginning performances on February 26th. The Mint Theater Company is located at 311 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Korean Yegam Theater Company will make its American debut with Jump, the unique show that combines a family sitcom with Tae-kwon-do, created by Choi Chul-ki, with martial arts choreography by Gye-Hwan Park, from September 25th, at Union Square Theatre, 100 East 17th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues.

59E59 Theaters has announced its fall season, which will include: Thomas Kilroy's The Shape Of Metal, in which a mother and daughter still struggle to come to terms with the disappearance of their elder daughter/sister some 30 years earlier, with Roberta Maxwell, directed by Brian Murray, from September 8th, produced by Origin Theatre Company; Jane Martin's Flags, which uses the structure of a Greek tragedy to explore the grief of a contemporary American family, with Chris Mulkey and Karen Landry, directed by Henry Wishcamper, produced by Firefly Theater, from September 12th; When The Messenger Is Hot, adapted by Laura Eason from short stories by Elizabeth Crane, a slyly comic tale of love and letting go, looking at the disparity between what you expect and what is delivered, directed by Jessica Thebus, from October 3rd, produced by Steppenwolf Theater Company; The HG Wells Science Fiction Festival, featuring The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War Of The Worlds and The Island Of Dr Moreau in repertory, adapted and directed by Dan Bianchi, from October 10th, produced by RadioTheatre; Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment, adapted by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus for three actors, directed by Michael Halberstam, from November 1st, produced by Chicago Writers' Theatre; Bob Clyman's Secret Order, in which a young research scientist on the verge of finding a cure for cancer is suddenly thrust into the high stakes world of medicine and money, directed by Charles Towers, from November 9th, produced by Merrimack Repertory Theatre; Cut To The Chase, a new family vaudeville revue featuring comedy, music and magic, created by Parallel Exit, directed by Mark Lonergan, from December 5th; and Brooks Reeves's The City That Cried Wolf, a theatre-noir starring favorite nursery rhyme characters, with a Monty Python twist, directed by Dan Barnes, produced by State of Play Theatre, from December 5th. 59E59 Theaters are (unsurprisingly) located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues.

The Culture Project will present the world premiere of Danny Hoch's Till The Break Of Dawn, the first commercial production of Hip-Hop in straight play form, directed by Hoch, at Abrons Arts Center from September 4th. It tells the story of an internet Hip-Hop activist and his New York friends' trip to Havana to attend a festival. The Abrons Arts Center is located at 466 Grand Street, at Pitt Street.

It has now been confirmed that Hank Azaria and Jimmi Simpson will star in Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention, directed by Des McAnuff, with choreography by Lisa Shriver, which will preview from October 15th at the Music Box Theatre, ahead of an official opening on November 18th. The play concerns the battle for the patent for the invention of the television set, with young genius, Philo T Farnsworth, who came up with the idea as a high school student, pitted against David Sarnoff, the head of the Radio Corporation of America. The design team will feature scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, costume design by David C Woolard and lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Walter Trarbach. The producers are Dodger Properties with Steven Spielberg, Dan Cap Productions, Fred Zollo, Latitude Link and the Pelican Group Dodger Theatricals.

The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater's 2007/2008 season will comprise: the world premiere of American Sligo, written and directed by Adam Rapp, about the lively retirement party of an all-star wrestling legend on the eve of his last match, with Guy Boyd, Mary Louise Burke, Michael Chernis, Emily McDonald, Megan Mostyn-Brown, Paul Sparks and Matthew Stadelmann, previewing from September 12th, opening September 24th; Noah Haidle's Rag And Bone, about two brothers struggling to make ends meet at the family store, which one also utilizes as a front for the black market sale of human hearts, directed by Sam Gold, previewing from November 13th, opening on November 20th; War, written and directed by Lars Noren, which presents a history of genocide in this century, previewing from January 29th, opening on February 11th; and David Grimm's Steve And Idi, about a man whose life is spinning out of control who is visited by the ghost of the Ugandan dictator Idi Armin, opening in April. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is located at 224 Waverly Place, between West 11th Street and Perry Street.

The Vortex Theater Company is to stage the musical Kiss Of The Spider Woman, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Terrence McNally, directed by Gisela Cardenas, at the Sanford Meisner Theater, from September 10th. The show is adapted from Manuel Puig's story of two men sharing a cell in a Latin American jail, one a young Marxist rebel punished for his ideals, the other a middle aged man condemned for his sexuality, who form an unlikely relationship through a shared passion for the glamorous fantasy of the movies. The Sanford Meisner Theater is located at 164 11th Avenue, between 22nd and 23rd Streets.

The Flea Theater's 2007/2008 season will open with America Lovesexdeath, created and performed by Billy The Mime, looking at icons, events and issues from the recent past, previewing from August 23rd, opening September 6th. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Broadway and Church Street.