News Archive

Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 30th August 2010

It has been confirmed that the musical Sister Act, adapted from the 1992 movie about a disco singer fleeing the mob, who is given protective custody in a convent, where she clashes with the Mother Superior, but revolutionises the choir, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, currently playing in London, will open at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced in April. Jerry Zaks will replace the London director Peter Schneider, but the remainder of the creative team, choreographer Anthony van Laast, scenic designer Klara Zieglerova, costume designer Lez Brotherston, lighting designer Natasha Katz and sound designer Mick Potter, will be retained. Casting has not been announced, but it is expected that Patina Miller, who originated the leading role, will repeat her performance on Broadway. The producers are Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment UK.

The 24th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction, the outdoor fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be held on September 26th, from 10am to 7pm, in Shubert Alley. It will feature stalls with a host of theatrical memorabilia donated by the theatrical community, a Celebrity Table where autographs or photos with stars from Broadway, Off Broadway and television can be purchased, and over a dozen one off theatrical experiences, such as house seats for a show plus a walkon part, visit with the star in their dressing room or dinner afterwards, a backstage tour, or chance to conduct the exit music in the orchestra pit, in the Live Auction at 4.30pm. Despite having to move indoors at Roseland because of torrential rain, last year's Flea Market raised $403,929. Since its inception in 1987 the annual event has raised a total of $8,161,752. Online and phone bids for the auction can be placed until September 25th. Shubert Alley is located between 44th and 45th Streets, at the side of the Shubert and Booth Theatres. Further information can be found on the BC/EFA web site via the link from Organisations in the Links section of New York TheatreNet.

The Keen Company will stage the U.S. premiere of Michael Frayn's Alphabetical Order, about life in the offices of a provincial newspaper in the 1970s, with Brad Bellamy, William Connell, John Windsor Cunningham, Margaret Daly, Paul Molnar, Angela Reed and Audrey Lynn Weston, directed by Carl Forsman, previewing from September 14th at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, opening on September 28th. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Perfect Harmony, a play with music by Andrew Grosso and The Essentials, following a year in the life of a competing high school a capella group, and their female classmates, with Kelly McCreary, Kate Morgan Chadwick, Faryl Millet, Dana Acheson, Marie-France Arcilla, Clayton Apgar, David Barlow, Jarid Faubel, Kobi Libii and Robbie Collier Sublett, directed by Grosso, will open at 45 Bleecker Street Theatre on October 9th. 45 Bleecker Street Theatre is located at 45 Bleecker Street, between Lafayette and Mott Streets.

On The Casting Couch: Jeremy Sisto, Mia Barron, Charles Borland, Aaron Michael Davies, Brian Hutchison and Maggie Lacey will feature in Beau Willimon's Spirit Control, opening at New York City Center Stage I on October 26th; and Linus Roache and Heather Burns will be joined by Johanna Day, David Garrison, Georgia Engel and Michael Park in Will Eno's Middletown, opening at the Vineyard Theatre on November 3rd.

Play Dead, a new thriller co-written and directed by Teller (of Penn & Teller) co-written and performed by Todd Robbins, who draws audiences into an unknown haunted world full of frightful surprises and diabolical laughter in an 'abandoned' theatre, will preview from October 21st at the Players Theater, opening on November 10th. The producers are Alan Schuster, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Frank and Jono Gero, Pat Blake, Debbie Bisno and Ethan Silverman. The Players Theater is located at 115 MacDougal Street at Minetta Lane.

The Civilians will stage In The Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards, a play written and directed by Steve Cosson and Jocelyn Clark, with music by Michael Friedman, inspired by interviews with the real-life players in the controversy surrounding the development project of high-rise commercial and residential buildings and a basketball stadium for the New Jersey Nets in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, at the Irondale Center, from November 11th. The Irondale Center is located at 85 South Oxford Street in Brooklyn, 2 blocks from the Atlantic Yards.

Final Performance: A True Story Of Love, Jealousy, Murder And Hypocrisy by Ruth Sylvestre, recently published by Troubador, tells the story of the relationship of the West End actor William Terriss, who was fatally stabbed by a jealous rival Richard Archer Prince, as he entered the Adelphi Theatre on 17th December 1897, and his co-star and mistress Jessie Millward. The murder of the popular figure caused a sensation, and 50,000 people lined the streets as Terriss's funeral cortege passed by. The book traces Terriss and Millward's early lives in the Victorian theatre, their introduction by Henry Irving, their 15 year partnership, the events leading up to the murder, and Irving's kindness to the shunned mistress at the funeral. It vividly captures the backstage world of the period, and of the melodramas in which Terris and Millward specialised, the extravagances of whose plots were eclipsed by the actual events.

The Bridge Project has announced that its final season will be a production of Shakespeare's Richard III, with Kevin Spacey leading a company of British and American actors, directed by Sam Mendes. The production will open at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in February 2012 and transfer to the Old Vic Theatre in London in May, prior to a world tour.

Boomerang Theatre Company's fall rotating repertory season at the Connelley Theatre from September 9th will comprise: Christopher Fry's Venus Observed, in which an aging man decides to settle down with one of his 3 mistresses, but then falls in love with his secretary's young daughter, with Saluda Camp, John Greenleaf, Samantha Ives, Ryan Lee, Jason Loughlin, Paul Nugent, Buzz Roddy and Kristen Vaughan, directed by Cailin Heffernan; Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, a story of unrequited love, dogged perseverance, and the strength of the human spirit, with Richard Brundage, Lauren Kelston, James Leach, Dolores McDougal, Ann Parker, Ed Schultz, Eve Udesky and Bill Weeden, directed by Philip Emeott; and the premiere of Tim Errickson's Endless Summer Nights, in which a couple whose relationship is long over, meet again by chance, and wonder if changed by time, they can rekindle it, with Becky Byars, Michael Criscuolo, Bret Hoskins, Nora Hummel, Synge Maher and Joseph Mathers, directed by Christopher Thamasson. The Connelley Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B