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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 1st July 2013

It's Official! As previously forecast here, Rupert Holmes's A Time To Kill, adapted from John Grisham's courtroom novel, in which an idealistic lawyer defends a black man for taking the law into his own hands following an unspeakable crime committed against his young daughter, directed by Ethan McSweeny, will preview from September 28th at the Golden Theatre, with an official opening on October 20th. The producers are Daryl Roth and Eva Price.

It has been confirmed that Bullets Over Broadway, Woody Allen's musical adaptation of his 1994 film co-written with Douglas McGrath, about a struggling 1920s playwright who is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced, incorporating existing period songs, with Zach Braff, Brooks Ashmanskas, Betsy Wolfe, Lenny Wolpe Helene Yorke and Vincent Pastore, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, will preview from March 11th at the St James Theatre, with an official opening on April 10th. The design team comprises scenery by Santo Loquasto, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Donald Holder, and sound by Peter Hylenski. The producers are Julian Schlossberg and Letty Aronson.

The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater's 2013/2014 season will include Lucy Thurber's play cycle The Hill Town Plays, telling the story of a woman who works her way into a new life from a childhood of poverty, alcoholism and abuse, comprising Scarcity, directed by Daniel Talbott, from August 14th at Cherry Lane Studio; Where We're Born, directed by Jackson Gay, from August 14th at Rattlestick; Killers And Other Family, directed by Caitriona McLaughlin, from August 14th at Axis Theatre; Ashville, directed by Karen Allen, from August 21st at Cherry Lane Mainstage; and Stay, directed by G T Upchurch, from August 21st at New Ohio; plus Charles Fuller's One Night..., looking at women in the US Armed Forces exposed to an unforeseen battle against their fellow soldiers, directed by Clinton Turner Davis, from October 16th at Cherry Lane Mainstage; Halley Feiffer's How To Make Friends And Then Kill Them, about 3 co-dependent troubled young girls confronting life, directed by Kip Fagan, from October 23rd at Rattlestick; Ken Urban's The Correspondent, directed by Stephen Brackett, in which a grieving husband hires a dying woman to deliver a message to his recently deceased wife in the afterlife, from February 5th at Rattlestick; and the premieres of Ode To Joy, written and directed by Craig Lucas, a story of love, heartbreak, addiction, and illness seen through the eyes of a painter and her two lovers, from February 12th at Cherry Lane Mainstage; and Samuel D Hunter's The Few, about a man searching for a way to keep faith in humanity, directed by Davis McCallum, from April 16th at Rattlestick. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is located at 224 Waverly Place, between West 11th and Perry Streets.

It has been confirmed that After Midnight, a new version of last year's Encores! Special Event Cotton Club Parade, a musical revue celebrating Duke Ellington's years at the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1920s and 1930s, using original arrangements, set against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry, conceived by Jack Viertel, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with a band chosen by Wynton Marsalis, will preview from October 18th at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with an official opening on November 3rd. The design team comprises scenery by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Isabel and Ruben Toledo, lighting by Howell Binkley, and sound by Peter Hylenski. The producers are Scott Sanders Productions and Wynton Marsalis, in association with Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group, Stephen and Ruth Hendel, and Tom Kirdahy.

On The Casting Couch: Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale will co-star in the Marsha Norman-Jason Robert Brown musical The Bridges Of Madison County, opening at the Schoenfeld Theatre in late February.

Paul Manuel Kane's Dancing On Nails, exploring the challenging relationship between a lonely late middle age Jewish shopkeeper and his young female African American employee in 1950s Greenwich Village, with Peter Van Wagner, Lori Wilner, Lauren Klein, Marco Greco and Jazmyn Richardson, directed by Allen Lewis Rickman, will preview from July 10th at Theatre 80, opening on July 24th. Theatre 80 is located at 80 St Marks Place, between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

Second Stage Theatre has announced further productions in its 35th anniversary season: Quiara Alegrķa Hudes's The Happiest Song Plays Last, about two people on a journey to peace and purpose in an ever-changing world, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, will play next winter; and Laura Eason's Sex With Strangers, in which two people who crave what the other possesses must confront the dark side of ambition, directed by David Schwimmer, will play next summer. Second Stage Theatre is located at 305 West 43rd Street at 8th Avenue.

A Night With Janis Joplin, featuring the songs associated with the 1960s singer, written and directed by Randy Johnson, with Mary Bridget Davies, which has played numerous regional venues, will preview from September 20th at the Lyceum Theatre, with an official opening on October 10th. The producers are Todd Gershwin and Daniel Chilewich, in association with The Estate of Janis Joplin and Jeffrey Jampol for JAM.

Form Theatricals in association with Judson Arts will stage the premiere of Handbook For An American Revolutionary, written and performed by Matthew-Lee Erlbach, a darkly comic look at the ways Americans live, survive and collaborate together in the 21st century, thorough the lives of 12 diverse characters, directed by Tony Speciale, previewing from July 19th at The Gym at Judson, opening on July 22nd. The Gym at Judson Memorial Church is located at 55 Washington Square South, at Thompson Street.

The opening production at Theatre for a New Audience's new home at Fort Greene in Brooklyn will be William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the tale of lovers and lunatics, with David Harewood, directed by Julie Taymor, previewing from October 19th, opening on November 2nd.