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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 11th March 2013

The musical First Date, book by Austin Winsberg, music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, which charts in real time the blind date of a mismatched couple - an investment banker and an artist - at a restaurant, directed by Bill Berry, with choreography by Josh Rhodes, will preview from July 9th at the Longacre Theatre, with an official opening on August 4th. The design team comprises scenery by David Gallo, costumes by David Woolard, lighting by Mike Baldassari, and sound by Kai Harada. The producers are Junkyard Dog Productions in association with Stem Productions, Susan W and James C Blair Family, Alex and Katya Lukianov, and Linda and Bill Potter.

The Roundabout Theatre Company has announced further productions in its 2013/2014 season at the American Airlines Theatre: Donald Margulies's Dinner With Friends, about the fallout when the marriage of one of a pair of inseparable couples breaks down, directed by Pam McKinnon; and Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, a comedy that explores the difference between art and emotion, as a writer has an affair with the wife of an actor in one of his plays, which is about adultery, directed by Sam Gold.

Pearl Theatre Company, which is experiencing funding difficulties, has rescheduled its spring premiere of Terrence McNally's And Away We Go, which encompasses backstage events in theatres in different time fames from ancient Athens to the 20th century, to its 2013/2014 season, playing from November 11th, following George Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell, a comedy of errors and mistaken identities in a family where a father returns after 18 years abroad, directed by David Staller, from September 3rd, a co-production with the Gingold Theatrical Group. As a replacement, it will stage This Side Of Neverland a double bill by J M Barrie, comprising Rosalind, in which a chance meeting propels a woman into an astonishing confession, much to the surprise of her adoring suitor, and The Twelve Pound Look, in which a gentleman's inconvenient encounter with a cheerful secretary sends his ego for a spin, directed by J R Sullivan, previewing from April 19th, opening on May 5th. The Pearl Theatre Company is located at 555 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues

The Vampire Cowboys will stage the premiere of Crystal Skillman's Geek!, in which Dante's Inferno meets comic book characters, directed by Robert Ross Parker, at The Incubator Arts Project, in St Mark's Church in the Bowery, from March 21st. St Mark's Church in the Bowery is located at 131 East 10th Street, at 2nd Avenue.

Dutch Kills Theater will stage John Eric Meyer's The Sister, a black comedy about a couple and the sister who lives with them and becomes their whipping boy, with Jeb Kreager, Erin Mallon, Levi Morger and Alley Scott, directed by Jess Chayes, at the 4th Street Theatre from 21st March. The 4th Street Theatre is located at 83 East 4th Street, between 2nd and the Bowery.

Forthcoming productions at Theater For The New City will include the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre production of King Executioner, written and directed by Vit Horejs, loosely based on Tadeusz Nowak's magical realist allegorical tale of Polish peasant life in the early days of World War II, combining puppets and live performers, with Michelle Beshaw, Deborah Beshaw-Farrell, John Beshaw-Farrell, Joseph Garner, Miles Jackson, Theresa Linnihan and Christopher Scheer, from March 21st; and the musical American Star!!!, book, lyrics and direction by William Electric Black, music by Gary Schreiner and William Electric Black, about the teenage dilemma of choosing between college and reality television, with Rachel Caplan, Alexa Criscitiello, Alise Eve Haigazian, Verna Hampton, Taylor LaBarbera, Brandon Mellette, Valois Marie Mickins, Choomasi Nsiah, Michael Perrie Jr and Levern Williams, choreographed by Jeremy Lardieri, from April 11th. Theater For The New City is located at 155 1st Avenue at East 10th Street.

Flint & Tinder will stage Close To Decline, created and performed by Marta Mozelle MacRostie, about a young woman's everyday voyage to visit her father in a nursing home, using puppetry, masks, and objects at The Tank from March 22nd. The Tank is located at 151 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

On The Casting Couch: Christopher Lloyd will head the cast in Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Classic Stage Company from May 2nd.

The Guerrilla Shakespeare Project will stage the premiere of The Tragedy Of Arthur By William Shakespeare, A Play By Arthur Phillips, an evening of fraud, forgery and illegitimacy focussing on the discovery of a lost Shakespeare play telling the story of King Arthur, and the doubts surrounding its origins, with Geordie Broadwater, Sarah Hawkins, Jordan Kaplan, Madeleine Maby, Eric Emile Oleson, Jacques Roy and Tom Schwans, directed by Jordan Reeves, at the TGB Theatre at Abingdon Theatre Complex from March 22nd. The Abingdon Theatre Complex is located at 312 West 36th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

The Rumour Machine says: that the current American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, Massachusetts, production of Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie, the story of an overbearing mother and her son, who is torn between an obligation to his family and his desire to break away, in 1930s St Louis, with Zachary Quinto, Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Brian J Smith, directed by John Tiffany, may be remounted on Broadway in the fall; that Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker are in conversations to star in the Manhattan Theatre Club's premiere of Amanda Peet's The Commons Of Pensacola, about a family weathering a major financial crisis, directed by Lynne Meadow, in its 2013/2014 season; that and James Franco may star in a Broadway revival of John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men, the classic tale of the depression, in which two itinerant farm workers buy a small farm of their own, but find the ensuing hardship tests their friendship to its limits. The Rumour Machine grinds on.