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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 24th June 2013

The Classic Stage Company's 2013/2014 season will include William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, with Elizabeth Olsen and Finn Wittrock, directed by Tea Alagic, in September; Last Two People On Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville, in which, following a flood of biblical proportions, the last two people on the planet discover their common language is song and dance, with Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, in December; Bertolt Brecht's A Man's A Man, a farce about a man in British Colonial India who is enlisted in the army and turned into the ultimate fighting machine, directed by Brian Kulick, in January; and the premiere of David Ives's The Heir Apparent, based on a play by Jean-François Regnard, about a young man waiting for an inheritance from an ancient uncle who refuses to die, directed by John Rando, in March.

Pulse Ensemble Theatre will produce the 9th annual free open air Harlem Summer Shakespeare season production of The Taming Of The Shrew, about the difficult relationship of an unlikely couple, directed by Alexa Kelly, playing in Riverbank State Park Wednesdays to Sundays from July 10th to August 4th. The cast comprises Michael Gilpin, Yvette King, Vincent Bagnall, Bill Galarno, John L Payne, Marcia Berry, Uriel Menson, Matthew Bretschneider, Jonathan Fluck, Kirya Traber, Jonathan Dyrud, Cherish Monique-Duke and Jerilyn Sackler. Riverbank State Park Amphitheatre is located at 145th Street and Riverside Drive, overlooking the Hudson River.

The children's theatre company Literally Alive's production of a musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the iconic 18th century adventure story of swashbuckling pirates and the search for buried treasure in the Caribbean, book and lyrics by Brenda Bell, music by Michael Sgouros, will return to the Players Theatre from July 7th. The Players Theatre is located at 115 MacDougal Street, at Minetta Lane.

MCC Theater has announced further productions in its 2013/2014 season at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Robert Askins's irreverent puppet comedy Hand To God, about a foul-mouthed sock puppet who teaches students at the Christian Puppet Ministry that urges that can drive a person to give in to their darkest desires, with Steven Boyer, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, previewing from February 20th, opening on March 11th; and Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike, in which a pregnant woman sets out on an adventure that starts with the purchase of a used bike and takes her further than she ever expected she would go, with Maggie Gyllenhaal, directed by Sam Gold, previewing from May 21st, opening on June 9th. The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets.

Personal Space Theatrics will stage Julien Schwab's rogerandtom, a comedy about a man who has come to see a show but finds that he is a member of the cast, with Suzy Jane Hunt, Eric T Miller and Richard Thieriot, directed by Nicholas Cotz, previewing from July 6th at HERE Arts Center, opening on July 13th. HERE Arts Center is located at 145 6th Avenue, between Spring and Dominick Streets.

Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey's Bill W And Dr Bob, about the men (both alcoholics themselves) who named the disease alcoholism, and founded AA as a way to cure it, directed by Seth Gordon, previewing from July 6th at SoHo Playhouse opening on July 16th. The SoHo Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street, between 6th and Varick Streets.

The New Group's 2013/2014 season at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row will feature Beth Henley's The Jacksonian, which unearths the eerie tensions and madness in a town poisoned by racism in 1964, with Ed Harris, Glenne Headly, Amy Madigan and Bill Pullman, directed by Robert Falls,; and the premiere of Thomas Bradshaw's Intimacy, about the interactions of 3 very different families in small town America, directed by Scott Elliott, in January. Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Shida, a solo musical, written and performed by Jeannette Bayardelle, the story of a young African-American girl who aspires to become a writer, tracing the ups and downs of her family, friendships and love life, directed by Andy Sandberg, will preview from July 19th at Ars Nova, opening on July 31st.

Elephant Run District will stage Brecht In The Park, a triple bill of rarely performed one act plays by Bertolt Brecht, comprising The Elephant Calf, In Search Of Justice and The Exception And The Rule, translated by Eric Bentley, with Ethan Angelica, Jenny Tibbels-Jordan, Mel House, Michael Perrie Jr, Rebecca Nyahay and Ron Dizon, in a contemporary production fusing physical and political theatre, directed by Aimee Todoroff, on Saturdays and Sundays at 6pm, near the southeast corner of the Great Hill in Central Park, on the West Side near 105th Street.

The Rumour Machine says: that Angela Lansbury will return to Broadway in the fall in Enid Bagnold's The Chalk Garden, the story of an eccentric woman raising her 16 year old granddaughter, who lives in a fantasy world; that the cult concert musical Hedwig And the Angry Inch, book by John Cameron Mitchell, music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, the story of an obscure and tortured German-American transsexual rock singer, with Neil Patrick Harris, is aiming for Broadway next spring, courtesy of producers David Binder and Jayne Baron Sherman, and 101 Productions; that Disney is exploring ideas for a stage show featuring the Muppets, directed by Alex Timbers; and that Keith Reddin's Rear Window, adapted from Cornell Woolrich's short story about a housebound man who witnesses a murder in a nearby building, directed by Terry Kinney, is aiming for Broadway, courtesy of producers Charlie Lyons, Jay Russell, Tim Guinee and Lias J 'Jeff' Steen. The Rumour Machine grinds on.