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Backstage Whispers overheard by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 6th May 2011

New York TheatreNet: Once again there is a strong showing of British talent in the nominations for this year's New York Tony Awards. They are led by the Royal Court's production of Jerusalem with 6 nominations, including Play, Mark Rylance - Actor Play (Leading) and Mackenzie Crook - Actor Play (Featured), the National's production of War Horse with 5, including Play, Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris - Direction (Play) and Handspring Puppet Company - Special Award; Sister Act with 5, including Musical and Patina Miller - Actress Musical (Leading); Arcadia with 2, including Play Revival; La Bete with 2, including Joanna Lumley - Actress Play (Featured); Kneeehigh's production of Brief Encounter with 2, including Hannah Yelland - Actress Play (Leading); and Driving Miss Daisy with Vanessa Redgrave - Actress Play (Leading). The winners will be announced at the 65th Tony Awards ceremony at the Beacon Theatre on 12th June. The full list of nominees, and further information about the live webcast of the event, can be found on the Tony Awards web site, via the link from Organisations section of New York TheatreNet, which also features news, information and special offers about theatre on and off Broadway, via the link opposite below.

The Royal Opera House is continuing its series of innovative and experimental small scale dance, opera and music events, staged in the Linbury Theatre, with the premiere of the opera Clemency, score by James Macmillan, libretto by Michael Symmons, drawing on the biblical tale of Sarah and Abraham, who in old age are told that they are to have a new child, with Janis Kelly and Grant Doyle, directed by Katie Mitchell, from 6th to 14th May, a coproduction with Scottish Opera; Bern: Ballet with a double bill comprising Clara, by Cathy Marston, inspired by the relationship of Clara Weick and Robert Schumann and their friendship with Johannes Brahms, and Howl, by Andrea Miller, a reflection on mob mentality, war and its victims, from 25th to 28th May; and Cocteau Voices, comprising the premiere of Duet For One, a dance piece by Aletta Collins to a score by Scott Walker, inspired by Cocteau's monologue, and Poulenc's opera La Voix humaine, directed by Tom Cairns, from 17th to 25th June.

On The Casting Couch: Paul Hilton and Arthur Darvill will head the cast of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, opening at Shakespeare's Globe on 23rd June; Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Scarlett Strallen will be joined by Michael Brandon, Sandra Dickinson and Katherine Kingsley in the Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Nacio Herb Brown-Arthur Freed musical Singin' In The Rain, opening at the Chichester Festival Theatre on 5th July; Sandy McDade, Liz White and Paul Ready will head the cast of Thomas Heywood's A Woman Killed With Kindness, opening at the National Theatre on 19th July; and Jonathan Pryce will play King Lear at the Almeida Theatre in September next year.

Showtime: A History Of Broadway Musicals by Larry Stemple, recently published by W W Norton & Co, traces the growth of musicals from minstrel shows and burlesques, through the golden age of Show Boat and Oklahoma!, to such groundbreaking works as Company and Rent. Stempel describes the Broadway stage with vivid accounts of both the performers, and the creators of the music, lyrics, and stories, of shows both beloved and less well known. In addition, Stempel illuminates the wider world of musical theatre as a living genre shaped by the forces of American history and culture. This book is the culmination of decades of painstaking research on a genre whose forms have changed considerably over the course of two centuries. In covering the expansive subject before him, Stempel combines this material with deft and insightful analysis. The result is nothing short of the most comprehensive, authoritative history of the Broadway musical yet published.

Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam, in which a recently divorced film critic conjures up Humphrey Bogart to help to him resurrect his love life, with Tim Frost, Amy Bailey, James Kermack, Shaun Stone, Josephine Kiernan and Felicity Russell, directed by John Plews, will open at Upstairs at the Gatehouse Theatre, in Highgate, on 24th May. It is an Ovation Theatre production.

The 64th Aldburgh Festival will run from 10th to 26th June. Among the highlights will be the premieres of Elliott Carter's Conversations, with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Colin Currie and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Harrison Birtwistle's Oboe Quartet performed by Melinda Maxwell; a work by Peter Eotvos in a programme by the London Sinfonietta; and a violin work by Marco Stroppa performed by Tabea Zimmermann; plus Simon Rattle conducting Messiaen's Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with Magdelena Kozena; Britten's The Rape Of Lucretia with Angelika Kirchschlager; and Britten's string quartets performed by the Barbirolli Quartet, the Arcanto Quartet and the Elias Quartet. As well as performances, there will be films, workshops, lectures, masterclasses, walks and other outdoor events. Further information can be found on the Aldburgh web site, via the link from Festivals in the Links section of TheatreNet.

Forthcoming productions at the New End Theatre in Hampstead will include the premier Gopi Warrier's Three Faces Of Evil: A Genesis Of Karma, exploring the Indian philosophy of Karma and the practice of evil throughout world history, directed by Alexa Christopher-Daniels, from 17th May; Brian Daniels's A Big Day For The Goldbergs, about two sisters, one of whom is determined to question her life and culture, with Amy Shindler, Suzanne Goldberg and Jane Hayward, directed by Olivia Rowe, from 7th June; and An Actress Prepares, examining the truth behind the image of Marilyn Monroe in her own words, with Irina Diva and Graham Elwell, from 14th June.

Guildford Shakespeare Company's 5th anniversary season will comprise Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Hannah Chissick, at the Guildford Castle Gardens from 26th June to 2nd July; and the The Merchant Of Venice, directed by Charlotte Conquest, at Guildford College of Law, from 14th July to 23rd July.

Longborough Festival Opera, one of the 'alternative Glyndebournes', presents its 20th season, running from 16th June to 30th July. It comprises new productions of Mozart's Cosi fan tutti, directed by Jenny Miller; Verdi's Falstaff, directed by Richard Studer; and Wagner's Siegfried, directed by Alan Privett. In order to accommodate a dinner interval performances generally begin at 6.30pm. Further information can be found on the LFO web site, via the link from Dance & Opera in the Links section of TheatreNet.