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Chatter In The Wings

West End legit attendance was up 8% as of Sept. 1, according to the Society of West End Theater. Last year’s complete tabulation won’t be available for a couple of months or so. SWET, incidentally, is celebrating the 10th anni of its popular half-price day-of-performance ticket booth in Leicester Square.

PHILADELPHIA

Louis Lippa, resident playwright at the People’s Light & Theater Co. in Malvern, Pa., has been awarded a $3,000 Theater Assn. of Pennsylvania fellowship for a revised version of “The Stone House,” which world premiered at People’s in 1986.

John Herochik, managing director of the McCarter Theater in Princeton for the past three years, has resigned but will serve as a special consultant until July. William P. Wingate, a former Guthrie Theater and Mark Taper Forum exec with London and Broadway credits, has been named interim exec director.

Robin Wray and Al Franklin have been appointed managing director and producing director, respectively, of the Mount Gretna, Pa., Playhouse, replacing Bernard Havard, head of the Walnut Street Theater, who resigned from the summertime posts in August. Both are Walnut Street Theater alumni.

NEW ENGLAND

The Kresge Foundation has awarded Boston’s 4,000-seat Wang Center for the Performing Arts a $750,000 restoration grant. To receive the money, the Wang must raise the funds to meet the $10 million restoration goal before Jan. 1,1992. More than $7 million has been raised, and restoration of the 1925 movie palace is well underway. This summer, the theater will close for three months while electrical and heating systems are replaced and a new lighting system is installed.

CLEVELAND

Tom Hanks, who earned his Actors’ Equity card at age 23 after three years with the Great Lakes Theater Festival, returned recently for an SRO benefit called “Tom Hanks At The Festival: Coming Home.” The one-man 1 1/2-hour performance in the 3,000-seat State Theater raised over $300,000. Hanks performed a series of comedy sketches. Also participating in the 2 1/2-hour 30th anniversary performance, staged by festival a.d. Gerald Freedman, were former associates Donna English, Dorothy Stanley and K.T. Sullivan.

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