BY JAVIER BUSTILLOS
The fabulous Jayne Houdyshell (pictured left) just won the 2016 Tony Award for best featured actress for her performance in Stephen Karam’s The Humans, which also took the Tony for best play. Houdyshell had been previously nominated for her performances in Lisa Kron’s play Well in 2006 and in the revival of Follies in 2012. She also played the Nurse in the 2013 Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet which starred Buffalo’s Rosalind Ruff. Houdyshell has very fond memories of Buffalo where she appeared in Studio Arena Theatre’s production of Stepping Out back in November 1987.
710 Main Theatre has been officially renamed Shea’s 710 Theatre. The theater has just added one more show to it season line-up. The Other Mozart, a play about Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus, will be performed in May 2017. The season also includes the Shaw Festival production of Mrs. Warren’s Profession (November 3rd-13th) and Musicalfare’s production of Ring of Fire (March 23rd-April 2nd). Buffalo Laboratory Theatre opens the season in September with David Lindsay Abaire’s Wonder of the World and returns in March with Pulitzer Prize winner Proof by David Auburn.
Subversive Theatre’s production of the musical, Urinetown, will kick off the company’s 2016-17 season on September 8th. Directed by and starring Jeffrey Coyle, with choreography by Doug Weyand, the show will also star Erin Coyle, Ryan Kaminski, Michael Starzynski, Bethany Burrows, Jenn Stafford, Tyler Brown, Michael Wachowiak, Chris Andreana, Matt Mooney, Jennel Pruneda, Susana Breese, Dave Spychalski, and Sara Jo Kukulka. Urinetown will be followed by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (November 3rd – December 3rd), directed by Michael Lodick, starring Tom LaChiusa and Victor Morales. A staged reading of We Three, a new gender-bending holiday dramedy by Michelle Denton, directed by David Granville will be performed December 21st – 23rd.
The New Phoenix will start the next season with Terrence McNally’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart, directed by Greg Natale, starring Eric Rawski, Candice Kogut, Kelli Bocock Natale and Richard Lambert. It will be a busy season for Lambert, who will also star in The Correspondent and write an adaptation of Pinnochio which will feature puppetry by Franklin LaVoie and Michele Costa, and choreography by Amy Taravella.
Theatre of Youth’s season will kick off on October 1st with Fancy Nancy: The Musical, based on Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O’Connor. The season will also include Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells; The Shakespeare Stealer, based on the young adult novel by Gary Blackwood; the classic Charlotte’s Webb; and the musical Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!
Buffalo Writers’ Theater & Talk Back Theater will present Playwrights & Actors Jam, a staged reading of short original plays by Buffalo playwrights Mark Lloyd, Melody Van Smith, Mark Humphry, Jon Elston, Justin Karcher, and Mike Fanelli. One night only! Monday, June 20th at 7 p.m. at 1412 Main St. (formerly Buffalo East). Admission is free (donations gratefully accepted). Actors scheduled to appear: Stephanie Bax, Chris Standart, Candace Whitfield, Becky Globus, Mike Leszczynsi, Tyler Brown, and Timothy Finnegan.
Oscar winning Buffalo composer David Shire has a new musical coming up next season. Table, will have its world premiere at the Long Wharf Theatre in May, with book and lyrics by essayist Adam Gopnik of “The New Yorker” fame. The musical was inspired by Gopnik’s 2011 book about a tiny family restaurant.
BUA will present Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play beginning July 23rd at the Alleyway Theatre. Directed by Drew McCabe, the production will star: Anthony Alcocer, Adam Hayes, Anthony Chase, Mary Kate O’Connell, Lisa Ludwig, Michael Seitz, and Jimmy Janowski (all pictured below – photo by Cheryl Gorski). The play premiered off-Broadway in 1986 starring Buffalo’s Christine Baranski (who, by the way, also starred in the off-Broadway premiere of Lips Together, Teeth Apart in 1991) and was updated for its Broadway revival last season, where it starred Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, and Megan Mullally.
(The Stagefright column will now go on summer hiatus until Curtain Up!)