STAGEFRIGHT by JAVIER BUSTILLOS

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There’s rumor that the fabulous Sandra Oh (pictured above), best known to TV audiences for her role as Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy may be returning to the show. Oh starred in the original production of Diana Son’s Stop Kiss at the Public Theater in New York in 1998. The play focuses on the story of Sara and Callie, who are assaulted on the street after their first kiss (see related picture below). Oh co-starred in the play with Broadway regular Jessica Hecht, seen last year in the revival on Fiddler on the Roof and heading to the revival of Arthur Miller’s The Price (by the way, Caitlin Baeumler Coleman’s cousin Carolyn Baeumler is Hecht’s standby in The Price). The Subversive Theatre production of Stop Kiss opens next Thursday (check On the Boards).

Ujima Company is sponsoring The Spirit of Nina Simone, a musical and visual homage by Drea d’Nur on February 24th at 8 p.m. at Kleinhans Music Hall. Singer and songwriter Drea d’Nur will be singing Nina Simone’s classics accompanied by a ten-piece jazz ensemble with musical direction by Karen Saxon. There will be special guests including Ujima’s Shanntina Moore.

Coming up next for American Repertory Theater of WNY, Steve Martin’s The Underpants, an adaptation of the 1910 German farce Die Hose. Directed by Jeffrey Coyle, the production opens on March 9th and will star David C Mitchell, Candice Kogut,  Pamela Rose Mangus,  Ben Caldwell, Rich Kraemer, and Michael J Starzynski. Speaking of Martin, he and pal Martin Short are touring the country in An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest Of Your Lives. Martin’s and Edie Brickell’s engaging new musical Bright Star, which had a short run last season on Broadway, will launch a national tour in the 2017-18 season.

More news on the musical The Producers, opening at the Kavinoky next September. Greg Gjurich will play Roger DeBris and Arianne Davidow will play Ulla. The ensemble, so far: Sean Murphy, Lucas DeNies, Kevin Kennedy, Arin Dandes, Charmagne Chi, Dudney Joseph, Kelli Cammeratta, Laura Mikolajczyk, Emily Prucha, Matt Deliolio, Melissa Perry, Christian Donnelly, and Dan Urtz.

Road Less Traveled Productions has just announced its second annual fundraiser of Buffalo Stories. Following last year’s “Anthony Masiello,” this year Buffalo Stories will celebrate the life of pro Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas. Buffalo Stories: The Life of Thurman will take place on June 2nd and 3rd; pre-performance reception at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., and post-show receptions to follow. Tickets ($300 each/$550 per couple) go on sale on March 1st at 10 a.m., call 629-3069.  In the meantime, the company’s season continues with The Motherfucker with the Hat, a play by Stephen Adly Guirgis directed by Victoria Perez, starring Anthony Alcocer, Melinda Capeles Rowe, Greg Howze, Rosa Fernandez, and Rolando Gomez. The production will run March 10th – April 2nd.

The Alleyway will open its 2017-18 with Arctic Song, a rock opera/ballet with story, music and lyrics by rock star Denny Laine. Radice will be in charge of orchestrations and direction. Veronica Irene will choreograph. Born in 1944, Laine joined the Moody Blues in 1964, and in 1971 he joined Paul McCartney to form Wings. “As the planet Earth whirls toward the brink of extinction, a courageous alien lands in the cold of Siberia and forms an expedition party to take stock of, and help save, the globe”.

Torn Space kicks off its 14th season with Harold Pinter’s The Collection, February 17th – March 12th. On February 25th there will a pre-show lecture at 7:00 p.m. featuring Penelope Prentice, author of The Pinter Ethic: An Erotic Aesthetic.

After playing Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly last season at the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, the fabulous Michele Ragusa returns to play the title character in Mame which will run March 7- 26. Another Buffalonian, the fabulous Corrine Melançon, will be playing Vera Charles.

See you at The Wake, ICTC’s Party To Die ForFriday, February 24th at the Atrium at Rich’s, 1 Robert Rich Way. Complimentary Guinness, wine, and food along with continuous live entertainment. For tickets, go to irishclassical.com

From BUA’s Archives, Katie White and the late Ellen Opiela (pictured below) in the company’s 2000 production of Stop Kiss.

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