TV and stage star Neil Patrick Harris (pictured above) did a fabulous job of hosting the Tony awards this past Sunday. Harris sang a hilarious opening number and closed the event with a rap number written (during the show) by In the Heights composer Lin-Manuel Miranda. Harris played Bobby in the New York Philharmonic concert production of Sondheim’s Company last April. The production (which also featured Patti LuPone and Martha Plimpton) was filmed for movie theatre release and can be seen at the Amherst Theatre on June 16, 19, and 21.
Back in 1992 Edna Pelonero won the Artie Award for Outstanding New Play for her play Modern Maturity. That was the first year the award was named after Manny Fried. Many plays and awards later, Pelonero (now known as Catherine and living in Los Angeles) has a new play, Another Effing Family Drama, which premieres this week at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The production stars none other than former Buffalonians Jack Hunter, Monica Martin, and Josh Brewster (married to Pelonero since 2003). The production of Pelonero’s new play has been dedicated to Fried’s memory.
And this year’s Manny Fried Award went to Ibn Shabazz’s Insidious, which premiered last summer and is now back playing at Road Less Traveled through July 10. The play will also be part of the Black Repertory Theater’s 2011-2012 season. The Black Rep is located in St. Louis and is the nation’s largest African-American theater company.
Hoping to duplicate its Diva by Diva success, O’Connell & Company opens its new production, Gentlemen’s Gentlemen. Following the Diva format, the show will play this weekend featuring a vast array of performers including, among others, Rolando Gomez, Neil Garvey, Guy Tomassi, and Richard Hummert.
Come along and listen to…the Kavinoky Theatre’s production of the 42nd Street, which will open in September. Directed by Norm Sham, with choreography by Kelly Cammarata and musical direction by Mark Vona, the show is set to star this year’s Artie award winner Debbie Pappas as aging diva Dorothy Brock and John Fredo as director Julian Marsh. The production will also star Greg Gjurich, Steve Jakiel, and Kelli Bocock-Natale.
RJ Voltz will play Peter Pan in the New Phoenix production of the timeless classic, coming up in December. Directed by Kelli Bocock-Natale, the show will also star Christina Golab, Gabrielle Petrosino, Marie Costa, John Kreuzer, Kurt Erb, Christopher Parada, and Eric Rawski as Captain Hook.
UB Department of Theater and Dance will honor Buffalo’s own David Shire at its fall gala on November 16. Plans are to present the world premiere of a musical revue featuring Shire’s songs. The revue is being put together by UB professor Nathan Mathews.
BUA kicks off the celebration of its 20th anniversary on July 27 with the concert version of Sondheim’s Follies. Set to star so far, Kerrykate Abel, Lisa Ludwig, Lou Colaiacovo, Marc Sacco, Debbie Pappas, Kelli Bocock Natale, and Griffin Kramer at the piano.
Mark Rylance, the British stage star who won this year’s Tony award for his performance in the play Jerusalem is pictured right. The actor previously won a Tony in 2008 for his performance in the comedy Boeing, Boeing, which also starred Christine Baranski. Earlier in the Broadway season Rylance starred in La Bête, a comedy which will be presented at the Irish Classical in September. Up for Tonys this year were Brian Bedford, Al Pacino, Bobby Canavale, and Joe Mantello.
(Editor’s note: Stagefright goes on hiatus until September).
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