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Lily Rabe

The fabulous Lily Rabe just received the Joe A. Callaway Award presented by Actors’ Equity Foundation for her performance as Portia in the Public Theater production of The Merchant of Venice. The production originated in Central Park last summer and moved to Broadway in November. Originally scheduled to close on January 9, the show is now on hiatus and will resume performances on February 1 for three additional weeks. Rabe is a strong contender for this year’s Tony Award for Best Actress. The ceremony will be held on June 12.

And the 21st annual Artie Award ceremony, celebrating theatrical excellence in Buffalo, will be held on Monday, June 6.

On Friday January 21, Alleyway Theatre will present the comedy My Life in the Basement, written by and starring South Buffalo native John “Circ” Kane. Directed by Joyce Stilson, this one-night-only event will benefit the theater’s annual fund drive. Tickets are $50 and include a reception following the performance. The Alleyway regular season continues on February 3 with the world premiere of Pirandello’s Wife by Lynn Elliott. Directed by Neal Radice, the production will star Pamela Rose Mangus, Stephanie Bax, Andrea Andolina, Allie Hartwick, Roger Van Dette, Joseph Laspro, Michael Seitz, Jeffrey Coyle, and Joyce Scime.

It was many years ago that I first became familiar with the work of playwright Romulus Linney. In 1989, the Alleyway presented his play Holy Ghost. It was a brilliant production that featured 14 actors (Kelli Bocock, Tom Zindle, Joe Natale, Roz Dramer, Sheila McCarthy, Loraine O’Donnell, and the late J. Bryan Hayes among them) and live reptiles on stage. Linney died this past weekend at the age of 80. He wrote dozens of plays on very different subjects. His daughter is the prominent actress Laura Linney. The lights of Broadway were dimmed for one minute on Wednesday in memory of Linney and La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart, who died this month at the age of 91.

Coming up next for Playhouse of American Classics, Patrick Hamilton’s thriller Angel Street. Directed by Terence McDonald, the production will star Diane Gaidry, Jon Summers, Keith Elkins, Bethany Scarlet Sparacio, Karen Ray Bailey, and William Laurie. The show opens February 4 at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. Angel Street first opened on Broadway in 1941 and is best known from its movie version, Gaslight.

The Paul Robeson Theatre continues its season with Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy, opening on February 4. Directed by Ibn Shabazz, the production will star John Ceasar, Germaine Robinson, Aitina Fareed Cooke, Debbi Davis, and Jane E. Cudmore.

Carol McGuire

Road Less Traveled Productions will present An Evening of Dirty Jokes, a one-night-only live performance benefit for the company on March 10 at 7pm. Hosted by Jon Elston and Jimmy Janowski, the event will take place at the Wasteland Game Room located at 700 Main Street. Admission is $25. Also scheduled to appear are Nelson Starr and the Benjamins, comedian Adelhard Tannenbaum, and the Stripteasers. Next fall, the company will launch a new late-night theater program, RLTP: Blacklight. Devised by Drew McCabe and Justin Karcher, the program will offer a mix of plays, sketch comedy, improv, and standup. It will run Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30pm.

And this spring, BUA will present the play Next Fall, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2010. The production will star Darryl Hart, Mary Moebius, Dan Walker, and Danny Beason.

Carol McGuire is currently making her professional debut as Trixie, one of the “no-neck monsters) in the Irish Classical Theater production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Delightful and charming offstage, her scenes are memorable for the verve with which she periodically invades Maggie and Brick’s private living space.

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