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Jim Parsons

TV star Jim Parsons who began his career as a stage actor, spent part of his summer starring on Broadway in Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart. The play, which won the Tony award for Best Revival, at long last seems destined for the silver screen with Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts in the leads. Parsons’s TV show The Big Bang Theory will have its season premiere next Thursday, September 22 on channel 4.

And the 2011-2012 Buffalo theater season is already on its way with plenty to celebrate. The 30th anniversary of Curtain Up! takes place this Friday, September 16. The evening will culminate with a fabulous street party, which kicks off at 10pm in the Theater District.

Theater of Youth is entering its 40th season and will open on Friday, September 16 with the musical Pinkalicious. Opening night is sold out, but this “pinktastic” show will run until October 16.

Ghostlight Theatre, based in North Tonawanda, is also entering its 40th season. The lineup features three original works by local playwright L. Don Swartz. His Halloween Dreams, winner of the International Playwriting Competition sponsored by Elmira College, begins on October 6.

The Lancaster Opera House is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its grand re-opening, which took place on September 20th, 1981, after an extensive restoration that began in 1975. The varied offerings at the Opera House will include the American Repertory Theatre of WNY production of Greater Tuna, directed by Tom Dooney (March 2-11), and the Playhouse of American Classics production of I Remember Mama (May 11-20).

Speaking of Playhouse of the American Classics, the company will no longer perform at the Historical Society. Its season will begin in January with Neil Simon’s The Gingerbread Lady, playing at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

BUA enters its 20th season on September 23rd with a revival of Bent. A series of special events, including a reading of Jeffrey with its original cast, is being planned.

It is 10 years for Kaleidoscope, which opens its season this week with another Simon classic, Barefoot in the Park. Featuring John Buscaglia and Margo Davis, the production marks the directorial debut of Don Gervasi. And after a lengthy absence from the stage (she finally finished her Ph.D.!), Anne Hartley Pfhol will appear in the company’s production of True West in January.

The Jewish Repertory Theatre opened its grand new space over the summer, but the official season doesn’t start until October 18th with the drama Imagining Madoff, directed by Greg Natale, starring Saul Elkin, Robert Rutland, and Ellen Horst.

Susan Stamberg

The New Play Workshop Development Readings series at Road Less Traveled kicks off on Monday, September 19 at 7pm with Frank Canino’s one-act drama Passing Through Forbidden Places. The cast will include Adam Rath, Jeffrey Coyle, Dan Walker, Kathleen Betsko-Yale and Tom LaChiusa. Admission is free.

Kim Cattrall of Sex and the City fame is on her way to Broadway to star in Noel Coward’s classic Private Lives. The production, which was a hit in London, will have a pre-Broadway engagement at the Royal Alexandra in Toronto beginning this week through October 30.

NPR radio star Susan Stamberg appeared at the Chautauqua Institution over the summer and had very kind words to say about WBFO, which was one of the charter founding members of NPR back in 1970. For trivia fans, Stamberg has a Broadway credit. Her recorded voice was featured in Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter.