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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film adaptation of West Side Story, Turner Classic Movies will re-release the film in movie theaters all over the country on November 11 for one night only. The movie won 10 academy awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris (pictured), who played Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. Now mostly retired from show business, Chakiris (who turned 77 last moth) actually played Riff, leader of the Jets, in the original London production of the musical back the late 1950s (and Essex, opposite Oscar-winner Kim Hunter’s Queen Elizabeth at Buffalo’s Studio Arena, in 1977). West Side Story show opened on Broadway in 1957.
The musical The Addams Family, which opened on Broadway in March 2010 (and is now starring Brooke Shields), will close on December 31. The national touring company will play Shea’s for eight performances, December 6-11. The tickets, appropriately, go on sale on Halloween. The tour stars Douglas Sills, Sarah Gettelfinger, and Crista Moore, who appeared several years ago at Studio Arena in Jeffry Denman’s Dancing in the Dark. Moore was nominated for a Tony award for her performance in Gypsy (in 1990 opposite Tyne Daly) and in 1996 for her performance in the David Shire’s musical Big (based on the popular Tom Hanks movie).
Speaking of Buffalo native Shire, his music will be featured in It Goes Like It Goes, a new musical revue presented by UB’s Department of Theater and Dance. Conceived by Nathan Matthews, the show will premiere November 16 at UB’s Center for the Arts. “It Goes Like It Goes” is the title of Shire’s Oscar-winning song, composed for the 1979 film Norma Rae. Later in the season, Kaleidoscope will present Maltby and Shire’s musical Baby, directed by Doug Weyand.
And Buffalo native Elizabeth Swados has a new musical which will premiere November 12 at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in New Jersey: Rachel and Leah. Swados is best known for her Broadway hit Runaways.
On Monday, November 7 at 7:30pm, Buffalo United Artists will present a one-night-only reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays. On the same day and time, theaters all over the country will participate in the reading in order to raise awareness of marriage equality. The event will feature nine one-act plays by playwrights such as Mo Gaffney, Neil LaBute, Paul Rudnick, and Jeffrey Hatcher (author of the current The Turn of the Screw at ICTC). Admission is free.
Up next at the Kavinoky, Yasmina Reza’s hilarious comedy God of Carnage, directed by David Lamb, starring Eileen Dugan, Lisa Ludwig, Patrick Moltane, and Norman Sham. The play’s movie adaptation, Carnage, directed by Reza’s close friend Roman Polanski, recently opened the New York Film Festival. The film stars John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, and Christoph Waltz. Reza became an international sensation with her play Art, which won the 1998 Tony award for best play. God of Carnage got her another Tony in 2009.
A couple of world premieres by local playwrights coming up soon. Michael Fanelli’s comedy Greenspan and the Trilobites opens today at the Manny Fried Playhouse, directed by Tilke Hill and starring the fabulous Verneice Turner. Presented by Subversive Theatre Collective, where Fanelli serves as executive director, the play had a staged reading at the Road Less Traveled new play workshop. Matt LaChiusa’s Fred’s Requiem, a dark comedy about a weird family, opens November 11 at Buffalo East. Presented by ART of WNY and directed by LaChiusa himself, the production will star Joy Scime, Todd Fuller, Scot Kaitanowski, Elexa Kopty, Adam Yellen, Patrick Caughill, Leo DiBello, Bob Bozek, Dave Nuijens, and Kate Germaine.
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