Playwright/actor extraordinaire Charles Busch and actress Julie Halston were recently honored at a gala held by the Abingdon Theater in New York. Long-time friends and collaborators, Halston is a founding member of Busch’s legendary theater company, Theatre-in-Limbo, which jumped into fame with the original production of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. Most recently Busch and Halston shared the stage in his comedy The Divine Sister, now being presented by BUA with Jimmy Janowski in the Busch part (Mother Superior) and Kerrykate Abel playing Halston’s role.
Up next for BUA, the premiere of Bill C. Davis’s new version of Avow. Kathleen Betsko and Joe Natale will reprise the roles they played in the original BUA production back in 2001. Once again directed by Kelli Bocock Natale, the new production will also star Danny Beason, Kevin Keleher, Michael Seitz, and Kelly Jakiel. The show will open January 2012, 20 years after BUA premiered its first production, A…My Name is Alice.
Alec Baldwin returns to town to appear in the reading of The Big Knife by Clifford Odets. A benefit for Road Less Traveled Productions (RLTP), the reading will be held on Friday, January 27 at 8pm, at UB’s Center for the Arts, and will also star Lisa Vitrano, Brian Mysliwy, Brendan Powers, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Gerry Maher, Kelly Jakiel, Dave Hayes, Matt Witten, Cassie Gornewiecz, Barry Williams, and Bert Gambini serving as MC for the event. VIP tickets with pre-show reception and dinner are also available.
It will be a busy weekend for RLTP, which is also scheduled to open Conan McPherson’s one-man show St. Nicholas, starring Vincent O’Neill as a jaded Irish theater critic. Prior to that, O’Neill will star as Drosselmeyer in the Neglia Ballet Artists production of The Nutcracker, playing Shea’s November 26 and 27.
The fabulous Linda Eder returns to UB’s Center for the Arts for one performance only, December 16 at 8pm.
Pat Armstrong will play the matriarch of the family in Loraine Hansberry’s classic A Raisin in the Sun, to be presented by Subversive Theatre Collective, January 26-February 25. Directed by Victoria Perez, the production will also star Peter Johnson, Monique Webb, Lydia Douglas, Marcus Thompson Jr., Leon Copeland, Beverly Crowell, Rashard Reynolds, and Jesse Abel.
Chris Standart will be making a cameo appearance as “The Old Major” in Occupy Animal Farm, a new take on Orwell’s classic allegorical story, adapted by Justin Karcher. Presented by Theatre Jugend in association with Subversive Theatre, the play opens November 25 at the Manny Fried Playhouse. Directed by Drew McCabe, the production stars, among others, Jeffrey Coyle, Jonathan Shuey, Brian Zybala, and Kristin Bentley.
In time for the holiday season, the New Phoenix Theatre opens J. M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan on November 26. The run of the show will coincide with the New Phoenix Theatre’s Mortgage Burning Party to be held on Friday, December 9, to celebrate the outright ownership of the company’s home at 95 Johnson Park. Tickets to the event are $50 and include admission to the show and a reception to follow.
TOY continues its 40th anniversary season with the return of the popular character Junie B. Jones, now starring in a new holiday production Jingle Bells, Batman Smells. The show, which opens on December 2, will star Julie Schillaci, Arin Lee Dandes, Scott Malkovsky, Danica Riddick, Bryan Figueroa, Kevin Craig, and Tim Newell as Mr. Scary. And congratulations to TOY on a very successful an entertaining TOY Box Bash 2011, held on November 3, honoring Fisher-Price and the Belle Center. Looking forward to next year’s bash! TOY artistic director Meg Quinn and her family enjoy the celebration.
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