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The fabulous Daphne Rubin-Vega (pictured above left, with stage and soap opera star Saundra Santiago, right) will be back on Broadway this season in the revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, which begins previews on April 3. Rubin-Vega will play Stella Kowalski in this new, multi-racial production, which also stars Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker. Rubin-Vega made her Broadway debut in 1996 playing the role of Mimi in the musical Rent. The production ran for 12 years on Broadway; it closed in September 2008, but re-opened off-Broadway in July 2011.
Speaking of Rent, Musicalfare will present the show as part of its 2012-13 season (January 23-March 3) in a more intimate production with the music being played by the actors. An interesting offering in the company’s season is 33 Variations (October 31-December 2), a play by Moises Kaufman (I Am My Own Wife, The Laramie Project, Gross Indecency), which ran on Broadway in 2009 and marked Jane Fonda’s return to the stage after a 46-year absence. The play, which dramatizes Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, will be directed by David Oliver with Randy Kramer at the piano.
Coming up next for American Repertory Theater of WNY, Killer Joe (April 13-May 5), an early work by Tracy Letts, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his play August: Osage County. Letts also wrote Superior Donuts, presented earlier this season by RLTP. Directed by Matthew LaChiusa, Killer Joe will star David Mitchell as the title character, Stephanie Bax, Patrick Cameron, and Jessica Wegrzyn. By the way, August is making its way to the silver screen starring, who else, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.
The Scavenger’s Daughter, the new play by Gary Earl Ross, will be staged at Ujima May 4-27. Directed by Lorna C. Hill, the production will star Willie Judson, Cindy Miller, Shanntina Moore, Hugh Davis, and Brandon Williamson. Ross won both the 2005 Artie Award and the 2006 Edgar Award (given by the Mystery Writers of America) for his play Matter of Intent. Hill directed the company’s current production of For Colored Girls…, which has been held over through this weekend and should not be missed!
On Sunday, March 25, 6-8pm, the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo will have a fundraiser at Sole Restaurant (810 Elmwood Avenue). All the tips collected at the bar by the celebrity bartenders will benefit the alliance. Scheduled to mix your drinks: John Herbert (Shea’s), Meg Quinn (TOY), Vincent O’Neill (ICTC), Paulette Harris (Paul Robeson), and Mary Kate O’Connell (O’Connell & Co.). I strongly recommend you order a Pisco Sour, and tip well!
Peter Michael Marino comes back to the ALT with a reading of his new one-man show, Desperately Seeking the Exit. The reading will take place on Sunday, April 1 at 7pm, prior to the show’s New York premiere in May.
Chris Kelly and Kristen Tripp Kelley will play husband and wife in the upcoming Kavinoky production of Blithe Spirit, which also stars Diane Curley as Elvira, Gregory Gjurich and Debbie Pappas as Dr. and Mrs. Bradman, Megan Callahan as Edith, and Anne Gayley as Madame Arcati. Gayley won the 1997 Artie for playing the role.
After singing everything from Irving Berlin to Stephen Sondheim in her cabaret show Just Me, Wendy Hall returns to classic Broadway, playing Dolly Levi in Jerry Herman’s Hello, Dolly! Directed by Amy Jakiel and choreographed by Doug Weyand, the show plays April 13-22 at the historic Palace Theatre in Lockport. Jim Staebell, Matt Iwanski, Nathan Miller, and Kaylee Jakubowski also star.
The Lion King became the sixth longest running show on Broadway on March 14, surpassing the revival of Oh Calcutta! Two more shows in the top six are still running: The Phantom of the Opera (which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary) and Chicago.
Red Scare on Sunset, Charles’ Busch’s comic tale of one woman’s quest to purge Hollywood of communists, has been cancelled by Subversive Theatre Collective. In its place will be another tale of Hollywood, David Mamet’s Speed the Plow, starring Timothy Patrick Finnegan, Andrea Andolina, and Kevin Craig, directed by Chris Standart.
BUA will present the Western New York premiere of Love, Loss and What I Wore, by Nora and Delia Ephron, as the final play of its season. Based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, the play tells the story of women’s relationships to clothes. The show will close in New York on March 25, where it has been running since October 2009.
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