TV and stage star Grant Justin was one of the many celebrities attending last weekend’s 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. Justin and Glee co-star Max Adler were on stage to introduce the Rodemeyer family, who flew in from Buffalo to tell the story of their son, Jamey, who committed suicide in September after repeated bullying. Justin plays Sebastian in the TV series Glee and he hopes his character will return next season. Just prior to his debut in the series (November 2011), Justin was all over the country in the national tour of West Side Story, which made a stop at Shea’s in June 2011. In August 2010, he appeared at Artpark in the musical All Shook Up with Chris Critelli and Sally Struthers. GLAAD stands for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, which was named a finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize and is still running on Broadway, will be part of the Kavinoky’s 2012-13 season. The play will also be seen in 2012-13 in Boston, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Miami. In another coup for the Kavinoky, its season will also include the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. This wonderful play has 13 characters and runs for almost four hours. I imagine they will have to change the 4pm Saturday matinee starting time so as not to overlap with the 8pm evening curtain time. The season will also include the Broadway musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, based on Charles Dickens’s unfinished novel (a perfect choice for their space and still in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Dickens’s birth); the musical revue I Love You, You’re Perfect Now, Change; and, for the third time (although the last time was almost 20 years ago), Michael Frayn’s comedy Noises Off.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which premiered on Broadway in 1985, is heading back for its first revival next season in a Roundabout Theatre production starring Chita Rivera as the Princess Puffer. I wish the Kavinoky great luck with its casting for the show.
Speaking of Pulitzer Prizes, the Irish Classical Theatre Company will open its 2012-13 season with the 2010 winner for drama, the musical Next to Normal, to be directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti. Fewer than 10 awards for drama have been given to musicals, among them A Chorus Line, Rent (part of Musicalfare’s next season), and South Pacific (opening at Shea’s next week). The ICTC season will also include Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa; Jim Sheridan’s Being Behan, to be directed by the author’s brother, director and filmmaker Peter Sheridan, direct from Dublin; David Mamet’s American Buffalo; and Hugh Leonard’s A Life, a sequel to Leonard’s Tony award winning play Da, which opens this June. And, as a special engagement, Vincent O’Neill returns January 10th-27th in the one-man play Joyicity. O’Neill won the first Artie Award in 1991 for his performance in this play, which was presented in the now gone Pfeifer Theatre (now the Town Ballroom).
Save the date! The 22nd Annual Artie Awards will be held on Monday, June 4, at the Town Ballroom.
In addition to A Streetcar Named Desire, Torn Space will present Sam Shepard’s Buried Child and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Blood on the Cat’s Neck as part of its 2012-13 season.
The fabulous Michele Ragusa will be starring in Stephen Sondheim’s Company at Geva Theatre in Rochester, May 9-June 10. Ragusa just finished a turn as Miss Hannigan in Houston’s Theater Under the Stars production of Annie. Next season she will return to the Buffalo Philharmonic to appear in the concert version of Cole Porter’s classic Kiss Me Kate, reprising the part she played to great acclaim at the PaperMill Playhouse a couple of years ago. For tickets to Company, call (585) 232-4382.
Kerrykate Abel, Kelli Bocock-Natale, Caitlin Coleman, Loraine O’Donnell, and Joy Scime will star in the upcoming BUA production Love, Loss, and What I Wore, directed by Jessica Rasp. Based on the best-selling book by Ilene Beckerman, the play was written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, and just closed in New York two weeks ago, after having opened in October 2009. The BUA production opens on May 11.
Chaz Bono was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the GLAAD ceremony in Los Angeles. Among several other awards, Becoming Chaz won for Outstanding Documentary and Modern Family won for Outstanding Comedy Series. The GLAAD Awards “recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.”
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