The fabulous Rosie O’Donnell (pictured), who was in the original cast of Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore when the show opened off-Broadway in October 2009, was back on the New York stage a couple of weeks ago. O’Donnell appeared in the reading of Tom Eyen’s Women Behind Bars starring opposite, among others, Cynthia Nixon, Rhea Perlman, Jennifer Tilly, and Charles Busch. Always interested in producing on Broadway, might she be looking at the new Nora Ephron play, Lucky Guy, which is scheduled to open in January 2013? The play is about famed New York columnist Mike McAlary and Tom Hanks is in talks to star.
Buffalo’s favorite son, playwright A. R. Gurney, who was represented recently at Road Less Traveled with a brilliant production of Ancestral Voices, will be back next season. The New Phoenix Theater will present his play Buffalo Gal, directed by Richard Lambert. The play, about a faded TV star, was presented by Studio Arena in March 2002 starring Betty Buckley, prior to its scheduled New York debut. The play didn’t make it to New York until 2008, with Susan Sullivan in the title role. The New Phoenix will also present as part of it season: Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine, directed by Kelli Bocock-Natale; the musical Last of the Red Hot Mamas, directed by Loraine O’Donnell with Bocock-Natale as Sophie Tucker; and the classic On the Waterfront, directed by Kurt Schneiderman.
And the Little Sisters of Hoboken are back at O’Connell & Company next season with the return of Nunsense II—The Second Coming, which will play in May. The season will also include the Kander and Ebb musical revue The World Goes Round, starring Pamela Rose Mangus; A Broadway Christmas Carol; and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Mary Kate O’Connell will reprise her Artie Award winning performance as Florence Foster Jenkins in Glorious!, opening in February. First presented at the Kavinoky in 2008, this new production will reunite O’Connell with former co-stars Anne Gayley and Victoria Perez.
The Irish Classical Theatre Company rounds up its current season with the winner of the 1978 Tony award, Da, by Hugh Leonard. Directed by Vincent O’Neill, the production opens June 7 and stars Patrick Moltane, Gerry Maher, Josephine Hogan, Kevin Craig, Joe Liolos, Doug Weyand, Genevieve Lerner, and Wendy Hall.
All is set for Torn Space’s re-imagined version of A Streetcar Named Desire, the Tennessee Williams classic to be directed by Dan Shanahan. Kristin Bentley will be Stella, Stan Klimecko will be Stanley, Tilke Hill will be Blanche, and Christian Brandjes will be Mitch. The show opens September 13. By the way, In Masks Outrageous and Austere, the final, full-length play by Williams, started as early as 1970 but mainly written between 1978 and 1982, finally received its world premiere in New York this past April, where it closed before the end of its limited engagement.
Save the date! On Tuesday, June 12 at 7pm, BUA will present a reading of Kathleen Betsko Yale’s play Stitchers and Starlight Talkers, a benefit to enable the author to attend the 9th Conference of Women Playwrights International, to be held in Stockholm in August. The first conference was held in Buffalo in 1988 and the idea grew from a book that Kathleen (then living in New York City) and a colleague, R. Koenig, edited, titled Interviews With Contemporary Women Playwrights. Directed by Anthony Chase, the reading will star Diane Curley, David Hayes, Kelli Bocock-Natale, and Kerrykate Abel.
Joey Giambra’s Bread and Onions (“a young man’s poetic odyssey through the streets of Buffalo’s once teeming lower West Side”) will be presented at the Kavinoky on June 15 and 16 at 8pm. The production will feature Giambra, pianist James Calabrese, trumpeter Dennis Tribuzzi, and Dominic Chianese, who played Uncle Junior on HBO’s The Sopranos. Mary Stahl, the Jim Calabrese Trio and Bobby Militello will perform at 7pm each evening, preceding the performance. For tickets, call 829-7668. Incidentally, Giambra starred in Kathleen Betsko’s Johnny Bull, which was presented by BUA in 1992.
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