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Jim Dale

British stage star Jim Dale is back on the New York stage starring opposite Rosemary Harris and Carla Gugino in the Broadway premiere of Athol Furgard’s Road to Mecca. The play was performed off Broadway back in 1988, when it won the Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. Dale, who won a Tony award in 1980 for playing the title role in the musical Barnum (opposite Glenn Close), also has two Grammy awards for narrating the Harry Potter audiobook series. Dale mentions Private on Parades by English playwright Peter Nichols as one of his all-time favorite stage productions.

Kristen Tripp Kelley, Guy Ballotine, Peter Palmisano, and Chrissy Golab are set to star in the upcoming Kavinoky production of Time Stands Still, the brilliant play by Donald Margulies, which was nominated for a Tony award in 2010. Robert Waterhouse will direct the production which opens March 2. Margulies won a Pulitzer Prize for his play, Dinner with Friends. The theater will conclude its season with the Noel Coward classic, Blithe Spirit, with Anne Gayley playing Madame Arcati, a role for which she won the 1996 Artie Award in the Irish Classical Theater production. The Kavinoky production will also star Debbie Pappas, Greg Gjurich, Chris Kelly, and Kristen Tripp Kelley.

British playwright Alan Ayckbourn, whose work has frequently been seen at the Kavinoky, will premiere his 76th play, Surprises, next June. His previous play, Neighbourhood Watch, just finished its New York run. Ayckbourn, who will turn 73 in April, is the only individual to have both a Tony and an Olivier for lifetime achievement.

The 66th Annual Tony Awards will be held June 10 at the Beacon Theater in New York. And the 22nd Annual Artie Awards will take place Monday, June 4.

Alleyway Theatre will continue its season with the winner of the 2010 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition, Cut-Ups by Kerry Muir. Directed by Kim Piazza, the production will star Jasmine Ramos, Jacquie Thomas, David C. Mitchell, and Sheila Connors. Cut-Ups will run February 2-18.

Christopher LaBanca’s The Aegis Project finally kicks off next month at St. Bonaventure University. Geared to raise awareness of rape on college campuses, the project features William Mastrosimone’s Extremities, directed by LaBanca with a cast featuring Kristin Bentley, Kelly Meg Brennan, Marie Hasselback Costa, and John Kaczorowski. The production will be presented February 11 at St. Bonaventure, February 16 at Genesee Community College, February 18 at UB’s Katharine Cornell Theater, March 23 at SUNY Geneseo, and March 24 at Alfred State College.

Jonathan Young will be making his BUA debut in the March production of Secrets of the Trade by Jonathan Tolins. Directed by Drew McCabe, the production will also star Jimmy Janowski, Lisa Ludwig, and Matthew Crehan Higgins. Tolins is the author of Twilight of the Golds and Last Sunday in June, both produced by BUA.

Opening at BUA this week is a revival of Avow, Bill C. Davis’s play about same-sex marriage, celibacy, and the Catholic church, with (pictured below, top row) Joseph Natale, Kevin Keleher, Danny Beason, and Michael Seitz, and (bottom row) Diane Curley, Kathleen Betsko Yale, and Tess Spangler. Natale, Betsko Yale, and Spangler are reprising their roles from BUA’s 2001 production.