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Stagefright

Felicity Huffman

The fabulous Felicity Huffman has gone back to her David Mamet roots and is currently starring in the playwright’s November at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. The play was on Broadway in 2008. Huffman, widely known for her role in TV’s Desperate Housewives, made her Broadway debut in 1988 in Mamet’s Speed the Plow, taking over the part originated by Madonna. In 1995, Huffman won an Obie Award for her performance in Mamet’s The Cryptogram and in 1999 she starred in the premiere of his play Boston Marriage. Huffman received a Golden Globe Award and Oscar nomination for her performance in the independent film Transamerica.

Speaking of Mamet, his new play The Anarchist is scheduled to open on Broadway in December, starring old pal Patti LuPone and movie star Debra Winger. Also, a second Broadway revival of his play Glengarry Glen Ross begins previews next week with a cast headed by Al Pacino. And in Buffalo, later in the season, the Irish Classical Theater Company will present Mamet’s American Buffalo, directed by the company’s technical director, Brian Cavanagh, starring Brian Mysliwy, Christian Brandjes, and Jose Rivera.

Jon Elston’s new play, 2012: End of the Road, premieres on November 9 at Road Less Traveled, directed by Scott Behrend, starring Barry Williams, Bob Grabowski, Sara Kow-Falcone, Christina Rausa, Kay Kerimian, Xavier Harris, David C. Mitchell, and Monish Bhattacharya. Always prolific, Elston’s next new play, Tommy Wills, will have a reading at the RLTP’s Emanuel Fried New Play Workshop later in the season, directed by Kyle LoConti.

One of the hits of Broadway’s last season, Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities opens at the Kavinoky on November 23. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, the local production will be directed by Peter Palmisano, starring David Lamb, Barbara Link Larou, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Matt Witten, and Lisa Ludwig in the part played on Broadway by Judith Light which earned her a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress. Before moving to Broadway, the part was created by Linda Lavin at Lincoln Center. Other Desert Cities opens in Los Angeles on November 28 starring JoBeth Williams and Robert Foxworth.

After having a huge success last year with the musical Floyd Collins, American Repertory Theatre of WNY will present another musical this season. This time, it is all in the family, with Michael John LaChiusa’s (ART artistic director Matt LaChiusa’s brother) chamber musical First Lady Suite, a Western New York premiere. The musical, which is about four First Ladies of the United States, opened at the Public Theater in New York in 1993. The ART production will be directed by Tom Dooney, with musical direction by Theresa Quinn, who will also play Amelia Earhart. Cast so far, Joyce Carolyn as Marian Anderson and Stephanie Bax as Evelyn Lincoln (JFK’s secretary). Incidentally, LaChiusa’s new musical Giant (based on the movie and Edna Ferber’s novel) opens at the Public at the end of the month.

Alleyway Theatre, celebrating its 30th anniversary, will present Night Work, a new play by Neal Radice, and the world premiere of the comic drama To The Top by Ron Radice (no relation, according to Neal). In December, British actor John Smeathers, who has played Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol for Alleyway for 15 years, will portray the character one last time before retiring from the role.

Lana Wood

And speaking of last times, Cathy Rigby is back on the road as Peter Pan. Her last farewell tour, a few years ago, turned out not to be quite the last. She will be 60 in December. Talk about not growing up!

Having scored a triumph (and a Tony nomination) directing last year’s Clybourne Park, Buffalonian Pam MacKinnon is back on Broadway directing the revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The show will officially open on October 13, 50 years to the date after the show first opened in 1962.

Also turning 50 this year is the James Bond movie franchise, which started in 1962 with Dr. No. And although there hasn’t been a Broadway musical yet, never say never. Among the many “Bond Girls” over the years, Lana Wood (Natalie’s sister) portrayed Plenty O’Toole in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever.