Now you see him, no you don’t. Stage and screen star Justin Kirk’s (pictured left) new TV show Animal Practice was canceled in October and the three unaired episodes were released on line a couple of weeks ago. There had been high hopes for the show, which premiered after the Olympics closing ceremonies back in August. Kirk had better luck with Showtime’s Weeds, which ran for several seasons, and with his Emmy nominated portrayal of Prior Walter in HBO’s Angels in America. Kirk, who was in the original Broadway cast of Love! Valour! Compassion! (and in the movie version), returned to Broadway earlier this year, taking over the part of the son in Other Desert Cities (now playing at the Kavinoky).
The Paul Robeson Theatre will present Lydia Diamond’s Stick Fly, February 8-March 3, directed by Willie Judson. The play was on Broadway this past season, produced by singer/songwriter Alicia Keys with a cast featuring Buffalo’s Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who plays the patriarch of an affluent African-American family.
Noted actor Stephen McKinley Henderson will be taking the director’s chair for a couple of upcoming projects. First is the Western New York premiere of Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph at Buffalo Laboratory Theatre. The play deals with the power of rituals, following the lives of two friends, played by Taylor Doherty and Kathleen Golde, over the course of 30 years. The show will run January 25-February 9 at the company’s home in Hilbert College in Hamburg. Henderson will also direct the comedy/drama Forgiving John Lennon for UB’s Department of Theatre and Dance, running February 27-March 3 at the Black Box Theatre in UB’s Center for the Arts. Written by William Missouri Downs, the play deals with such topics as cultural tolerance and criticism.
Speaking of UB’s Department of Theatre and Dance, its production of the musical Urinetown will now be directed and choreographed by D. J. Salisbury, instead of the previously announced Jeffry Denman. Denman is in town this week appearing with Marc Kudisch as The Holiday Guys at Musicalfare.
One performance has been added to the almost sold-out run of Alleyway Theatre’s 30th anniversary production of A Christmas Carol: Sunday, December 16 at 5pm.
Coming up next for American Repertory Theatre of WNY, the dark comedy Jesus Hates Me, by Texan playwright Wayne Lemon. Directed by Michael Lodick, the play will feature Maura Nolan, Anthony Alcocer, Matthew Kindley, Priscilla Young-Anker, Bryan Figueroa, and Jacob Kahn. The show will run January 17-February 8 at the company’s new performing space at Church of the Ascension, on the corner of North and Linwood.
As part of its upcoming 40th anniversary summer-long celebration, Artpark will present the classic The Sound of Music in the Mainstage Theater. The show will run July 11-19 and tickets are already on sale, visit www.tickets.com. Randy Kramer will direct, with musical direction by Jason Bravo.
Pop singer Helen Reddy (“I Am Woman”) will perform at the Riviera Theatre on March 20 at 7:30pm. Reddy was the final replacement for Mrs. Johnstone in the original Broadway production of Blood Brothers, following in the footsteps of Petula Clark and Carole King.
Barrymore, the film version of William Luce’s stage drama of the same name starring Christopher Plummer, has recently been released in movie theaters around the country. Plummer, who won a Tony Award in 1997 for his Broadway performance in the role, will turn 83 next week
Just as he was ready to figure much more prominently in the upcoming second season of TV’s new Dallas, Larry Hagman (pictured right) died on November 23 at the age of 81. Also known for his role in I Dream of Jeannie, Hagman appeared on Broadway in the late 1950s and earned a Theatre World Award for his performance in the drama God and Kate Murphy, which only ran for 12 performances.
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