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Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (pictured at top), who made his stage debut this year in the Broadway revival of Trip to Bountiful, had to leave the production a couple of weeks ago due to an upcoming movie project. The production has been extended twice, and will now close on October 9, still starring Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, and Tom Wopat.

Buffalo playwright A. R. Gurney (pictured second from top), who was the honorary chair for this year’s Curtain Up and was honored with a star in the Buffalo plaza of stars, has a new play coming up at The Flea Theater in New York. Family Furniture will play November 12-December 22. According to The Flea, with this play, “Gurney returns to home territory, writing about the manners and morals of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant upper class.” This is the eighth Gurney play that has had its world premiere at The Flea.

Buffalo composer David Shire was recently present at a CD signing at a Barnes and Noble in New York. The York company 2012 revival of his and Richard Maltby’s musical revue Closer than Ever is now available on the Jay Record Label. The revue premiered off-Broadway in 1989. Shire’s music was featured fabulously in last year’s UB’s Department of Theater & Dance original revue, It Goes Like It Goes, conceived by Nathan Matthews.

And all goes well for UB Department of Theatre & Dance alum Bethany Moore (pictured second from bottom), who is dancing her heart out in the current hit revival of Pippin on Broadway. Andrea Martin, who won a Tony for playing Berthe, has left the show and is being replaced by Tovah Feldshuh, who had played the part during Martin’s vacation. Feldshuh is scheduled to play Buffalo’s 710 Main Theatre in May 2014 in the one-woman play Golda’s Balcony. (Christina Rausa played the part in Buffalo years ago.)

Buffalo’s Michele Ragusa will be back in New York next month starring in Seth Rudetsky’s musical spoof Disaster! A 1970s Disaster Movie…Musical at St Luke’s Theater. Rudetsky performed at the re-opening of 710 Main Theatre for Curtain Up 2012.

Road Less Traveled Productions will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a black tie gala on November 16th at the Saturn Club, beginning at 5pm. The event will also include a performance of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, which the company is performing at 710 Main Theatre (November 8-December 1). After the show, there will be a special reception with Buffalonian director Pam MacKinnon, who directed the Broadway production of Clybourne Park last year. For tickets and information for the anniversary gala, visit

Speaking of MacKinnon, who was nominated for a Tony Award for her direction of Clybourne Park last year and won this year for her direction of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, she has a couple of high-profile jobs coming up (other than appearing at Road Less Traveled, of course). She will be directing Dinner with Friends, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Donald Margulies for the Roundabout in New York in January. And later in 2014, she will direct Cherry Jones in When We Were Young and Unafraid, a new play by Sarah Treem at Manhattan Theatre Club, City Center Stage. (That is where Doubt began.)

All eyes are also set on Bruce Norris, whose new play, Sophisticated, begins previews October 10 at Lincoln Centre. This will be his first play after the much-lauded Clybourne Park. The production is being directed by Ann D. Shapiro, who directed August: Osage County on Broadway. It stars Laurie Metcalf, Jeff Goldblum, and the divine Lizbeth Mackay. (She is from Buffalo, too.)

The fabulous Roslyn Ruff (pictured at bottom, also a Buffalonian) is back on Broadway portraying Lady Capulet in the current revival of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which officially opened last week at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. In this version, the Montagues are white and the Capulets are black. Movie star Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad play the star-crossed interracial couple. Back in 2010, Ruff was the standby for Viola Davis in the revival of August Wilson’s Fences. Most recently, Ruff won the Lortel Award for her performance in Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. Romeo and Juliet will play a limited engagement through January 2014. The last time the tragedy was on Broadway was in 1986 when Regina Taylor, now also an accomplished playwright, played Juliet. Taylor’s writing credits include Drowning Crow and the popular musical Crowns. Her latest play, stop.reset, opened in New York two weeks ago.