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Stagefright

Stage and TV star Charles Shaughnessy (pictured left) just completed the run of La Cage aux Folles at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts playing the part of Georges. Best known for his TV role in The Nanny, Shaughnessy made his Broadway debut in 2003 in the musical Urinetown. La Cage first opened on Broadway thirty years ago this past August. Musicalfare’s production closes this week.

After portraying several historic personalities, including Emily Dickenson and Golda Meier, Christina Rausa will now star as opera diva Maria Callas in the upcoming Musicalfare production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Directed by Susan Drozd, the play will also feature Jessica L. Hall, Renee Landrigan, Raphael Santos, Michael Wachowiak, and Randall Kramer as the piano accompanist. Master Class opens October 30.

Playwright Tom Dudzick (of Over the Tavern fame) will return to Buffalo to direct his latest comedy, Miracle on South Division Street. The play opens at the Kavinoky on November 15, starring Ellen Horst, Charmagne Chi, Bonnie Jean Taylor, and Ben Puglisi. Miracle had a successful run in New York last year, starring Peggy Cosgrave, who was a regular at the late Studio Arena.

Theatre of Youth will hold its annual Toy Box Bash on Thursday, November 7 at Acqua Restaurant beginning at 6pm. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit TOY’s outreach initiatives to Buffalo Public Schools and the expansion of its theatre classes and workshops. For tickets and information call 884-4400, extension 308.

Up next for American Repertory Theater of WNY, Mark Humphrey’s Little Robert, directed by Gail Golden, starring Robert “Ernie” Insana, and Hugh Davis. The production opens on October 30 at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension. The play is about legendary blues singer Robert Johnson, who died in 1938 at the early age of 27. Humphrey won the 1998 Artie Award for his play Times of Service.

David Drake, author and star of the off-Broadway hit The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, will portray his alter ego Tawny Heatherton (that’s David in drag) in an intimate evening of cabaret at 1045 Elmwood Gallery this weekend on October 11 & 12 at 8pm.

The reading series Bloody Sunday and Then Monday will kick of its season with Burying the Bones by M. E. H. Lewis. The reading will take place on Sunday, October 20 at 4pm, and Monday, October 21 at 7pm. at Rust Belt Books (202 Allen Street). No admission charge, donations are accepted. There is limited seating, for reservations email frankcanino@verizon.net. Directed by Frank Canino, the reading will feature April Jones, Travis Ballard, Verneice Turner, Richard Hummert, Jennifer Gold, and Virginia Brannon.

After a very successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Peter Michael Marino returns to Buffalo with his solo show Desperately Seeking the Exit for two performances only: October 18 at 7pm in the Donald Savage Theatre at Buffalo State College; and October 20 at 4pm in The Backroom at Allen Street Hardware (245 Allen Street). The show talks about Marino’s experiences writing the musical Desperately Seeking Susan which opened (and closed after a brief run) in London’s West End in 2007.

Torn Space Theater’s annual fundraiser Prom of the Dead will be held on October 26 at the Dnripro Ukrainian Center located at 562 Genesee Street. Evening begins at 9pm with an hour of complimentary drinks. More information at www.promofthedead.com.

After a much announced retirement from the stage, Peter Davis will make a return to co-star with Jimmy Janowski in a reading of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, to be presented by BUA in November.

Writer/producer Tom Fontana will be back in Buffalo this weekend to be honored by the Federation of Italian-American Societies of WNY. Fontana will be Grand Marshal of the 8th Annual Columbus Day Parade on October 12 along Hertel Avenue in the heart of Buffalo’s Little Italy.

Actors’ Equity Association turned 100 this year and the local chapter (members in attendance pictured right, including Buffalo liaison Don Gervasi) celebrated the occasion with a cocktail party at Shea’s. Congratulations!