The fabulous Mary Louise Parker (pictured) is back on Broadway starring in Sharr White’s new play The Snow Geese, which is set in the mid 1910’s outside Syracuse. Parker made her Broadway debut in 1990 in Craig Lucas’s Prelude to a Kiss, for which she received a Tony nomination. In 1987 she appeared in Studio Arena Theatre’s production of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever. Other Broadway productions include Hedda Gabler, Reckless, and David Auburn’s Proof, for which she won the 2001 Tony Award. Off-Broadway she starred in, among others, How I Learned to Drive and Dead Man’s Cell Phone. The also fabulous Catherine Eaton, who appeared locally at the Irish Classical Theatre in Hedda Gabler and The Cobbler (Katharine Cornell Award), is making her Broadway debut as Parker’s understudy in The Snow Geese.
Speaking of Proof, the Kavinoky will present its own production, January 10-February 2, directed by David Lamb, starring Jessica Wegrzyn, Jonathan Shuey, Peter Palmisano, and Aleks Malejs. Proof won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. Neal Patrick Harris and Anne Heche made their Broadway debuts in replacement casts of Proof.
Clybourne Park, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner, begins performances this week at 710 Main Theatre presented by Road Less Traveled Productions under the direction of Scott Behrend. This is one of three plays presented this season at 710 in collaboration with local companies. Buffalo Laboratory Theatre will present its own adaptation of the classic Cyrano directed by Taylor Doherty, who will also star along Ray Boucher, Morgan Chard ,and Katie White with aerial dance (how Cirque!) by Kathleen Golde, February 6-23. Musicalfare will present the 2010 Tony Award winner Red, directed by Randy Kramer, March 13-20, starring Paul Todaro as American painter Mark Rothko.
Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A Raisin in the Sun (which, by the way, served as inspiration for Clybourne Park) will be back on Broadway this season beginning in March, starring Denzel Washington, Diahann Carroll, and Buffalo’s Steve Henderson, directed by Kenny Leon. Henderson was nominated for a Tony award in 2010 for his performance in August Wilson’s Fences, also directed by Leon and starring Washington. A Raisin in the Sun was last revived on Broadway in 2004, starring Sean Combs and Phylicia Rashad.
Buffalo’s Ruben Santiago-Hudson (author of Lackawanna Blues, which has yet to be seen in Buffalo) is back on the New York stage portraying August Wilson in Wilson’s autobiographical one-man show How I Learned What I Learned. Santiago-Hudson won a Tony for his performance in Wilson’s Seven Guitars in 1996 and has directed several of his plays, most recently the Signature Theatre production of The Piano Lesson, starring Buffalo’s Roslyn Ruff.
The current Buffalo theater season has plenty of plays based on real people. We just saw Richard Lambert as Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer at Subversive. Christina Rausa is currently playing Maria Callas in Master Class at Musicalfare. Hugh Davis is now playing legendary bluesman Robert Johnson in Mark Humphrey’s new play Little Robert at American Repertory Theater. Coming soon, Jonathan Lee will portray Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in The Mountaintop, directed by Gary Earl Ross, at Subversive. And Mary Kate O’Connell will be Ann Landers in The Lady with all the Answers, directed by Anne Gayley.
Just in time for the holidays, O’Connell & Company continues its season at the Park School with Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings, a musical revue full of Christmas standards. Directed and choreographed by Michael Walline, the production opens on November 29th, starring Kurt Erb, Nicholas Lama, Matthew Mooney, and Steven Sitzman.
For its holiday offering, Theatre of Youth will present the musical Madeline’s Christmas, directed by Meg Quinn, starring Megan Callahan, Tim Newell, and Mary Kate O’Connell. The show will run December 6th-15th.
Not to be left behind, Shea’s will present the touring production of the Broadway musical Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, December 17-22. Tickets go on sale this week. Shea’s will also present the touring production of the Broadway musical American Idiot, featuring the music of Green Day, on February 28. Tickets go on sale December 1. Welcome to John Schaller, who is Shea’s Performing Arts Center new director of development.
Brazen-Faced Varlets will present Kelly Beuth, Lara Haberberger, and Kate Olena in John Pielmeier’s Agnes of God. Directed by Diane DiBernardo Blenk, the production will run December 2-21 at Rust Belt Books.
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