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Stagefright

No surprise that super talented-and-cute Neil Patrick Harris (pictured above) won this year’s Tony for his performance as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The production also took Tony awards for Best Revival and Best Featured Actress for Lena Hall who plays Yitzhak. Interestingly both parts also got Artie Awards for Loraine O’Donnell (although in the Actress category) and Kerrykate Abel in the local production of Hedwig a couple of years ago. Harris was last on Broadway in 2004 in the revival of Sondheim’s Assassins playing the Balladeer.

So it’s now Jonathan Young’s turn to play the Balladeer in the upcoming local production of Assassins presented by Second Generation Theatre at the New Phoenix, opening June 26th. The company made its stellar debut last summer with another Sondheim gem, Into the Woods. Coming up in February, the company will present Lyle Kessler’s drama Orphans, starring PJ Tighe, Anthony Alcocer, and Greg Natale in the role that Vincent O’Neill played years ago at Musicalfare.

And switching to the other side of the stage, Greg Natale will direct the ICTC production of Death of a Salesman. Ellen Horst, Adam Rath and Paschal Frisina will co-star with John Fredo as Willy Loman. The play opens in November.

It will be a busy fall for Horst who will play Sister Clarissa in Tom Dudzick’s Over the Tavern at the Kavinoky in September. Directed by Artie Career Achievement Award winner Dudzick, the comedy will also feature Brigitt Marcusfeld, Steve Jakiel, Jackson Mysliwy, Connor Graham, Caroline Schettler, and Samuel Fesmire as Rudy.

Nix the Picnic for Buffalo Public Theatre next fall. Instead of presenting the classic William Inge play, the company will present Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour. Directed by Loraine O’Donnell, the production will star Diane Curley and Andrea Natale in the role that O’Donnell portrayed in the 1993 BUA production opposite Maureen Porter. The current production will also feature Jamie Nablo and Arin Lee Dandes.

The fabulous Renee Marino (pictured right) will be making her big screen debut in the upcoming film adaptation of Jersey Boys as Mary Delgado (Frankie Vallie’s wife). Marino played the role on Broadway and in the national tour that came to Shea’s a couple of years ago. She has fond memories of The Chocolate Bar on Chippewa! Marino also performed on Broadway in the musical Wonderland which was choreographed by Buffalonian Marguerite Derricks.

For its fifth season next year, Theater Jugend will present a production of The Elephant Man, directed by Drew McCabe. Scheduled for an April 2015 opening, the performance will be held at Alessi Holsters, located on Cayuga Road near the airport.

Lancaster Opera House opens its 2014 season in September with Fiddler on the Roof, directed by David Bondrow. The musical turns 50 this year. It opened on Broadway in September 1964.

Michael Walline will direct TOY’s Curtain Up show Seussical, the Musical starring Ben Puglisi as Cat in the Hat. The show will also star, among others, Bobby Cooke, Maria Droz, Dudney Joseph, Jacob Albarella, and Victoria Perez.

Ronald Leonardi has formed a new theater company, Buffalo Repertory Awards Theater (BRAT). The company will be performing five Christopher Durang one-act plays every Wednesday from July 30th through August 27th at 5:30 p.m. at the Canalside Ruins near the Erie Canal Harbor. Performances are free to the public.

Happy Pride Month! At last year’s Pride Parade in New York City, the fabulous Caroline Bowman (pictured below) sang the National Anthem that kicked off the day’s festivities. Last seen on Broadway in Kinky Boots, Bowman is now starring as Eva Peron in the national tour of Evita which is playing Shea’s this week. She also played Elphaba on Broadway. Enjoy your summer! (Editor’s note: Stagefright goes on hiatus until September).