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The fabulous Renee Taylor (pictured above) will be performing her one woman show My Life on a Diet, November 6th-16th at Shea’s Smith Theatre. The piece was co-written with her husband Joseph Bologna, who also directs. Taylor is best known to TV audiences for playing Fran Drescher’s mother in The Nanny. Taylor and her husband co-wrote the Broadway comedy Lovers and Other Strangers, and received Oscar nominations for having written the 1970 film adaptation.

Declan Gray will be making his stage debut in the upcoming Buffalo Public Theatre’s production of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour. Directed by his mom, Loraine O’Donnell, the play stars Jenn Stafford, Andrea Natale Profeta, Robert Cooke, Arin Lee Dandes, Jamie Nablo Lama, Tammy Hayes McGovern, Pamela Rose Mangus. Margo Davis, and Maria Droz. Well OK, for those keeping close tabs, Declan did make a guest appearance when he was nine months old in Diva by Diva. The Children’s Hour opens October 23rd at the New Phoenix where Buffalo Public is now in residence.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park will hold its fall fundraiser on Sunday, October 26th at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. He Said. She Said is a staged reading of Shakespeare’s favorite monologues and scenes with a gender bending twist. Directed by Saul Elkin, the readings will feature Kristin Bentley, Todd Benzin, Marie Costa, Josie DiVincenzo, Geoff Pictor, Richard Hummert, Patrick Moltane, Peter Palmisano, Darleen Pickering Hummert, Adam Rath, Kristen Tripp Kelley, and Adam Yellen. Show starts at 7pm, with hors d’oeuvres at 6pm. The company’s 2015 offerings will be Romeo and Juliet directed by Tom Loughlin, and Twelfth Night featuring and all-male cast headed by Tim Newell, and directed by Steve Vaughan.

Speaking of gender bending, Brazen-Faced Varlets will present a staged reading of the classic Twelve Angry Men with an all-female cast. Twelve Angry Women will be presented on Monday, October 20th at 8pm at Empire State College in the Appletree Business Park, 2875 Union Road in Cheektowaga, directed by Jenny Gembka. Admission is by free will donation. All proceeds will benefit the company’s 2014-15 season.

On Thursday, November 6th Theatre of Youth will hold its fifth annual TOY Box Bash from 6 to 9pm at Rich’s Atrium. New this year, there will be an official BASH After Party from 9 to 11pm at Resurgence Brewing Company (reminds me of years ago when TOY used to have a TOY After Dark series). For tickets call 884-4400, x 308.

After directing All Quiet on the Western Front, Bob Waterhouse goes to the Kavinoky to direct another WW I drama, Journey’s End. The production will star Christian Brandjes, Geoff Pictor, P.J. Tighe, Christopher Evans, Louis Colaiacovo, Guy Wagner, Norm Sham, and Tim Joyce.

John “Circ” Kane’s one act play My Life in the Basement will be presented for one night only, October 10th at 7:30 at St. Bernadette’s Church in Orchard Park. Proceeds are for the church new roof fund. Kane is the regular ringmaster for the Big Apple Circus in New York.

Musicalfare continues its 25th anniversary season with the very popular musical revue Ain’t Misbehavin’, featuring the music of Fats Waller. Directed by Michael Walline, the production will star Cecelia Barron, Dudney Joseph, Jetaun Louie, Raphael Santos, and Cecilia Snow, with musical direction by the one and only George Caldwell. The show was originally conceived and directed by Richard Maltby and it was a huge success when it first opened on Broadway in 1978.

And speaking of Maltby, he and partner David Shire have a new musical in the works. Waterfall, set in Thailand in the 1930’s is aiming for a 2016 Broadway debut. Maltby & Shire wrote the Broadway musicals Baby and Big, and the marvelous revue Closer than Ever.

The musical Chicago will become the second longest running Broadway show on November 23rd, surpassing Cats. Buffalo’s Carmen Ruby Floyd, seen earlier on Broadway this year in After Midnight has just joined the cast as Matron “Mama” Morton. She joins Buffalo’s Paul C. Vogt who is now playing Amos Hart. The touring production will play Shea’s in February. Wouldn’t it be nice to borrow them for a week?

Buffalo State’s Theater Department opens its season this week with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The season will also feature the musical Footloose directed by Carlos Jones, and Oscar Wilde’s classic The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Donn Youngstrom with Artvoice Theater Editor Anthony Chase as Lady Bracknell. Niagara University Theatre kicks off its 51st season next week with Laurie Brooks’ drama The Wrestling Season. The season will also include the musicals Sweeney Todd and Guys & Dolls, and Cyrana, an adaptation of Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac written by Doug Zschiegner. UBs Department of Theatre & Dance will present the musical Spring Awakening in April, choreographed by Jon Lehrer. Its season opens later this month with Lanford Wilson’s Hot L Baltimore, directed by Jerry Finnegan. Later in the season, Maria Horne directs John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo.

Alemaedae Theater Productions will present its own Theater Awards on October 19th at 4 p.m. at the downtown Buffalo & Erie Public Library. Special tribute will be paid to Willie Judson, Verneice Turner, June Duell, Lorna C. Hill, Mary Craig, and Paulette Harris. Congratulations!