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The fabulous Kelli O’Hara (pictured above) is keeping very busy these days. For the past few weeks she’s been rehearsing for her performance as Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan Live!, which airs this week, December 4th at 8 p.m. on channel 2. Beginning December 31st she will be performing at the Metropolitan Opera in Lehar’s operetta The Merry Widow. Directed by Broadway vet Susan Stroman, the production will star Renee Fleming. O’Hara is set to star in the Broadway revival of The King and I, which begins performances in March at Lincoln Center. The five time Tony nominee (everyone is hoping The King and I might be the one) starred on Broadway last season in Jason Robert Brown’s The Bridges of Madison County.

Speaking of Brown, his first produced show, Songs for a New World (off-Broadway 1995), will be presented by O’Connell & Company January 22nd-February 22nd. Directed by Michael Walline, this “theatrical song cycle” will star Nick Lama, Dudney Joseph, Robert Mazierski, Katy Miner, Sophie Howes, Victoria Perez, and Arin Lee Dandes. Brown’s other musicals include Parade, The Last Five Years, and the current Broadway show, Honeymoon in Vegas, starring Tony Danza. His film adaptation of The Last Five Years is set to premiere in February.

After its very successful production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, the Irish Classical Theatre continues its season in January with James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter, starring Josephine Hogan as Eleanor of Aquitaine and Vincent O’Neill as Henry II of England. Directed by Brian Cavanagh, the production will also star Renee Landigran, Nathan Miller, Todd Benzin, Matt Witten, and Adam Rath.

As we mentioned before, 2014 was a very good year for Arthur Miller in Buffalo. Besides ICTC’s Death of Salesman, this year also offered ART’s The Crucible and Subversive’s A View from the Bridge. All of this is proof that a classic well done can be very powerful. Miller died in 2005 and now there is news that a theater in the UK will present the world premiere of his “play for the screen,” The Hook. Set in the dockyards of Brooklyn’s waterfront, the script was apparently suppressed by the FBI in the 1950s. The script has now been adapted for the stage by playwright Ron Hutchinson.

Anna Kay France has written a stage adaptation of the late Manny Fried’s book The Un-American. The play will be presented by Subversive May 1st-30th, directed by Susan Forbes, starring Richard Lambert, Guy Wagner, Lisa Vitrano, and Phil Knoerzer. The book details Fried’s real life appearance before the House on Un-American Activities Committee in 1954. France won the 2002 Emanuel Fried Artie Award for New Play for her play Penumbra.

The recently formed Buffalo Chrysalis Theatre will produce two shows in the February 13th-March 1st slot. The Oscar Wilde classic The Importance of Being Earnest will play at the company’s space, the Grange Theatre in Hamburg, directed by Melissa Leventhal. The musical Spring Awakening will be presented at Kaleidoscope Theatre’s space at Medaille, directed by Matthew Mooney. Kaleidoscope has been dark so far this season and the exact relationship between the two companies is not yet clear. Coincidentally the Buffalo State Theater Department will present Earnest in March, directed by Donn Youngstrom. UB’s Department of Theatre & Dance will present Spring Awakening in April, directed by Rob Knopf, and choreographed by Jon Lehrer.

Continuing the celebration of its 25th anniversary season, Musicalfare will bring back one of the most popular shows in its history: Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story. Directed by Paschal Frisina, the production will star Zak Ward as Buddy, Michael Dentico as Ritchie Valens, and Jake Albarella as Big Bopper. The cast also includes Lauren Alaimo, Tim Goehrig, Mike Lillis, Phil Farugia, Robert Insana, Emily Malkowski, Theresa Quinn, and Cecelia Snow. Buddy Plays February 4th-March 8th.

Theatre for Change is also turning 25. The company celebrated the occasion with dinner at Desiderio’s. Pictured below is company founder Darleen-Pickering Hummert with actors Claudia Catalano and Anne Gayley.

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