The Tony award winning musical The Book of Mormon is back at Shea’s (by popular demand!), for one week only, June 2-7. Robert Lopez (pictured above) won the Tony Award for creating the musical’s book and score (along with Trey Parker and Matt Stone). Most recently, he and wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez, won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Let it Go,” written for Disney’s animation feature film Frozen. They are currently working on a Broadway adaptation of the film. Lopez also wrote the music and lyrics for the 2004 Tony award winning musical Avenue Q. He is the youngest person ever to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.
Speaking of Avenue Q, Musicalfare’s 2012 Artie Award winning production will return as part of 710 Main Theatre 2015-16 Frey Electric Construction Company Season, April 7-24 2016. Once again directed and choreographed by Doug Weyand, the show is expected to feature the return of all its original cast: Jacob Albarella, Charmagne Chi, Jeffrey Coyle, Maria Droz, Amy Jakiel, Adrienne Lewis, and Marc Sacco.
Also slated for the 2015-16 710 Main Theatre season, the return, of sorts, of A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, presented by Buffalo Laboratory Theatre (November 5th-15th). Back in March 1998, Studio Arena presented a production of the play, directed by Gavin Cameron-Webb, starring Richard Wesp. Gurney’s play originated off-Broadway with Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sylvia, the dog. Buffalo Laboratory Theatre is also planning on a production of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt.
Desperately seeking for Carrie and mother. Director Chris Standart is in the process of casting for the musical Carrie which will be presented by ART of WNY for Curtain Up this coming September. The production will take place at Medaille College, former home of Kaleidoscope. Music direction will be provided by 2015 Artie Career Achievement Award winner Michael Hake (please remember it is a Career Achievement, NOT a Lifetime Achievement Award; Michael is not required to retire after Monday’s awards).
Prior to his directorial duties in September, Standart will join Jimmy Janowski in BUA’s summer offering, the American premiere of Bette and Joan: The Final Curtain. The play was presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2011. Directed by Todd Warfield, the BUA production will open on July 25th at Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret. Oh yes, the play is about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
Donna Hoke’s play Safe is the winner of the 2015 Great Gay Play Contest held in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Safe is part of Road Less Traveled Productions 2015-16 season. In the meantime, you can see Hoke’s play Flowers in the Desert, directed by Linda Silvestri, starring Don Batalaris and Andrea Perry, June 5th-21st at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (see On The Boards).
Debbie Pappas will play Mrs. Darling in the Artpark summer production of Peter Pan, to be directed by Randy Kramer. Broadway’s John Bolton and Hayley Podschun will play Captain Hook and Peter Pan, respectively. The cast will also include Sara Blewett and Jared Loftin.
Michael John LaChiusa’s First Daughter Suite will be part of New York’s Public Theater 60th season. A follow-up to his First Lady Suite, the musical is set to play October 6th-November 15th, starring Mary Testa and Barbara Walsh. LaChiusa’s other new musical Rain, based on the short story by Somerset Maugham, will be workshopped at Vassar this summer.
The fabulous Dinah Manoff (pictured below) won a Tony Award in 1980 for her performance in the Neil Simon comedy I Ought to be in Pictures. The daughter of Oscar winning actress Lee Grant, Manoff is probably best known for her performances in the movie Grease and in the TV show Empty Nest. Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre will present a production of the Simon comedy beginning June 5th, starring Marc Jon Filippone, Cate Werynski, and Alley Griffin, directed by Jay Desiderio. They are not moving yet!—5827 Broadway, in Lancaster.
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