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The fabulous Melissa Rivers (pictured above) paid a visit to the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival held at the end of July in Jamestown. Melissa participated in a panel and reminisced about her mother, the great Joan Rivers, who died almost a year ago. Melissa’s book The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation is hilarious. She will be hosting Fashion Police which premieres Monday, August 31st on the E! channel.
The Theatre Alliance of Buffalo (TAB) has elected its new slate of officers for the next two years. Richard Satterwhite (Buffalo Comedy Sportz) is the new President; Jordana Halpern (Jewish Repertory Theatre of WNY) is the new Vice-President; Kelli Bocock-Natale (New Phoenix Theatre) is the new Treasurer; and Katie White (Buffalo Laboratory Theatre) is the new Secretary.
It will be a busy fall for Ms. White who will direct John Patrick Shanley’s 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning Doubt. Produced by Buffalo Laboratory Theatre, the play opens September 11th at the company’s home at Hilbert College in Hamburg, starring Ellen Horst, David Hayes, Anne Roaldi Boucher, and Annette Daniels Taylor. White starred in the 2008 BUA production of the play as Sister James, the part being played by Boucher. Following Doubt, White returns to the stage to play three different parts in A.R. Gurney’s comedy Sylvia, also produced by Buffalo Laboratory but this time performing at 710 Main Theatre. Directed by Taylor Doherty, Sylvia a play about a dog and her owner, will also star, Todd Benzin, Wendy Hall, and Marisa Carusso as Sylvia, the dog. The show will play November 5th—15th.
Coincidentally, Sylvia will be making its Broadway debut this fall starring Matthew Broderick, Julie White, and Annaleigh Ashford who won this year’s Tony award for her supporting role in You Can’t Take it With You. The play will be at the Cort Theatre for a limited engagement beginning October 2nd. Sylvia premiered off-Broadway in 1995 starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner. Gurney’s latest play, Love and Money, has just been extended through October 4th at the Signature Theatre in New York.
710 Main Theatre will offer a subscription season this year beginning with For Heaven’s Sake!, a drama by Buffalo playwright and best-selling author Laura Pedersen. Set in 1974 Buffalo, the play is about a typical Irish Catholic family. It had a successful run off-Broadway last fall under the title The Brightness of Heaven. Pedersen has an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Canisius College.
Road Less Traveled opens the 2015-16 season on September 11th in its new space, located at 500 Pearl. The season opener will be the world premiere of Buffalo playwright Bella Poynton’s Speed of Light, which is set on a far off planet. Directed by Scott Behrend, the production stars Sara Kow Falcone, Greg Howze, Bob Grabowksi, Greg Natale, Jessica Stuber, Erica Lorenzetti, and Steve Petersen.
Subversive Theatre will kick off its 13th season on September 10th with Slaughterhouse-Five, adapted by Steppenwolf Theatre Company member Eric Simonson from the novel by Kurt Vonnegut. The Subversive production will be directed by Michael Lodick and will feature a large cast including Tim Joyce, John Kennedy, John Profeta, Elizabeth Catania, Shane Zimmerman, Rick Lattimer, and Jane Cudmore. In other Subversive news, Gary Earl Ross and Kelly M. Beuth will be joint Associate Artistic Directors of the company. After winning this year’s Artie for his play The Guns of Christmas, Ross will direct the world premiere of his new play The Mark of Cain in March. Beuth will star in the company’s January production of Keeley and Du.
Speaking of Steppenwolf, the famed Chicago company will kick off its 40th anniversary season in September with the world premiere adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden by John Galati. Galati also adapted the company’s The Grapes of Wrath which transferred to Broadway and won a Tony award for best play in 1990. Of Mice and Men, another Steinbeck classic, will be presented by the New Phoenix in March.
The Jewish Repertory Theatre of WNY will be celebrating its 13th anniversary with a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party at Butterwood Sweet & Savory, in the historic Hotel Lafayette. Save the date, September 20 at 6:30pm. For details and tickets go to www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com.
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