The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar (pictured above) spent part of his summer hiatus from the popular TV show appearing on the New York stage. Nayyar played a Nepalese immigrant studying business at NYU in The Spoils, a play written by and also starring Jesse Eisenberg. Produced by The New Group, the play ran at off-Broadway’s Signature Center. Nayyar’s Big Bang co-star Jim Parsons also spent some time in New York, starring in the new comedy An Act of God at Studio 54. The comedy will make its Los Angeles premiere in February starring Sean Hayes.
2015-16 will be a good season for Sondheim in Buffalo. The Irish Classical Theatre Company opens its 25th anniversary season on September 18th with A Little Night Music, under the direction of Chris Kelly, with music direction by Allan Paglia, starring Jen Stafford as Desiree and Pamela Rose Mangus as Madame Armfeldt. O’Connell & Company will close its season with Company, directed by Roger Paolini and choreographed by Michael Walline, starring Steve Copps as Bobby and Loraine O’Donnell as Joanne. Opening on May 26th, the production will also star, among others: Guy Tomassi, Marc-Jon Filippone, Roger Van Dette, Christian Riso, Arin Dandes, and Charmagne Chi. Buffalo State’s Theater Department opens its season in October with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, directed by Donn Youngstrom, with dance direction by Carlos Jones. UB’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present Into the Woods in April, directed by Nathan Matthews. The Shaw Festival has announced Sweeney Todd for next season.
This will also be a good year for collaborations. The Irish Classical Theatre is working with LehrerDance and Torn Space Theater to present The Yeats Project (April 22nd—May 8th), a multidisciplinary production of two plays by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats—The Land of Heart’s Desire and At the Hawk’s Well. The plays will be directed by Vincent O’Neill and Dan Shanahan, with choreography by Jon Lehrer. Subversive Theatre and New Phoenix have joined forces to present Judgement at Nuremberg (May 5th—June 4th), directed by Kurt Schneiderman, starring Mike Randall, Lisa Ludwig, Richard Lambert, Darlene Pickering Hummert, and Richard Hummert. Coming up sooner, Raíces Theatre Company will bring some sabor to Musicalfare with In the Heights, the Latin musical is being produced in association by both companies. The show opens next week, directed by Randy Kramer with music direction by Theresa Quinn
Speaking of Torn Space, save the date! Prom of the Dead, the annual costume ball will be held on October 24th at Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center. Up next for the company will be Nora, Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll House. The production will open on November 12th at the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle. Incidentally, A Little Night Music was inspired by the Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night.
Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man, the interactive comedy based on the best-selling book of the same name which has been playing in New York since January 2014, will play Shea’s Smith Theatre November 10th—15th. Tickets go on sale September 18th. The bare-chested guy on stage should be worth the price of admission.
Michael John LaChiusa’s new musical First Daughter Suite will premiere at the Public Theater in New York in October. Alison Fraser will play Nancy Reagan and Betty Ford.
If you couldn’t get tickets for the Paul McCartney concert, there might be some consolation, of sort. UB’s Center for the Arts will present The McCartney Experience on October 23rd at 8pm. The show is a faithful recreation of a mid-1970s McCartney concert.
I first met Yvonne Craig (pictured below) over twenty years ago. Famous for playing Batgirl in the 1966 TV series Batman, Craig died on August 17th. She was 78. I met her several times over the years, and she was very devoted to her fans. She adored being called “La Batichica”.
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