Film, TV, and stage star Barry Bostwick (pictured above) who turned 70 earlier this year, recently reunited with co-stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Meatloaf for the first time in twenty five years to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The stars reminisced about being part of the musical comedy classic in an interview on NBC’s Today last week. Richard O’Brien will star as The Narrator in a special performance of the show, which will be broadcast on BBC America from London’s Playhouse Theatre, later this month. Besides playing Riff-Raff in the movie, O’Brien wrote the music, book, and lyrics for the cult musical.
Up next for Road Less Traveled, the WNY premiere of Appropriate, a comedy-drama by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Winner of the 2014 Obie for Best New American Play, the play is set in Arkansas where the estranged members of the Lafayette clan have returned to settle the accounts of their recently deceased patriarch. Directed by Scott Behrend, the production stars Lisa Ludwig, David Mitchell, Aaron Krygier, Lisa Vitrano, Kelsey Mogensen, Dan Urtz, Renee Landrigan, and Simon Mysliwy. Appropriate runs October 30th—November 22nd.
For the 10th installment of the Workers’ Power Play Series, Subversive Theatre will present Joe Hill’s Last Will, a one-man show by author/composer and civil rights activist Si Kahn. A labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World, Hill was framed and executed by the State of Utah in 1915, one hundred years ago this coming November. The production, starring John Profeta, will be directed by Jeffrey Coyle, with musical accompaniment by Kathleen Godwin, and musical direction by Billy Horn. It runs November 5th—28th.
And speaking of labor activism, Albert Invincible Theatre & Talk Back Theatre will present a staged reading of Joy Scime’s Dissonance, described as “What happens when two segregated musicians unions must integrate & it’s 1965?”. Directed by Scime, the reading will feature Greg Natale, Tom LaChiusa, Willie Judson, Greg Howze, Roosevelt Tidwell, Brendan Cunningham and Leon Copeland. Sunday, October 18th at 4 p.m. and then again on Monday, October 19th at 7 p.m. at 1412 Main St. (formerly Buffalo East). Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted.
Georgia based actress Natasha Drena will be at the Kavinoky in January portraying Judy Garland in the theater company’s production of End of the Rainbow, to be directed by Lisa Ludwig. Ludwig directed Drena in the same show at the Highlands Playhouse in North Carolina this past summer. Written by Peter Quilter, this play with music focuses on the time leading up to Garland’s death in London in 1969. The Kav production also stars Greg Gjurich as Garland’s loyal friend and pianist Anthony; and Chris Hatch as her last husband, Mickey Deans. Drena won the 2014 Atlanta-Georgia BroadwayWorld award for her performance in End of the Rainbow. Quilter also wrote Glorious!, which was produced at the Kav a few years ago under my direction, starring Mary Kate O’Connell. That play told the story of Florence Foster Jenkins.
By the way, a new musical about the early life of Judy is being developed. Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz is scheduled to open on Broadway in 2017, following a Goodspeed Opera House production in fall 2016. The score will have some original music but it will mostly consist of 1930s standards sung by the Garland character. Goodspeed was where such Broadway classics as Man of La Mancha (1965) and Annie (1976) were first launched. Still going strong, a new touring production of Annie will play Shea’s December 8th—13th.
Les Miserables celebrated its 30th anniversary in London’s West End with a charity gala on October 8th. The current cast was joined onstage by members of the original company, including Colm Wilkinson, who is coming back to UB’s Center of the Arts on November 10th with his show, Broadway’s Best.
Broadway, film, and TV star Jason Alexander (pictured below) will be performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, October 17th at 8 p.m. Among his many credits, he starred as Buzz in the 1997 film adaptation of Terrence McNally’s Love! Valour! Compassion!
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