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The fabulous Marlee Matlin (pictured above) is making her Broadway debut in the revival of the musical Spring Awakening which is playing a limited engagement through January 24th. First presented in Los Angeles, this production is performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English. Matlin won an Academy Award in 1986 for her performance in Children of a Lesser God, in which she co-starred with William Hurt. Based on the 1980 Tony Award winning play by Mark Madoff, the Broadway production starred Phyllis Frelich and John Rubinstein, both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances. Frelich died last year at the age of 60.

And speaking of Rubinstein, he is now starring as Charles in Pippin, the touring production of the 2013 Broadway revival that will play Shea’s January 26th-31st. Rubinstein created the title role in the original production of Pippin back in 1972, for which he received a Theater World Award. Also, appearing in Buffalo as Berthe will be Priscilla Lopez who originated role of Diana Morales in A Chorus Line. Lopez was a replacement for Fastrada in the original Pippin production. She was most recently in the original cast of In the Heights. She won her Tony Award in 1980 for her performance in A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine. Both Lopez and Rubinstein also performed in the Broadway revival of Pippin. Tickets are now on sale at Shea’s.

British novelist, poet, and academic C.S.Lewis, who died in November 1963, has always remained in the public interest. The Fellowship For Performing Arts in New York is currently presenting the new York premiere of the stage adaptation of Lewis’ The Great Divorce, based on his theological fantasy about heaven and hell. Later in the season the company will present the stage adaptation of his novel The Screwtape Letters, followed by the world premiere of the one-man show C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert.

Up next for Road Less Traveled, the WNY premiere of Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session, a play about an imaginary meeting between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis. Directed by Katie Mallinson, the production will star David Oliver as Freud, and Matt Witten as Lewis. The show runs January 22nd through February 14th.

Later in the season, Theatre of Youth brings back the epic fantasy adventure based on the C.S. Lewis novel, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Directed by Chris Kelly, the production will star Adam Yellen, Jordan Levin, Renee Landrigan, and Jessica Wegrzyn. The show opens on March 11th.

After the successful run of his First Daughter Suite at the Public Theater in New York, composer Michael John LaChiusa heads to the Old Globe in San Diego where his new musical Rain will premiere in March. Based on Somerset Maugham’s short story about the mysterious Sadie Thompson, the musical has a book by Sybille Pearson. Pearson wrote the book for Richard Maltby and David Shire’s Baby.

Up next for Matthew LaChiusa’s ART of WNY, John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves. Directed by Drew McCabe, the production is set to star Thomas LaChiusa, Dianne DiBernardo Blenk, Maura Nolan, Scot Kaitanowski, Virginia Brannon, Erica Lorenzetti, Heather Reed, Lisa Sember, and Rick Lattimer. Opening date is set for March 12th at a new location to be announced on Amherst St. The company reportedly will not return to Medaille where they previously staged the musical Carrie.

The Guns of Christmas, the 2015 Artie Award winning play by Gary Earl Ross, will have a staged reading at Subversive Theatre Collective, December 18th-21st. Later in the season the company will present the world premiere of Ross’ new work, The Mark of Cain, set to star Dee Lamont Perry, Greg Howze, Candace Whitfield, and Lawrence Rowswell. The play is a “fictionalized dramatization of Clarence Darrow’s defense of a prestigious black doctor arrested in Detroit in 1925 for shooting at the lynch mob that attacked his house”.

Musicalfare will present two holiday events in its Premier Cabaret. A Big Band Holiday featuring Phil Sims and his eight piece band with vocalist Katy Miner will perform on December 12th at 4 & 8, and December 13th at 2. An Old Fashioned Christmas with Randy Kramer, John Fredo, Theresa Quinn, Amy Jakiel and Peggy Scalzo performs on December 19th at 4 & 8.

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