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After a well deserved summer vacation, Jeff Daniels and the entire original cast of God of Carnage returned to the Broadway boards this week. The play was originally scheduled to run through July 19, but due to its huge success, the cast extended their contracts through November 14 and took a summer hiatus in order to fulfill previous commitments. Daniels, who made his Broadway debut in 1980 in Fifth of July, is the founder and executive director of Michigan’s Purple Rose Theatre Company. He has appeared in over fifty films, including The Purple Rose of Cairo and Terms of Endearment.

Jeff Daniels

After a six-year run, the Broadway production of Avenue Q will close on September 13. The national tour will play UB’s Center for the Arts October 13 & 14.

The 2009-2010 Buffalo theater season is on its way and several companies are bringing hits from the past to take part of their line-ups. Ujima will open its season on September 18 with Megan Terry’s Do You See What I’m Saying which the company first produced in 1992. Several members of the original cast are back: June Duell, Beverly Dove, and Michele Ninacs. They will be joined by Shawnell Tillery, Adair Luhr, and Marta Corchado. Ujima’s season will also include John Belluso’s Pyretown, Florence Gibson’s Belle, and The Exonerated by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen.

TOY opens its season on October 9 with a revival of Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, directed and choreographed by Michael Walline, starring Kelly Cammarata, Katima Gomillion, James Heffron, Kevin Kennedy, Leah Russo, and Nicole Cimato reprising her Artie award winning performance. The company will also bring back the classic stories The Snow Queen and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Versions of these two were produced years ago at the old Franklin Street Theater, now the Buffalo Chop House.

As part of the celebration of Musicalfare’s 20th anniversary season, the company will bring back the musical Falsettos (March 3-April 3), first produced in March 1994 at the Pfeifer Theater (now the Town Ballroom). Original castmembers John Fredo, Debbie Pappas, and Pamela Rose Mangus will be joined by Jen Stafford, Lou Colaiacovo, and Marc Sacco.

The Irish Classical Theatre Company brings back the poignant drama Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (October 30-November 23). First produced in 1994, this time around the play will be directed by Greg Natale, starring Vincent O’Neill, Lou Colaiacovo, and Dan Walker. Last time O’Neill starred opposite Richard Wesp and Mark Donahue and the performance took place at the Calumet.

BUA brings back Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing (September 25-October 17), last presented in 2000 at the old BUA’s Upstairs Cabaret. Chris Kelly directs again, now starring Adam Rath, Gordon Trashjian, Amy Jakiel, Darryl Hart, and Lisa Ludwig.

Buffalo playwright Neil Wechsler will be signing copies of his play Grenadine on September 16 at 7pm at Talking Leaves on Elmwood. The play, which opens this week at Road Less Traveled Theater, was awarded the Yale Drama Prize for 2008.

Tom Dudzick’s popular Over the Tavern opens September 11 at the Lancaster Opera House, presented by Lancaster Regional Players. Dudzick will be in attendance to conduct a Q&A session following the performance. Over the summer, Dudzick’s latest play, Our Lady of South Division, had its world premiere at the Penguin Repertory Theatre in Stony Point.

Eric Jordan Young, last seen in Buffalo in Musicalfare’s Sammy and Me, is heading back to Broadway to play Booker T. Washington in the revival of the musical Ragtime which begins performances October 23 . Young was in the ensemble of the original 1998-2000 production of Ragtime. He spent part of the summer at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca appearing in Jonathan Larson’s Rent.

Speaking of Rent, UB’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present the musical November 18-22 at the Drama Theatre, directed by Rajendra Maharaj, with musical direction by Nathan Matthews. Niagara University Theatre will present Jonathan Larson’s Tick…Tick…Boom! October 29-November 8 at the Church-in-Lewiston.

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