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The fabulous Annie Potts (pictured), best known for her role in the TV show Designing Women, will be making her Broadway debut this fall in Yazmina Reza’s Tony-winning comedy God of Carnage. The all-new cast, which includes Christine Lahti and Jimmy Smits, will begin performing on November 17. Potts, who turns 57 next week, was most recently seen on the stage at the Pasadena Playhouse in the comedy Diva, in which she co-starred with Buffalo’s Ian Lithgow. Several years ago, she was in a national touring production of Charley’s Aunt that starred Roddy McDowall and Vincent Price.

Michele Ragusa will be “home for the holidays,” doing the Christmas concerts with the Buffalo Philharmonic in December. Ragusa just finished playing the Witch in Sondheim’s Into the Woods at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. The production was directed by Moises Kaufman (of Laramie Project fame).

Next at the Alleyway Theatre, the world premiere of the comedy Left Holding the Mop by Bradford Willis and Anne Dunkin. The play was one of the three finalists in the 2008 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. Directed by Neal Radice, the production runs November 5-21 and will star Laura Bevilacqua, Jeffrey Coyle, Kate Olena, Jasmine Ramos, Carlton Franklin, and Michael Seitz.

Road Less Traveled Productions’ 2009 Emanuel Fried New Play Workshop Readings kicks off October 25 at 7:30pm with Phil Durgan’s Pound for Pound. Directed by Megan Callahan, the reading will star David Oliver, Joe Wiens, and Lisa Vitrano. Admission is free. The series continues on November 2 with Cindy Darling’s Quartet, directed by Vitrano, starring Diane Curley and Marie Hasselback-Costa.

Curley, Mary McMahon, Gordon Tashjian, and Phil Knoerzer will act, sing, and play their own instruments in American Deal, Road Less Traveled’s first-ever musical. Written by Jon Elston and Tom Naples, and directed by Kyle LoConti, the show opens on October 30.

Alpha Geek by Buffalo playwright Alex Livingston will have its world premiere at Niagara County Community College October 29-November 8. Directed by Roger Keicher, the play is a takeoff on Romeo and Juliet, set at a sci-fi convention where the Space Geeks are in conflict with the Fantasy Geeks. On November 23, Livingston’s Beginner’s Luck will be read at the Road Less Traveled New Play Workshop, also directed by Keicher.

Adding to her duties as new managing director of the Jewish Repertory Theatre, Linda Stein will appear in the upcoming New Phoenix production of Sweet Street. Conceived by Richard Lambert and developed by the company, the work is “a musical intersection of Leonard Cohen and Milton Rogovin.” With musical direction by Michael Hake, the production also stars Margo Davis, Joey Bucheker, Frank Giambra, Sharon Strait, and Julie Kitsley. During the run of the show (October 29-November 21), food will be collected for local shelters.

BUA will next present the comedy Texas Homos by Jan Buttram. The play will run November 13-December 5 and will star Kurt Erb, Darryl Hart, Christopher Kelly, Eric Rawski, and Caitlin Coleman.

Tickets for Jersey Boys go on sale October 24, and there will be a special on sale event from 7am to 10am at Shea’s box office. The touring production will play Shea’s April 21-May 9. Jersey Boys opened on Broadway in 2005, and it is still playing to sold-out houses. The show was directed by Des McAnuff, who is also the artistic director of the Stratford Festival.

Christopher Plummer and Nikki M. James, who starred in the Stratford’s production of Caesar and Cleopatra, will reunite in The Tempest, coming up in 2010, directed by McAnuff. The festival’s 2010 season will mark the debut of Ethan McSweeny (Chautauqua Theater Company), who will be directing Dangerous Liaisons with the incomparable Martha Henry as Mme de Rosemonde, and a set designed by Tony winner Santo Loquasto.

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