Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: So Long Elsie!
Next story: Previews & Reviews


Theodore Bikel

It has been a good year for the beloved theater and screen star Theodore Bikel . He turned 85 this past May and marked the occasion with numerous tributes and celebrations. Bikel was the original Captain Von Trapp opposite Mary Martin in The Sound of Music, which enjoyed a special 50th anniversary celebration this week. The show first opened on Broadway in November 1959, and the very last song written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, “Edelweiss,” was devised specifically to showcase Bikel’s talent as a folk singer and guitarist. His one-man show, Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears, is now playing at The National Yiddish Theatre’s brand new home in New York. The show honors the 150th anniversary of Aleichem’s birth in the Ukraine. Aleichem’s stories were the inspiration for the musical Fiddler on the Roof and Bikel has the record of performing the role of Tevye more than any other actor (over 2,000 times). Bikel will have a chance to increase that number, as he will join the current national tour during the weeks when Harvey Fierstein is not available once he assumes role during the Toronto engagement in December. Another veteran Tevye, John Preece, who has over 1,000 performances to his credit, is now playing the role at Shea’s. Bikel last appeared in Buffalo in The Disputation at Canisius College.

O’Connell & Company kicks off the holiday season with the revue Home for Christmas starring John Stevens (of American Idol fame), Mary Kate O’Connell and The Colored Musicians Club Big Band, November 27-29 at the company’s new home in ECCC North. The celebration continues December 3-20 with The Magic of Christmas starring Stephanie Bax, Gregory Gjurich, May Gjurich, Guy Tomassi and The Matthew Clark Academy Dancers.

The Kavinoky brings back its popular radio play version of It’s a Wonderful Life, December 16-20. Once again directed by Doug Zschiegner, the show will include the same cast as last year: Joseph Demerly, Eileen Dugan, Michael Hake, Phil Knoerzer, Ian Lithgow, Gerry Maher, and Debbie Pappas. The Kavinoky will continue its 30th anniversary season in January with the regional premiere of Yankee Tavern by Steven Dietz. Directed by Norm Sham, the production will star Kate LoConti, Joseph Wiens, and Stewart Roth.

Road Less Traveled will present A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Music of Vince Guaraldi in concert, November 27-December 13. Directed by Scott Behrend and hosted by Bonnie Jean Taylor, the production will be performed by a live jazz trio and a children’s chorus.

Kathleen Gaffney directed the Park School fall production of A.R. Gurney’s Indian Blood which opens this week at the Helen Long Building on the school campus.

Eileen Dugan

The comedy Defending the Caveman which played Broadway in 1995-97 and has been on several national tours, including a stop at Shea’s back in November 1997, will be back in town this time at Shea’s Smith Theatre, February 4th-14th. Written by comedian Rob Decker, who also starred in it, the show made its debut in 1991 at “The Improv” comedy club in San Francisco. Decker stopped performing in the show in 2003 and productions have been mounted since using other actors.

Eileen Dugan will direct Macbeth with an all female cast for Shakespeare in Delaware Park. The production will run July 22-August 15 as part of the festival’s 35th season. Prior to that (March 11-April 3) the New Phoenix will present a more traditional version of the tragedy, adapted by Joe Natale, directed by Kelli Bocock Natale, starring Brian Riggs, Kate LoConti, Marie Hasselbeck, Kevin Craig, Eric Rawski, Caitlin Coleman, and Darryl Hart.

For more in theater, see Theaterweek for a preview of "We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!" and a review of "Fiddler on the Roof", this week's special Theater Feature, and On The Boards for complete listings.

blog comments powered by Disqus