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Tyne Daly (center), Terrence McNally (right)

The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC just concluded the run of Nights at the Opera, a five-week celebration the plays of Terrence McNally. The series included Golden Age, The Lisbon Traviata, and Master Class, which starred Tyne Daly as Maria Callas. Daly prepared for the role for several months, during which she lost over 40 pounds and worked with a dialect coach. Master Class opened on Broadway in 1995, starring Zoe Caldwell. Dixie Carter, who died this week, took over the Callas role in 1997. While in DC, McNally got married (again) to his partner Tom Kirdahy.

For its annual May Day staged reading series, Subversive Theatre will present the working-class musical The Furies of Mother Jones, by Maxine Klein. Directed by Susan Forbes, the reading will star Sharon Strait, Phil Knoerzer, Jack Agugliaro, Marshall Maxwell, and Theresa DiMuro-Wilber, with members of the bluegrass music group the Erie Lackawanna Railroad Band. It all happens May 1 at 8pm at the Manny Fried Playhouse in the Great Arrow building.

Coming up next for American Repertory Theater of WNY, The Last Meeting of The Knights of The White Magnolia by Preston Jones. Directed by Matthew LaChiusa, the production will star Darryl Hart, Paul Bene, G. Anton Moore, Joe Dicesare, Drew Piatek, Gary Darling, John F. Kennedy, Michael O’Hear, and Jacob Abarella. The play runs May 7-22 at Rust Belt Books.

The New Phoenix Theatre has postponed its production of Neil LaBute’s In a Dark, Dark House scheduled to run May 6-29. Directed by Joe Natale, starring Richard Lambert and Drew Kahn, the play will now be the theater’s offering for Curtain Up. Save the date: This year’s Curtain Up is Friday, September 10.

The Paul Robeson Theatre closes its season with a revival of It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, directed by and starring Mary Craig, May 7-30. Incidentally, O’Connell & Company’s production of Black Pearl Sings starring Craig and Mary Kate O’Connell will be remounted at the Robeson in June.

The Kavinoky has added a summer show for the 2010-11 season. Next June, the theater will revive the popular Always Patsy Cline. The season will also include the musical Forever Plaid, Noel Coward’s Present Laughter with David Lamb reprising the lead, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, Ronald Harwood’s Good Collaboration and Ayckbourn’s How the Other Half Loves. And It’s a Wonderful Life will return for the third time in December.

Edward Albee

Continuing its three-year A.R. Gurney retrospective, Road Less Traveled Productions will present his comedy Screen Play as part of the 2010-11 season. The season will open with The Couple Next Door by Donna Hoke, directed by Scott Behrend. The season will also include Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (starring Dan Walker and Kelly Meg Brennan), Lisa Vitrano’s one-woman show Bitch Bares All, and the return of A Charlie Brown Christmas, directed by Doug Weyand. The season will conclude with Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, starring Steve Henderson recreating the part (Pontius) he originated in the off-Broadway production at the Public.

By the way, Edward Albee will be the special guest at the company’s annual gala on Saturday, May 8. Albee will attend the performance of his play The Goat at 8pm and the reception immediately following at Shea’s Intermission Lounge. Tickets for the show and reception are $120 and are available by calling 1-800-745-3000.

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