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Martin Sheen

After a long absence from the stage, film and TV star Martin Sheen is starring as the patriarch of the family in The Subject Was Roses, now playing at the newly renovated Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Sheen earned a Tony nomination for portraying the son in the original Broadway production back in 1964. He recreated the role for the 1968 film version of the play.

The Arena Stage in Washington, DC will open its enhanced three-theater campus in October, kicking off the theater’s 60th season with the musical Oklahoma! The season will also include a tribute to Edward Albee featuring a three-month festival during which all of his 30 works will receive public readings.

In Buffalo, Road Less Traveled Productions (RLTP) will present Albee’s The Goat as part of its American Theatre Masters Series Selection. The production will run April 23-May 22 and Albee will be in attendance on May 8 for the company’s 2010 Spring Gala benefit. RLTP has on its agenda for the 2011 selection, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis. The play premiered at the Public Theater in New York in March 2005 starring, among others, Stephen Henderson, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Eric Bogosian.

Christina Rausa will add another historical figure to her resume, portraying Amelia Earhart in TOY’s upcoming production of American Pioneers: The Amelia Earhart Story which opens on March 26. Directed by Meg Quinn, the production will also star Guy Balotine and Tim Newell.

Neal Moeller, Andy Moss, Jim Maloy, Christopher Standart, and Darleen Pickering Hummert, will star in the Irish Classical Theatre Company production of Engaged. Written by W.S. Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame), this satire on marriage will be directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti and is scheduled to open on April 23.

Alleyway Theatre’s Buffalo Quickies, now in its 19th edition, opens on March 4. This year, the festival will feature eight one-acts including A Spider the Size of a Buick (A Bad Play) by Tom Dudzick and Memories for Sale by Jerry Bisantz, winner of the 2009 Maxim Mazumdar New One-Act Play Competition. Dudzick is the author of the very popular Over the Tavern trilogy. Directed by Neal Radice, the cast of this year’s Quickies will feature Christopher Parada, Tammy Reger, Michael Seitz, Roger VanDette, and Rebecca Ward.

Kathryn Grayson

Coming up next for O’Connell & Company, the Western New York premiere of Black Pearl Sings!, directed by Kathleen Gaffney, starring Mary Kate O’Connell and Mary Craig. The play is set in the midst of the Great Depression and features a wealth of African-American spiritual songs. The production runs March 4-28 at ECCC North.

The fabulous Michele Ragusa will return to Buffalo to appear with the Buffalo Philharmonic in The Music Man in Concert. With stage direction by Randy Kramer, the concert will be performed on May 29 at 8pm at Kleinhans. Rita Moreno will appear there this Saturday, February 27, also at 8pm.

Operatic film star Kathryn Grayson died last week at age 88. She starred in movie musicals Anchors Aweigh, Show Boat, and Kiss Me Kate. In 1962 she replaced Julie Andrews in Camelot on Broadway. Her final TV appearance was in a 1989 episode of Murder, She Wrote.

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