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Looking ahead; JRT, O'Connell and Torn Space announce plans

Three more local theaters have released plans for the upcoming 2012-13 season.

The Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York, as part of its 10th anniversary season and its second season in the Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre in Getzville's Jewish Community Center, will mount three productions.

Matthew Lopez's popular Civil War-era play "The Whipping Boy," which played on Broadway in 2011 and has since spread to many regional theaters, opens the JRT season Oct. 18 and runs through Nov. 11.

Next up is "Mr. Benny," starring Tim Newell as the legendary comedian Jack Benny, running from Feb. 7 to March 3, 2013.

In a critique of the first production of the show at the Buffalo Ensemble Theatre in 2001, reviewer Tony Lewis wrote, "Watching Newell and listening to his pitch-perfect vocal cadences evokes visions of Benny himself, one of the great straight men and funny men of radio, television and film history."

The JRT season finishes with a production of Aaron Posner's adaptation of the Chaim Potok novel "My Name is Asher Lev," from May 9 to May 26, 2013.

O'Connell and Company, based in Erie Community College's Gleasner Hall on the North Campus in Amherst, opens its season on Sept. 20 with the John Kander and Fred Ebb revue "And the World Goes 'Round," which runs through Oct. 14. "A Broadway Christmas Carol," from Nov. 23 to Dec. 16, is next, followed by a remount of "Glorious!" -- a comedy about the talentless opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins starring company founder Mary Kate O'Connell -- from Feb. 7 to March 3, 2013.

The popular musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" runs from April 4 to 28, 2013. The season closes out with a production of "Nunsense II: The Second Coming," from May 23 to June 16.

In addition to its five-show regular season, O'Connell and Company is also adding a Wednesday night cabaret series and featuring its popular performances "Diva by Diva: A Celebration of Women," "Gentlemen's Gentlemen" and "Broadway Melodies!"

Torn Space Theatre's 2012-13 season opens on Sept. 13 with company co-founder Dan Shanahan's unique interpretation of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," which runs through Oct. 7. Next up is Sam Shepard's "Buried Child," from Feb. 21 to March 16, 2013; and finally Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "Blood on the Cat's Neck," slated for April 25 to May 19.

email: cdabkowski@buffnews.com