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Area actors, singers, musicians and dancers will present AIDS-related theatrical pieces for the Dignified Survival Benefit, at 8 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday in the Pfeifer Theatre, 681 Main St. Among the performers will be Kelli Gray Bocock, Bill Coyle, Margo Davis, Jeffrey Denman, Eileen Dugan, Tressa J. Gorman, Tom Higgins, Richard Hummert, Judy Kosinski, Phil Knoerzer, Adele Leas, Sheila McCarthy, Andrea Natale, Joseph Natale, Mara Neimanis, Darlene Pickering-Hummert, Vince Massey, Loraine O'Donnell, Glen Tate and Christopher Verel.

The program will include works by Christopher Durang, Terrance McNally and Vincent Van Gogh. The Dignified Survival Benefit was organized by area actors Adele Leas and Phil Knoerzer, and proceeds will benefit AIDS Community Services.

Curtain Up! '90, the theater gala marking the opening of a new theater season, will take place Friday in the Theater District. The program will begin with a gala dinner catered by the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, from 6 to 8:15 p.m. under the tent in the Pearl Street parking lot facing Theater Place Pavilion. The location was changed after a sellout of the original Theater Place Pavilion site. The new space, according to Curtain Up! Executive Producer Neal Radice, will accommodate 900 people.

Act 2 will feature entertainment on several Theater District and Western New York stages. The offerings, all at 8:30 p.m., include two one-act comedies by Edward Albee, "The American Dream" and "The Zoo Story," in the University at Buffalo's Pfeifer Theatre, 681 Main; the musical "Ain't Misbehavin'," in Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College; "The Belle of Amherst," one-woman show featuring Mary Charbonnet, in the Franklin Street Theatre, 282 Franklin; "The Bump Foster Story," a comedy-drama, in Buffalo Ensemble Theatre, Suite 640 of the Jackson Building, 220 Delaware Ave.; the new drama "Columbus," on the Alleyway stage, One Curtain Up Alley.

Also, "Conversations With Dali," by Erica Wohl, in the Cabaret, 255 Franklin; the Arthur Miller drama "Death of a Salesman" in the Kavinoky Theatre, D'Youville Square, 320 Porter; "A Flea in Her Ear," Georges Feydeau farce, on the Studio Arena stage, 710 Main; Shakespeare's "Macbeth," in the Central Library Bomb Shelter, Lafayette Square; "Suds: The Rocking '60s Musical Soap Opera," in Shea's, 646 Main St.

Also, Jayne Cortez and theFirespitters will perform in Erie Community College City Campus auditorium, 121 Ellicott St., and jazz saxophonist Bobby Militello and friends will entertain in the Marquee at the Tralf, 100 Theater Place.

Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center will offer "Ringer Pike," a multimedia performance by Dale Worsley, at 10:30 p.m. Friday, and again at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Act 3, from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., will feature a street party with live entertain on three outdoor stages. Strolling entertainers will also be on hand throughout the festivities.

"Princess Pocahontas and the Blue Spots," a multimedia, tragi-comic, musical dance production by Monique Mojica, will be staged at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, 2 Fountain Plaza. In her play, Mojica breathes life into her native ancestors -- Pocahontas, Malinche and Annie Mae Aquash -- and introduces some creations of her own. The performance is sponsored by the International Women Playwrights' Center.

Gypsy Theatre in Fort Erie, Ont., will present a double bill, next Thursday through Nov. 3 in the theater, at 303 Niagara Blvd. Harold Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter" and Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story" will be directed by John Dalingwater and will feature Dalingwater and David Reid-Kay. Performances will be 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Manhattan Tap, acclaimed dance quartet, will entertain at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Marvel Theatre, Fredonia State College.

The Lancaster Opera House will open its 1990-91 theater season at 8 p.m. Friday with the musical revue "From Ragtime to Rap: A Century of Song" in the historic theater, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster. Produced by In-Concert Productions, the musical will feature Tom Doyle, Arlinda Marrano, Mary Kate O'Connell and Tom Owen, along with music director Anthony Kalinowski. Performances will continue at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 30.

HMR Productions will present the Jack Neary romantic comedy "First Night," Thursday through Nov. 3 in Johnnie Angel's Cabaret Club, 8166 Main near Transit, Clarence. Marty Miller will direct J. Bryan Hayes and Gail Golden. Performances will continue Thursdays through Saturdays, dinner at 6:30, show at 8:15 p.m., and Sundays, dinner at 5, show at 7 p.m.

Niagara University Theatre will open the season with "Vincent in Heaven" by Brother Augustine Towey, Friday in the Clet Hall Theatre, Niagara University, Niagara Falls. Tim Ward will direct, and Patrick Riviere, a 1988 graduate of the university's theater department, will re-create his role of St. Vincent. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday and Sept 28 and 29, and 2 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 6 and 7.

Artists, arts administrators and educators from throughout New York State will gather in Buffalo, Oct. 1 to 3, for the Common Ground Arts Conference, a conference focusing on censorship, funding issues and diversity. The program is co-sponsored by the Alliance of New York State Arts Councils and the New York Foundation for the Arts. The Arts Council in Buffalo and Erie County is the host council, and the Hyatt Regency will serve as conference headquarters. For information and registration, call the Alliance of New York State Arts Councils at (914) 564-6462.

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