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Playwright Terrence McNally to visit Buffalo

When Buffalo United Artists opened its former theater in the now-demolished Delaware Court Building in 2009, it did so with a reading of Terrence McNally’s riotous play “The Ritz.” The selection was not random.

McNally, the prolific and accomplished Tony-winning playwright and librettist perhaps best known for his play “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and the books for “Ragtime,” “The Full Monty” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” is something of a guiding force for the small company. Since its founding in the early 1990s, BUA has staged seven of his plays.

Last May, BUA founder and artistic director Javier Bustillos and his longtime partner Anthony Chase were married in a small ceremony officiated by McNally’s husband, Tom Kirdahy, and witnessed by McNally and Chita Rivera.

On April 1 and 2, McNally will repay the company’s investment in his work with a visit to Buffalo. At 6 p.m. April 1, he will give a reading from his book “Selected Works: A Memoir in Plays” in the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site (641 Delaware Ave.). The reading and subsequent reception is part of a BUA fundraiser, which costs $125 per individual ticket, $200 for couples. A limited number of tickets for the reading only are $50.

On April 2, McNally and Kirdahy, a Broadway producer, will answer questions at the Donald Savage Theatre at SUNY Buffalo State in a free event co-hosted by Chase and Buffalo playwright Donna Hoke.

“Terrence’s work has been an inspiration to our company,” Bustillos said in a statement. “As a playwright who expresses so many truths about the lives of the LGBT community, his work has provided an ongoing theme for BUA.”

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