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Channel 2 co-anchors Demler, Levin to perform 'Love Letters'

Many viewers think TV anchors are just like actors when they read the news.

"That's true," said WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) co-anchor Scott Levin. "If only they knew what goes on producing two hours of news a day."

In a few days, Levin and his co-anchor the last 16 years, Maryalice Demler, get a chance to act for real while reading.

They are the stars of the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild (formerly Niagara Halls Little Theatre) production of Buffalo native A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters" at 7:30 p.m. April 14 and 3 p.m. April 15.

"I haven't seen them rehearse but I hope they keep their day jobs," cracked Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner.

The play revolves around the reading of touching and funny letters, notes and cards exchanged over 50 years between two people who grew up together. Their love for each other shines through, even if they never openly admit it.

Gurney and actress Holland Taylor first performed the play at the New York Public Library. Kathleen Turner and John Rubinstein were the original off-Broadway stars and Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst originated the roles on Broadway.

Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw, who starred in the 1969 film "Love Story," performed the roles at 710 Main Theatre in Buffalo almost two years ago.

"I did this as a favor to Maryalice," said Levin. "Once I got the script I didn't realize I had twice as many lines. I haven't been on stage since sixth grade when I was in '1776.' I think I played John Adams."

On the other hand, Demler performed in "West Side Story" for the same theater many years ago.

Levin and his wife Lisa recently watched the movie version of "Love Letters" starring Laura Linney and Steven Weber.

"My wife asked, 'You don't have to kiss Maryalice, do you?' " laughed Levin. "I said, 'No, Lisa, I don't.' "

The co-anchors and co-stars will have a question-and-answer session after the performances. Questions aren't restricted to the show. They can also include questions about their TV careers.

All tickets are $25. It is recommended that you call the box office at 260-2319 to get tickets ahead of time weekdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. or online at to reserve your seating and purchase.

The Theatre Guild's new home is at the Ellicott Creek Playhouse on the St. Edmund Campus, 530 Ellicott Creek Road in Tonawanda.

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