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Cohenour to Play ‘Light in the Piazza’ Lead

January 25, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) _ Musical-theater buffs fondly remember Patti Cohenour for her roles in such 1980s hits as ``Big River,″ ``The Mystery of Edwin Drood″ and a little something called ``The Phantom of the Opera,″ where she was the original alternate Christine Daae, playing the part on Thursday evenings and at Saturday matinees.

Now she can also be known as the alternate Margaret Johnson, the motherly Southern matron at the center of ``The Light in the Piazza.″ The Adam Guettel-Craig Lucas musical currently is on view at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Beginning Feb. 28, Cohenour will portray Margaret on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, moving up from the role of Signora Naccarelli, the part she plays during the rest of the week’s performances. The actress takes over for those two performances from the show’s original star, the Tony-winning Victoria Clark, who has just extended her contract in the musical through July 2. Clark will play the six other performances each week.

For tickets to ``The Light in the Piazza,″ call Telecharge, 212-239-6200, or go online at www.telecharge.com.

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Broadway ticket availability and capsule reviews of shows as of Jan. 23. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are available at the theaters’ box offices for the shows listed. Details about how to obtain tickets appear at the end.

_``Avenue Q.″ Love blossoms among the twentysomething set _ a group that includes puppets _ in this very funny, adult musical comedy. Golden. Telecharge.

_``Barefoot in the Park.″ Amanda Peet, Patrick Wilson, Jill Clayburgh and Tony Roberts star in a revival of an early Neil Simon comedy hit. Now in previews. Opens Feb. 16. Cort. Telecharge.

_``Beauty and the Beast.″ For those who want a lavish, literal, live-action version of the delightful Disney animated feature, this is the ticket. Others may be content to rent the film. Lunt-Fontanne. Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747.

_``Bridge & Tunnel.″ Sarah Jones brings her acclaimed one-woman show about America’s newest immigrants to Broadway. Helen Hayes. Telecharge.

_``Chicago.″ An entertaining revival of the 1975 Bob Fosse musical with a sassy Kander and Ebb score. Broadway’s longest running musical revival _ and deservedly so. Ambassador. Telecharge.

_``Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life.″ The legendary Broadway performer tells her story in song and dance. Schoenfeld. Telecharge.

_``Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.″ Jonathan Pryce and Norbert Leo Butz star in a musical about a couple of con men fleecing gullible women on the French Riviera. Based on the 1988 film. Imperial. Telecharge.

_``Doubt.″ John Patrick Shanley’s riveting play about a nun and her suspicions. Eileen Atkins stars. Winner of four 2005 Tony Awards, including best play. Walter Kerr. Telecharge.

_``Hairspray.″ The cult John Waters movie set in 1960s Baltimore has been turned into a hilarious, tuneful musical. John Pinette plays full-figured Edna Turnblad, mother of young Tracy Turnblad (Shannon Durig) whose life’s desire is to appear on a television dance show. Neil Simon. Ticketmaster.

_``Jersey Boys.″ The musical story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. August Wilson. Telecharge.

_``Mamma Mia!″ The London musical sensation featuring the pop songs of ABBA makes it to Broadway. Die-hard ABBA fans will like it best; others may be puzzled. Telecharge.

_``Monty Python’s Spamalot.″ A musical inspired by that demented film comedy, ``Monty Python and the Holy Grail.″ Winner of three 2005 Tony Awards, including best musical. Simon Russell Beale, David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria head the cast. Shubert. Telecharge. Difficult.

_``Rabbit Hole.″ Cynthia Nixon and John Slattery star in David Lindsay-Abaire’s new play about a couple trying to cope with the death of their son. Now in previews. Opens Feb. 2. Biltmore. Telecharge.

_``Rent.″ Jonathan Larson’s touching and now nostalgic look at struggling artists in New York’s East Village. Loosely based on Puccini’s opera ``La Boheme.″ Nederlander. Ticketmaster.

_``Sweeney Todd.″ An intimate revival of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical starring Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris. Eugene O’Neill. Telecharge.

_``The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.″ A sweet-tempered, often hilarious new musical by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin about youngsters competing in a local spelling bee. Circle in the Square. Telecharge.

_``The Color Purple.″ LaChanze stars in a musical version of Alice Walker’s novel about one woman’s triumph over adversity. Broadway. Telecharge.

_``The Lion King.″ Director Julie Taymor is a modern-day Merlin, creating a stage version of the Disney animated hit that makes you truly believe in the magic of theater. New Amsterdam. Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747. Difficult on weekends.

_``The Odd Couple.″ Oscar and Felix return to the stage in this revival of the Neil Simon comedy classic that later became a movie and a hit television series. Nathan Lane is Oscar and Matthew Broderick plays Felix. Brooks Atkinson. Ticketmaster. Difficult.

_``The Pajama Game.″ Harry Connick Jr. and Kelli O’Hara star in the Roundabout Theatre Comapny revival of the hit 1954 musical about labor troubles at a pajama factory. Now in previews. Opens Feb. 23. American Airlines. 212-719-1300.

_``The Phantom of the Opera.″ The one with the chandelier. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House is the prime, Grade A example of big Brit musical excess. But all the lavishness does have a purpose in Harold Prince’s intelligent production. Majestic. Telecharge.

_``The Producers.″ A riotous stage version of the 1968 Mel Brooks movie. The musical is even better than the film, which is saying something. St. James. A special ``Producers″ Telecharge number 212-239-5800.

_``The Woman in White.″ Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical. Based on the Victorian mystery by Wilkie Collins. Marquis. Ticketmaster.

_``Wicked.″ An ambitious if problematic musical about the witches in ``The Wizard of Oz.″ Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Gershwin. Ticketmaster. Difficult.

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The Telecharge number is 212-239-6200 unless otherwise indicated. There is a $6 service charge per ticket, plus a $2.50 handling fee per order.

Ticketmaster is 212-307-4100. There is a $6 service charge per ticket, plus a $3 handling fee per order.

All theaters owned by Jujamcyn _ the St. James, Martin Beck, Virginia, Eugene O’Neill and the Walter Kerr _ have a $1 surcharge per ticket for theater restoration. Shows that opened in Shubert theaters after Jan. 1, 2001, have a ``facilities″ surcharge for theater restoration: $1.25 per ticket.

Both Telecharge and Ticketmaster will provide information on specific seat locations. They also have toll-free numbers for theater ticket calls outside New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. For Telecharge call 800-432-7250; for Ticketmaster call 800-755-4000.

The League of American Theaters and Producers has a special telephone line called the Broadway Line for information on most Broadway shows (except ``The Lion King″ and ``Beauty and the Beast″) and how to purchase tickets. Calls must be made on a touch-tone phone. The number is 1-888-BROADWAY. The line also will provide information on Broadway touring productions. Consumers in the New York tri-state area may call 212-302-4111.

The TKTS booth in Times Square at Broadway and 47th Street sells same-day discount tickets to Broadway, off-Broadway, music and dance productions. There is a $3 service charge per ticket. Cash or travelers checks only. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday evening performances, 3 p.m.-8 p.m.; matinees Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The downtown TKTS booth is in the South Street Seaport at the corner of Front and John Streets. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Matinee tickets must be purchased at South Street Seaport the day before, meaning Wednesday matinee tickets are available Tuesday, Saturday matinee tickets are available Friday and Sunday matinee tickets are available Saturday.

Full-price tickets and information on Broadway and off-Broadway shows are available at the Broadway Ticket Center, located on the east side of Broadway between 46th Street and 47th Street. There is a $4.50 service charge per ticket.

For 24-hour information on theater, dance and music performances in New York’s five boroughs, call the Theater Development Fund’s New York City-On Stage, 212-768-1818.

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