Peter Hall

Theater Talk host

Peter Hall wears many hats. He is the afternoon drive host on WBFO’s “sister station,” Classical 94.5 / WNED. where he also produces and hosts “Buffalo Philharmonic Live,” which broadcasts BPO performances conducted by JoAnn Falletta Sundays at 5 p.m. repeating Tuesdays at 11 p.m. Over the years he has produced over 1,000 radio interviews with musical artists. Around town he is emcee for the Buffalo Chamber Music Society "pre-concert chats with the artists" and the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. If you see him at a play or musical with a pen in his hand, he’s probably getting ready to co-host “Theater Talk” with Anthony Chase (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO) or writing a review for www.buffalorising.com. He is also a member of the "Artie Awards" committee (think “Tony Awards for Buffalo theaters”). 

Peter feels fortunate to have worked for some of the most trusted brands in Western New York. In past lives he has been a Director of Membership for Western New York Public Broadcasting, the Director of Marketing for Canisius College, and before that was a Director of Marketing for Fisher-Price. Growing up in the Amherst school system, music, the arts, theater, literature, outdoor activities, and teaching were important in his family. His grandfather, the painter W.J. Schwanekamp, has works on display at the Burchfield-Penney. His father was a high school English teacher and his mother was a librarian. In high school, in addition to running track and cross country and being in the ski club, Peter played various instruments in the orchestra, had leading roles in the plays, and was an editor of the high school newspaper.

Peter holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo. For over twenty years he has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at Canisius College’s Richard J. Wehle School of Business. Depending on the season, on weekends he might be seen riding with the Niagara Frontier Bicycle Club or teaching downhill skiing at Kissing Bridge.

Alleyway Theatre

With 15 shows on stages this weekend (see Artvoice's "On the Boards" below) how can you choose? Go high (culture) with Puccini's opera MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Rockwell and DESIGN FOR LIVING at Irish Classical, or go low with the campy KILLER RACK (breast augmentation with extreme prejudice and great songs by Neal Radice) at the Alleyway or Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS at the Kavinoky.


(Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Curtain Up! this Friday night, September 15, marks the opening of the 2017-2018 theater season, with a formal dinner, some informal dining at Expo, shows along Main Street between Tupper and Chippewa (recently dedicated as "The Chris O'Neill Way"), but all over the area as well, including a spectacular version of Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS at the Kavinoky Theatre on Porter Avenue.


shawfest.ca

The 2017-2018 theater season has begun with the first of our Curtain Up! plays: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER: A GROWNUPS' PREQUEL TO PETER PAN directed by Chris Kelly, starring Renee Landrigan as "Molly" and Jesse Tiebor as "The Boy/Peter Pan"," two of the twelve actors who take on 100 roles.

N.Y. Times

Did you know that Jerry Lewis got his theatrical start in Buffalo? At the age of 16 he was booed at a (now-gone) Burlesque house, but went back out on stage and started on the road to stardom.


Photography by Cylla von Tiedemann / www.stratfordfestival.ca

The date has been set and you're invited! WNED|WBFO will be hosting a party on Monday night, November 6, 2017 in  honor of Anthony Chase and WBFO's weekly Theater Talk, on the air, continuously, for 25 years.

For over 700 years Joan of Arc has been an inspiration to millions, including such playwrights Shakespeare, Schiller, Shaw, Brecht, Maxwell Anderson and, just this year, a team of four women, members of Buffalo's "Brazen-Faced Varlets" theatrical troupe. 

N.Y. Times

Anthony went down to New York City to take in some Broadway shows: NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 (a sung-through musical adaptation of a segment of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace) at the Imperial Theatre; A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 (which imagines what happens when Nora returns 15 years later) at the John Golden Theatre; and HELLO, DOLLY! starring Bette Midler at the Schubert Theatre.

Photo: Christopher Scinta – christopherscinta.com

Barbara Cook, one of Broadway's leading sopranos, died at home in Manhattan at the age of 89. On Broadway, and on cast recordings (although not in the movie versions), Cook was best known for three roles: Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's 1956 CANDIDE (listen to "Glitter and Be Gay"); the librarian Marian opposite Robert Preston in 1957's THE MUSIC MAN (listen to "Till There Was You"); and Amalia Balash, the letter-writing heroine of 1963's SHE LOVES ME (listen to "The Ice Cream Song").

The Shaw Festival

Theater Talk observes the passing of Sam Shepard, an American playwright (44 plays!) with a particularly edgy off-Broadway slant, who was also an actor, author, screenwriter, and director.

Chautauqua Theater Company

Stage and television (MADAME SECRETARY, THE BLACKLIST, ELEMENTARY) actor Andy Lucien wasn't even born in 1967 when the Detroit riots made headlines, but from experiencing Watts and later Ferguson, he has been able to dig deep and get into character for DETROIT '67.

Chautauqua Theater Company

The Buffalo Infringement Festival is taking advantage of the summer break in theatrical productions to grab some "A list" Buffalo talent for various projects (see listings below).

www.bpo.org

Explaining that many famous classical composers such as Handel, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky suffered from mental challenges, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta told WBFO how proud she is to have the BPO play their music in a free outdoor concert on the site of the old Buffalo Psychiatric Center, known in its day for progressive, humane treatment.

In 1967 Detroit, brother and sister Lank and Chelle find their lives upended by a mysterious woman and as their family falls apart, the '67 riots tear their city apart as well. DETROIT'67 opens tonight at the Bratton Theater at the Chautauqua Institution.

MusicalFare

It's obvious that oodles of love and affection and time, that precious commodity, went into getting the new musical PRETTY FUNNY ready for its premiere.

Chautauqua Theater Company

New York City-based Equity actor John Seidman actually prefers acting "on the road" in regional theater, such as the summer program at the Chautauqua Institution, to much of what is happening "back home" in Manhattan. And that's why he keeps coming back to the Bratton Theater, this summer for his eighth season, appearing in a leading dual role as "Selsdon/Burglar" in a British farce by Michael Frayn called NOISES OFF.


CTC

"The show must go on!" If Shakespeare himself didn't say that, Shakespeare in Delaware Park did, and hours after having their sound equipment burgled by varlets, they were back up and running with an all-woman production of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

Peter Hall

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR is presented with whimsy and panache by an all-woman cast at Shakespeare in Delaware Park and is an opportunity to see some mighty fine Buffalo talent assembled on one stage.

The Buffalo News

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, a comedy by William Shakespeare about the would-be womanizer Sir John Falstaff, presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, directed by Eileen Dugan, opened Thursday night starring Pamela Rose Mangus as "Sir John Falstaff." Mangus discussed the unusual role with Theater Talk co-host Peter Hall.


Anthony is back from the west coast having attended The American Theatre Critics Association annual conference where much of the cocktail conversation was about critic Hedy Weiss whose recent reviews in the Chicago Sun Times created controversy.

All week long people have been asking: "What did Anthony think of The Tony Awards?" and here he dishes the dirt.

Lorna C. Hill, Founder and Artistic Director of Ujima Company, now celebrating their 38th year, continues to build a community to address issues that affect "front line communities" such as Buffalo's East and West sides. "The challenge for the poor is huge. The responses have been minimal." She spoke about the play FREE FRED BROWN! presented this weekend by Ujima in the Paul Robeson Theatre in the African-American Cultural Center on Masten Avenue as a good way to start conversations about moving forward.

Mark Mullville, Buffalo News

Second Generation Theatre Company opens LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA on Friday at the Lancaster Opera House, but next year they'll have their own theater.

Now in their fifth year, Raíces Theatre Company has found the sweet spot where resources and mission match the founders' original vision. 

Anthony and Peter are doing the first (of more, we hope) "Theater Talk Live" event – A Summer Theater Preview next Thursday May 25 at 10:30 am at the WNED-TV Studios! We'll provide an overview of musicals and plays being staged this summer across WNY and Southern Ontario.

Call it marketing, or branding, or just plain knowing your audience, but Buffalo theaters this week are delighting their niches with finely chosen fare.