Theater Talk: 4000 Miles at JRT, TRUE WEST at RLTP, EQUUS at ICTC, all well cast

Nov 4, 2016

This last week 4000 MILES opened at Jewish Rep, the first of three Amy Herzog plays, in a delightful production, but strong productions abound at WNY theaters, including EQUUS at Irish Classical with a very, very strong supporting cast (e.g. Vincent O'Neill, Greg Gjurich, Wendy Hall) surrounding PJ Tighe as the troubled young man Alan Strang, and TRUE WEST at Road Less Traveled pits David Mitchell and Matt Witten as two brothers in a love/hate relationship. All the above deal with adult subjects, but even darker, perhaps, are THE UNFORTUNATES about Jack the Ripper's victims at Red Thread Theatre (on 17th Street) and HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND THEN KILL THEM  which is, actually, a comedy presented by ART of WNY at 330 Amherst Street.

Note two big openings this week: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (an updated musical for 2016, inspired by the Vincent Minnelli film) at Shea's and MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION  put on by The Shaw Festival in Buffalo's 710 Main Theatre, with all of this summer's actors (except the role of the Vicar) bringing their wealth of experience to our local stage.

After suffering a major loss on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo (Nick Stevens) seeks solace from his feisty 91 year-old grandmother Vera (Ellen Horst) in her West Village apartment.

OPENING

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, the touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s & Albert Nocciolino. runs November 8-13, Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30, Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 & 8, Sunday at 2 & 7 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (1-800-745-3000).

CRIMES OF THE HEART, a drama by Beth Henley presented by Second Generation Theatre Company, directed by Greg Natale, starring Jake Albarella, Bethany Burrows, Charmagne Chi, Arin Lee Dandes, Ben Michael Moran, Jessica Wegrzyn runs November 4-20, Thursday-Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2:30, plus November 5 at 2:30, no evening performance November 5 at the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.lancopera.org

MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION, the drama by Bernard Shaw presented by The Shaw Festival. November 3-13, Thursday at 7:30, Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 & 8, Sunday at 2 comes to Shea’s 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org/710main

THE MUSIC MAN, the famous musical by Meredith Willson presented by The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Fran Newton, starring Chris Turton, Michelle Holden, Chris Andreana, Amy Sturmer, Paul Bene runs November 4-20, Friday & Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 3, plus November 19 at 3 at the Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek, Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, a drama by Dale Wasserman, adapted from the book by Ken Kesey, presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Michael Lodick, starring Thomas LaChiusa, Victor Morales, Diane DiBernardo-Blenk runs November 3-December 3, Thursday-Saturday at 8 at the Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (408-0499). www.subversivetheatre.org

THE 39 STEPS, play  by R.C. Sherriff, directed by David Lamb, starring Chris Evans, David Lundy, Christian Brandjes, Kate LoConti runs November 4-20, Thursday & Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 3:30 & 7:30, Sunday at 2 at the Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

STAGE DOOR, the play  by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Amanda Lytle Sharpe runs November 3-13, Thursday at 7, Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2 & 7:30, Sunday at 2 at the Leary Theatre, Clet Hall on NU campus (286-8685).

ONGOING

EQUUS, the drama by Peter Schaffer presented by The Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by David Oliver, starring Vincent O'Neill, PJ Tighe as Alan Strang. Margaret Massman, Greg Gjurich, Wendy Hall, Kelsey Mogensen runs through November 20, Thursday & Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 3 & 7:30, Sunday at 2 at the Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassical.com

4000 MILES, the first of three plays by Amy Herzog being presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Saul Elkin, starring Marissa Biondolillo, Ellen Horst, Sara Kow-Falcone, Nick Stevens runs through November 20, Thursday at 7:30, Saturday at 4 & 8, Sunday at 2 at  The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (688-4114 x391). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com

HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND THEN KILL THEM, a comedy by Halley Feiffer presented by ART of WNY, directed by Maura Nolan, starring Sue McCormick, Melissa Levin, Mara Morris runs through November19, Thursday-Saturday at 8. 330 Amherst St. (697-0837). www.artofwny.org

TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL, by Janet Yates Vogt & Mark Friedman, directed by Doug Weyand, starring Louis Colaiacovo, Debbie Pappas runs through December 4, Wednesday & Thursday at 7, Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 3:30 & 7:30, Sunday at 2 at the  MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

TRUE WEST, play by Sam Shepard, directed by Scott Behrend, starring David Mitchell, Matt Witten, Robert Rutland, Tina Rausa runs through November 20, Thursday-Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 2 at the Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

THE UNFORTUNATES, a play by Aoise Stratford presented by Red Thread Theatre, directed by Josephine Hogan, starring Kelly Meg Brennan runs through November 12, Thursday-Saturday at 8, plus Wednesday, November 9 at 8 at Jim Bush Studios, 44 17th St. (445-4653). www.RedThreadTheatre.info

CLOSING

CHRISTMAS IN JULY, world premiere of the comedy by Matthew Crehan Higgins, presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Lisa Ludwig, starring Kevin Craig, Kurt Erb, Higgins, Marc Sacco, Michael Seitz only through November 5, Friday & Saturday at 8. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239). www.buffalobua.org

THE MOUSETRAP, the thriller by Agatha Christie presented by Casting Hall Productions at Buffalo State runs only through November 5, Thursday & Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 & 8. Warren Enters Theatre, Upton Hall, 1300 Elmwood Ave. (878-3005).

RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET, the musical by Bob Carlton presented by UB Department of Theatre & Dance, directed by Terry Berliner only runs through November 6, Thursday & Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2 & 7:30, Sunday at 2. UB Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre, north campus (645-ARTS).

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

EXTREMITIES, a drama by William Mastrosimone presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Lisa Ludwig, Patrick Moltane, Lisa Hinca, Kelly Cammarata runs through November 13, evening shows arrival at 6, show at 7:30; matinee shows arrival at 1, show at 2:30. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com