Theater Talk: BIG FISH opens, LITTLE SHOP continues to delight

Oct 12, 2018

It's all about musicals this week as BIG FISH (based on the movie) opens tonight at Shea's Smith and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken continues at O'Connell & Company.

THE STRUDEL LADY (a musical by Shirl Solomon) began with a very uneven start, uninspiring melodies, and pedestrial rhymes at Jewish Repertory Theatre. HAMILTON tickets went on sale with a new "fan friendly, stress free" on-line ticketing system from Ticketmaster and Shea's that worked well, and, as long as the run of HAMILTON is, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (the musical by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz) is in concert performance, with Broadway actors, local stars, and students at Buff State's Rockwell Hall, three shows over only two days, October 19 and 20.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, the musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, with Brett Runyon's creation of "Audrey II" and Mathew Mooney as Seymour runs at O'Connell & Company through October 28.

OPENING

BIG FISH, musical by Lippa & August presented by Second Generation Theatre, directed by Michael Walline, starring Louis Colaiacovo, Michele Marie Roberts, Ricky Needham, Victoria Pérez, Brittany Bassett, Stevie Jackson, Bethany Burrows, Jacob Albarella, Bobby Cooke, Preston Williams, Noah Bielecki, Dave Spychalski, Alexandria Watts, Alejandro Gomez. Oct 12-28, Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2. Shea’s Smith Theatre, 658 Main St. (847-1410). www.secondgenerationtheatre.com

ONGOING

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, musical by Ashman & Menken presented by O'Connell & Company, directed by Joey Bucheker, starring Jenny McCabe, Mathew Mooney, Dan Morris, Daniel Lendzian, Jack Hayes, Marta Aracelis Torres, Emily Pici, Mercedes Perez, Zach Haumesser, Ben Caldwell, Matt Myers. Through Oct 28, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

SHE LOVES ME, musical by Harnick & Masteroff presented by Aurora Players, directed by Patricia Hoefler, starring Paul Waara, Suzie Hibbard.  Through Oct 27, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2:30. Roycroft Pavilion, Hamlin Park on South Grove St., East Aurora (687-6727). www.auroraplayers.org

THE STRUDEL LADY, world premiere of a musical by Shirl Solomon presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Saul Elkin, starring Lisa Ludwig, Tom Makar, David Marciniak, Mary Kate O’Connell. Through Oct 28, Thu at 7:30, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 2.  The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (650-7626). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

SOCIAL SECURITY, comedy by Andrew Bergman presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Susan Toomey, starring Lisa Hinca, Larry Smith, Marc-Jon Filippone, Margo Davis, Eileen Dugan, Lawrence Rowswell. Through Oct 28, 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

UPCOMING

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Oct 30-Nov 4, Tue-Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2 & 7. Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, concert performance of the musical by Menken & Schwartz presented by Starring Buffalo, starring Alex Wyse, Dan’yelle Williamson. Oct 19 at 7:30, Oct 20 at 2 & 7:30. Rockwell Hall, 1300 Elmwood Ave. (878-3005).

PIPPIN, musical by Schwartz & Hirson presented by UB Department of Theatre & Dance, directed by Paul Stancato. Oct 18-28, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. UB Center for the Arts, Drama Theatre (645-2787).

SPEED THE PLOW, play by David Mamet, directed by Scott Behrend, starring Matt Witten, Kevin Kennedy, Laura Barrierie  Oct 26-Nov 18, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 456 Main St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

THE TAMING, play by Lauren Gunderson presented by The Brazen-Faced Varlets, directed by Lara D. Haberberger, starring Jennifer Fitzery, Jessica Leigh Tokarski, Emily Yancey, Stefanie Warnick. Oct 19-Nov 3, Fri & Sat at 8. Alleyway Theatre’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main St. (598-1585).

THE WOLVES, play by Sarah DeLappe presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Adriano Gatto. Oct 11-15, Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 7:30, Sun at 2, Mon at 7. Leary Theatre, Clet Hall, NU campus (286-8685).

Continuing at the Shaw Festival, 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 1-800-511-7429, shawfest.com (Drive time 60 minutes, but with bridge traffic allow two hours.)

THE BARONESS AND THE PIG: A much more sinister Pygmalion story. At the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre through Ocotber 6.

GRAND HOTEL: The Tony-award-winning musical set in 1920s Berlin on the Festival stage through October 14.

HENRY V: First act set in a World War I trench, Second act in a military hospital.  At the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre through October 28 (end of season).

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES: by A.C. Doyle, dramatized, on the Festival stage through October 27.

THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW: The "prequel" to C. S. Lewis’s "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" from The Narnia Chronicles on the Festival stage through October 6.

O’FLAHERTY, V.C.: by Shaw about a disenchanted Irish doughboy during World War I. The lunchtime show. At the Royal George Theatre through September 29.

OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR: an anti-war play at the Royal George Theatre through October 13.

All of the above are playing now at the Shaw Festival, 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 1-800-511-7429, shawfest.com (Drive time 60 minutes, but with bridge traffic allow two hours.)

And, a little further west of the Shaw, currently up at the Stratford Festival, 55 Queen Street, Stratford, Ontario, 1-800-567-1600, stratfordfestival.ca. (Drive time 2-1/2 hours, possibly more depending on bridge traffic) we have:

AN IDEAL HUSBAND by Oscar Wilde. Upper class blackmail and hijinx, at the Avon Theatre, through October 28,

BRONTE:THE WORLD WITHOUT is an ultimately disappointing look back at the three sisters who lived in poverty, but wrote some of English literature's most enduring novels. At the Studio Theatre, through October 13.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS: an early, lightweight, Shakespeare comedy. At the Studio Theatre through October 14.

CORIOLANUS by Shakespeare directed by the formidable Robert LaPage and starring Shaw favorite (on loan) Andre Sills. A must see at the Avon Theatre through October 20.

JULIUS CAESAR by Shakespeare, a gender bender starring Seana McKenna in the title role. At the Festival Theatre through October 27.

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT by Eugene O'Neill. A classic with two of Stratford's venerable stars: Seana McKenna and Scott Wentworth. At the Studio Theatre through October 13.

NAPOLI MILIONARIA! by Eduardo De Filippo stars Tom McCamus (what a voice!) and Brigit Wilson (who played Tillie Boulter in the 1987 "Anne of Avonlea" seen locally on PBS). At the Avon Theatre through October 27.

PARADISE LOST by Erin Shields, inspired by John Milton's classic, is a first rate, not to be missed, although R-rated, production. At the Studio Theatre through October 14.

THE MUSIC MAN by Meredith Willson is a traditional favorite, lovingly produced with stunning dance numbers, and the greated "Wells Fargo Wagon" horse puppet you'll ever see. At the Festival Theatre through November 3.

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW by Richard O'Brien, in which the cult movie becomes a musical. It's getting great reviews at the Avon Theatre, but leave your toast and squirt guns home, through October 31 (of course!)

THE TEMPEST by Shakespeare. More gender bending with Martha Henry as Prospero, at the Festival Theatre through October 26.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Harper Lee’s novel brought to the stage, dramatized by Christopher Sergel at the Festival Theatre through November 4.

The above are currently on stage at the Stratford Festival, 55 Queen Street, Stratford, Ontario, 1-800-567-1600, stratfordfestival.ca. (Drive time 2-1/2 hours, possibly more depending on bridge traffic.)

Local (WNY) listings adapted from "On The Boards" appearing in Artvoice 10/10/2018.
Shaw and Stratford listings style inspired by "Playbill" appearing in The Public.