Theater Talk: First-rate direction and acting at Robeson, Kavinoky, Irish and Shea's

Mar 9, 2018

The Paul Robeson Theatre's 50th anniversary season continues with Mikki Grant’s 1970’s musical revue DON'T BOTHER ME, I CAN'T COPE on stage through March 25, 2018 (note that several shows are already sold out).  It's a particularly fine month for theater in Buffalo with excellent ensemble performances from the Robeson, to the Kavinoky (BEN BUTLER), to the Irish Classical (THE NIGHT ALIVE), to Shea's (Anthony found the touring production of SOMETHING ROTTEN much more engaging than the original Broadway show).

DON'T BOTHER ME, I CAN'T COPE features excellent dancing and singing in a high energy musical revue at the Paul Robeson Theatre in the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Avenue, through March 25 (note: several shows are sold out).
Credit Buffalo Challenger


DISGRACED, play by Ayad Akhtar, directed by John Hurley, starring Afrim Gjonbalaj, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Matt Witten, Candace Whitfield, Mohammad Farraj. Mar 9-31, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. (629-3069).

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, musical by Lloyd Webber & Rice presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY, directed by Matthew LaChiusa, starring Christopher Teal, Anthony Alcocer, Candice Kogut, Casey Moyer; Nick Lama, Eliot Fox; Timothy Goehrig, Gary Andrews Stieglitz. Mar 8-31, Thu-Sat at 8. The 330 Performance Space, 330 Amherst St. (697-0837).

‘NIGHT MOTHER, drama by Marsha Norman presented by Brazen-Faced Varlets, directed by, Lara D. Haberberger, starring Heather Fangsrud, Priscilla Young-Anker. Mar 10-25, Sat & Sun at 2. Rust Belt Books, 415 Grant St. (598-1585).

PRESENT LAUGHTER, comedy by Noel Coward presented by Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by M. Joseph Fratello, starring Marc Ruffino, Dianna Kolek, Dawn Marcolini Newton, Lori Panaro, Robyn Baun, Brian Tabak. Mar 9-25, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3, plus Mar 24 at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek, Tonawanda (260-2319).

SPRING AWAKENING, musical by Sater & Sheik, presented by MusicalFare Theatre, directed by Randy Kramer, starring Leah Berst, Patrick Cameron, Arianne Davidow, Adam Kluge, Nick Stevens, Jacob Albarella, Lisa Vitrano. Mar 8-18, Thu at 7:30, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2.  Shea’s 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (847-0850).

THE NANCE, play Douglas Carter Beane presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Kurt Schneiderman, starring Christopher Standart, Michael Seitz. Mar 8-24, Thu-Sat at 7:30. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549).

12 ANGRY MEN, courtroom drama by Reginald Rose, presented by Western Door Playhouse, directed by Tom Slaiman, starring Sam Granieri, Sam Fadel, Mike Leszinski, Mike Lombardo, Drew Krause, Phil Weld, Don Batalaris, Ricco Slaiman, Bob Priest, Tim Bookhagen, Leon Levinsky, Carl Bishara, Brian Dana. Mar 8 at 7:30.  Mar 10-18, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Woodbox Theatre, Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave. at Portage Road, Niagara Falls (297-5910).


BEN BUTLER, comedic drama by Richard Strand, directed by Robert Waterhouse, starring John Fredo, Christopher Evans, Tom Loughlin, Patrick Coleman. Mar 2-25, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668).

DON'T BOTHER ME, I CAN'T COPE, musical entertainment written by Micki Grant, conceived by Vinnette Carroll, directed & by Carlos R. A. Jones. Mar 2-25, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013).

THE NIGHT ALIVE, comedy by Conor McPherson presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Brian Cavanagh, starring Vincent O'Neill, Brian Mysliwy, Cassie Gorniewicz, Kevin Craig, Adam Yellen. Mar 2-25, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC).

SOMETHING ROTTEN, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino, starring Rob McClure, Josh Grisetti, Adam Pascal. Mar 6-11, 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).

WE GOTTA BINGO, interactive dinner theater comedy by WGB Creative presented by Lancaster Regional Players, directed by Russ Wendel. Mar 2-18, Fri & Sat at 7, Sun at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave. Lancaster. (683-1776).    


BEGINNING AGAIN, world premiere of a play by David Alan Brown, directed by Neal Radice, starring David Hayes, Smirna Mercedes-Perez, Adam Hayes, Tom Owen. Through Mar 10, Thu-Sat at 7:30. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600).

FAR AWAY, play by Caryl Churchill presented by Torn Space, directed by Dan Shanahan. Through Mar 10, Thu-Sat at 7:30, plus Mar 11 at 7:30. Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave. (812-5733).

SMOKEY’S JOE’S CAFÉ    : The Songs of Leiber & Stoller, musical revue directed by John Fredo, starring Brian Brown, Nicole Marrale Cimato, Dudney Joseph, Jr., Ben Michael Moran, Lorenzo Shawn Parnell, Victoria Perez, Michele Marie Roberts, Marc Sacco, Zoe Scruggs. Through Mar 11, Wed & Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540).


GORDITAS, reading in Spanish of the play by Gustavo Ott, presented by Raíces Theatre Company, directed by Sheila M. López, starring Melinda Capeles, Smirna Mercedes-Pérez, María Pérez-Gómez, Victoria Pérez. Mar 18 at 6. Road Less Traveled, 500 Pearl St. (381-9333). Free admission.

JITTERS, comedy by David French presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Sue Toomey, Guy Balotine, Marc Jon Filippone, Jeremy Kreuzer, Brett Klaczyk, Lucas Lloyd, Len Mendez, Katie Buckler, Alley Griffin. Through Apr 8, Thu, Sat & Sun, 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).


THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON, play by Jason Miller directed by Kelli Bocock-Natale, starring Richard Lambert, Victor Morales, John Kreuzer, Greg Natale, Mark Donahue. Mar 16-Apr 7, Thu-Sat at 8. The New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park. (853-1334).


The Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake has announced its 2018 season
At the Shaw's Festival Theatre:

    The Magician’s Nephew
    Grand Hotel
    Mythos: A Trilogy – Gods. Heroes. Men.
    The Hound of the Baskervilles

At the Shaw's Royal George Theatre:

    Stage Kiss
    Of Marriage & Men: A Comedy Double-Bill
    O’Flaherty V.C.
    Oh What a Lovely War
    A Christmas Carol

At the Shaw's Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre

    The Orchard (After Chekhov)
    The Baroness and the Pig
    Henry V


The Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, has also announced its 2018 season including three plays by Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Coriolanus, and The Comedy of Errors along with such classics as Long Days Journey into Night and An Ideal Husband.

Listings adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 02/28/2018