You don't have to go out of town to catch good theater in June and some lovely leading ladies. Tonight's long awaited openings include Noel Coward's HAY FEVER with Josephine Hogan at the Irish Classical, LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA with the Second Generation Theatre's Debbie Pappas Sham at the Lancaster Opera House, and GET HAPPY with Sára Kovacsi, a celebration of Mr. "Over the Rainbow" Harold Arlen, Buffalo's own, which opens at Theatre of the Mist.
If you did venture over the bridge to go to The Shaw Festival, you might be a little under-whelmed by ME AND MY GAL which lacks a certain believability and THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III which lacks a certain focus. The actors are fine, the sets and costumes are first rate, but something is missing in both of these productions. One thing that wouldn't be missed at Shaw are the claques, loud groups of friends of the actors at Shaw opening nights who draw more attention to themselves than to the actors on stage.
GET HAPPY: A Tribute to the Music of Harold Arlen, musical revue presented by Theatre in the Mist, conceived and directed by Emily Pici, starring Sára Kovacsi, Jack Agugliaro, Adam Wall, Caitlyn Stephenson, McKenzie Gilmore, Jerry Mosey, Sarah Comfort, PM Raphael, Tracey Pici, Emily Pici, Jennel Pruneda, Dave Spychalski. Jun 2-4, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Stella Niagara 4421 Lower River Rd., Lewiston (1-877-856-0694). www.TheatreinTheMist.org
HAY FEVER, comedy by Noel Coward presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Gordon McCall, starring Josephine Hogan, David Oliver, Marisa Caruso, Jordan Levin, Hillary Walker, David Lundy, Melissa Levin. Jacob Albarella, Andrea Gollhardt. Jun 2-25 Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com
LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, musical by Adam Guettel & Craig Lucas, presented by Second Generation Theatre, directed by Loraine O’Donnell, starring Debbie Pappas Sham, Kelly Copps, Anthony Lazzaro, Marc Sacco, Rebecca Runge, Katy Miner, Matt Witten, Steve Jakiel, Leah Berst, Lucas DeNies, Christopher Andreana. Jun 2-18, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.secondgenerationtheatre.com
DESDE EL PUENTE, a bilingual one-act play festival written, directed and performed by the Raíces Ensemble, presented by Raíces Theatre Company. Through Jun 11, Thu at 7:30, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 6. Manny Fried Playhouse 255 Great Arrow Ave. 3rd floor. (381-9333).
ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE'S "WE ARE IN A PLAY!”, musical by Mo Willems and Deboraph Wicks LaPuma, presented by Theatre of Youth, directed by Michael Walline. Through Jun 3, Sat at 10:00 a.m.& 2. Allendale Theatre 203 Allen St. (884-4400). www.theatreofyouth.org
ROUGH CROSSING, play by Tom Stoppard presented by Aurora Players, directed by Jessica Rasp, starring Monish Bhattacharyya, Brendan Cunningham, David Granville, Maeve Higgins, John Szablewski. Through Jun 4, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2:30. The Roycroft Pavilion, in Hamlin Park. South Grove St., East Aurora (687-6727). www.auroraplayers.org
WICKED, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Through Jun 4, Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 1 & 6:30. Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org
FREE FRED BROWN!, a play about a young black man who becomes the reluctant face of a movement while in prison, presented by Ujima Theatre Company at the Paul Robeson Theatre, one weekend only, June 9, 10, 11 Fri & Sat at 7, Sun at 4 in the African-American Cultural Center 350 Masten Avenue in Buffalo 14209 (281-0092) http://www.ujimacoinc.org/
Adapted from “On the Boards” appearing in Artvoice 5/28/2017