Theater Talk: March is rich in theatrical treasures all across Buffalo

Mar 16, 2018

Local theaters large and small are hitting their stride this March, with exquisite productions of dramatic works, including some one acts that begin innocently and then augur down into deep despair, such as DISGRACED at Road Less Traveled and 'NIGHT MOTHER (Brazen-Faced Varlets). Even the musicals have endings that, while we know what's coming, are still tragic, including the wait-listed JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at American Repertory and SPRING AWAKENING at Shea's 710. But no matter where you go, you will be impressed with the productions.

Has any dinner party ever gone so wrong before? DISGRACED at Road Less Traveled Productions' DISGRACED stars (L-R) Candace Whifield, Afrim Gjonbalaj, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Matt Witten and (not in photo) Mohammad Farraj.

OPENING TONIGHT

THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON, a 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). www.newphoenixtheatre.org

ONGOING

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, thriller by Agatha Christie presented by Aurora Players, directed by Joel Murphy, starring Chris Fire, Andrea Dudziak, Bob Bateman, Paige Ronan, Anthony Wizner, Christopher Jackson, Andrew Coder, Les Bailey, Melissa Cumming, Michael Starzynski, David Hall. Through Mar 25, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2:30. Roycroft Pavilion, Hamlin Park on South Grove St., East Aurora (687-6727). www.auroraplayers.org

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

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

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

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. Through Mar 31, Thu-Sat at 8. The 330 Performance Space, 330 Amherst St. (697-0837). www.artofwny.org

JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK, play by Alison Gregory presented by Theatre of Youth. Mar 17 at 1, Mar 24 & 25 at 1 & 4. Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. (884.4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

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

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. Through Mar 25, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com

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

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. Through Mar 25, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3, plus Mar 24 at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek, Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com

CLOSING

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. Through Mar 18, Thu at 7:30, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2.  Shea’s 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (847-0850).  www.sheas.org

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. Through Mar 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).

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

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

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). www.mybobbyjs.com

UPCOMING

THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA, drama by Federico Garcia Lorca presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Amanda Lytle Sharpe. Mar 22-26, Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 7:30, Sun at 2, Mon at 7. Leary Theatre, Clet Hall at NU campus (286-8685).

SIGNIFICANT OTHER, comedy by Joshua Harmon presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Matthew J. DiVita, Zachary Bellus, Lissette DeJesús, Maria Droz, Anthony J. Grande, Sabrina Kahwaty, Peter S. Raimondo, Darleen Pickering Hummert. Mar 23-Apr 14, Fri & Sat at 8, plus Apr 8 at 7. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239).

THE SHAW FESTIVAL

The Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake has announced its 2018 season https://www.shawfest.com/2018season/.
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

The Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, has also announced its 2018 season https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/WhatsOn/ThePlays 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 03/14/2018