Theater Talk: Melodrama at Robeson, Zeal at RLTP, Comedy at Kavinoky and graceful charm at TOY

May 11, 2018

If you think that theological discussions are a bore, wait until you see THE CHRISTIANS where the debate on the question - "Is there a hell?"  - will keep you in your seat. WBFO reporter Jay Moran had a conversation with director Scott Behrend. And actors Dave Hayes as the pastor, Lisa Vitrano as his long suffering wife, Aaron Moss as the young minister, Steve Jakiel as the elder, and Victoria Perez as the congregant with big concerns will get you thinking. For something a little more soap opera/melodramatic try BLACKBERRY DAZE at the Robeson, for zany comedy try the Kavinoky's THE FOREIGNER, and for a swirl of graceful aerial charm, try STELLALUNA at Theatre of Youth.

Dave Hayes, left, and Aaron Moss take to the stage to debate the deep foundations of faith in "The Christians."
Credit Road Less Traveled Productions

OPENING

BASKERVILLE: A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY, comedy by Ken Ludwig presented by MusicalFare, directed by Randall Kramer & Doug Weyand, starring Todd Benzin, Patrick Cameron, Maria Droz, Chris J. Handley, Marc Sacco. May 10 at 7:30, May 11-19, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Shea’s 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000).

THE CURIOUS SAVAGE, comedy by John Patrick, directed by L. Don Swartz, starring Julie Senko, Gary W. Cox, Vanessa Stipkovits, Alexandra Saleh, Quentin Gray. May 10-20, Thu at 7, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Ghostlight Theatre, 170 Schenck St., North Tonawanda (743-1614).
www.starrynighttheatre.com

THE RAIN DOGS PROJECT, one acts based on the music of Tom Waits, presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY, directed by Nick Lama and Katherine Burkhart, starring Candice Kogut, John Profeta, John Kreuzer, Carly Luksch, Gary Andrews-Stieglizt, Courtney Maj. May 10-26, Thu-Sat at 8. Jim Bush Studios, 44 17th St. (697-0837). www.artofwny.org

ROUNDING THREE, play by Richard Dresser. May 11-20, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave. Lancaster. (683-1776). www.lancasterregionalplayers.org

ONGOING

BLACKBERRY DAZE, musical by Watson, Jones & Knowles, starring Latosha Payton, Danielle Green, Sandra Gilliam, Tifani Wofford, Ayana Williams, Augustus Donaldson Jr., Fisher. Through May 27, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org  

CHILDREN OF EDEN, musical by Stephen Schwartz presented by Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Fran Newton, starring Adam English, M. Joseph Fratello, Amy Sturmer, Cassandra Bigouette, Dan Zerpa, John Panepinto, Kim Ehrenburg. Through May 20, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3, plus May 12 at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Rd., Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com

THE CHRISTIANS, play by Lucas Hnath, directed by Scott Behrend, starring Dave Hayes, Aaron Moss, Steve Jakiel, Victoria Pérez, Lisa Vitrano. Through May 20, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2 Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

THE FOREIGNER, comedy by Larry Shue, directed by David Oliver, starring Kevin Craig, Patrick Moltane, Aleks Malejs, Christopher Evans, Anne Gayley, David Mitchell. Dan Urtz. Through May 20, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2.  Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

ONCE, musical by Walsh, Hansard & Irglová, directed by Randall Kramer, starring Jacob Albarella, Ryleigh Grace Cavanagh, Mia Cimato, Katie Clark, Steve Copps, Philip Farugia, Robert Insana, Amy Jakiel, Renee Landrigan, Bob Mazierski, Theresa Quinn, Andrew J. Reimers, Nick Stevens. Through May 27, 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). www.musicalfare.com

STELLALUNA, adapted for the stage by Saskia Janse, based on the book by Janell Cannon, music by Guus Ponsioen, presented by Theatre of Youth. Through Jun 2, Sat & Sun at 2 (no performance May 26 & 27). Allendale Theatre 203 Allen St.  (884-4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

CLOSING

THE AWFUL TRUTH, comedy by Arthur Richman presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti, starring Eric Rawski, Zak Ward, Diane Curley, Ellen Horst, Maura Nolan, Adriano Gatto, Marisa Caruso, Chris Kelly. Through May 13, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com

THE FULL MONTY, musical by David Yazbek & Terrence McNally presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Susan Forbes, starring Anthony Alcocer, Jeffrey Coyle, Thomas LaChiusa, Pamela Rose Mangus, Victor Morales, Jamie Nablo, Connor Graham, Alejandro Pèrez, Alfonzo Tyson, Tim Goehrig, Smirna Mercedes-Pèrez, Diane McNamara. Through May 12, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549). www.subversivetheatre.org

SIGHT UNSEEN, play by Donald Margulies presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Saul Elkin, starring Constance Caldwell, Josie DiVincenzo, David Lundy, Peter Palmisano. Through May13, 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

UPCOMING

ANNIE, Broadway musical presented by The Springville Players, directed by Don Wesley. May 17-27, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Mongerson Theater, Springville Center for the Arts, 37 North Buffalo St., Springville (592-9038). www.SpringvilleArts.org

LA LUPE: MY LIFE, MY DESTINY, play with music by Carmen Rivera presented by Raíces Theatre Company, directed by Victoria Pérez, starring Melinda Capeles, Steve Brachmann, Rolando Martín Gómez, Smirna Mercedes Pérez, Dewel Pérez, María Pérez-Gómez. May 25-Jun 10, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 6.  Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave. 3rd floor (381-9333). www.RaicesTheatreCompany.com

LOVE NEVER DIES, touring production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Jun 5-10, 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

SERENATA IN ITALY, play written and directed by Linda Silvestri, presented by Western Door Playhouse, starring Tom Turici, Sam Fadel, Sam Granieri, Patricia Crowe, Lynda LaGreca, Elaine Meranto, Carl Bishara, Tim Bookhagen. May 18-27, Fri. & Sat, at 7:30, Sun. at 2:30. Woodbox Theatre, Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls (297-5910).

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, 05/09/2018