Theater Talk: AN OCTOROON at Chautauqua makes you think; SILENCE! and MURDER FOR TWO make you laugh

Jul 6, 2018

In 1859, Dion Boucicault wrote a hit melodrama about the fate of AN OCTOROON in the antebellum south. Today, BJJ (a young black playwright) writes his own version, but when the white actors in his adaptation quit, BJJ decides to take on the role of the racist plantation overseer himself. Seen at Shaw last summer, there are only four performances left at Chautauqua through Sunday. In Buffalo, BUA's "summer camp" offering is SILENCE! THE MUSICAL based on "Silence of the Lambs" (really!) while at MusicalFare MURDER FOR TWO pits two great musicians, Phil Farugia and Joseph Donohue III, in a (musical) battle of whodunit.


A slave auction from the antebellum south is one of the many melodramatic moments in AN OCTOROON performed by a cast of both black and white actors, on stage at Chautauqua through Sunday evening.
Credit Haldan Kirsch / The Chautauqua Daily

OPENING

MURDER FOR TWO, murder mystery musical by Kellen Blair & Joe Kinosian, directed by Doug Weyand, starring Philip Farugia, Joseph Donohue III. Jul 11-Aug 12, 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

SILENCE! THE MUSICAL by Kaplan, Kaplan & Bell, presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Todd Warfield, starring Maria Droz, Jimmy Janowski, Michael Blasdell, Jeremy Catania, Charmagne Chi, Sam Crystal, Adam Hayes, Eric Rawski, Michael Seitz. Jul 7-29,
Sat at 8, Sun at 7. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239). wwwbuffalobua.org

ONGOING

KING LEAR, drama by William Shakespeare presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, directed by Steve Vaughan, starring Tom Loughlin, Saul Elkin, Lisa Ludwig, Lisa Vitrano, Marissa Biondolillo, Kevin Craig, Norm Sham, Dave Marciniak, John Profeta, Adam Yellen, Anthony Alcocer. Through Jul 15, Tue-Sun at 7:30. Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park (856-4533). www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org

CLOSING

AN OCTOROON, play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Giovanna Sardelli. Through July 8, this Friday at 4, Saturday at 2:30, Sunday at 2:15 and 8pm at the Bratton Theater, Chautauqua Institution (357-6437). www.chq.org/chautauqua-theater-company

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

HERE LIES JEREMY TROY, comedy by Jack Sharkey presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Richard Lambert, Marie Costa, Andrew Starr, Marc-Jon Filippone, Jamie Nablo. Through July 29, 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

AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare presented by Free Chautauqua Shakespeare in the Park, directed by Andrew Borba, at various times and venues: Southern Tier Brewery, Wednesday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m.; Southern Tier Brewery, Wednesday, August 1 at 6:30 p.m.; Lakeside Park, Mayville, Thursday, August 2 at 6:30 p.m. and Allen Park, Jamestown Wednesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. www.chq.org/chautauqua-theater-company

UPCOMING

AIRNESS, play by Chelsea Marcantel presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. Jul 14-29. Bratton Theater, Chautauqua Institution (357-6437). www.chq.org/chautauqua-theater-company

CLICK, CLACK, MOO, musical presented by Niagara University Theatre for Young Audiences, directed by Steve Braddock and Terri Filips Vaughan. Jul 19-21 & Jul 27 at 7; Jul 24 at 1; Jul 25 & 28 at 10:00 a.m. Leary Theatre. N.U. campus. Free admission.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, comedy by William Shakespeare presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Todd Benzin, Kate LoConti, Nick Stevens, Melinda Carpeles, Gregory Gjurich, Chris Hatch. Jul 26-Aug 19, Tue-Sun at 7:30. Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park (856-4533). www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org

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 07/03/2018