Theater Talk: SKELETON CREW at Paul Robeson features strong characters

Feb 2, 2018

While things slowed down considerably over the holidays, the theater community came back with a one-two punch and a number of thought provoking dramas about uncomfortable subjects, many written by and directed by women.

SKELETON CREW about an auto factory's closing, crackles with dramatic tension at the Paul Robeson Theatre through February 11. L-R Julius Land, Chrstina Foster, Phil Davis, and Verniece Turner.

DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:  

HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, play by Paula Vogel presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Kelly M. Beuth, starring Andrea Gollhardt, John Profeta, Brittany Germano, Theresa DiMuro-Wilber, Justin Fiordaliso, Jenny Gembka, Molly/Oliver Lewars. Through Feb 10, Thu-Sat at 7:30.  The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549). www.subversivetheatre.org

THE NETHER, play by Jennifer Haley, directed by Katie Mallinson, starring Jakiel, Eve Everette, Dave Marciniak, Sabrina Kahwaty, Matt Rivera. Through Feb 11, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

SKELETON CREW, a play in the "Detroit Trilogy" by Dominique Morisseau directed by Paulette D. Harris starring Phil Davis, Chrstina Foster, Julius Land, and Verniece Turner runs through Feb 11, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

WAITRESS, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Feb 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). www.sheas.org

OPENING

ROSE, play by Martin Sherman, presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed Saul Elkin, starring Tina Rausa. Feb 1-25, Thu at 7:30, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 2.  The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (688-4114 x391). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com

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. Feb 7-Mar 11, Wed & Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2 (Sep 16 at 8). MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

WAITRESS, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Feb 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). www.sheas.org

WAY BACK WHEN: An Evening of One Acts by Grant Golden and Rebecca Ritchie, directed by Betsy Bittar, starring Pamela Rose Mangus, David Lundy, Jon Summers, Kathleen Rooney, Todd Fuller. Feb 2-24, Thu-Sat at 8. New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park (853-1334). www.newphoenixtheatre.org

ONGOING:

ALL MY SONS, drama by Arthur Miller presented by The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Fran Newton, starring Michael Breen, Kunji Rey, Louis Visone, Sarah Fratello. Through Feb 11, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3, plus Feb 10 at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek, Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com.

AN ACT OF GOD, play by David Javerbaum presented by O’Connell & Company, directed by Victoria Perez, starring Joey Bucheker. Through Feb 11, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

THE CONSTANT WIFE, comedy by W. Somerset Maugham, presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by David Oliver, starring Josephine Hogan, Steve Brachmann, Kristen Bentley, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Kate LoConti, Kelsey Mogensen, Eric Rawski, Jon May, Elliot Fox. Through Feb 11, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com

HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, play by Paula Vogel presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Kelly M. Beuth, starring Andrea Gollhardt, John Profeta, Brittany Germano, Theresa DiMuro-Wilber, Justin Fiordaliso, Jenny Gembka, Molly/Oliver Lewars. Through Feb 10, Thu-Sat at 7:30.  The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549). www.subversivetheatre.org

THE NETHER, play by Jennifer Haley, directed by Katie Mallinson, starring Jakiel, Eve Everette, Dave Marciniak, Sabrina Kahwaty, Matt Rivera. Through Feb 11, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

SKELETON CREW, play by Dominique Morisseau directed by Paulette D. Harris starring Phil Davis, Chrstina Foster, Julius Land, and Verniece Turner. Through Feb 11, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

CLOSING

THE BOY AT THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING, original play by Finegan Kruckemeyer presented by Theatre of Youth. Through Feb 4, Sat & Sun at 2. Allendale Theatre 203 Allen St.  (884-4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

MAMMA MIA!, musical based on the songs of ABBA, directed by Lynne Kurdziel-Formato, starring Lisa Ludwig, Loraine O’Donnell, Debbie Pappas, Peter Palmisano, Doug Weyand, Matt Witten, Arianne Davidow, William Hin. Held over, Feb 3 at 3:30 & 7:30.  Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

JITTERS, comedy by David French presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio. Feb 1-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

SISTER ROBERT ANNE'S CABARET CLASS (A One-Nun-sense Musical Event), dinner theater presented by Rocking Horse Productions & Lancaster Opera House, directed by Jane Navarro, starring Katherine Marchiano. Through Feb 4, Fri & Sat at 7, Sun at 2:30. Ripa's Restaurant, 4218 Walden Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.LancOpera.org

UPCOMING

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. Feb 15-Mar 10, Thu-Sat at 7:30. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, adapted by Wendy Kesselman, directed by David Bondrow, starring David Butler, Caitlin Baeumler Coleman, Brandon Czerwinski, Josie DiVincenzo, Stan Klimecko, Louise Koessler, Matthew Owen Kozak, Ian Michalski, David C. Mitchell, Mira Steuer, Jessica Leigh Tokarski. Feb 9-18, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.LancOpera.org

FAR AWAY, play by Carol Churchill presented by Torn Space, directed by Dan Shanahan. Feb 16-Mar 11, Thu-Sat at 7:30, plus Mar 12 at 7:30. Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave. (812-1733). www.tornspacetheater.com

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, by Eve Ensler. A special V-Day benefit performance for Crisis Services Advocate Program, co-directed by Kelly M. Beuth, Brittany Germano, Jane Cudmore & Theresa DiMuro-Wilber. Feb 16 at 7:30, Feb 17 at 3 & 7:30.  SUNY Empire State College, 2875 Union Rd., Cheektowaga (574-9139).

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.

Adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 01/31/2018