Theater Talk: Varlets, BUA & PRT open DESDEMONA, STRAIGHT & BLOOD AT THE ROOT

Oct 13, 2017

In Shakespeare's OTHELLO Desdemona is the frail victim of false accusation, but Pulitzer Prize winning Paula Vogel puts her in charge, sleeping with the Othello's entire encampment, in DESDEMONA: A Play About a Handkerchief which Brazen Faced Varlets opened at Rust Belt Books.

Tonight, BUA opens STRAIGHT at the Alleyway. Tagline: "Ben is a 26 year old investment banker. Ben likes beer, sports, and Emily. And Chris." And BLOOD AT THE ROOT by Dominique Morisseau also opens tonight at the Paul Robeson Theatre in the African American Cultural Center.

L-R Cassie Gorniewicz (Emily), Michael Seitz (Ben), and Adam Hayes (Chris) in STRAIGHT offered by BUA at the Alleyway opens tonight.
Credit BUA

OPENING

STRAIGHT, a play by Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola presented by Buffalo United Artists, starring Michael Seitz, Adam Hayes, Cassie Gorniewicz. Oct 13-Nov 4, Fri & Sat at 8. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239). www.buffalobua.org

Stefanie Warnick stars in DESDEMONA: A Play About a Handkerchief which opened last night at Rust Belt Books and continues through October 29.

DESDEMONA: A Play about a Handkerchief, is a play by Paula Vogel presented by Brazen-Faced Varlets, directed by Lara D. Haberberger, starring Jeni Arroyo, Caroline Parzy-Sanders, Stefanie Warnick. Oct 12-29. Rust Belt Books, 415 Grant St. (598 – 1585).

BLOOD AT THE ROOT by Dominique Morisseau (Detroit '67), based on the story of the Jena Six, a group of black students charged with attempted murder after a fight precipitated by the hanging of nooses from a tree on their college campus. Oct 13-29 Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013) www.aaccbuffalo.org

CHILD'S PLAY, a thriller by Robert Marasco, directed by Vanessa Stipkovits, starring L. Don Swartz, Tommy Vane, Jesse Swartz. Oct 12-22, Thu at 7, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Ghostlight Theatre, 170 Schenck St., North Tonawanda (743-1614). www.starrynighttheatre.com

CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DEVIL, a new play by John Reich, presented by Western New York Players Oct 13&14 at 7:30. Immanuel Lutheran Church, 107 Scott St., Tonawanda (692-6200).

MEN ON BOATS, a play by Jaclyn Backhaus presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Trevor Copp. Oct 12-16, Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 7:30, Sun at 2, Mon at 7. Leary Theatre Clet Hall, NU campus (286-8685).

ONGOING

The Shaw Festival offers, in its final weekend, DRACULA (based on the horror story by Bram Stoker); 1979 (about Prime Minister Joe Clark); and AN OCTOROON (a 21st century look at a 19th century melodrama) all ending on Saturday October 14; while Shaw's SAINT JOAN (very powerful), the musical ME AND MY GIRL (very funny); THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III (funny but poignant); and DANCING AT LUGHNASA (funny but poignant in that "Irish" way of laughing through tears) all close the Festival's offerings on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Note that Sunday performances at The Shaw are now "an hour early" at both 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

BUNNICULA, presented by Theatre of Youth is about a foundling rabbit who sucks the juice out of vegetables in the night, suitable for ages 6+ it runs through Oct 29, Sat & Sun at 2 (no performance Oct 21 & 22). Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. (884.4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

DEAR WORLD, musical by Jerry Herman presented by O’Connell & Company, directed by Kelli Bocock Natale, starring Mary Kate O’Connell, Roger Van Dette, Katy Miner, Amy Jorrisch, Nick Lama, Jon May, Matt Gilbert, Matthew Mooney, Gianna Palermo, Jeremy Kreuzer, Joel Russlett. Through Oct 22, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

STEEL MAGNOLIAS, a comedy by Robert Harling presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Lisa Ludwig, Lisa Hinca, Justyne Harris, Maureen Porter, Mary McMahon, Bethany Gruendike. Sep 21-Dec 3, 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

CLOSING

MENOPAUSE The Musical, a musical parody presented by GFour Productions. Through Oct 15, Tue-Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 2 & 6. Shea’s 710 Main Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org/710main

UPCOMING

DERANGED DURANG, one-act plays by Christopher Durang, presented by Buffalo State’s Casting Hall, directed by Shaun McLaughlin. Nov 1-11, Wed-Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Flexible Theatre, Savage Theater and Communication Building (878-3005).

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, the famous drama by David Mamet (A-B-C... Always Be Closing!), directed by Scott Behrend starring David C. Mitchell, Matt Witten, Dave Hayes, Steve Brachmann, David Marciniak, Patrick Moltane, Michael Dugan. Oct 27-Nov 19, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

MEN ON BOATS, play by Jaclyn Backhaus presented UB Department of Theatre & Dance, directed by Eero Laine. Oct 25-29, Wed-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Drama Theatre, UB  Center for the Arts, North Campus (645-ARTS).

STUPID FUCKING BIRD, play by Aaron Posner, based on THE SEAGULL by Chekhov, presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY, directed by Michael Lodick, starring Connor Graham, Emily Yancey, Candice Kogut, Rick Lattimer, Diane DiBernardo, Thomas LaChiusa, Scot Kaitanowski. Oct 19-Nov 11, Thu & Fri at 8. The 330 Performance Space, 330 Amherst St. (697-0837).  www.artofwny.org

VISITING MR. GREEN, aplay by Jeff Baron, presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Steve Vaughan, stars Saul Elkin and Nick Stevens. Oct 19-Nov 12, 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

Listings adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 10/11/2017