The WBFO Arts & Culture News Desk is co-funded by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

Musicalfare Theatre photo

WBFO's theatre critics, Jim Santella and Anthony Chase join us each Friday morning for a rundown of area theatre. 

This week they begin with a chat about A Class Act on stage at Musicalfare Theatre. 

A painting by Michelangelo, found in a town of Tonawanda home, is now restored and in Rome to be part of a prestigious exhibit of  High Renaissance art.   Martin Kober of Tonawanda is the local owner of the painting that he announced he had in his possession about a year ago.  

The Fondazione Roma, the Rome Foundation, brought the painting called The Pieta, to Rome and funded its restoration over the last six months.  The Foundation is one of Rome's leading philanthropic and cultural institutions.  

New Phoenix Theatre photo

A one-woman show is now on stage at the New Phoenix Theatre in Buffalo.  It is about the story of legendary and award-winning actress Vivien Leigh,  best remembered as Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.   

Local actress, Josephine Hogan of the Red Thread Theatre, portrays Leigh in "Vivien:  The Triumph and madness of Vivien Leigh".   WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talks to Hogan and her director Darleen Pickering Hummert about the performance.  

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Among those visiting Buffalo with the National Trust conference is a New York City woman who's name is synonymous with National landmarks and preservation. Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel visited the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Darwin Martin House on Jewett Parkway in Buffalo Wednesday.

"A singular vision executed to perfection," said Diamonstein-Spielvogel

Diamonstein-Spielvogel is a New York City preservationist who has worked on urban issues over the last 40-years. She first visited the Martin House several years ago as restoration was just beginning.

Buffalo welcomes preservation conference

Oct 18, 2011

 More than 2,000 people are expected to participate in this week's National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference in Buffalo.   While the formal opening ceremony takes place Wednesday, students at Buffalo's Waterfront Elementary School were busy Tuesday raising a scaled-down classic American structure, a barn.  Among those watching the barn raising was Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic preservation.

Negali's facebook photo

Ballet dancer Sergio Neglia has returned from his native Argentina where he performed a tribute in honor of his late father at the Colon Theatre.

Neglia says he is re-energized as he prepares for this weekend's performance of Baba Yaga. Neglia was treated like a movie star as he danced before an audience who recalled his father's ballet career 40-years-ago.

"It was unbelievable. I mean it was incredible 3,500 people screaming the Neglia name again after 40-years. It was the most powerful thing I felt. I was shocked of all the power of the massive crowd," said Neglia.

Visit Buffalo Niagara continues moving forward with its "Buffalo.For Real TV" Webisode series.

As WBFO'S Eileen Buckley tells us, the agency released its latest video about Allentown First Fridays.

This latest video to promote area tourism features Buffalo musician Nelson Starr displaying an upbeat Allentown District.


Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony were away, so there is no Theater Talk this week.


Grant Golden reviews the Shaw Festival's "You Never Can Tell."

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – WBFO Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews the Shaw Festival Theatre presentation of "You Never Can Tell," by George Bernard Shaw. Golden gives this production his highest rating, adding an "A" to his top rating of "KO," for an "A-KO." Click the "listen" icon to hear his review.

A discussion on the history of Gypsy, appearing on two area stages.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony discuss the revivals of Gypsy, which is featured at two different area locales. Also, Tony recommends Vanessa Redgrave in Hecuba at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and the guys remind you not to miss the Tony awards on Sunday.

Nominations for this year's "Artie Awards" are released.

Buffalo, NY – The nominations for this year's Buffalo's "Artie" Awards have been announced. The annual awards honor the best of Buffalo's theatre scene. Theatre Critics Jim Santella and Anthony Chase preview the list of potential award winners. Click the "listen" icon to hear this week's Theatre Talk

Jim and Tony agree, Chicago is their kind of musical.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony rave about Chicago...the Musical (with All That Jazz), at Shea's. Also, differing views of the same presentation of Crossing Delancey at the Jewish Repertory Theater, Jim's take on The Nerd, and a quick discussion on She Stoops to Conquer.

A Salamanca songwriter is feted in Buffalo.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony discuss why songwriter and Salamanca native Ray Evans was in town this week, and they tell us what songs he's famous for. Also, Jim offers a review of Flora the Red Menace, and the guys also talk about The Nerd, She Stoops to Conquer, and Kilt.

Jim and Tony talk about community and college productions.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony discuss a couple of smaller presentations in the region, including Flora the Red Menace at Niagara University, and the South Buffalo Theater production of Hot L Baltimore. Also, they run down a list of several other local theater productions.

Jim and Tony review That '70s Revue.

Buffalo, NY – Jim explains that he enjoyed That '70s Revue at the MusicalFare Theatre... at least half of it. Also, Tony discusses Two To the Head by The Road Less Traveled Productions at the New Phoenix Theatre.

Jim and Tony talk about local authoring talent featured on stage.

Buffalo, NY – The spotlight is on two local playwrights this week. Sharon Eberhardt is the author of Becca and Heidi at the Alleyway Theatre and Gary Earl Ross, occasional commentator on WBFO, has penned the TheaterLoft presentation A Matter of Intent.

Jim and Tony review A... My Name is Alice at Buffalo United Artists.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony discuss A... My Name is Alice, playing at Buffalo United Artists. It's the same play that the group debuted with in 1992.

Reviews of Quartet and Listen to My Heart

Buffalo, NY – Jim didn't get to the opera, but he did see Quartet at the Studio Arena, while Tony discusses the O'Connell and Company presentation of Listen to My Heart. Also, a look at The Miracle Worker at Theater of Youth, and a summary of area openings and closings.

Some exciting productions will be featured at Shea's Performing Arts Center next season.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony discuss the just unveiled 2005-2006 season at Shea's, including My Fair Lady, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Dame Edna, and Hairspray. They also discuss The Business of Murder at the Kavinoky, and The Cobbler at the Irish Classical Theatre.

Now, WHO would want to make fun of Jim and Tony?!?

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo United Artists presentation of Deleted Scenes reportedly includes a parody of Theatre Talk. Jim and Tony also talk about The Spitfire Grill at Musicalfaire, and Tony highly recommends Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which he saw in New York. Tony also tells about the Buffalo connection in the New York presentation of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.

The Spitfire Grill is on stage at Musicalfare, 4380 Main St., 839-8540, through April 20th.

Buffalo, NY – The Spitfire Grill is on stage at Musicalfare, 4380 Main St., 839-8540, through April 20th.

Plot: Based on the movie of the same name, The Spitfire Grill is a musical exploration of the loss of small town American values that have been in decline since the decade of the great depression.

WBFO Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews the Studio Arena Theatre production of Tuesdays with Morrie.

Buffalo, NY – WBFO Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews the Studio Arena Theatre production of Tuesdays with Morrie. Written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, Gavin Cameron-Webb directs. Tuesdays continues through March 6th.

Theatre Critic Jim Santella reviews some of the area's major theatre offerings.

Buffalo, NY – Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffery Hatcher and Mitch Albom is directed by Gavin Cameron-Webb. It runs at the Studio Arena, 710 Main St., 856-5650, through March 6th.

Plot: Mitch Albom (David Rzeszutek) is a success driven sports journalist who is challenged by his college sociology professor Morrie Schwartz (Imanuel Fried) to slow down and take some time to smell the roses.

Jim and Tony remember a giant, and discuss the wealth of theater talent in the region.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony remember playwright Arthur Miller, who died this week. Also, they celebrate local talent in the Studio Arena production of Tuesdays with Morrie and Private Viewing at the New Phoenix Theatre. Also, Tony reviews On The Mountain, on stage in New York City.

Which one is the Topdog, and which one is the Underdog?

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony say Topdog/Underdog is a great production to introduce yourself to the Ujima Theatre Company. Jim also reviews Making Gay History, there's a discussion of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by the Irish Classical Theatre, and Tony tells of Harold and Maude...The Musical on stage in New Jersey.

The new Alleyway show is a lot of fun!

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony find comparisons between the Alleyway's presentation of The Big Happy and Acme Products and the Road Runner. Also, reviews of Private Viewing, the three Pinter plays at the Polish theater, and Making Gay History.

Jim visits Buffalo's oldest theater space, while Tony galavants in New York City.

Buffalo, NY – Jim is impressed with one of Buffalo's newest theater companies, performing in what they say is Buffalo's oldest theater space, on Fillmore Avenue. Also, Tony likes just about everything (except Amy) in Little Women and Gem of the Ocean in New York. Also, conversation about the public television presentation of Candide, and some new openings on local stages.

Jim and Tony discuss three area presentations, and preview some others.

Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews the MusicalFare presentation of "The Girl in the Frame," now on stage at the Daemen Theatre in Snyder.

Buffalo, NY – Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews the MusicalFare presentation of "The Girl in the Frame," now on stage at the Daemen Theatre in Snyder.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Grant's review.

Jim Santella reviews The Girl in the Frame at Musicalfare, Crowns at Studio Arena and Lobby Hero at the Kavinoky.

Buffalo, NY – The Girl in the Frame with book, words and music by Jeremy Desmon, now on stage at MusicalFare, 4380 Main St., Snyder, through February 6th. Telephone: 839-8540