Arts/Culture

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

Jim and Tony return from their two week holiday break.

Buffalo, NY – Theatre Talk starts 2005, after a two-week holiday hiatus, with a look at several new production on area stages, including the Shea's presentation of The Producers.

Jim and Tony offer raves for two area plays.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony think highly of two local productions, The Last Five Years on the TheaterLoft stage, and the Jewish Repertory Theatre's presentation of The Price. Also, a recap of holiday shows, and some closings and extensions.

Jim Santella Claus offers his favorite varieties of coal to Anthony Chase.

Buffalo, NY – Jim Santella Claus shares some Christmas cookies with Anthony Chase (but he didn't bring any for any other WBFO staffers!), and Tony talks about the Sondheim revival Pacific Overtures now playing in New York. Also, a discussion about Country Girl at the New Phoenix Theatre, and a plethora of Christmas productions.

Jim tries to recover his voice, while Tony travels again.

Buffalo, NY – Jim's voice is a bit strained thanks to a bout with the flu, but he and Tony manage to talk about the Studio Arena's production of A Thousand Clowns. Jim also enjoyed the recent performance of the Rockettes at Shea's, while Tony talks about his busy week attending plays. They also talk about what's new on local stages, including holiday productions.

Jim and Tony pay tribute to composer Cy Coleman, who died this week.

Buffalo, NY – Noted Broadway composer Cy Coleman died this week. Jim and Tony present a brief retrospective of his work. Also, what's closing and opening on area stages.

Jim and Tony share some laughs offered up on local stages.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony discuss some local comedy productions, including I Hate Hamlet and Southern Baptist Sissies. Also, a second look at Sophie... Last of the Red Hot Mamas and Jesus Hopped the A-Train.

WBFO's Kelli Bocock-Natale shines in her performance as Sophie Tucker.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony offer rave reviews of Kelli Bocock-Natale's performance in the one-woman show Sophie: Last of the Red Hot Mamas at MusicalFaire. Tony talks about the New York City production of Dracula, including its connection with the University at Buffalo. And, Jim discusses the gritty New Phoenix Theatre presentation of Jesus Hopped the A Train.

Theatre Critic Jim Santella reviews Sophie: Last of the Red Hot Mamas, You Never Can Tell and Transference now on stage at area theaters.

Buffalo, NY – Sophie: Last of the Red Hot Mamas by Jack Fournier & Kathy Halenda is presented by MusicalFare, 4380 Main Street, 839-8540, through December 5th.

Jim and Tony bring news of pending changes at the Studio Arena theater, plus they discuss shows at the ICT and the Alleyway.

Twenty-five years ago, David Greenberger began talking with residents of a nursing home in Boston. He collected their stories in a magazine. Over the years, he went on to collect hundreds more stories from elderly folk around the country. He put their stories in books, documentaries and finally narrated them to music on CD. Greenberger performs some of the latest recordings called, "Legibly Speaking," Thursday night at Hallwalls.

Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews Murder in Green Meadows at the Studio Arena Theatre.

Buffalo, NY – Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews Murder in Green Meadows at the Studio Arena Theatre. It continues through November 14th.

Written by Douglas Post and directed by Gavin Cameron Webb, Murder in Green Meadows is the Studio Arena's 300th production.

Jim and Tony reviews the latest Studio Arena production, and other local offerings.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony seem to like almost everything about Murder in Green Meadows, the 300th presentation in Studio Arena history... except the script! Also, they discuss an experimental production called Muriel Vanderbilt Goes Walking, the Shaw Festival staple You Never Can Tell at the Irish Classical Theatre, and they recap other local productions.

Portraying black urban street life has become a commercial standard of broadway, film and music. But it was a revolutionary idea in the early 1970's when Melvin Van Peebles wrote the Tony award winning play, Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death. The Ujima Theatre is presenting a revival of the urban, cultural phenomenon.

WBFO Theater Critic Jim Santella previews The Producers at the Shea's Performing Arts Center, Murder in Green Meadows at the Studio Arena Theatre and You Never Can Tell at the Irish Classical Theatre.

In response to the PBS series, Jim prepares his own tribute to Broadway.

Buffalo, NY – Jim Santella debuts his 32 second long history of Broadway and the Broadway musical, in response to the PBS special, but Anthony Chase calls it "stinko" (Jim's piece, not the TV special). Also, Tony reviews On Golden Pond at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and there's a quick rundown of current local stage productions.

Jim Santella reviews Broadway: The American Musical, a six part history of musical theatre that is narrated by Julie Andrews, airing on WNED-TV. Jim also previews TRANSFERENCE, coming soon to the Alleyway Theatre.

Buffalo, NY – Broadway: The American Musical

What: Six Part History of Musical Theatre(Narrated by Julie Andrews)

Rating: Five Stars (Five Star System)

Where: Airs on WNED

When: October 20-22 at 8 pm.

WBFO Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, written by Melvin Van Peeples and directed by Lorna Hill for the Ujima Theatre.

Buffalo, NY – WBFO Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, written by Melvin Van Peeples and directed by Lorna Hill for the Ujima Theatre.

It runs through November 7th at the Theatre Loft on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.

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

Jim and Tony provide an historic look at The King and I, currently at the Shea's Performing Arts Center.

Here are mini-reviews of A Symphony Down In My Soul from a concept by Joyce Carolyn written by Annette Daniels Taylor and Ain't Supposed To Die A Natural Death by Melvin Van Peebles.

Buffalo, NY – A Symphony Down In My Soul from a concept by Joyce Carolyn written by Annette Daniels Taylor.

What: A Black History Celebration

Rating: Three & One Half (Five Star System)

Where: Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley.

When: Through October 10th.

A look at more new shows this theater season.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony discuss more new shows, including Ain't Supposed to Die A Natural Death at Ujima, and Jim coins a new term to describe Guido, The Musical at the Phoenix Theatre. Also, Peter Pan becomes Anna, as Sandy Duncan comes to Shea's in The King and I.

Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews Hail Mary, now on stage at the Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo.

Buffalo, NY – Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews Hail Mary, now on stage at the Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo. Written by Tom Dudzick of Over the Tavern fame, Hail Mary runs through October 10th.

This brand new comedy is the story of a plucky young novice who puts her future as a nun in jeopardy when she teaches her personal unorthodox views of God and religion.

Theatre Talk with Jim Santella and Anthony Chase review some of the opening offerings of the 2004-05 Buffalo theater season.

Theatre Critic Jim Santella reviews "Guido" by Tony Vitale. (Adapted from the movie "Kiss Me Guido.") It continues through October 9th at the New Phoenix Theatre On The Park in Buffalo.

Buffalo, NY – Theatre: "Guido" by Tony Vitale. (Adapted from the movie "Kiss Me Guido.")

What: Karaoke Musical

Rating: 3 Stars (Five Star System)

Where: New Phoenix Theatre On The Park, 95 Johnson Park. 853-1334

When: Through October, 9th.

Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews the Kavinoky Theatre production of "Anything Goes."

Buffalo, NY – Theatre Critic Grant Golden reviews the Kavinoky Theatre production of "Anything Goes."

This Cole Porter classic plays weekends at the Kavinoky through October 16th. It's directed by John Fredo.

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

Jim and Tony prepare their crowns, tiaras and toupees for Friday night's Curtain Up celebrations in downtown Buffalo.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony prepare their crowns, tiaras and toupees for Friday night's Curtain Up celebrations in downtown Buffalo. They also pay tribute to Fred Ebb, and discuss the Kavinoky production of Anything Goes.

Click the "listen" icon to hear this week's Theatre Talk.

A review of Change Partners inspires a discussion of local dancers.

Buffalo, NY – A discussion of MusicalFaire's production of Change Partners inspires a discussion of Western New York dancers. Also, a review of Harlequinade at the Shaw Festival, and an ABC of new theater openings (Anything Goes, Boston Marriage, and Confessions) prepares us for Curtain Up!

A musical about a cave explorer has impressive bloodlines.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony review Floyd Collins, a Shaw Festival musical about a famous 1920s cave exploration. The composer is the grandson of Richard Rodgers. Also, with Curtain Up coming soon, some new productions are opening, including Tom Dudzick's latest, Hail Mary, at the Studio Arena. And, what does it take for a local production to go national?

Jim and Tony talk about A Chorus Line, at Artpark.

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony discuss the Buffalo roots of A Chorus Line, play some music from the show, and review its current presentation at Artpark. Jim was not quite as fond of De Lovely, the move about Cole Porter. The boys also tell us about the end of this season's summer theater, and of an early date for Curtain Up!

Jim and Tony say summer theater used to be intense...or did they say "in tents"?

Buffalo, NY – Once again, Jim and Tony talk about the abundance of summertime theater presentations in the area. Conversation includes the final days of Pepper Park, a look at the Artpark presentation of Smokey Joe's Cafe, and mentions of Floyd Collins, a spelunking musical at Artpark, and Shakespeare in Delaware Park's

Jim and Tony take in the latest Shakespeare in Delaware Park presentation.

Buffalo, NY – There's more outdoor summer theater in Western New York, including The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare in Delaware Park, plus Smokey Joe's Cafe at Artpark. Also, time is running out to see the Buffalo United Artists' production of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and Pepper Park at the Andrews Theater.

Pages