Theater Talk

Anthony and Peter enjoyed meeting theater fans at the WNED studios for coffee and donuts and "Theater Talk Live" where they talked about the summer season, including the Shaw Festival, Chautauqua, and Shakespeare in Delaware Park, and were treated to live performances from Second Generation Theatre whose LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA opens next Friday as well as MusicalFare, whose PRETTY FUNNY opens in July.

Now in their fifth year, Raíces Theatre Company has found the sweet spot where resources and mission match the founders' original vision. 

Anthony and Peter are doing the first (of more, we hope) "Theater Talk Live" event – A Summer Theater Preview next Thursday May 25 at 10:30 am at the WNED-TV Studios! We'll provide an overview of musicals and plays being staged this summer across WNY and Southern Ontario.

Call it marketing, or branding, or just plain knowing your audience, but Buffalo theaters this week are delighting their niches with finely chosen fare.

The Tony Award nominations are out, and Anthony is pleased to report that this year no London performances were nominated.

This week on Theater Talk, Anthony sings the praises of three women currently on local stages (coincidentally about 300 feet from each other in Buffalo's Theatre District): Joyce Stilson in I'M FINE at the Alleyway Theatre, Kate LoConti in THE WINSLOW BOY at Irish Classical Theatre Company, and Mary Gordon Murray in the touring updated CABARET at Shea's Performing Arts Center.

It's not a pared down touring CABARET that comes to Shea's next week; it's the real Broadway show. For something a lot quieter, THE CEMETERY CLUB is a bittersweet comedy about three widows and a widower at O'Connell and Company. Anthony saw GROUNDHOG DAY the musical in New York and both Peter and Anthony agree that the set, sound, and lights at THE TRIAL OF TRAYVON MARTIN are exceptionally well crafted.


Rosalind Cramer, Theatre of Youth co-founder, passed away last week at the age of 81. She was also instrumental in founding MusicalFare Theatre, housed on the Daemen College (formerly "Rosary Hill") campus, where she taught theater. And this week there's more discussion of THE TRIAL OF TRAYVON MARTIN at the Manny Fried Theatre.

This week Theater Talk recommends STOP, KISS (Subversive Theatre at the Manny Fried Playhouse); A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE at the Kavinoky Theatre with powerful performances by John Fredo, Debbie Pappas Sham, Renee Landrigan and others; and looks forward to a new play by Bryan Delaney, THE SEEDBED, which opens tonight at the Irish Classical Theatre.


Mark Thomas Duggan

This week Theater Talk mentions one of the few plays up in a week of musicals.  Torn Space Theater presents THE COLLECTION by Nobel Prize winning playwright Harold Pinter about two couples whose dwellings are separated by an on-stage wall, with, however, telephone connection.

On this week's Theater Talk, Anthony discusses the difficulties with mounting a review such as SOPHISTICATED LADIES now at MusicalFare, Peter shares a moment while watching Eric Rawski and Caitlin Coleman in STEVE, and both agree on Theater of Youth's THE SHAKESPEARE STEALER.

raicestheatrecompany.com

Anthony reports that despite stunning production elements, the plot of FRANKENSTEIN dragged a little (often a problem when the playwright and the director are the same person), but there is one gotcha! moment you won't want to miss and everyone agrees that Steve Copps as "the monster" is definitely worth seeing. Theatre of Youth opens THE SHAKESPEARE STEALER at the Allentown tomorrow at 2 pm. and it's up through March 5. STEVE, all about middle aged gay men, features a number of Buffalo's middle aged gay actors and there are many funny moments. And MARIELA IN THE DESERT delivers on many levels, with a well crafted play, clever staging, an ending that is a surprise, starring the talented Victoria Perez in the title role and great scene stealing moments from Melinda Capeles Rowe as Mariela's maiden sister-in-law.

This last week 4000 MILES opened at Jewish Rep, the first of three Amy Herzog plays, in a delightful production, but strong productions abound at WNY theaters, including EQUUS at Irish Classical with a very, very strong supporting cast (e.g. Vincent O'Neill, Greg Gjurich, Wendy Hall) surrounding PJ Tighe as the troubled young man Alan Strang, and TRUE WEST at Road Less Traveled pits David Mitchell and Matt Witten as two brothers in a love/hate relationship. All the above deal with adult subjects, but even darker, perhaps, are THE UNFORTUNATES about Jack the Ripper's victims at Red Thread Theatre (on 17th Street) and HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND THEN KILL THEM  which is, actually, a comedy presented by ART of WNY at 330 Amherst Street.

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As Buffalo continues its growth spurt, or renaissance, and property values rise, some smaller theaters are feeling squeezed. Four of them have had to find new venues, including A.R.T., B.U.A., Road Less Travelled, and Rust Belt Books, which is now at 415 Grant Street.

Having just seen A.R. Gurney's "Family Furniture" at the Kavinoky Theatre, Anthony Chase noticed strong parallels with Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" back on Broadway, especially upper class families who can talk a lot, but not about their problems.

On this week's Theater Talk, Anthony and new co-host Peter Hall talk about the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. Anthony says the audience was so moved by legendary Broadway performer Chita Rivera's dancing that many openly wept. Also, it looks like Kander and Ebb's final musical The Visit might make it to Broadway after 11 years.

On this week's Theater Talk, Gabe and Anthony talk about The May Queen at Chautauqua Theater Company, The Local One Act Showcase at American Repertory Theatre, Hecuba Again at Albert Invincible Theatre, Detour at Torn Space Theater, The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare in Delaware Park, and Poseidon: An Upside Down Musical at Alleyway Theatre.

On this week's edition of Theater Talk, Gabe and Anthony talk about Menopause The Musical, Side by Side by Sondheim, and the death of Mary Rodgers.

Theater critic Anthony Chase reviews the Shakespeare in the Park production of "Henry V."

Theater Critic Anthony Chase and WBFO's Gabe DiMaio preview the Shakespeare in the Park production of Henry V.

Theater Talk: Tovah Feldshuh stars in "Golda's Balcony"

May 2, 2014

Theater critic Anthony Chase and WBFO's Gabe DiMaio discuss actress Tovah Feldshuh's upcoming performance of "Golda's Balcony" at the 710 Main Street Theater, May 8th through the 11th.

Theater critic Anthony Chase joins WBFO's Gabe DiMaio and reviews "Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire."

Theater Talk: 'The Trojan Women' and more

Apr 4, 2014

Theater critic Anthony Chase joins WBFO's Gabe DiMaio with a review of "The Trojan Women," now playing through April 19 at Theaterloft. It's a presentation of Buffalo Public Theatre in association with Ujima Company.

WBFO's Gabe DiMaio and theater critic Anthony Chase are still enjoying the St. Patrick Day's holiday by noting the Irish theme of several local shows. Tony previews "Once," opening Tuesday at the Shea's Performing Arts Center. Plus, he has reviews of "Stones in His Pocket" at the Irish Classical Theatre, "Good People" at the Kavinoky and "An Iliad" at Road Less Traveled.

Friday means it's time to check out what's on stage. WBFO's Eileen Buckley and Theater Talk host Anthony Chase discuss local performances and Chase's recent visit to New York City.

Theater Talk host Anthony Chase will appear Friday night on WNED Television at 9:30 for a special program that offers a sneak peak at the 2014 Shaw Festival Season.  Chase and WBFO'S Eileen Buckley discuss the program.  Chase also gives us a rundown of some of the local theater shows now on stage.


Photo from Jewish Repertory Theatre

This week on Theater Talk, co-host Anthony Chase takes us to a Nancy Drew mystery at the Theatre Of Youth. He also tells us about the mystery surrounding The Mountaintop, a docudrama by Subversive Theater. And Chase also has a scoop about Broadway star and Buffalo's own Michele Ragusa.


Photo from Theatre of Youth Website

Mystery is the theme of the latest round of new shows opening at area theaters. 

Photo from Road Less Traveled Productions Website

Opening Friday night, January 24, 2014  Road Less Traveled Productions presents -- Very Fine Use of a Grenade.  Theater Talk host Anthony Chase and WBFO's Eileen Buckley discuss the production. Chase provides insight and back stories on the original version.  

WBFO News photo

The audience is having a 'Wicked' time at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo.  The musical Wicked is on stage now until January 26. WBFO's Theater Talk host Anthony Chase and Eileen Buckley chat about the elaborate production. Chase also takes us to the Kavinoky Theater in Buffalo for Proof  in this week's edition of Theater Talk.

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