Theater Talk

Theater reviews with Jim Santella and Anthony Chase.

RCM Photography

This week's topics include the A CHARLIES BROWN CHRISTMAS, HELLCAB, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, and Raices Theatre's DESDE EL PUENTE features 10 short plays with Latino themes, but you don't have to speak Spanish to enjoy this Christmas show.


Road Less Traveled Productions

The Christmas Season continues to provide dozens of  area productions, with several yet to open, from the high art of Mozart' s MAGIC FLUTE to the dark comedy of HELLCAB and three (3!) takes on IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, from the one night only SHOW UP at Nietzsche's, to performances of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at both the Alleyway and the Shaw, right up through "Christmas Eve Eve" (December 23).

New Phoenix Theatre

This week Peter and Anthony talk about the February 24th trip to Toronto to see KING CHARLES III,  the flights of fancy in CINDERELLA, the appeal for children (of all ages) of THE NUTCRACKER, and Anthony reflects on the theatrical career of David Cassidy.

This week Peter and Anthony discuss three plays still up this weekend: THE CRUCIBLE with stellar performances by Adriano Gatto and Aleks Malaise at the Kavinoky Theatre; MINDING FRANKIE, a heartwarming, funny play (but take a tissue, too!) with Kristen Tripp Kelley and Christian Brandjes, and PAINTING CHURCHES at O'Connell & Company with many themes, including "you can't go home again."

Eileen Elibol, WNED|WBFO

The 25th anniversary celebration for Theater Talk at the WNED|WBFO studios was a huge success Monday as hundreds attended to enjoy various stars of local stages perform songs and skits to honor Anthony Chase and his long-time co-host Jim Santella.  Around town, THE CRUCIBLE at the Kavinoky moves beyond the same old (remember reading it in high school?) into powerful "adult" territory and VIOLET perfectly fits the MusicalFare space with a stunning cast.

Eileen Koteras Elibol

Buffalo's theater community turned out Monday night to honor the 25th anniversary of "Theater Talk" on WBFO and the show's co-host from the beginning, Anthony Chase.

WNED|WBFO is celebrating 25 years of Theater Talk and you're invited! Join members of the theater community as we congratulate Anthony Chase on a a quarter century of showcasing Western New York theater. For reservations visit wbfo.org or call 1-800-678-1873. On this program, Peter and Anthony discuss STRAIGHT which is closing this weekend, STUPID * BIRD at A.R.T. and Road Less Traveled's GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS.


There are almost too many choices, again! for Buffalo audiences. THE BODYGUARD at Shea's has excellent singing and dancing, but for an intimate two-hander, VISITING MR. GREEN at Jewish Rep has Saul Elkin back on stage with a very warm, human presence.

Toronto born Deborah Cox has a voice and personality big enough to fill Shea's Performing Arts Center, which you can enjoy starting next Tuesday in THE BODYGUARD. Meanwhile, over at the very tiny (18 seat?) Rust Belt Books performing space, three women with personality - Jeni Arroyo, Caroline Parzy-Sanders, and Stefanie Warnick - present a different view of Shakespeare's play OTHELLO.

BUA

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.

TOY

WNED | WBFO is celebrating 25 years of Theater Talk! The evening will include musical performances, reminiscences from well-known area performers, a look back at 25 years of Theater Talk, and a heartfelt salute to host, Anthony Chase, Monday, November 6 at 7 p.m. in the WNED TV Studios. Tickets are only $25. This week, Theatre of Youth opened BUNNICULA, O'Connell & Company opened Jerry Herman's musical DEAR WORLD and Subversive closes IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE this Saturday night.


With choreography made just for them, Broadway stars shine at Shea's in ON YOUR FEET, moving on after tomorrow's 2 p.m. matinee. At the Kavinoky, THE PRODUCERS closes after Sunday's matinee, but two other local musicals still have a week: KILLER RACK at the Alleyway and PETER & THE STARCATCHER at MusicalFare.


Alleyway Theatre

With 15 shows on stages this weekend (see Artvoice's "On the Boards" below) how can you choose? Go high (culture) with Puccini's opera MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Rockwell and DESIGN FOR LIVING at Irish Classical, or go low with the campy KILLER RACK (breast augmentation with extreme prejudice and great songs by Neal Radice) at the Alleyway or Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS at the Kavinoky.


(Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Curtain Up! this Friday night, September 15, marks the opening of the 2017-2018 theater season, with a formal dinner, some informal dining at Expo, shows along Main Street between Tupper and Chippewa (recently dedicated as "The Chris O'Neill Way"), but all over the area as well, including a spectacular version of Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS at the Kavinoky Theatre on Porter Avenue.


shawfest.ca

The 2017-2018 theater season has begun with the first of our Curtain Up! plays: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER: A GROWNUPS' PREQUEL TO PETER PAN directed by Chris Kelly, starring Renee Landrigan as "Molly" and Jesse Tiebor as "The Boy/Peter Pan"," two of the twelve actors who take on 100 roles.

N.Y. Times

Did you know that Jerry Lewis got his theatrical start in Buffalo? At the age of 16 he was booed at a (now-gone) Burlesque house, but went back out on stage and started on the road to stardom.


Press Pass: Buffalo's global cuisine

Aug 29, 2017
Photo courtesy of Buffalo Spree

You're familiar with the Taste of Buffalo. Many other communities in the area hold their own "taste" events. And now, Buffalo Spree's September issue offers a Taste of the World. A dozen local  restaurants that offer global cuisine are profiled. In this week's Press Pass with WBFO's Mark Scott, Spree editor Elizabeth Licata says each offer authentic dishes.


Photography by Cylla von Tiedemann / www.stratfordfestival.ca

The date has been set and you're invited! WNED|WBFO will be hosting a party on Monday night, November 6, 2017 in  honor of Anthony Chase and WBFO's weekly Theater Talk, on the air, continuously, for 25 years.

For over 700 years Joan of Arc has been an inspiration to millions, including such playwrights Shakespeare, Schiller, Shaw, Brecht, Maxwell Anderson and, just this year, a team of four women, members of Buffalo's "Brazen-Faced Varlets" theatrical troupe. 

N.Y. Times

Anthony went down to New York City to take in some Broadway shows: NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 (a sung-through musical adaptation of a segment of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace) at the Imperial Theatre; A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 (which imagines what happens when Nora returns 15 years later) at the John Golden Theatre; and HELLO, DOLLY! starring Bette Midler at the Schubert Theatre.

Photo: Christopher Scinta – christopherscinta.com

Barbara Cook, one of Broadway's leading sopranos, died at home in Manhattan at the age of 89. On Broadway, and on cast recordings (although not in the movie versions), Cook was best known for three roles: Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's 1956 CANDIDE (listen to "Glitter and Be Gay"); the librarian Marian opposite Robert Preston in 1957's THE MUSIC MAN (listen to "Till There Was You"); and Amalia Balash, the letter-writing heroine of 1963's SHE LOVES ME (listen to "The Ice Cream Song").

The Shaw Festival

Theater Talk observes the passing of Sam Shepard, an American playwright (44 plays!) with a particularly edgy off-Broadway slant, who was also an actor, author, screenwriter, and director.

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.


This week on Theatre Talk, Jim Santella and Anthony Chase discuss "Gruesome Playground Injuries" and other local productions.

Photo from Facebook

This week on WBFO's Theatre Talk, co-hosts Jim Santella and Anthony Chase discuss Chita Rivera turning 80. 

WBFO

This week on Theatre Talk, Jim Santella and Anthony Chase discuss the local production of "Angels in America."

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