Anthony Chase

Theater Talk Host

Listen for Theater Talk, Friday morning at 6:45 and 8:45 during Morning Edition.

Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

Ujima Company opened the musical PASSING STRANGE in PUSH Buffalo's renovated "Elementary School 77" at 429 Plymouth Avenue on Buffalo's West Side while Road Less Traveled Productions continued with THE UNDENIABLE SOUND OF RIGHT NOW at their new theater on Main Street. This is all good.

Diane Almeter Jones

Most area theaters are going for laughs this week with the highly irreverant BOOK OF MORMON at Shea's, the ultra-clever EQUIVOCATION at the Kavinoky, and an all-female 1776 at O'Connell & Company.

O'Connell & Company

Just as the Artie Award committee thought it might begin deliberations, area stages are exploding with openings such as EQUIVOCATION (about "The Gunpowder Plot"), THE UNDENIABLE SOUND OF RIGHT NOW (an aging rocker confronts new musical tastes) and ANNAPURNA (ex-wife returns).

Victoria Perez

Short play festivals abound! The Alleyway continues BUFFALO QUICKIES, highlighting eight local playwrights. At Buff State, the focus is on local, student directors with six one-acts. At the Manny Fried Playhouse, Raices Theatre presents locally written bilingual musical (yes!) shorts in their DESDE EL PUENTE series.

alleyway.com

The Alleyway Theatre created a "Playwrights Circle" to nurture and develop local playwrights. Members include j. Snodrass, Bella Poynton, Mark C. Lloyd and Jennifer Tromble each of whom has one new one-act play as part of Buffalo Quickies 2019 with the other four selected by Festival Director Joyce Stilson from over 280 scripts (note adult content).

ART of WNY

PARADE, the musical at American Repertory Theatre (ART of WNY), is well directed and chock full of Buffalo talent, many of whom take on multiple roles as the script demands. That's good. Unfortunately, the publishers of scripts also demand something: that presenting venues "buy the rights" to perform licensed propeties which, until a few days ago, ART had not done.

Carol Rosegg, 2018

Shows this week take on serious issues, including the musical RENT at Shea's (HIV/AIDS, drug addiction, homelessness) and PARADE at American Repertory Theatre (Anti-Semitism, lynch mobs), and AFTER THE FALL (the Holocaust, the stock market crash).

Christy Francis

In the past several years a number of city-based theatrical companies have had to contemplate a move (some several times) including American Repertory, Buffalo United Artists, Road Less Traveled, and Second Generation, but it's happening in the suburbs too, to MusicalFare (several years down the road) and now the Lancaster Regional Players at the Lancaster Opera House. 

Cheryl Gorski

Shea's revealed its 2019-2020 season along with the Smith Theatre and Shea's 710, both of which have some shows with substance lined up. For good theater right now, folks are talking about "ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS" at the Alleyway, "ANGELS IN AMERICA" at the Smith, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Road Less Traveled. Tonight, 1984 opens at the Kav, and SIDEWALK STAGEPLAY at the Robeson.

Gene Witkowski

The Buffalo theater season is cyclic and right now in a boom time we're bullish on so many A-list plays using our best Buffalo actors, directors, and behind the scenes efforts (such as the Drozd sisters' costumes, make-up, and hair for FROST/NIXON). Arranging your calendar to see as many shows as possible can be a bit like playing the game of TETRIS, but should be worth the effort.

Matthew Murphy

The Kavinoky Theatre, caught in the crossfire of Rudinplay versus Dramatic Publishing's dueling lawsuits, has had to cancel TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD through no fault of their own. Meanwhile, THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE at Torn Space is getting great press for their innovative adaptation of the Cassavete's movie. And Shea's brings the emotional musical MISS SAIGON to a whole new generation.

Gina Gandolfo, Road Less Traveled Productions

The Vietnam War, Racial Inequality, Immigration: issues th are hot-button topics central to two musicals this week, RAGTIME which continues at Musicalfare Theatre and MISS SAIGON (interview with "The Engineer" actor Red Concepción) which opens at Shea's on Tuesday. On the other hand, for some sweet, bittersweet, and downright zany looks at love, it's ALMOST, MAINE at Shea's 710 Theatre.

Buffalo News

This week it's a new play by Subversive's Kurt Schneiderman called TALES OF THE DRIVEN, new choreography by HAMILTON choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler in CATs at Shea's, a fairly new adaptation of Richard Wright's NATIVE SON at the Paul Robeson, and new staging for TUCK EVERLASTING at the Theater of Youth.

BuffaloNews.com

Millennials; they're coming on strong. Keri René Fuller (interview) stars as Grizabella in CATS opening at Shea's, UB undergraduates are off to represent the United States in an international scenography competition in Prague, and McKinley High School/Buff State grad Janae' Leonard is on stage at the Paul Robeson Theatre as "Bessie" in NATIVE SON.

Tim Coseglia

Everyone seems to have come back from the holidays refreshed and ready to lavish time and attention to detail in a wide variety of theatrical productions, from a magician's cave to country English homes to the wacky countryside of Arthurian legend to the temple of Athena.

Anthony Chase on Facebook

“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” asks Emily of the Stage Manager in Thornton Wilder's play OUR TOWN. If ever two people did it was Broadway's Carol Channing (famous as Dolly Levy in Wilder's HELLO DOLLY) and Buffalo's Joe Natale, two of the warmest, kindest human beings ever, and even though they died this week, up to the end they both lived very full lives and left a rich legacy to theater.

Gene Witkowski

At a recent holiday party, Anthony Chase eavesdropped on Darryl Semira, four years on tour with SPAMALOT, as he shared his memories with cast members of the Kavinoky's current production, chock full of lightning fast costume changes, on-purpose "mistakes," and other theatrical hi-jinx. SPAMALOT, the musical by Monty Python's Eric Idle, opens tonight.

A.R.T. Facebook page

Thornton Wilder's 1938 beloved OUR TOWN opens tonight Buffalo's A.R.T. at 545 Elmwood (near Utica).

Pinterest

While most theaters are "dark" following Christmas, the Ujima Theater Company is throwing a Kwanzaa party tonight, Forest Lawn Cemetery Chapel is presenting the final three performances of IT WAS A WONDERFUL LIFE, Desiderio's has performances of LADIES FOURSOME through January 20, and the Kavinoky Theater is busy rehearsing SPAMALOT  which opens in just two weeks.

Playbill.com

This weekend all of the local Christmas shows wrap up, but with 41 Broadway theaters, not to mention off and off-off Broadway, New York City never sleeps. Anthony recently saw KING KONG (it's a musical, sort of), THE CHER SHOW (a jukebox musical with stunning costumes), GLORIA (as in Steinem, co-founder of Ms. Magazine), and THE LIFE SPAN OF A FACT about an overzealous fact checker (Daniel Radcliffe) and his editor (Cherry Jones).

Road Less Traveled Productions

You have many choices for Christmas plays in Western New York but one with very high production values and a charming plot is MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLY in the beautifully appointed Shea's 710 Theatre (Main at Tupper). The story brings two likeable misfits together under the mistletoe on a lavish set.

Cheryl Gosrki.com (on Facebook)

Main Street's Theater District will be alive tonight as Shea's heads into its final weekend of HAMILTON, THE MUSICAL while on the same block are three openings: the traditional A CHRISTMAS CAROL opens at the Alleyway while up front in the Alleyway Main Street Cabaret, Todd Warfield's wild and wacky A VERY, VERY TRUMPY CHRISTMAS CAROL overlays today's politics on the old story, and, at Main and Tupper Streets MISS BENNET: A CHRISTMAS AT PERMBERLY opens at Shea's 710.

Raíces Theatre Company

HAMILTON is a cultural phenonmenon, introducing new audiences to musical theater with a mixed race cast singing in a mixture of styles in a touring production at Shea's that does not diminish the Broadway effect in any way. Tickets are available. The setting of Lin-Manuel Miranda's earlier musical, IN THE HEIGHTS, is reprised in Raíces Theater Company's BARCELÓ ON THE ROCKS, set in NYC's Washington Heights neighborhood, and it opens tonight at the Manny Fried Theater.

Buffalo Challenger

SIVE at Irish Classical is closing this Sunday. If you haven't gone, go. For an equally powerful theater experience see August Wilson's KING HEDLEY II at the Paul Robeson Theater. CHRISTMAS OVER THE TAVERN may be sold out, but for the holiday spirit see MY THREE ANGELS or NUNCRACKERS.


Katherine Butler

This theater season continues with high quality productions, including AFTERGLOW at The Alleyway, A DOLL'S HOUSE PART 2 at the Kavinoky, SIVE at Irish Classical, but Sam Shepard's FOOL FOR LOVE, starring Eric Rawski, Candice Kogut, and Steve Jakiel at 545 Elmwood closes this weekend.

ICTC

The depth of the talent pool in Buffalo is such that many good shows can be run simultaneously, with a half dozen major productions up right now, although some are better produced than others. At the top of anyone's list should be SIVE at Irish Classical, a take your breath away experience.

Road Less Traveled Productions

Ever since Curtain Up! 2018 the season keeps building momentum. A thrilling Bartlett Sher production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, a tight breathtaking ensemble with David Mamet's SPEED THE PLOW, and a beautifully sung, very touching MOTHER JONES IN HEAVEN (AND HELL) and five more promising openings this week, three of them tonight!


Brazen Faced Varlets

Road Less Traveled Productions opens its 2018-2019 season tonight with SPEED THE PLOW in their new theater on Main Street near Court, while a few blocks north, the Brazen Faced Varlets move from smaller quarters to the Alleyway Cabaret for a play about our divided political landscape, THE TAMING.


Mark Duggan

BIG FISH delights, with its nuclear family set against a swirl of tall tales and larger than life characters, on a re-designed Shea's Smith Theatre stage. This week it's all about musicals, musicals, musicals.

It's all about musicals this week as BIG FISH (based on the movie) opens tonight at Shea's Smith and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken continues at O'Connell & Company.

Pages