Peter Hall

Theater Talk co-host
Emily Cooper Shawfest.com

Buffalo actors are busy prepping for Curtain Up!, but there's not much on stage yet. Charmagne Chi wraps up her "adult content" cabaret at MusicalFare tonight. Yet trips to the two great Canadian Festivals continue to yield treasures. A stunning CYRANO DE BERGERAC at Shaw stars Stratford/Shaw's Tom Rooney in a new translation/adaptation by Stratford/Shaw's Kate Hennig  whose play MOTHER'S DAUGHTER at Stratford is worth the drive.

Jay Desiderio Facebook / Theater Talk on WBFO, Buffalo Rising, Artie Commit

Ellen Horst is the stern Holocaust survivor, Grandma Kurntiz, admonishing her daughter Bella (Diane DiBernardo) and her two grandsons, played by Ayden Herreid and Timothy Whipple, who get some great Neil Simon gag lines in LOST IN YONKERS. Out of town, there's fun for all at both The Stratford Festival and The Shaw Festival when actors take on wildly contrasting roles in different plays in repertory, such as Stratford's OTHELLO and THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR on stage this summer.

Love's Labour's Lost Facebook page

Broadway dimmed its fabled lights in honor of Harold "Hal" Prince who earned 21 Tony Awards in his career and was involved with so many iconic musicals starting with THE PAJAMA GAME and WEST SIDE STORY, FIDDLER, CABARET, and more, who passed away at the age of 91. And, while in NYC, Anthony took in two "hot tickets" - MOULIN ROUGE and FAIRVIEW. Locally, LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST continues to delight audiences in Delaware Park. 


Greg Funka, Chautauqua Institution

If you haven't seen LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST at Shakespeare in Delaware Park, or FIRST DATE at MusicalFare, or MOMMIE QUEEREST at the Alleyway, then by all means, go, go, go. But, if you're interested in an August road trip, then you want a "destination" with lots to do such as The Chautauqua Institution, or The Stratford Festival (or the Shaw Festival) or Broadway!

shawfest.com

The Chautauqua Opera Company is gaga for the 18th century, wrapping up their opera trilogy  - BARBER OF SEVILLE and ¡FIGARO!(90210)  - on Saturday with THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLE, all based on plays by Beaumarchais. At the Bratton Theatre, they've updated Goldoni's ONE SERVANT, TWO MASTERS with ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS. And the discussion continues about theater specialites which are more in demand - the dramaturg and the dialect coach.


buffalo united artists

Anthony is in NYC, but before he left, both he and Peter enjoyed FIRST DATE starring Marc Sacco and Marie Michelle Roberts at MusicalFare as well as MOMMIE QUEEREST, BUA's "summer camp" send up of the movie "Mommie Dearest." On Broadway, Anthony's seen WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME (a quirky but successful play); AIN'T TOO PROUD (a jukebox musical about The Temptations); and ROLLING STONE (inspired by Arthur Miller's THE CRUCIBLE).

The Shaw Festival

Even though society may look down on her, she's still in control, and we could be talking about the flower girl, "Sonya," in THE RUSSIAN PLAY by Hanna Moscovitch or Margy, the prostitute in Mae West's SEX, both of whom forego money for love, but "it's complicated." These two seemingly different plays just opened and continue the conversation started when Shawfest presented GBW's MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION several seasons back.

lapromationaldesign.blogspot.com

Anthony is back after a short trip to NYC where he saw his favorite MY FAIR LADY (again!) at Lincoln Center and TO KILL A MOCKINBIRD at the Schubert (the updated Aaron Sorkin version that's coming to the Kavinoky in the fall)! And THE TEMPEST continues to delight at Shakespeare in Delaware Park (especially with comic masters Chris Handley and Norm Sham - see photo).

Buffalo United Artists Facebook page

Today we observe the 50th anniversary of "The Stonewall Riots" in NYC which mark the modern era of Gay Rights with a "Triple Play" (pardon the pun) of LGBTQ themed theater: You can see THE SEAT NEXT TO THE KING and/or ON THE ROOF either tonight or tomorrow, and BUA TAKES 10: STONEWALL EDITION tonight through Sunday.

Second Generation Theatre Facebook post

As mentioned, the "next" (2019-2020) Artie Award season is well underway and so far the theatrical offerings are simply first rate. For example, Kelli Bocock-Natale and Stan Klimecko a bit too interested in "Mr. Sloane," at Irish Classical, while across Main Street Ben Michael Moran and a cast of fifteen high energy actresses are making NINE the talk of the town.

www.shawfest.com

The Shaw Festival now has half of its productions up, including a very satisfying musical (finally!) in Lerner and Loewe's  BRIGADOON, for which seats are becoming scarce. Locally, GIRLS WHO WALKED ON GLASS at the Alleyway is immersive, innovative, and very well done, a play that you won't soon forget.

Eileen Elibol, WNED|WBFO

The 29th Annual Artie Awards recognized Buffalo theatrical talent (and hard work, late nights, and supportive spouses) while raising dollars to support HIV/AIDS Immunodeficiency Services. See the winners and pictures or visit #ArtieAwards or see "Related Content" below. Now we're already into next Artie season. Two plays focus on dangers women face, with an immersive experience by Gordon Farrell titled GIRLS WHO WALKED ON GLASS at Alleyway Theatre while Kelly Beuth's students from BAVPA present the edgy LAYLA'S ROOM at Subversive Theatre.

You don't have to enroll at Buff State to enjoy a talk by "Professor Chase!" Anthony will be introducing a live, costumed dramatic reading "Little Women", Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Kavinoky Theatre. This week we also look at the first four openings at The Shaw Festival (see listings below) and the highly recommend LOOKING THROUGH GLASS which closes Sunday at the Jewish Repertory Theatre in Getzville.

Eileen Elibol, WNED|WBFO

The ARTIE AWARDS, produced by WNED|WBFO were a huge success in terms of fun, for honoring excellence in theater, and to raise money (over $14,000 and counting) for the ECMC Immunodeficiently Clinic. Some recent Shaw outings have been less than hoped for, but that's not the case for Shaw's SAINT JOAN which is powerful theater and for a tragedy, surprisingly funny. It's at the large Festival Theatre in Niagara on the Lake and makes full use of the stage to astound the audience. Opening tonight: FREE FRED BROWN! with Ujima Company at Paul Robeson Theatre on Masten Avenue.

You don't have to go out of town to catch good theater in June and some lovely leading ladies. Tonight's long awaited openings include Noel Coward's HAY FEVER with Josephine Hogan at the Irish Classical, LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA with the Second Generation Theatre's Debbie Pappas Sham at the Lancaster Opera House, and GET HAPPY with Sára Kovacsi, a celebration of Mr. "Over the Rainbow" Harold Arlen, Buffalo's own, which opens at Theatre of the Mist.

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.

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.

Playwright Gary Earl Ross,  winner of the Emanuel Fried Outstanding New Play Award for THE GUNS OF CHRISTMAS, whose plays about race relations and legal proceedings THE MARK OF CAIN and MATTER OF INTENT were well received, has a new play produced by Subversive Theatre -  THE TRIAL OF TRAYVON MARTIN.

While old Hollywood movies might have us believe that all you need is a stage to "put on a show," in fact there are weeks of behind the scenes preparation, including developing "back stories" for all the characters, as explained by Marissa Biondolillo, currently in the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play PROOF.

NY Theatre Guide

PROOF, a drama by David Auburn, stands up well to repeated viewings, and if you've only seen the movie, well, you haven't seen the drama. Presented by Buffalo Laboratory Theatre, with Marissa Biondolillo in the role of Catherine, the mathematician, it's at Shea's 710 Main Theatre but only tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2. 

Acting coach Constantin Stanislavski (whose name is associated with Marlon Brando's "method acting") once said, famously, "Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors." But what if the actors are, well, actually kind of small? Two Buffalo favorites who fit that category show their huge talents in two ongoing productions.

The BPO serves thousands of school-age children with free concerts, but what about adults? For many years, the "BPOvations" have served as popular "music appreciation" courses.

Shea's Performing Arts Center and Albert Nocciolino just announced their 30th Anniversary Broadway Season (2017-2018) and went on to reveal that the long-awaited musical HAMILTON will be part of the 2018-2019 season. Next season special engagements include THE LION KING and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA while the season opens with Emilio and Gloria Estefan's ON YOUR FEET. This weekend's highly recommended plays are THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT at Road Less Traveled with very tight direction and stellar performances, STOP KISS which builds all evening towards "the kiss" (but with only two more performances at the Manny Fried Theatre), THE SEEDBED which is a family drama at the Irish Classical Theatre, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE at the Kavinoky, and THE UNDERPANTS which is a modern adaptation by Steve Martin of a 1910 German play about sexual attraction, among other themes. And, opening tonight, it's the fabulous Jimmy Janowski as Cleo herself in CLEOPATRA, a BUA production at the Alleyway Theatre.

Audio

In a telephone conversation earlier this week, Irish born playwright Bryan Delaney explained to WBFO Theater Talk co-host how he conceived of, nurtured, and ultimately crafted his latest "Irish" play, THE SEEDBED, which opens tonight at the Andrews Theatre on Main Street in Buffalo, the home of the Irish Classical Theatre Company.

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.


It takes two trucks to transport the International Touring Organ which will grace the stage of Kleinhans Music Hall when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta welcome organist Cameron Carpenter to perform some rather loud music Friday morning and Saturday night. The all-digital organ's sounds were "sampled" from some of Carpenter's favorite organs.

"It's one of the most satisfying moments in all of music" says Dover Quartet cellist Camden Shaw about the music of Beethoven which was to be played tonight, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. at UB. UPDATE: CONCERT POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER (HIGH WINDS). NEW DATE T.B.A.

Pages