Peter Hall

Theater Talk host

Peter Hall wears many hats. He is the afternoon drive host on WBFO’s “sister station,” Classical 94.5 / WNED. where he also produces and hosts “Buffalo Philharmonic Live,” which broadcasts BPO performances conducted by JoAnn Falletta Sundays at 5 p.m. repeating Tuesdays at 11 p.m. Over the years he has produced over 1,000 radio interviews with musical artists. Around town he is emcee for the Buffalo Chamber Music Society "pre-concert chats with the artists" and the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. If you see him at a play or musical with a pen in his hand, he’s probably getting ready to co-host “Theater Talk” with Anthony Chase (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO) or writing a review for www.buffalorising.com. He is also a member of the "Artie Awards" committee (think “Tony Awards for Buffalo theaters”). 

Peter feels fortunate to have worked for some of the most trusted brands in Western New York. In past lives he has been a Director of Membership for Western New York Public Broadcasting, the Director of Marketing for Canisius College, and before that was a Director of Marketing for Fisher-Price. Growing up in the Amherst school system, music, the arts, theater, literature, outdoor activities, and teaching were important in his family. His grandfather, the painter W.J. Schwanekamp, has works on display at the Burchfield-Penney. His father was a high school English teacher and his mother was a librarian. In high school, in addition to running track and cross country and being in the ski club, Peter played various instruments in the orchestra, had leading roles in the plays, and was an editor of the high school newspaper.

Peter holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo. For over twenty years he has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at Canisius College’s Richard J. Wehle School of Business. Depending on the season, on weekends he might be seen riding with the Niagara Frontier Bicycle Club or teaching downhill skiing at Kissing Bridge.

Eileen Elibol, WNED|WBFO

The nominations for the 29th Annual Artie Awards, a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS & Immunodeficiency Clinic at ECMC and a chance to highlight theatrical excellence in Western New York were revealed in a Facebook Live broadcast with Anthony Chase and Nicole Marrale Cimato this past Monday. You can watch it here. The 29th Artie Awards winners will be announced Monday, June 3, starting at 8pm (red carpet at 7pm) at Shea’s 710 Theatre.

broadwayworld.com

The WNED|WBFO Artie Awards nominations will be live streamed on WBFO's Facebook feed Monday, May 20, at noon (the awards ceremonies will be Monday, June 3 at Shea's 710 Theatre). It's the awards season on Broadway, too, where Anthony Chase has been watching, meeting, and greeting.

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.

Peter Hall

Caroline Mallonee's compositions are often inspired by science, such as her previous collaboration with BPO 'cellist Feng Hew and conductor Chris Weber's Camerata di Sant'Antonio string orchestra called "Whistler Waves" (an atmospheric phenonmenon). The triple threat is back to premiere "Portraits of Andromeda" this Sunday, May 5.

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).

bookofmormonbroadway.com/gallery

He didn't have a traditional start in theater, but that hasn't slowed him down. Jacques C. Smith, coming to Buffalo in the touring musical THE BOOK OF MORMON at Shea's Performing Arts Center April 30 to May 12, talks about the acting life.

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).

Oregon Artswatch

With 116 full length CDs to her credit already, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta is gearing up this weekend for yet another recording, bringing an old form of music, an oratorio (think "Messiah"), into the 21st century with Richard Danielpour's "The Passion of Yeshua."


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).

Sean Ryan Facebook

Have you seen the titles "Dance Captain" or "Swing" in your playbill at Shea's? Wonder what those jobs are? UB alumnus Sean Ryan is in the current tour of RENT at Shea's and explains it all.

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.

Facebook.com

Lea Salonga premiered the role of Kim in the original 1989 MISS SAIGON, then Jon Jon Briones sang the role of The Engineer in the 2014 revival, and now another Philippino actor, Red Concepción, proudly takes the stage in the new 2018-2019 U.S. tour for which he promises "producer Cameron Mackintosh has spared no expense."


Jewish Repertory Theatre

There is a continuum from the shocking British 1990's "In Your Face" style to didactic morality plays, such as TALES OF THE DRIVEN currently at Subversive, to theater that teaches, such as A HOME WITHOUT A HOUSE presented (free) next week by Planned Parenthood, to love stories with a message of acceptance, such as TALLEY'S FOLLY at Jewish Rep.

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.

Broadway Buzz

Although only 25 years old, Keri René Fuller is ready to step into some big shoes and sing "Memory" in the current tour of CATS at Shea's.

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.

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