Theater Talk: Anthony discovers 'the well-made play' with his TV remote

Apr 17, 2020

In the 5th week of social distancing, electronic media is becoming a bigger part of our lives as we try to stay connected and entertained or both. This Sunday at 11 a.m., the Alleyway Theater will have a socially distant but live theatrical event via YouTube. And with no theaters to attend, Anthony has discovered, or re-discovered, binge-watching streamed television shows and is delighted to see how many follow the 19th century model, proposed by Eugene Scribe, of "the well made play." 

Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor in George Cukor's 1936 film "Camille" which has all the elements of "The Well Made Play" (foreshadowing, reversals, information known only to some but not all, rising action and satisfying denouement).
Credit MGM publicity still, Public Domain, courtesy of Wikipedia

Alleyway will present BUFFALO QUICKIES: LIVE BRUNCH starting this Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 11am.

Although the health crisis prevented QUICKIES on stage this year, Alleyway is thrilled to present the plays with actors "live from their living room La-Z-Boys" via YouTube over the coming weeks. Tune in to every Sunday morning for a world premiere short play each week. Five of the plays are world premieres by Buffalo playwrights, including Darleen Pickering Hummert, Justin Karcher, Mark C. Lloyd, Samantha Marchant, and j.Snodgrass. The final play is by 2019 Maxim Mazumdar Prize Winner Collin I. Hood. Director Joyce Stilson brings together a cast featuring Smirna Mercedes, David C. Mitchell, Kate Olena, Matthew Rittler, and Michael Starzynski. 

Watch and get the full lineup at

And, in cooperation with PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing), Ujima Company Inc. will first air a discussion of how various vectors have adversely affected Buffalo residents followed by a screening of the play FREE FRED BROWN, which shows how economic, political, ecological forces are all interconnected. The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23 (Earth Day) at 6:30 p.m. with the screening at 7PM. Audiences are invited to visit for more details.

To keep up to date with theater goings-on, subscribe to Anthony's free blog 

Per, Shakespeare in Delaware Park has announced a new date for its 26th annual "Fabulous Feast" and auction. The popular fundraising event is now scheduled for Friday October 2, 2020. Originally scheduled for March 14th, the event was nixed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SDP is doing what can to maintain its presence during the lockdown, through its social media platforms. They are sharing creative and artistic content; offering support for local businesses; providing discussion through their new Facebook Touchstone Book Club, and offering family friendly crafts and trivia. The outdoor festival is still scheduled to begin its 45th season on June 18th with the opening of As You Like It, followed by the opening of A Midsummer Night's Dream on July 23rd.


As the call to suspend nonessential travel and assembling in groups is extended at least another month, it is not surprising that Buffalo's theater season continues to adjust. As expected, the Shea's Gala and the final show of the Irish Classical season will not happen as scheduled. Shea's has rebooked Audra McDonald in October, which is likely to be a very busy month, as three months of postponements get shifted into the fall. 

Shaw and Stratford have postponed. Irma Vep is off at the Kavinoky and their production of Paula Vogel's Indecent is schedule to resume its run in the summer.  The Buffalo Opera Unlimited Carmen at Rockwell Hall has been moved to next winter.  

In other news, the 74th Annual Tony Awards, previously scheduled to air live on CBS on June 7th will be rescheduled.  

Here is a list of productions which were scheduled for spring 2020, roughly in chronological order of opening that are now canceled, curtailed, or postponed in response to COVID-19. Some predictions put the peak of the pandemic in May or later.  With various possible scenarios for the future progression of the virus, we can assume that other cancellations and schedule adjustments are forthcoming. This list will be updated as information becomes available. 

Scotch & Madness - Alleyway 2/20-3/14

Hand to God - Road Less Traveled Productions 3/5-29

Kiss of Spider Woman - New Phoenix Theatre 3/6-28

Indecent - Kavinoky 3/6-29 -- moved to July 9 - 19

The Onion Game - Irish Classical Theatre 3/6-29

Eclipsed - Subversive - 3/6-28

Hello, Dolly! - Shea's - 3/10-15

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - All for One - @710 3/12-29 -- 

   rescheduled for February 11 – 28, 2021

Dance on Widows Row - Paul Robeson Theatre 3/13-4/5

The Outsiders - TOY 3/14-5/5

Three Tall Women - Second Generation 3/20-4/5

Buffalo Quickies - Alleyway 3/26-4/18

Everybody, UB Theatre & Dance, 4/1-5

Shaw Festival Season - opening 4/1 - postponed through 5/25

Stratford Festival Season - postponed until 6/2

Diary of a Wombat - Shea's 710 - 4/7

Desde el Puente (10 min) - Raices 4/10-26 -presumed

The Band's Visit -- Shea's 4/14-19

Lucky Stiff - O'Connell 4/16-5/10*

Gospel at Colonus - Ujima 4/17-5/10*

Robert Dubac’s Book of Moron - Shea's 710 4/17

The Dining Room, Carriage House Players, Taylor Theater, Lockport, April 17- 26

Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder - Musicalfare 4/22-5/24 - postponed 

Imagine the World - Alleyway 4/23-5/16

Modern Orthodox - Jewish Rep 4/23-5/17 -- possibly moved to next season

Curious Case/Watson Road Less Traveled 4/23-5/17

The Cherry Orchard - Irish Classical 4/24-5/17

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - New Phoenix 4/24-5/23

Merrily We Roll Along -- UB Theatre & Dance, 4/24 - 5/3

Shea's Black-tie Gala with Audra MacDonald 4/25 -- rescheduled 10/23

Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, Shea's, 4/29

Mystery of Irma Vep - Kavinoky 5/1-24

Bubbling Brown Sugar - Paul Robeson Theatre 5/1-24

Five Songs for Fillmore  - Torn Space  5/1-17

Carmen - Buffalo Opera Unlimited - 5/1&3 - moved to 12/4&6

Bright Star - MusicalFare@710 5/7-17

Go Dog Go - TOY 5/9-6/6

Anton in Show Business - Brazen-Faced Varlets 5/15-5/31

Two Afternoons at Kelly’s - Subversive 5/15-6/6

Steel Magnolias - O'Connell & Co - 5/28-6/21

Man with a Load of Mischief - Opera-Lytes - 6/4 - 7

Drama at Inish - Irish Classical 6/5-28 

Spunk -- Ujima - 6/5-28*

Cabaret - Second Generation 6/12-28

As You Like It -- Shakespeare in Delaware Park -- 6/13 - 7/12

Swing Swing Swing - Musicalfare 7/8-8/9

A Midsummer Night's Dream -- Shakespeare in Delaware Park -- 7/18 - 8/16 

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