Theater Talk: Area shows, regardless of venue, seem better this year

Mar 29, 2019

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).

The intrepid cast of RENT at Shea's almost all born after the 1980s HIV/AIDS crisis depicted on stage.
Credit Carol Rosegg, 2018

OPENING

PYGMALION, comedy by Shaw presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Doug Zschiegner.  Mar 28-Apr 1, Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 7:30, Sun at 2, Mon at 7. Leary Theatre, Clet Hall, NU campus (286-8685).

THE SECRETARY, comedy by Kyle John Schimdt presented by The Brazen-Faced Varlets, directed by Lara D. Haberberger, starring Heather Fangsrud, Stefanie Warnick, Davida Tolbert, Jeannine Giffear, Jamie Nablo, Caroline Parzy-Sanders. Mar 29-Apr 6, Fri & Sat at 8.  Plus Apr 13 at 8 & Apr 14 at 2. Alleyway Theatre’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main St. (598-1585).

ONGOING

AFTER THE FALL, drama by Arthur Miller presented by Subversive Theatre in association with Post Industrial Productions, directed by Bob Van Valin, starring Darryl Hart, Bethany Burrows, Elliot Fox, Kate Parker, Brendan Cunningham, Kathleen Rooney, Alex Rubin, Amanda Vink, Bekki Sliwa. Jessica Leigh Tokarski. Through Apr 6, Thu-Sat at 7:30, plus Mar 31 at 2. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549). www.subversivetheatre.org

THE JUNGLE BOOK, play by Greg Banks based on the books by Rudyard Kipling presented by Theatre of Youth, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Dan Torres, Bobby Cooke, Brendan Didio, Lissette DeJesus, Rick Lattimer, Matthew DiVita. Through Apr 7, Sat & Sun at 2. Apr 6 at 1&4 instead of 2.  Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. (884.4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

1984 by George Orwell, adapted for the stage by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Chris Avery, Aleks Malejs, Shanntina Moore, John Profetta, Robyn Baun, Johnny Rowe, Xavier Harris, Steve Jakiel, Paul Maisano, Patrick Moltane. Through Apr 7, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. (no performance Apr 5). Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

PARADE, musical by Jason Robert Brown & Alfred Uhry, presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY, directed by Matthew Refermat, starring Jordan Levin, Melissa Levin, Tim Goehrig, Nick Lama, Marisa Caruso, Elise Vullo, Brandon Williamson, Lucas DeNies, Christopher Cummings, Brittney Bassett, Talia Mobley. Through Apr 23, Thu-Sat at 8 (no shows Mar 29&30), plus Mar 27 & 31 at 8. TheaterLoft, 545 Elmwood Ave. (697-0837). www.artofwny.org

THE SIDEWALK STAGEPLAY, written by Edreys Wajed & Paulette D. Harris, directed by Harris. Through Apr 7, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

CLOSING

THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY, one-man show by James Lecesne presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Todd Warfield, starring Jimmy Janowski. Through Mar 30, Fri & Sat at 8. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239). www.buffalounitedartists.org

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, play by Stephen Adly Guirgis directed by Scott Behrend, starring Victoria Pérez, Dave Mitchell, Lisa Vitrano, John Vines, Alejandro Gomez, Melinda Capeles, Gabriel Roberé. Through Mar 31, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 456 Main St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, musical presented by Musicalfare Theatre, directed by Randall Kramer, Andrew J. Reimers, Joseph Donohue III, Brandon Barry, Nick Stevens, Jeffrey Coyle, Arianne Davidow. Mar 30 at 8 & Mar 31 at 2. Shea's 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000).

RENT, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Through Mar 31,Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2 & 7. Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org  Listen to a conversation with Dance Captain Sean Ryan.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR, comedy by Bernard Slade presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Lisa Ludwig, Don Gervasi.  Through Apr 7, evening shows arrival at 6, show at 7:30; matinee shows arrival at 1, show at 2:30. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com

UPCOMING

BUFFALO QUICKIES, annual festival of one-act plays, directed by Joyce Stilson, Samantha Marchant, Stephanie Riso, Carly Weiser, starring Stephanie Bax, Andrew Zuccari, Dylan Brozyna, Shawnell Tillery, Jaimee Harmon, Mike Starzynski. Apr 11-May 4, Thu-Sat at 7:30 Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com

Listings adapted from "On the Boards" in Artvoice 03/27/2019