Theater Talk: Barbara Cook passes, Macbeth continues, Romeo and Juliet opens

Aug 11, 2017

Barbara Cook, one of Broadway's leading sopranos, died at home in Manhattan at the age of 89. On Broadway, and on cast recordings (although not in the movie versions), Cook was best known for three roles: Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's 1956 CANDIDE (listen to "Glitter and Be Gay"); the librarian Marian opposite Robert Preston in 1957's THE MUSIC MAN (listen to "Till There Was You"); and Amalia Balash, the letter-writing heroine of 1963's SHE LOVES ME (listen to "The Ice Cream Song").

Her last meal was vanilla ice cream, a nod to that role. Meanwhile, in Buffalo the three witches open Shakespeare in Delaware Park's MACBETH with the question: "When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?" which has proved to continue the curse of MACBETH, but both Anthony and Peter finally got to go, so if it's not raining, get thee hence to "Shakespeare Hill" because the final show is August 20th. And, at Chautauqua's Bratton Theater, the CTC is putting on Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET, which opens tonight, and should make good use of the talented, younger actors at their disposal for this very youthful oriented play.

Cassidy Kreuzer, Gretchen Martino, and Amelia Scinta are a refreshing change from the “same old same old” Hallowe’en type three witches in Macbeth (Shakespeare in Delaware Park through August 20).
Credit Photo: Christopher Scinta –

Barbara Cook, Broadway star, passed away this week at the age of 89.


DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID, Pittsburgh CLO & Kansas City Starlight touring production of the Alan Menken musical, presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Aug 15-20, Tue-Fri at 7, Sat at 2 & 7, Sun at 1 & 6. Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (1-800-745-3000).

ROMEO AND JULIET, tragedy by William Shakespeare presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Dawn Monique Williams. Aug 11-18. Bratton Theater, Chautauqua Institution (357-6250).


MACBETH, tragedy by William Shakespeare presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, directed by Saul Elkin, starring Matt Witten, Lisa Vitrano, Chris Hatch, Jamie Nablo, Nick Stevens, Ray Boucher. Though Aug 20, Tue-Sun at 7:30. Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park (856-4533).

Lisa Vitrano and Matt Witten are the bloody upwardly mobile couple in MACBETH (Shakespeare in Delaware Park through August 20).
Credit Photo: Christopher Scinta –

TRAINWRECK, new musical based on the album by Boys Night Out. Through Aug 26, Fri & Sat at 9.  Patchwork Theatre of Niagara, 1201 Pine Ave., Suite 104, Niagara Falls.


JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, musical by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber, directed by Debby Koszelak, starring Anthony Lafornara, Jill Anderson, Taryn Goehrig, Katie Riederer. Aug 3-13, Thu & Fri at 7, Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Ghostlight Theatre, 170 Schenck St., North Tonawanda (743-1614).

PRETTY FUNNY, world premiere of a musical by Marisa Guida and Philip Farugia, directed by Randall Kramer, starring Arin Dandes, Amy Jakiel, Lou Colaiacovo, Nicole Cimato, Marc Sacco, Dan Urtz, Brittney Basset, Bethany Burrows, Michael Wakowiak, Camryn Clune. Through Aug 13, Wed & Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540).


BASTARD, solo performance presented by Palissimo Co. as part of the Response Performance Festival 2017. Aug 19 & 20 at 7:30. The Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave.

THE GATHERING, performance piece presented by Torn Space Theater as part of the Response Performance Festival 2017. Aug 18 & 19, 6:30 & 7:30. Silo City, 20 Childs Street.

Adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 08/09/2017