Theater Talk: Beloved show people leave us - Joe Natale (89) and Carol Channing (97)

Jan 18, 2019

“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.

Buffalo theater recently lost Joe Natale (left) shown here in a typically lighthearted moment with fellow actor, director, (and spouse) Kelli Bocock Natale.
Credit Anthony Chase on Facebook

OPENING

DEATHTRAP, thriller by Ira Levin directed by Katie Mallinson, starring Paul Todaro. Lindsay Brandon Hunter, Joe Isgar, Kathleen Rooney, Steve Jakiel. Jan 18-27, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-17765). www.LancOpera.org

THE ILLUSION, play by Tony Kushner adapted from Corneille’s  L'Illusion Comique, directed by John Hurley, starring Lisa Vitrano, Dave Hayes, Patrick Cameron, Cassie Cameron, Rolando Gomez, Sara Kow-Falcone, David Marciniak, Ray Boucher. Jan 18-Feb 20, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 456 Main St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

NATIVE SON, play by Nambi E. Kelley, adapted from the novel by Richard Wright, directed by Paulette D. Harris, starring Alphonso Walker Jr., Augustus Donaldson Jr., Debbi Davis, Deborah A. Krygier. Jan 18-Feb 10, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

SENSE & SENSIBILITY, play by Kate Hamill based on the novel by Jane Austen presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Kate LoConti, Josephine Hogan, Jenn Stafford, Anthony Alcocer, Renee Landrigan, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Ben Michael Moran, Brendan Didio, Brittany Bassett, David Lundy. Jan 18-Feb 20, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com

ONGOING

SPAMALOT, musical by Eric Idle & John Du Prez, directed by Lynne Kurdziel Formato, starring Gregory Gjurich, Louis Colaiacovo, Dudney Joseph, Bobby Cooke, Steve Copps, Arin Lee Dandes, Michele Marie Roberts. Through Feb 3, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

THE LADIES FOURSOME, comedy by Norm Foster presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Lisa Ludwig, Maureen Porter, Susan Toomey, Lisa Hinca. Through Jan 20, 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

BRIDGE OF ROSES, world premiere musical by Giovanna Albani & Daniele Maugeri, directed by Neal Radice, starring Emily Yancey, Kim Piazza, Tim Goehrig, Daniel Keith Barone, Jeremy Catania, Amy Feder, Roger Griffiths, Andrew Zuccari, Meghan Cobham, Roger VanDette, Heather Reed, Caoimhe Krueger. Feb 7-Mar 2, Thu-Sat at 7:30. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com

THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, a world premiere stage adaptation of the film written by John Cassavetes, presented by Torn Space, directed by Dan Shanahan. Feb 15-Mar 9, Thu-Sat at 7:30, plus Mar 10 at 7:30. 612 Fillmore Ave. www.tornspacetheater.com

TALES OF THE DRIVEN, play written & directed by Kurt Schneiderman, presented by Subversive Theatre, starring David Wysocki, Elliot Fox, Lawrence Roswell, Nigel Williams.  Jan 31-Feb 23, Thu-Sat at 7:30. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549). www.subversivetheatre.org

TALLEY’S FOLLY, play by Lanford Wilson presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Steve Vaughan, starring Anne Roaldi Boucher, Chris J. Handley. Feb 7-Mar 3, Thu at 7:30, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 2.  The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (650-7626). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com
 

Listings adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 1/16/2019.