Theater Talk: Brazen-Faced Varlets excel in "ANASTASIA," so does young cast of MERCURY FUR

Jan 31, 2020

It's so "meta" and hilarious when Buffalo's radical feminist troupe, The Brazen-Faced Varlets, puts on a very funny play by Carolyn Gage, THE ANASTASIA TRIALS IN THE COURT OF WOMEN, about a radical feminist troupe putting on a play. The young cast and director of MERCURY FUR also present great ensemble work in an "in yer face" production. While the  flu got the better of FACTORY FOR MURDERERS (think Jack The Ripper), but they're back at the Alleyway. And we remember Buffalo's Mary Loftus (click here for a detailed bio by Anthony).

The "in yer face" MERCURY FUR continues at Subversive Theater. Shown L-R: Jeremy Catania, Matthew-B. Cullen, Zachary Bellus, Zach Thomas
Credit Lawrence Rowswell

OPENING

DEATH OF A SALESMAN, play by Arthur Miller presented by The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Dawn Marcolini Newton, starring Kunji Rey, M. Joseph Fratello, Ryan Morgan, Chuck Slisz, Eric Bloom. Jan 31-Feb 16, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3, plus Feb 15 at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 550 Ellicott Creek Rd., Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com

ONGOING

THE ANTIPODES, play by Annie Baker, directed by Scott Behrend, starring Sean Cullen, Cassie Cameron, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Greg Howze, John Hurley, David Marciniak, Ricky Needham, Dave Hayes, Adam Yellen. Through Feb 9, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 456 Main St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

FACTORY FOR MURDERS, play by Scott McCrea, directed by Neal Radice, starring James Cichocki, Trevor Dugan, Sandra Roberts, Emily Yancey, Madeline E. Allard, Bob Bozek, Emily Lotocki, Nolan Miles, Amy Rochford. Through Feb 18, Thu-Sat at 7:30. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com

JUMP, play by Charly Evon Simpson directed by Paulette D. Harris, starring Marcus Thompson Jr., Aqueira Oshun, Andy Finley, Dayane Araujo. Through Feb 9, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave.(884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

MERCURY FUR, play by Philip Ridley, presented by Subversive Theatre Collective, directed by Mike Doben, starring Matthew B. Cullen, Zach Thomas, Lucas Colon, Helen Rose, Jeremy Catania, Zach Bellus, Justyne Harris, Vinnie DeStefano. Through Feb 8, Thu-Sat at 7:30. Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549). www.subversivetheatre.org

MISS NELSON IS MISSING, play by Joan Cushing; based on the books by Harry Allard, presented by Theatre of Youth, directed by Meg Quinn, starring Jacob Albarella, Mike Benoit, Sabrina Kahwaty, Lily Jones, Christine Seshie, Dan Torres. Through Feb 9, Sat & Sun at 2.  Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. (884.4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

THE MOUSETRAP, mystery by Agatha Christie, directed by Nathan Andrew Miller, starring Monish Bhattacharyya, Anne Roaldi Boucher, Jackson DiGiacomo, Jaimee Harmon, Nathanial Higgins, Susan King, David Mitchell, Matthew Rittler. Through Feb 9, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.LancOpera.org

ON A FIRST NAME BASIS, comedy by Norm Foster presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Eileen Dugan, Russ Papia. Through Mar 22. Thu & Sat dinner at 6, show at 7:30; Sun dinner at 1, show at 2:30. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com

CLOSING

THE ANASTASIA TRIALS IN THE COURT OF WOMEN, courtroom drama by Carolyn Gage presented by The Brazen-Faced Varlets, directed by Lara D. Haberberger, starring Jennifer Arroyo, Heather Fangsrud, Jessie Miller, Jamie Nablo, Caroline Parzy-Sanders, Emily Pici, Kathleen Rooney, Stefanie Warnick, Priscilla Young-Anker. Through Feb 2, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2.  Alleyway’s Cabaret, 672 Main St. (598-1585). Listen to a conversation between Lara D. Haberberger and WBFO's Jay Moran here.

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, musical by Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman, directed by Loraine O’Donnell, starring Michele Marie Roberts, Steve Copps, Christopher Guilmet, Ian Hayes, Arin Dandes, Robert Cooke, Ben Moran, Karen Harty, Kelly Copps, Laryssa Petryshyn, Pamela Rose Mangus, Paul Maisano. Through Feb 2, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

COPS AND FRIENDS OF COPS, play by Ron Klier presented by First Look Buffalo, directed by Drew McCabe, starring Tony Grande, Dan Morris, John Patrick Patti, Shakora Purks, Bob Rusch. Through Feb 1, Thu-Sat at 8. Compass Performing Arts Center, 545 Elmwood Ave. (800-838-3006). www.FirstLookBuffalo.com

NUNSENSE A-MEN!, musical by Dan Goggin presented by O'Connell & Company, directed by Mary Kate O’Connell, starring Michael Starzynski, Jake Hayes, Nick Lama, Daniel Lendzian, Joey Bucheker  Through Feb 2, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2. Shea’s Smith Theatre, 654 Main St. (847-1410). www.oconnellandcompany.com

UPCOMING

GLORIOUS, comedy by Peter Quilter presented by O'Connell & Company. Feb 6 – Mar 1, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Ken-Ton Elmwood Commons, 3200 Elmwood Ave. (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, touring production of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Feb 11-16, Tue-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

Listings courtesy of Javier Bustillos