Theater Talk: Diverse casts in "Our Town" and "Romeo and Juliet"

Jul 3, 2015

Peter is heading south this weekend to see a diverse cast in OUR TOWN, the classic play by Thornton Wilder, presented by the Chautauqua Theater Company through July 12th at the Bratton Theater (your theater ticket is also your gate pass for the Chautauqua Institution). Anthony says that if you did OUR TOWN in high school, forgive that experience, and see the play anew.

Michael Potts and Carol Halstead as Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs in “Our Town” at Chautauqua.

Summers in our area are chock full of theater, including SISTERS OF SWING: THE ANDREWS SISTERS MUSICAL, high energy fun, directed by Doug Weyand, which opens Wednesday, July 8th and runs through August 9, at Musicalfare Theatre on the grounds of Daemen college in Amherst. By the way, Musicalfare’s Randall Kramer is directing PETER PAN, the Broadway musical based on the play by J.M. Barrie, up at Artpark from July 30th through August  7th.

You only have another week (through Sunday, July 12) to enjoy Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET, presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, with, as always, a blend of Buffalo’s most experienced actors with an up-and-coming cadre full of energy. Several of the male roles have been seamlessly re-cast for women. Two tips: since it’s free (with a goodwill offering solicited during intermission) you may wish to go more than once and take along an aspiring younger person. Also note that TWELFTH NIGHT, the comedy by Shakespeare, will presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, directed by Steve Vaughan (who choreographed the current play’s fight scenes) from July 23rd through August 16th.

Of course, Niagara on the Lake’s Shaw Festival (11 offerings) and the Stratford Festival (13 offerings), both in Ontario, have a full roster of plays too many to mention.

Since Buffalo summers seem to fill up so quickly you may wish to plan now on seeing BETTE AND JOAN: THE FINAL CURTAIN, about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, starring Jimmy Janowski and Christopher Standart. It's high camp ("BUA Summer Camp") presented by Buffalo United Artists from July 24th through August 16th, at the Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret.

INTIMATE APPAREL, the play about a younger woman imagining her great-grandmother’s life prompted by only a few pieces of discovered apparel, will be at the Chautauqua Institution from July 24th through August 2nd. And they’ll close their season with Shakespeare’s HENRY V.

RHINOCEROS by Eugene Ionesco, dealing with ideological conformism (Gee, do you think that’s still relevant?), is one of those 100 plays that every educated person should see and will be presented by Subversive Theatre, from July 23rd through August 15th, at The Manny Fried Playhouse.