Theater Talk: Diversity in America is theme of seven Buffalo productions

Oct 4, 2019

Of all the arts, theater often embraces diversity first. America's struggle to diversify is a strong theme in the ongoing PIPELINE at Ujima and LADIES SWING THE BLUES at the Paul Robeson Theatre, as well the upcoming SUPERIOR DONUTS and a number of shows closing this weekend, including the musicals HAIRSPRAY and WEST SIDE STORY, and one person shows BRIGHT COLORS AND BOLD PATTERNS and KNOCK KNOCK, JESUS CALLING. For details, see the listings below.

PIPELINE CAST skillfully presents a story of diversity in America, directed by Lorna C. Hill, at Ujima Theatre through October 13
Credit K C Kratt

OPENING

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, murder mystery by Agatha Christie presented by Rocking Horse Productions, directed by Derrik Reynolds. Sep 27-Oct 6, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Meeting House, 5658 Main St., Williamsville. www.rockinghorseproductions.net

EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE, play by Lindsay Price, presented by Paige Allison Healing Arts. Sep 26-29, Thu & Fri at 8, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 4. Compass Performing Arts Center, 545 Elmwood Ave. (697-0837).

ONGOING

IZZY, musical revue by Grant Golden & Jim Santella, directed by Richard Lambert, starring Chuck Basil, Brett Klaczik, Nathan Miller, Renee Landrigran. Through Oct 19, Thu-Sat at 8. New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park (853-1334). www.newphoenixtheatre.org

LADIES SWING THE BLUES, book and original lyrics by Thomas W. Jones, II, original music by William A. Knowles, directed by Jones II. Through Oct 13, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

PIPELINE, play by Dominique Morriseau presented by Ujima Company, directed by Lorna C. Hill, starring Shanntina Moore, Jerai Kahdim, Mary Moebius, Phil Davis, Johnny Rowe, Samantha Cruz. Through Oct 13, Thu-Sat at 7, Sun at 4. Ujima Theater, 429 Plymouth Ave. (281-0092). www.ujimacoinc.org

THE FIREBUGS, play by Max Frisch presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Paul Todaro, with an all-student cast. Leary Theatre, 16 Vincentian Dr. Niagara University, NY 14109 (286.8685) www.theatreniagara.edu 

‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE, comedy by John Ford presented by presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti, starring Anna Krempholtz, Jeremy Kreuzer, David Oliver, Charmagne Chi, Chris Brandjes, Adriano Gatto, Ben Moran, Adam Yellen, Aleks Malejs, Jacob Albarella, Rolando Martin Gomez, Melinda Capeles. Through Oct 13, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com

CLOSING

THE AUTHENTIC LIFE OF BILLY THE KID, play by Lee Blessing directed by Scott Behrend, starring Daniel Greer, Peter Palmisano, David Mitchell, Patrick Cameron. Through Oct 6, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 456 Main St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

BRIGHT COLORS AND BOLD PATTERNS, one man comedy by Drew Droege presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Carly Weiser, starring James Cichocki. Through Oct 5, Fri & Sat at 8, plus Sun Sep 29 at 7. Alleyway Cabaret, 672 Main St. (886-9239) www.buffalounitedartists.org

CRAZY FOR YOU, musical by George & Ira Gershwin presented by The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Fran Newton, starring Joe Fratello, Emily Plotkin, Chuck Slisz, Chris Andreana, Sarah Fratello, Dawn Marcolini Newton, Kate Parker, John Parascak. Through Oct 6, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 550 Ellicott Creek Rd., Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com

HAIRSPRAY, Broadway musical based on the John Waters film, directed by Carlos Jones. Though Oct 6, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

KNOCK KNOCK, JESUS CALLING, play written and performed by Heather Fangsrud, presented by The Brazen-Faced Varlets, directed by Lara D. Haberberger. Through Oct 5, Fri at 8, Sat & Sun at 2. Rust Belt Books, ​415 Grant St​. (598-1585). varlets.org

NAVIGATORS, world premiere of the play by Gordon Farrell directed by Neal Radice, starring Chris J Handley, Sandra Roberts, Tom Owen. Through Oct 5, Thu-Sat at 7:30. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com

WEST SIDE STORY, musical by Laurents, Bernstein & Sondheim, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Leah Berst, Robert Cooke, Lissette DeJesus, Brendan Didio, Matthew DiVita, Thomas Evans, Philip Farugia, Rheanna Gallego, Alejandro Gabriel Gomez, Julieana Guash, Alexia Guzman, Karen Grace Harty, Dominique Kempf, Blaise Mercedes, Koby Morgan, Ricky Needham, Jordan Rosas, Joe Russi, Dan Torres, Dan Urtz.  Through Oct 6, 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). www.musicalfare.com

UPCOMING

SUPERIOR DONUTS, play by Tracy Letts presented by Road Less Traveled Productions, starring Steve Jakiel, Jake Hayes, Tina Rausa, Dave Hayes, Lisa Vitrano, John Profeta, Dave Spychalski, Gabriel Robere, Johnny Barden. Oct 10 at 7:30, Oct 11-27, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Shea's 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, musical by Mel Brooks presented by O'Connell & Company, directed by Kelli Natale, starring Timothy Goehrig, Joey Bucheker, Jenny Marie McCabe, Pamela Rose Mangus, Venessa Dawson, John Kreuzer, Nicholas Lama. Oct 10-27, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Ken-Ton Elmwood Commons, 3200 Elmwood Ave. (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

OUT OF TOWN

AT THE SHAW FESTIVAL 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada 905-468-2172 / 1-800-511-7429 (a 1-hour drive from downtown Buffalo)

BRIGADOON, a musical, by Lerner and Loewe, at the Festival Theatre, through October 13

GETTING MARRIED, a comedy by George Bernard Shaw, at the Shaw's Royal George Theatre, through October 13.

MAN AND SUPERMAN, by George Bernard Shaw, at Festival Theatre, August 17 through October 5.

ROPE, a thriller by Patrick Hamilton (after Hitchcock) at The Royal George Theatre, through October 12

SEX, by Mae West, at the Jackie Maxwel Theatre, through October 13

THE LADYKILLERS, by Graham Linehan, at the Festival Theatre, through October 12

THE RUSSIAN PLAY, by Hannah Moscovitch, a "Lunchtime One-Act" at the Royal George Theatre, though October 12

THE GLASS MENAGERIE, by Tennessee Williams, at the Jackie Maxell Theatre, through October 12

VICTORY, by Howard Barker, at the Jackie Maxwell Theatre, through October 12

OUT OF TOWN AT THE STRATFORD FESTIVAL, Stratford, ON www.stratfordfestival.ca 1-800-567-1600 (Stratford, Ontario is about a 2-1/2 hour drive from downtown Buffalo)
AT THE FESTIVAL THEATRE:
OTHELLO by William Shakespeare through October 27  
BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL by Lee Hall and Elton John extended through November 10
THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR by William Shakespeare through October 26
THE FRONT PAGE by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur adapted by Michael Healey through October 25

AT THE AVON THEATRE:
PRIVATE LIVES by Noel Coward through October 26
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken through November 2
THE NEVERENDING STORY based upon the novel by Michael Ende, adapted by David S. Craig through November 3
THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller through October 25

AT THE STUDIO THEATRE:
HENRY VIII by William Shakespeare extended through October 27
MOTHER'S DAUGHTER by Kate Hennig through October 13
NATHAN THE WISE by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in a version by Edward Kemp extended through October 19
BIRDS OF A KIND by Wajdi Mouawd through October 13

Listings adapted from Javier Bustillos