Theater Talk: Families ripped by outside forces in DETROIT '67 and DANCING AT LUGHNASA.

Jul 21, 2017

In 1967 Detroit, brother and sister Lank and Chelle find their lives upended by a mysterious woman and as their family falls apart, the '67 riots tear their city apart as well. DETROIT'67 opens tonight at the Bratton Theater at the Chautauqua Institution.

Up at the Shaw Festival, the Tony Award winning Brian Friel play DANCING AT LUGHNASA also shows us a family of siblings, five sisters and their brother Jack, a priest returned from Africa to a family on the brink of economic disaster. Industrialization beats out their cottage industry as the forces of Catholicism collide with Pagan and natural beliefs. In another show, things are upended, but for comic effect, as the maid becomes the mistress of the household, in Pergolesi's opera LA SERVA PADRONA at the Albright Knox sculpture garden, tonight (Friday 7/21) at the Albright Knox. And Shakespeare in Delaware Park opens MACBETH next Thursday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m.  

The five aunts dance demonically to "Marconi" the wireless in DANCING AT LUGHNASA at the Shaw Festival through October 15.


DETROIT ’67, play by Dominique Morisseau presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III. Jul 21-30. Bratton Theater, Chautauqua Institution (357-6250).

THE MUSICAL ADVENTURES OF FLAT STANLEY, based on the book by Jeff Brown, presented by The Friends of Niagara University Theatre, directed by Steven Braddock and Terri Filips Vaughan. Jul 20, 21, 22, 28 at 7; Jul 25 at 1; Jul 26 & 29 at 10:00 a.m. Leary Theatre, N.U. campus (286-8685).


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).


LA SERVA PADRONA, comic opera by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi presented by Buffalo Chamber Players, starring Colleen Marcello, James Wright, David Bondrow. Jul 21 at 7:30. Albright-Knox Sculpture Court. (270-8292)


DANCING AT LUGHNASA is at The Court House Theatre through October 15. It won the BBC "Olivier Award" for "Best play of the Year" in 1991 and in 1992 won the Tony Award for "Best Play." Fifteen year Shaw Veteran Patick Galligan plays Michael Evans, the narrator.

Shaw Festival veteran actor Patrick Galligan plays "Michael Evans," the narrator, in DANCING AT LUGHNASA.


HEARTS OF STONE, reading of a new play by Donna Hoke as part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Josie DiVincenzo, Philip Knoerzer, Ben Michael Moran, Melinda Capeles Rowe, Jennel Nadine Pruneda, Steve Copps. Jul 30 at 6; Jul 31 at 7:30; Aug 3 & 4 at 7:30. Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret, 687 Main St.

HEARTS YOUNG & GAY [Part One], reading of a play by Frank Canino presented by Bloody Sunday & Then Monday Series as part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival, starring Alejandro Gomez, Nick Lama, Steve Brachmann, John Profeta, Darryl Hart, Kyle Baran, Verneice Turner. Jul 29 at 7, Karpeles Manuscript Library, 453 Porter Ave. Jul 30 at 2; Aug 5 at 6:30; Aug 6 at 2. Rust Belt Books. 415 Grant St.

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).

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.  Jul 27-Aug 20, Tue-Sun at 7:30. Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park (856-4533).

SHAKESPEARE'S LA PUCELLE, presented by The Brazen-Faced Varlets as part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival, directed by Lara D. Haberberger, starring Stefanie Warnick. Jul 27 at 4:30, Jul 29 at 12:30, Aug 1 at 6:30. Rust Belt Books, 415 Grant St. (598-1585).

Adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 7/18/2017