Theater Talk: Hart and Kushner plays captivate Shaw audiences

Aug 21, 2015

There are several closings in Buffalo as the summer wanes, but The Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake continues well into the fall.

Credit from Shaw Festival website

Both Anthony and Peter were very impressed with Tony Kushner’s (of ANGELS IN AMERICA fame) THE INTELLIGENT HOMOSEXUALS GUIDE TO CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM WITH A KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES. Anthony had seen another production and thought that the play dragged in parts, but that absolutely didn’t happen at the Shaw’s Studio Theater. The story concerns an aging longshoreman/union organizer named Gus, who is dying, as he is surrounded by his three adult children and their spouses. Somewhat reminiscent of Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, Gus tries to maintain control of his life. The play lasts almost four hours with two intermissions, but it seems to fly by in minutes.

Previously on Theater Talk the excellent marriage of video with theatrical performance in Moss Hart’s LIGHT UP THE SKY was noted. Actors are about to give a play its first out of town performance and they gather in a suite at the Ritz Carlton. The video camera magically takes us from the exterior of the Ritz to the interior rooms.

HENRY V, by William Shakespeare, presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, closes tonight at the Bratton Theater at the Chautauqua Institution, starring Jonathan Majors as the king. Chautauqua audiences have seen this Yale trained actor before in RAISIN IN THE SUN and we can only hope that he comes back to Western New York soon.

Held over through this weekend, BETTE AND JOAN: THE FINAL CURTAIN, presented by Buffalo United Artists and directed by Todd Warfield, stars Christopher Standard as the dying Hollywood star Bette Davis and Jimmy Janowski as Joan Crawford, sent from hell to ease Ms. Davis’s transition to the other side. It’s great fun and suitable for all ages. Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 7, it’s been held over by popular demand through August 29  at the Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret.

Buffalo favorite Katy Miner (and friends) will be singing at the “Premier Center Cabaret” (the very nice glass enclosed bar area in front of Musicalfare Theatre, 4380 Main Street in Amherst) Saturday, August 29 in JAZZ ON BROADWAY, featuring The Cabaret Big Band, led by Phil Sims.

THEY KILL THINGS, a site-specific spectacle designed for the upper floors of Silo City (never before open to the public) presented by Torn Space Theater, written and Directed by Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola has its last night Saturday, August 22 at 7. Silo City is accessed from Buffalo by crossing the Ohio Street bridge and making an immediate left on Childs Street now called Silo City Way.