Theater Talk: LES MIS and PATSY CLINE are non-holiday delights in mostly Christmas Theatre District

Dec 6, 2019

About half of the current theater in town is Christmas inspired, but not all, and that includes Buffalo's "Theatre District" starting with Shea's 710's remount of CHRISTMAS OVER THE TAVERN and the Alleyway's annual favorite A CHRISTMAS CAROL, but we also have Melissa Leventhal channeling the late great Patsy Cline at Shea's intimate Smith Theatre which shares a lobby with the 3000+ seat Shea's and the touring production of LES MISERABLES.

Melissa Leventhal is beloved C&W singer Patsy Cline in A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE at Shea's Smith Theatre but only through this Sunday, December 8.
Credit Jessica Marinelli

OPENING

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Dickens’ classic adapted and directed by Neal Radice. Dec 6-22, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 5, Sun at 2, plus Dec 12 & 19 at 7:30, Dec 22 at 5. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600) www.alleyway.com

CHRISTMAS OVER THE TAVERN, musical by Tom Dudzick presented by MusicalFare, directed by Randall Kramer, starring Wendy Hall, Peter Horn, Pamela Rose Mangus, Isaac Fesmire, Joel Fesmire, Samuel Fesmire, Caroline Schettler.  Dec 5-22, Thu at 7:30, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Shea's 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org/710-theatre

EL COQUI ESPECTACULAR AND THE BOTTLE OF DOOM, play by Matt Barbot, presented by Raices Theatre Company, directed by Victoria Pérez, starring Dan Torres, Alejandro Gabriel Gómez, Rolando E. Gómez, Lissette DeJesus, Smirna Mercedes. Dec 6-22 Thu at 7:30, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 6. Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., 3rd floor (381-9333) www.raicestheatrecompany.com

THE GOLDEN GIRLS: LOST EPISODES, HOLIDAY EDITION, comedy by David Cerda, directed by Todd Warfield. Dec 5-28, Thu-Sat at 8 (no performance Dec 26). Alleyway Cabaret, 672 Main Street (852-2600) www.alleyway.com

LES MISERABLES, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Dec 10-15, 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

MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS, musical by Kauzlaric & Howe presented by Theatre of Youth, directed by Jennifer Toohey, starring Bobby Cooke, Melissa Levin, Bobby MacDonnell, Heather Reed, Christine Seshie, Angelo Heimowitz. Dec 7-22 Sat & Sun. Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. (884.4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

ONGOING

A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, musical adapted for the stage by Jeremy Brooks & Adrian Mitchell, from the words by Dylan Thomas, presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Vincent O’Neill, Tyler Eisenmann, Michele Roberts, Ben Michael Moran, Nicole Cimato, Christian Brandjes, Karen Harty, Brittany Bassett, Renee Landrigan, Gregory Gjurich, Charmagne Chi, Megan Callahan, Joseph Donohue III, Brandon Barry. Through Dec 15, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, adapted from Charles Dickens by Tim Carroll, directed by Molly Atkinson, at The Royal George Theatre, 85 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON on select days through December 22, 2019 (905-468-2172 / 1-800-511-7429) www.shawfest.com  

COME BACK TO THE 5 & DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN, play by Ed Graczyk, directed by Richard Lambert, starring Stephanie Bax, Betsy Bittar, Dylan Brozyna, Lara D. Haberberger, Lisa Ludwig, Jessie Miller, Mary Moebius, Jamie Nablo, Kerrykate Abel-Smith.. Through Dec 21, Thu-Sat at 8. The New Phoenix Theatre on the Park, 95 Johnson Park (853-1344) www.newphoenixtheatre.org

ELF, THE MUSICAL by Martin, Beguelin & Slar, directed by Michael Walline, starring  Melinda Capeles, Louis Colaiacovo, Adrienne Ricchiazzi Cummings, Chris Cummings, Rheanna Gallego, Chris J. Handley, Jake Hayes, Stevie Jackson, Johnny Kiener, Nicholas Lama, Bob Mazierski, Jennifer Mysliwy, Dan Urtz, Michael Wachowiak, Alexandria Watts. Through Dec 22, 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

HOLIDAY INN, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, adpated from the Universal Pictures movie, directed by Kate Hennig, at the Shaw Festival Theatre, 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON on select days through December 22 (905-468-2172 / 1-800-511-7429) www.shawfest.com

PRESCRIPTION MURDER: COLUMBO, play by William Link and Richard Levinson presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Jack Hunter, Dave Marciniak, Lisa Hinca, Laura Barriere, Nathanial Higgins, Rhonda Parker. Through Dec 15, 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

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

A KID LIKE JAKE, by Daniel Pearle, directed by Sabrina Kahwaty, in a free reading, Mon, Dec 9 at 7:00 pm. Kenmore Presbyterian Church (use parking lot door), 2771 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore. secondgenerationtheatre.com/free-reading-series

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, live radio play, adapted from the Frank Capra movie, presented by Carriage House Players, directed by Peg Merrill, starring Margo Davis, Betsy Ross Visciano, Jason Mussachio,  Les Bailey. Dec 6-15, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Taylor Theater at Kenan Center, 433 Locust St., Lockport (433-2617). www.kenancenter.org

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, winter fundraiser presented by Aurora Players, directed by John Szablewski, Dec 12-15, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Roycroft Pavilion, in Hamlin Park. South Grove St., East Aurora (687-6727). www.auroraplayers.org
at 2:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2:30.

CLOSING

A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE, musical by Dean Regan, presented by O'Connell & Co., directed by Drew McCabe, starring Melissa Leventhal, David Wysocki. Through () ́Dec 8, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Shea's Smith Theatre, 658 Main St. (1-800-745-3000) www.sheas.org/710-theatre

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, play based on the novel by Harper Lee, adapted by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Chris Avery, Aleks Malejs, Xavier Harris, Robyn Baun, Shanntina Moore, Paul Maisano, Patrick Moltane, John Profeta, David Lundy, Michael Seitz, Jacob Albarella, Marie Costa, Mary McMahon, Ray Boucher, Kevin Kennedy, Peter Palmisano. Through Dec 8, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

TWO TRAINS RUNNING, play by August Wilson, directed by Edward G. Smith, starring Al Garrison, Debbi Davis, Fisher, Hugh Davis, Michael Hicks, Roosevelt Tidwell III, Vincenzo McNeill, Russell Holt. Through Dec 8, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

Listings adapted from Javier Bustillos