Theater Talk: Reagan Republicans at the Kavinoky!

Feb 26, 2016

Three openings this week include THE CITY OF CONVERSATION, a play about politics by Anthony Giardina at the Kavinoky, CHILDREN OF EDEN, a musical by Stephen Schwartz at the Lancaster Opera House, and NEVER WEAR A TUBE TOP WHILE RIDING A MECHANICAL BULL, a comedy in drag starring “Dixie Longate” (of “Tupperware” fame).

At the Kavinoky, a play about what happens when a liberal influence broker finds Reagan Republicans in her own family.

The families behind the politics in Washington are the basis of the Kavinoky's play which opens tonight.

THE CITY OF CONVERSATION, a play about politics by Anthony Giardina, takes us back to a time in Washington, D.C. when deals were brokered, not in smoky back rooms, but at dinner parties.  What happens, though, when there is a political rift in the family? Find out in this play directed by Robert Waterhouse, starring Kristen Tripp Kelley, Adriano Gatto, Aleks Malejs, Debbie Pappas Sham, Steve Jakiel, Loraine O’Donnell, Aaron Moss, David Lundy, Joel Fesmire, Tyler Eisenmann. It opens this Friday February 26 and runs through March 20, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3:30 & 7:30, Sundays at 2 at the Kavinoky Theatre (in D’Youville College), 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com.

A biblical musical that's NOT by Andrew Lloyd Webber can be seen at Lancaster Opera House.

CHILDREN OF EDEN, a musical by Stephen Schwartz is based on the Book of Genesis. Act I tells the story of Adam and Eve, Cain, and Abel, and Act II deals with Noah and the Flood. Presented by Rocking Horse Productions, directed by Leigha Eichhorn, starring Clarisse Birkby, Danielle Burning, Jackson DiGiacomo, Emily DiMartino, Tom Doyle, Ryan Kaminski, Marc Krzystek, Derrik Reynolds, Valerie Stevens it runs from this Friday February 26 to March 13, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:30. It’s at the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). wwwlancopera.com

Dixie Longate (the “alter ego” of Kris Andersson) dispenses wise advice, but only for one week (March 1 through 6) at Shea's Smith Theatre.

NEVER WEAR A TUBE TOP WHILE RIDING A MECHANICAL BULL AND 16 OTHER THINGS I LEARNED WHILE DRINKING LAST THURSDAY is a comedy starring Dixie Longate (the “alter ego” of Kris Andersson) who last brought us DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY. It’s presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Tuesday through Sunday only, March 1 though 6.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 7:30; Friday at 8; Saturday at 4 & 8, and Sunday (last day) at 2 & 6. It’s at the smaller Shea’s Smith Theatre, (right next door to Shea’s Performing Arts Center) 658 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org

Continuing this week are:

EL HAJJ MALIK, a play by N.R. Davidson based heavily on The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, presented by Ujima, directed by Lorna C. Hill, starring Brian Brown, Perris Fortson, Preach Freedom, Tuhran Gethers, Tanika Holmes, Daisy Medina, Shanntina Moore, Zoe Viola Scruggs is up through March 6, Fridays  & Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 6 at Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main St. (281-0092). www.ujimacoinc.org. 

LOAD MORE GUYS,  the world premiere of the play with music written and directed by Todd Warfield, inspired by the gay hook-up site “Grinder” is presented by Buffalo United Artists, starring Michael Seitz, Tyler Brown, Joey Bucheker, Sean Marciniak, Aaron Mrowka, Sean Murphy, David Spychalski, Bebe Bvlgari. It runs through March 12, Fridays  & Saturdays at 8. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239). www.buffalobua.org.

And THE SHIPMENT, a play by Young Jean Lee about racism where the audience reactions are as important as the play is presented by Torn Space, directed by Dan Shanahan, starring Dudney Joseph, Danica Riddick, Peter Johnson, Greg Howze, Roosevelt Tidwell runs through March 12, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 (but Feb. 26 & Mar. 4 at 7), plus March 13 at 7:30 at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave. (812-1733). www.tornspacetheater.com

Closing this week are:

The very highly recommended BAD JEWS, a comedy by Joshua Harmon about four 20-somethings, two of whom violently argue over an inherited chai medallion, is  presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Steve Vaughan, starring Arin Lee Dandes, Jamie Nablo, Adam Rath, Nick Stevens. Through February 28, Thursdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 4 & 8, Sundays at 2.  The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (688-4114 x391). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com

FETCH CLAY, MAKE MAN, play by Will Power directed by Laverne Clay, starring Johnny Rowe, Joe Giambra, Leon Copeland, Courtney Turner, Fisher. Through February 28, Fridays & Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

RING OF FIRE, the musical featuring the songs of Johnny Cash, directed by Michael Walline, starring Katie Clark, Steve Copps, Kevin Craig, Philip Farugia, Bob Mazierski, Theresa Quinn, Zak Ward, Maggie Zindle. Through February 28, Wed & Thursdays at 7, Fridays at 8, Saturdays at 4 & 7, Sundays at 2. MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

LOVE’S PASSIONATE FIRE – Shakespeare’s Sonnets, directed and conceived by Kelli Bocock-Natale, starring Eric Rawski, Bobby Cooke, Nick Lama, Michael Wachowiak, Noah Doktor, Joseph Natale closes Saturday, February 27, and runs tonight and tomorrow at 8. The New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park. (853-1334). www.newphoenixtheatre.org

And opening and closing this weekend THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, by Eve Ensler is a special V-Day benefit performance for Crisis Services Advocate Program, directed by Kelly M. Beuth tonight, February 26 & Saturday, February 27 at 8 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Ave. (574-9139).