Theater Talk: Restaurant or theater? Desiderio's is both and the first to reopen

Jun 11, 2021

Because the seating is restaurant style, which can be Covid-compliant, Jay Desiderio's dinner theater was allowed, after a lot of discussion with Erie County, to open.  After diners have eaten they are treated to an early-ish Neil Simon comedy based on the Biblical "Book of Job" - the story of a man whose faith is tested severly, as so many people's were during the last 15 to 18 months.  Starring favorite Buffalo comedic actors Dave Marciniak and Jimmy Janowski, it's squarely in the Neil Simon vien.

L-R Dave Marciniak as the true believer whose faith is tested and Jimmy Janowksi as God's unlikely messenger in Neil Simon's comedy GOD'S FAVORITE
Credit Jay Desiderio

GOD'S FAVORITE: Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre opened last week, with Neil Simon’s comedy, GOD'S FAVORITE, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Jimmy Janowski, Dave Marciniak, Lisa Hinca, Jeremy Kreuzer, Jacob Marciniak, Bekki Sliwa, and Mary Moebius. It runs through August 8th in Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd, in Cheektowaga. Thursdays and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Call (716) 395-3207.

W.B. YEATS POEMS: WORDS & MUSIC: The Irish Classical Theatre also offered their final virtual event of this season with IN PERFORMANCE AND COVERSATION - W.B. YEATS POEMS: WORDS & MUSIC with Yeats works read by Vincent O’Neill along with Irish music and songs performed by Mary Ramsey. It streams through June 27. For tickets and information go to irishclassical.com

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD: Second Generation Theatre opened last night with a fully digital production of Jason Robert Brown’s SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD filmed on location all over Buffalo, and streaming through June 27. Go to www.secondgenerationtheatre.com
 

BIG BUTT GIRLS begins streaming from the Ujima Theatre beginning tonight.
Credit www.ujimacoinc.org

BIG BUTT GIRLS & OTHER FANTASIES: THE REMIX directed by Sarah Norat Phillips featuring Ujima Company member Shanntina Moore. It's the last One Act Play in Ujima's virtual series. Tickets are $15 at ujimacoinc.org.  For tickets click here or visit https://www.onthestage.com/show/ujima-company-inc/big-butt-girls-and-other-fantasies-the-remix-13289/   The Ujima website includes this blurb about BIG BUTT GIRLS & OTHER FANTASIES: THE REMIX: Trapped by hot flashes, varicose veins, and that “middle age middle” Marty longs for her childhood on the south side of Chicago, where all she cared about was listening to James Brown, dancing with her father, and developing into a “BRICKHOUSE!” Using humorous flashbacks and music, Big Butt Girls takes us along on a hilarious and touching ride with Marty as she uncovers beauty and the meaning of self-love. *Caution to viewers that BBG contains strong language and dialogue that reflects sexual assault.

BUFFALO QUICKIES is returning to the Alleyway! It was virtual last year, but in 2021 it will be live again, with a twist. The 30th annual short play festival runs from June 17th  to July 10th and features five ten-minute world and regional premiere plays and one twenty-minute world premiere musical. Here's the twist: storefronts along Main Street will be transformed into performing stages each hosting a short play. The audience will watch from seats on the sidewalk and listen through headphones as the actors perform behind the storefront glass. Seating is limited so patrons are stronglyu advised to purchase tickets in advance at alleyway.com.

SHAKESPEARE: Shakespeare in Delaware Park is coming back this summer in a different format. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S WALK is a retelling of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM while walking throughout the park with groups of 25 people guided by the character "Puck." Go to www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org

The Shakespeare company will also be presenting a touring show, SHAKESPEARE & LOVE, at 22 different spots around WNY. Capacity is limited. For reservations, go to the website www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org.

HAND TO GOD: Road Less Traveled Productions is picking up where it left off with their hit show HAND TO GOD which was shut down in March 2020 because of the pandemic. It will re-open on November 4th. Visit www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org/

The ARTIE AWARDS will come back when all physical restrictions are removed so that it can be what it's meant to be: a full-capacity, full-on party to held at Shea's 710 Theatre.  It will be on a Monday, date TBA.

And, per Javier Bustillos of STAGEFRIGHT!, theater folk favorite hangout, Matinee, will re-open when live theater comes back.