Theater Talk: Six openings in July tempt summer audiences

Jul 24, 2015

In a popular Cole Porter musical we are advised to “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” while the cast sings about “Another Opening, Another Show.” Here in our area, starting last night and going through this weekend we have six (6!) openings (including Shakespeare) from which to choose. And that’s in July! Buffalo is definitely not in Kansas anymore.

TWELFTH NIGHT, a comedy by Shakespeare presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, directed by Steve Vaughan features an all-male cast as it would have in Shakespeare’s day with, for example, Jordan Louis Fisher as “Viola” and Tim Newell as “Olivia.” It opened last night and runs through Aug 16, Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. at Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park.

Not to be outdone by Shakespearean actors in drag, BETTE AND JOAN: THE FINAL CURTAIN is high camp and stars Christopher Standart and Jimmy Janowski as “Bette Davis” and “Joan Crawford” and opens tonight, July 24 at 8 p.m., then runs July 25 through August 16, Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. at Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main Street in Buffalo.

Eugene Ionesco’s RHINOCEROS, presented by Subversive Theatre (it’s a play about social conformity) also opened last night and runs through August 15, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. at The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Avenue (on the third floor).

Recommended by The American Library Association THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS has been turned into a children’s musical. Based on the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, presented by The Friends of Niagara University Theatre, it also opened last night, July 23, and runs only through August 1 in the Leary Theatre at Clet Hall on the NU campus.

INTIMATE APPAREL, a play by Lynn Nottage, presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Vivienne Benesch, also opens tonight but runs only through August 2. A young woman finds a few pieces of clothing owned by her great-grandmother and imagines her life as a seamstress in the early 1900s at the Bratton Theater at the Chautauqua Institution.

Tony Kushner’s big play about a big family - THE INTELLIGENT HOMOSEXUAL’S GUIDE TO CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM WITH A KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES - opens on Sunday at The Shaw Festival’s Studio Theatre. Gus, an aging longshoreman/union organizer, deals with his three adult children who have come back home to tell dad how to live his life. The unusually long 14 word title, by the way, combine's Bernard Shaw's "The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism" and founder of Christian Science Mary Baker Eddie's "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

PETER PAN, the Broadway musical directed by Musicalfare’s Randall Kramer opens July 30, running through August 7 at the Artpark Main Stage in Lewiston.  If you saw PETER AND THE STARCATCHER at The Shaw Festival, now it’s time to see “the sequel to the prequel.”

And for the very young (and their handlers) BALLOONACY returns to The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 2640 North Forest Road in Getzville. Presented by TOY’s Theatre for the Very Young series, directed by Meg Quinn, starring Jacob Albarella it runs from August 1 to August 16, Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.