Theater Talk: SWEENEY TODD slays giddy opening night audience; WAR PAINT touches up in Chicago

Aug 5, 2016

Up at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, the delish serving of revenge in meat pies that is Sondheim's SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET was fulfilling to a bit-too-ecstatic opening night crowd. Meanwhile, Chicago's Goodman Theatre is trying out WAR PAINT, a new musical starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole as cosmetics titans Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. The back and forth sparring will get tightened up, says Anthony, and in the meantime the music is Broadway worthy.

Benedict Campbell as Sweeney Todd, the demon barber, with Corrine Koslo as Mrs. Lovett, who bakes (human) meat pies in SWEENEY TODD at the Shaw Festival.

ONGOING

IT’S ONLY A PLAY, a comedy by Terrence McNally presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Drew McCabe, starring Anthony Alcocer, WBFO’S Anthony Chase, Adam Hayes, Jimmy Janowski, Lisa Ludwig, Mary Kate O’Connell, Michael Seitz can be seen through August 14, Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 at the Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239). www.buffalobua.org

IT'S ONLY A PLAY IS ONLY UP THROUGH AUGUST 14 AT THE ALLEYWAY.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is at Shakespeare in Delaware Park

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, the comedy by William Shakespeare is presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park with a pirate theme, directed by Steve Vaughan, starring Bonnie Jean Taylor, Chris Hatch, Zev Steinberg, Marissa Puzutto, Norm Sham, Adam Yellen, Marc Ruffino, David Lundy, and Rolando Gomez through August 21 Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m.. Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park (856-4533). www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org

CLOSING

EVITA, the musical by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber, directed by Randall Kramer, starring Michele Marie Roberts as Evita (SEE BELOW UNDER “CABARET”), John Fredo as Juan Perón and Marc Sacco in a standout role as “Ché” along with an excellent ensemble made up of Paschal Frisina III, Arianne Davidow, Victoria Perez, Jeffrey Coyle, Alejandro Gomez, Taylor Carlson, Jon Yepez, Matthew Iwanski, Emily Yancey, Jake Hayes, Thomas Evans but only through this Sunday, August 7, Friday at 8, Saturday at 4 & 8, and Sunday at 2 at MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

W3, new play by Jamie Hamilton, presented by Barking Fish Project for the 2016 Infringement Festival, directed by Morgan Hamilton, starring Sarah Hamilton, Coreen Hamilton, Moira Hamilton. August 4 at 7 & August 6 at 2:45, Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave.  (523-3274). www.barkingfishproject.com

SPECIAL PRESENTATION

LOOKING, comedy by Norm Foster presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Don Gervasi, Marc-Jon Filippone, Lisa Hinca, Tammy Reger.  Through August 28. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com

MUSICALFARE PREMIER CABARET- Where the Girls Are starring Wendy Hall, Renee Landrigan, Michele Marie Roberts, August 13 at 8; The Music of Cole Porter with The Phil Sims Cabaret Big Band featuring Katy Miner, August 20 at 4 & 8. MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

UPCOMING

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, comedy by William Shakespeare presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Andrew Borba. August 12-19.  Bratton Theater, Chautauqua Institution (357-6250).