Theater Talk: Theater was "dark" in The Dark Ages, but Easter pageants brought it back

Apr 10, 2020

The last record of any semblance of live theater, once a staple of the mighty Greek and later Roman cultures, was around 530 A.D. Then we entered "the dark ages" and, as now with the COVID-19 pandemic, theater was dark. But ultimately, it was Easter, and depictions of the three Marys at Jesus' tomb (the Holy Mother, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the sister of Lazarus) that reignited the magic of live presentations.


Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene and Jon Legend as Jesus were in the re-broadcast of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR last week on WNED-TV. It repeats this Easter Sunday at 7pm on NBC.
Credit Times-Standard

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Per theatertalkbuffalo.com, Shakespeare in Delaware Park has announced a new date for its 26th annual "Fabulous Feast" and auction. The popular fundraising event is now scheduled for Friday October 2, 2020. Originally scheduled for March 14th, the event was nixed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SDP is doing what can to maintain its presence during the lockdown, through its social media platforms. They are sharing creative and artistic content; offering support for local businesses; providing discussion through their new Facebook Touchstone Book Club, and offering family friendly crafts and trivia. The outdoor festival is still scheduled to begin its 45th season on June 18th with the opening of As You Like It, followed by the opening of A Midsummer Night's Dream on July 23rd.

Per https://www.theatertalkbuffalo.com/post/updated-cancellations-and-postponements

As the President's prediction of packed churches on Easter Sunday falls by the wayside and the call to suspend nonessential travel and assembling in groups is extended at least another month, it is not surprising that Buffalo's theater season continues to adjust. As expected, the Shea's Gala and the final show of the Irish Classical season will not happen as scheduled. Shea's has rebooked Audra McDonald in October, which is likely to be a very busy month, as three months of postponements get shifted into the fall. 

Shaw and Stratford have postponed. Irma Vep is off at the Kavinoky and their production of Paula Vogel's Indecent is schedule to resume its run in the summer.  The Buffalo Opera Unlimited Carmen at Rockwell Hall has been moved to next winter.  

In other news, the 74th Annual Tony Awards, previously scheduled to air live on CBS on June 7th will be rescheduled.  The great Terrence McNally, four-time Tony winning playwright has died from complications of COVID-19.  Actor Mark Blum (Lost in Yonkers; Gore Vidal's The Best Man, Twelve Angry Men) has died from complications of COVID-19. Opera star Placido Domingo, recently implicated for sexual harassment, adds a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection to his woes. Tony winner Gavin Creel (Waitress/replacement, Hello Dolly!, She Loves Me, Book of Mormon) and Aaron Tveit (Moulin Rouge, Next to Normal, Catch Me if You Can) have also tested positive. 

Here is a list of productions scheduled for spring 2020, roughly in chronological order of opening that are canceled, curtailed, or postponed in response to COVID-19. Some predictions put the peak of the pandemic in May or later.  With various possible scenarios for the future progression of the virus, we can assume that other cancellations and schedule adjustments are forthcoming. This list will be updated as information becomes available. 

Scotch & Madness - Alleyway 2/20-3/14

Hand to God - Road Less Traveled Productions 3/5-29

Kiss of Spider Woman - New Phoenix Theatre 3/6-28

Indecent - Kavinoky 3/6-29 -- moved to July 9 - 19

The Onion Game - Irish Classical Theatre 3/6-29

Eclipsed - Subversive - 3/6-28

Hello, Dolly! - Shea's - 3/10-15

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - All for One - @710 3/12-29 -- 

   rescheduled for February 11 – 28, 2021

Dance on Widows Row - Paul Robeson Theatre 3/13-4/5

The Outsiders - TOY 3/14-5/5

Three Tall Women - Second Generation 3/20-4/5

Buffalo Quickies - Alleyway 3/26-4/18

Everybody, UB Theatre & Dance, 4/1-5

Shaw Festival Season - opening 4/1 - postponed through 5/25

Stratford Festival Season - postponed until 6/2

Diary of a Wombat - Shea's 710 - 4/7

Desde el Puente (10 min) - Raices 4/10-26 -presumed

The Band's Visit -- Shea's 4/14-19

Lucky Stiff - O'Connell 4/16-5/10*

Gospel at Colonus - Ujima 4/17-5/10*

Robert Dubac’s Book of Moron - Shea's 710 4/17

The Dining Room, Carriage House Players, Taylor Theater, Lockport, April 17- 26

Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder - Musicalfare 4/22-5/24 - postponed 

Imagine the World - Alleyway 4/23-5/16

Modern Orthodox - Jewish Rep 4/23-5/17 -- possibly moved to next season

Curious Case/Watson Road Less Traveled 4/23-5/17

The Cherry Orchard - Irish Classical 4/24-5/17

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - New Phoenix 4/24-5/23

Merrily We Roll Along -- UB Theatre & Dance, 4/24 - 5/3

Shea's Black-tie Gala with Audra MacDonald 4/25 -- rescheduled 10/23

Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, Shea's, 4/29

Mystery of Irma Vep - Kavinoky 5/1-24

Bubbling Brown Sugar - Paul Robeson Theatre 5/1-24

Five Songs for Fillmore  - Torn Space  5/1-17

Carmen - Buffalo Opera Unlimited - 5/1&3 - moved to 12/4&6

Bright Star - MusicalFare@710 5/7-17

Go Dog Go - TOY 5/9-6/6

Anton in Show Business - Brazen-Faced Varlets 5/15-5/31

Two Afternoons at Kelly’s - Subversive 5/15-6/6

Steel Magnolias - O'Connell & Co - 5/28-6/21

Man with a Load of Mischief - Opera-Lytes - 6/4 - 7

Drama at Inish - Irish Classical 6/5-28 

Spunk -- Ujima - 6/5-28*

Cabaret - Second Generation 6/12-28

As You Like It -- Shakespeare in Delaware Park -- 6/13 - 7/12

Swing Swing Swing - Musicalfare 7/8-8/9

A Midsummer Night's Dream -- Shakespeare in Delaware Park -- 7/18 - 8/16 

Listings provided by https://www.theatertalkbuffalo.com/post/updated-cancellations-and-postponements