Theater Talk: TWO TRAINS RUNNING at Paul Robeson, Plays in NYC of note

Nov 22, 2019

The August Wilson "century play" about Pittsburgh's Hill District in the 1960s opened at the Paul Robeson Theater, three and a half hours of delicious Wilson monologues, directed by Wilson devotee Ed Harris. On and off Broadway, Anthony took in several plays, including the controversial SLAVE PLAY by Jeremy O. Harris and Will Eno's THE UNDERLYING CHRIS starring Buffalo expat (and Bills fan) Lizbeth Mackay.

August Wilson's TWO TRAINS RUNNING set in 1969, at the Paul Robeson Theater in the African American Cultural Center, is a treasure trove of monologues (think "arias") all played out in a small diner, up through December 8.
Credit K.E.G. courtesy of The Paul Robeson Theatre

OPENING

A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, musical adapted for the stage by Jeremy Brooks & Adrian Mitchell, from the words by Dylan Thomas, presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Vincent O’Neill, Tyler Eisenmann, Michele Roberts, Ben Michael Moran, Nicole Cimato, Christian Brandjes, Karen Harty, Brittany Bassett, Renee Landrigan, Gregory Gjurich Charmagne Chi, Megan Callahan, Joseph Donohue III, Brandon Barry. Nov 22-Dec 15, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com

COME BACK TO THE 5 & DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN, play by Ed Graczyk, directed by Richard Lambert, starring Lisa Ludwig, Lara Haberberger, Betsy Bittar, Kerry-Kate Abel, Stephanie Bax, Mary Mobius and more. Nov 22-Dec 21, Thu-Sat at 8. The New Phoenix Theatre on the Park, 95 Johnson Park (853-1344) www.newphoenixtheatre.org

ONGOING

ELF, THE MUSICAL by Martin, Beguelin & Slar, directed by Michael Walline, starring  Melinda Capeles, Louis Colaiacovo, Adrienne Ricchiazzi Cummings, Chris Cummings, Rheanna Gallego, Chris J. Handley, Jake Hayes, Stevie Jackson, Johnny Kiener, Nicholas Lama, Bob Mazierski, Jennifer Mysliwy, Dan Urtz, Michael Wachowiak, Alexandria Watts. Through Nov 22, Wed & Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, play based on the novel by Harper Lee, adapted by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Chris Avery, Aleks Malejs, Xavier Harris, Robyn Baun, Shantina Moore, Paul Maisano, Patrick Moltane, John Profeta, David Lundy, Michael Seitz, Jacob Albarella, Marie Costa, Mary McMahon, Ray Boucher, Kevin Kennedy, Peter Palmisano. Through Dec 8, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

TWO TRAINS RUNNING, play by August Wilson, directed by Edward G. Smith, starring Al Garrison, Debbi Davis, Fisher, Hugh Davis, Michael Hicks, Roosevelt Tidwell III, Vincenzo McNeill, Russell Holt. Through Dec 8, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

CLOSING

THE BOYS UPSTAIRS, comedy by Jason Mitchell presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Todd Fuller, starring Jonathan Beckner, Zachary Bellus, Jeremy Catania, Ricky Needham, Daniel Torres. Through Nov 23, Fri & Sat at 8. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239) www.buffalounitedartists.org

COMPANY, musical by Stephen Sondheim presented by The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Fran Newton, starring Joe Fratello, Chris Andreana, Rachael Buchanan, John Parascak, Joanne Pera, Sydney Bucholtz, Madison Hanel, Erin Holmes, Dan Zerpa, Lucas Colon, Emily Plotkin, Tami Martel, Alexandra Montesano, Christopher Parada. Through Nov 24, plus Nov 23 at 3.  Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 550 Ellicott Creek Rd., Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Broadway musical presented by Casting Hall Productions & Buffalo State Theater Department, directed by Carlos Jones. Nov 21 & 22 at 8, Nov 23 at 2. Warren Enters Theatre, Upton Hall at Buffalo State College (878-3005).

GUYS & DOLLS, Broadway musical presented by UB Department of Theatre & Dance, directed by Keith Andrews. Through Nov 24, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Black Box Theatre, UB Center for the Arts, North Campus (645-6897) www.theatredance.buffalo.edu

INTERROGATION ROOM, play by Jon Elston, directed by Scott Behrend, starring Matt Witten, John Vines, Nick Stevens, Dave Tyrik. Through Nov 24, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Road Less Traveled Theater, 456 Main St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

PRESCRIPTION MURDER: COLUMBO, play by William Link and Richard Levinson presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Jack Hunter, Dave Marciniak, Lisa Hinca, Laura Barriere, Nathanial Higgins, Rhonda Parker. Through Dec 15, Thu & Sat, dinner at 6, show at 7:30; Sun, dinner at 1, show at 2:30. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com

UPCOMING
A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE, musical by Dean Regan, presented by O'Connell & Co., directed by Drew McCabe, starring Melissa Leventhal and David Wysocki. Nov 29 – Dec 8, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Shea's Smith Theatre, 658 Main St. (1-800-745-3000) www.oconnelland company.com

MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS, musical by Kauzlaric & Howe presented by Theatre of Youth, directed by Jennifer Toohey, starring Bobby Cooke, Melissa Levin, Bobby MacDonnell, Heather Reed, Christine Seshie, Angelo Heimowitz. Dec  7-22 Sat & Sun. Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. (884.4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

OUT OF TOWN
AT THE SHAW FESTIVAL 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada 905-468-2172 / 1-800-511-7429 (a 1-hour drive from downtown Buffalo) Rehearsals continue for HOLIDAY INN (November 16 - December 22) and A CHRISTMAS CAROL (November 13 - December 22)

Listings adapted from Javier Bustillos