Theater Talk: Unresolved issues still central to theater in the 21st century

Feb 22, 2019

The Vietnam War, Racial Inequality, Immigration: issues th are hot-button topics central to two musicals this week, RAGTIME which continues at Musicalfare Theatre and MISS SAIGON (interview with "The Engineer" actor Red Concepción) which opens at Shea's on Tuesday. On the other hand, for some sweet, bittersweet, and downright zany looks at love, it's ALMOST, MAINE at Shea's 710 Theatre.

The cast of ALMOST, MAINE at Shea's 710 (closing this weekend) are, L-R, John Kreuzer, Wendy Hall, Nicholas Lama, and Eve Everette.
Credit Gina Gandolfo, Road Less Traveled Productions

OPENING

COPENHAGEN, play by Michael Frayn, presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Katie Mallinson. Feb 21-24, Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Acting Studio
Clet Hall (286-8685). http://theatre.niagara.edu

MISS SAIGON, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Feb 26-Mar 3, Tue-Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2 & 7. Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org

ONGOING

THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, a world premiere stage adaptation of the film written by John Cassavetes, presented by Torn Space, directed by Dan Shanahan. Through Mar 9, Thu-Sat at 7:30, plus Mar 10 at 7:30. 612 Fillmore Ave. www.tornspacetheater.com

RAGTIME, musical by Ahrens, Flaherty & McNally, directed by Randall Kramer, starring Kyle Baran, Noah Bielecki, Brian Brown, George L. Brown, Taylor Carlson, Charmagne Chi, Adam Eckmair, Bennett Goldberg, Jake Hayes, Stevie Jackson, Dominique Kempf, Jon May, Ricky Needham, Lorenzo Shawn Parnell, Marc Sacco, Chrissy Vogric-Hunnell, Michael Wachowiak, Alexandria Watts. Through Mar 17, 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

TALLEY’S FOLLY, play by Lanford Wilson presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Steve Vaughan, starring Anne Roaldi Boucher, Chris J. Handley. Through Mar 3, Thu at 7:30, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 2.  The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (650-7626). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com

CLOSING

ALMOST, MAINE, play by John Cariani presented by Road Less Traveled Productions, directed by Doug Weyand, starring Eve Everette, John Kreuzer, Nicholas Lama, Wendy Hall. Through Feb 24, Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Shea's 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

LOVE LETTERS, play by A.R. Gurney presented by O'Connell & Company, directed by Roger Paolini. Through Feb 24, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

TALES OF THE DRIVEN, play written & directed by Kurt Schneiderman, presented by Subversive Theatre, starring David Wysocki, Elliot Fox, Lawrence Roswell, Nigel Williams. Through Feb 23, Thu-Sat at 7:30. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549). www.subversivetheatre.org

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

A HOME WITHOUT A HOUSE: A True Story of Buffalo's Homeless Youth by Teen Reality Theater, presented by Brooke Goergen & Planned Parenthood of Central and Western NY, directed by Anthony Alcocer. One performance only Friday, February 22, at 7:00. Shea's Smith Theater, 658 Main Street Buffalo (adjacent to Shea's PAC). Free admission with suggested donation of clothing, hygiene products, or canned goods to support homeless youth in association wth Post-Industrial Productions.

SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR, comedy by Bernard Slade presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Lisa Ludwig, Don Gervasi.  Feb 21-Apr 7, evening shows arrival at 6, show at 7:30; matinee shows arrival at 1, show at 2:30. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com

UPCOMING

THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY, one-man show by James Lecesne presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Todd Warfield, starring Jimmy Janowski. Mar 8-30, Fri & Sat at 8. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239). www.buffalounitedartists.org

JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare, presented by UB Department of Theatre & Dance, directed by Danielle Rosvally. Mar 1 & 2 at 7:30. UB Center for the Arts, Mainstage Theatre, North Campus (645-6897). theatredance.buffalo.edu

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, play by Christopher Sergel based on Harper Lee’s novel, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Chris Avery, Aleks Malejs, Xavier Harris, Robyn Baun, David Hayes, Shantina Moore, Steve Jakiel, Paul Maisano, Brian Mysliwy, Pamela Mangus, Patrick Moltane, John Profeta, Johnny Rowe. Mar 8-31, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

Listings adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 02/21/2019.