Theater Talk: 'In Your Face,' Didactic or Romantic, theater is a teacher

Feb 15, 2019

There is a continuum from the shocking British 1990's "In Your Face" style to didactic morality plays, such as TALES OF THE DRIVEN currently at Subversive, to theater that teaches, such as A HOME WITHOUT A HOUSE presented (free) next week by Planned Parenthood, to love stories with a message of acceptance, such as TALLEY'S FOLLY at Jewish Rep.

Chris J. Handley and Anne Roaldi Boucher star in TALLEY'S FOLLY at Jewish Repertory Theatre in Getzville directed by Steve Vaughan on a delightful "folly" set by David Dwyer.
Credit Jewish Repertory Theatre

OPENING

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. Feb 14 at 7:30, Feb 15 at 8, Feb 16-24, Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Shea's 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

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. Feb 15-Mar 9, Thu-Sat at 7:30, plus Mar 10 at 7:30. 612 Fillmore Ave. www.tornspacetheater.com

ONGOING

LOVE LETTERS, play by A.R. Gurney presented by O'Connell & Company, directed by Roger Paolini with a different cast every night (see website for personalities appearing on any given night). Through Feb 24, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.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

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

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

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, stage adaptation by Richard Greenberg, presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY, directed by Matthew LaChiusa, starring Candice Kogut, Ryan Kaminski, Heather Casseri, Derrik Reynolds, Dewel Perez, Robert Insana, Elizabeth Oddy, Chris Wagner. Through Feb 16, Thu-Sat at 8. ART/WNY, 545 Elmwood Ave. (983-4345). www.artofwny.org

WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION, play by Agatha Christie presented by Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Les Bailey, starring Kunji Rey, Mike Breen, Mike Starzynski, Ryan Morgan, Paul Bene, Tim Bookhagen, Sarah Fratello, Randy Rumley. Through Feb 17, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3, plus Feb 16 at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 550 Road, Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com

UPCOMING

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.

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

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

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

Listings adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 2/14/2019