Curtain Up!

Emily Cooper Shawfest.com

Before Curtain Up! on September 20,  Jeanne Hebbbon Cairns will be inducted to "The Plaza of the Stars" on September 16 at 5:00 p.m. (free, open to the public, at Shea's 710 Theatre). WEST SIDE STORY opens at MusicalFare this Wednesday, and Anthony reports a very satisfying theatrical event, the six-hour (including lunch and two intermissions) production of MAN AND SUPERMAN with the often excerpted DON JUAN IN HELL. Only 17 performances have been scheduled at The Shaw Festival.

(Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Curtain Up! this Friday night, September 15, marks the opening of the 2017-2018 theater season, with a formal dinner, some informal dining at Expo, shows along Main Street between Tupper and Chippewa (recently dedicated as "The Chris O'Neill Way"), but all over the area as well, including a spectacular version of Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS at the Kavinoky Theatre on Porter Avenue.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Although many local theater venues hosted opening performances Thursday evening, Buffalo's formal celebration of a new theater season takes place Friday evening with the 36th annual Curtain Up!

WBFO's Mike Desmond

There is another star on the Theater District's Plaza of Stars. Stephen McKinley Henderson, an award-winning actor on stage, screen and Broadway and a recently retired University at Buffalo faculty member has been recognized.

N.Y. Times

Did you know that Jerry Lewis got his theatrical start in Buffalo? At the age of 16 he was booed at a (now-gone) Burlesque house, but went back out on stage and started on the road to stardom.


Patrick Koster

Curtain Up! events hail the official start of the theater season, and many  business leaders view the celebration as a reminder that the theater industry has contributed to the region's resurgence.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

One of Buffalo's prominent members of the theater community will be honor Friday night at the 2016 Curtain Up! Actress and director Mary Kate O'Connell will receive a Star in the Theatre District's Plaza of Stars.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley recently met with O'Connell to talk about her theater group, O'Connell & Company and her work with area youth.

Mary Kate O’Connell, a vivid presence in the Buffalo theater scene with a magnetic stage presence and a luscious soprano voice, has long been known as Western New York’s First Lady of Musical Theater. The guiding force behind O’Connell & Company, Mary Kate, accompanied by Rosy, her ever-present little dog, will be honored this Friday evening, September 16, with a star in the "Plaza of the Stars."

Photography by David Hou.

At the Stratford Festival in Ontario, THE HYPOCHONDDRIAC,  based on THE IMAGINARY INVALID by Molière, is a new version of that classic by Richard Bean with lots of gags and a bit of history, too, as Argon is being played by "Moliere" himself.

Buffalo's theater community ready for Curtain Up!

Sep 17, 2015
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo's Curtain Up! remains one of the premier theater events in the country.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley says Friday night will mark the 34th annual celebration of Buffalo's professional theater season.

photo from Jay Moran

When Road Less Traveled Productions closed its season in May, the theater company also said good-bye to its longtime home located inside the Market Arcade Cinema. After a quick turnaround, they're ready to open another season at a near-century-old structure in Buffalo's Theater District.


Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Since several theaters have already opened up their schedules, tonight's Curtain Up! isn't truly the beginning of the theater season, but it will be a great party anyway.

After 20 years, Buffalo playwright Tom Dudzik's "Over the Tavern" continues to delight audiences, this time at the Kavinoky Theater through October 5. Set in 1959, the story of 12 year-old Rudy who goes "knuckle to ruler" with his teacher, Sister Clarissa, has been tightened up a bit, but all of the familiar cultural references remain intact.

Theater Talk co-host Anthony Chase will be the emcee at this year's Curtain Up! gala dinner at Shea's Performing Arts Center next Friday, September 19. While the dinner always sells out, the local theater productions themselves sell out even faster. 

A.R. Gurney to serve as Honorary Chair of Curtain Up!

Sep 18, 2013
Photo from Curtain Up!

Renowned playwright A.R. Gurney returns to his hometown Friday night. The Buffalo native will serve as honorary chairperson of Curtain Up!  WBFO's Eileen Buckley spoke with Gurney from his home in Connecticut about how Buffalo inspired his work and the success of local theater.


Theater Talk: Curtain Up! one week away

Sep 13, 2013

Buffalo's fall theater season is about to kick into high gear.  We're a week away from Curtain Up!, the annual theater celebration in downtown Buffalo. 

We're still two weeks away from Curtain Up!  This week on Theater Talk, critic Anthony Chase joins WBFO's Mark Scott to talk about some of the shows premiering September 20th that are now in rehearsal.

Ashley Hirtzel/WBFO News

Plans are in place for next month's Curtain Up!, the annual celebration that kicks off the start of Buffalo's theatre season.