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Theater Talk: Alleyway's BUFFALO QUICKIES 2021 has new, fun 'inside out' twist; Lisa Ludwig stars in MOTHER'S DAY movie

Josie DiVincenzo
IN TRANSIT play by Rachel Lynett, one of 6 BUFFALO QUICKIES 2021, L-R Victoria Pérez and Smirna Mercedes in 710 Main lounge while audience views outside

The 30th annual BUFFALO QUICKIES short play festival continues this year at the Alleyway Theatre with six new plays presented through July 10, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:15pm on the 600 block of Main Street. Last year the QUICKIES were all virtual but this year storefronts to the left and right of the Alleyway have been transformed into distinct live theater stages.

You can read Peter's review here.

Audience members exchange photo IDs for a set of sterilized headphones and then small audience groups are led to the appropriate location or stage by an usher who stays with your small group all evening. You watch from seats set up on the sidewalk and listen through the headphones as the actors perform behind the various windows. Then each audience group rotates to the next window to watch another play, seeing all six by the end of the evening. Everyone who has attended so far seems absolutely smitten with the "inside -out" idea which adds a new and very fun twist on attending a live show.

Pan American Film Division
The movie MOTHER'S DAY by Travis Carlson of Pan American Film Division

Meanwhile, there was a short run of a local film, MOTHER'S DAY, directed and produced by Travis Carlson of Pan American Film Division, shown at Buffalo's North Park Theatre. The film stars multiple Artie award winner Lisa Ludwig with Michael Charles Wagner and was filmed in continuous shots, one lasting around an hour. Lisa Ludwig revealed at the premiere to Anthony Chase that she may have been chosen for the part because the idea of continuous takes (unlike most movies with multiple takes per scene) may have intimidated other actors. As Ludwig told Chase, that's what she does all the time on stage for live theater. There are no "reshoots" - you memorize your script and walk out in front of the audience and you're there for 90 minutes or more.

LOVE, LINDA: THE LIFE OF MRS. COLE PORTER is a one-woman "jukebox" show in which Debbie Pappas Sham as Linda Lee Thomas-Porter reminisces about her long relationship with the famous song writer/Broadway composer/Hollywood favorite Cole Porter. His musicals such as ANYTHING GOES and KISS ME, KATE have never gone out of repertory well into the 21st century. Singing twenty songs ("I Love Paris," "In the Still of the Night," "Let's Do It," "Night and Day") over this one-act performance we get a more nuanced look at one of the most influential contributors to the Great American Songbook during the 1920's and 1930's. It's up through July 18 with both "fully vaccinated" (bring ID and vaccination proof) and "not yet vaccinated" nights at MusicalFare Theatre on the Daemen College campus in Amherst.

Described by Anthony as "A showcase for the talent and charisma of Debbie Pappas" you can see photos on Anthony's blog theatertalkbuffalo.com.

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Listen for Theater Talk, Friday morning at 6:45 and 8:45 during Morning Edition.
Even though "semi-retired," Peter Hall continues to wear many hats. He is the Sunday afternoon host on WBFO’s “sister station,” Classical 94.5 / WNED where he has produced over 1,000 radio interviews with musical artists. If you see him at a theater with a pen in his hand, he’s probably getting ready to co-host “Theater Talk” with Anthony Chase (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO) or to write a review for www.buffalorising.com. He is also a member of the "Artie Awards" committee (think “Tony Awards for Buffalo theaters”).
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