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Theater Talk: Peter Palmisano's ambitious "A History of Buffalo Theatre" podcast, part of his "OFF ROAD" series

Off Road Logo from RoadLessTraveledProductions.org
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Off Road Logo from RoadLessTraveledProductions.org

Road Less Traveled Productions has been offering a series (19 to date) of podcasts entitled OFF ROAD WITH PETER PALMISANO. They all feature popular Buffalo actor Peter Palmisano in conversation with various movers and shakers in the arts community (not just theater). While there are conversations with actors such as Stephen McKinley Henderson whom we see on stage and screen, there are many, many more conversations with those who create the magic.

There are directors such as Victoria Pérez, choreographers such as Lynne Kurdziel-Formato, playwrights such as Donna Hoke and Gary Earl Ross, puppeteer Adam Kreutinger, film-maker George Pittas, editorial cartoonist Adam Zyglis, set designer Dyan Burlingame, and many artistic directors including Mary Kate O'Connell, Loraine O'Donnell, and JoAnn Falletta.

And, at the same location, you can find, after a pandemic's worth of months of research and multiple (almost 200) conversations, Palmisano's "A History of Buffalo Theatre," eight OFF ROAD episodes discussing Buffalo’s rich theater background, beginning with the early 1800s with "the skeleton" of the final episode which will bring us to 2021. That's this week's topic of our podcast "Theater Talk with Anthony Chase and Peter Hall."

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S WALK
Anthony Chase
The three actors in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S WALK who play Puck: Phil Wackerfuss, Melinda Capeles, and Dan Torres

Anthony writes about Shakespeare in Delaware Park's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S WALK in his post "A Shakespearean Tour of Delaware Park" on his blog as follows:

"It's a sure sign of summer in Buffalo. Shakespeare in Delaware Park has returned with a charming walk through the park. Patrons visit various locations to see abridged scenes from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The production, expertly directed by Kyle LoConti, features some exciting young talent and some seasoned Shakespeare veterans. The performances are excellent and the stroll through glorious Delaware Park is marvelous! A pandemic might have inspired this departure from the usual fully staged production, but this edition of Shakespeare in Delaware Park will become a cherished memory for everyone who sees it."

Anthony also posts good photos in his story "MusicalFare returns with 'Love, Linda' - A showcase for the talent and charisma of Debbie Pappas."

He writes: "'Love, Linda: the Life of Mrs. Cole Porter' is a monologue with songs in which Linda Lee Thomas-Porter describes her complex relationship with one of the greatest American song-writers of the 20th century. It was thrilling to be back in the darkened MusicalFare theater -- albeit after displaying my NYS Excelsior pass, confirming my vaccination status, and with the chair beside me marked off with masking tape."

You can read his review of LOVE, LINDA in The Buffalo News here.

The Alleyway Theatre's BUFFALO QUICKIES continues to present their an annual festival of short plays. It's running through July 10. Read Anthony's review here

and read Peter's review here.

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,” WNED Classical 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”).
Latest Episodes
  • Continuing, with the "Irish Invasion" the Broadway tour of GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY wraps up a week at Shea's, with music by Bob Dylan and book by Dublin-born Conor McPherson while right across Main Street the Irish Classical Theater Company is putting on Brian Friel's FAITH HEALER, with a small but exquisite cast of Paul Todaro, Vincent O'Neill, and Margaret Massman. For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • Right now there are only two shows in town and they're both by Irishmen! The Irish Classical Theater Company has Brian Friel's FAITH HEALER, with the exquisite cast of Paul Todaro, Vincent O'Neill, and Margaret Massman. Opening Tuesday, January 16, the Broadway tour of GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY begins a week at Shea's, with music by Bob Dylan and book by Dublin-born Conor McPherson (THE WEIR, PORT AUTHORITY, THE SHINING CITY, THE SEAFARER). For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • While the theater community thinks of seasons starting with "Curtain Up!" in September and ending with The Artie Awards in June, often at the end of a calendar year, it's common to look at theater folk whom we lost. Anthony has fond personal memories of seeing many who were mentioned in a recent Playbill.com article. For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • Anthony and Peter talk about the transitions in leadership at four of our major stages. Audiences are still not at 2019 levels. And COVID as well as cellphones ringing during shows are still a nuisance. HAPPY NEW YEAR! For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • There are plenty of Christmas shows still running for every taste. ANNIE (it's set at Christmas time) is at Shea's, there are four (4!) different versions of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Lisa Ludwig stars in THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS, and Charmagne Chi stars (with a cast of 7) in her BLUE XMAS at the Alleyway. For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • All across our region, there are a solid dozen good shows open this weekend (See Listings) from Cheektowaga (TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS) to Ontario's Shawfest (A CHRISTMAS CAROL) in big venues (PLAID TIDINGS at Shea's 710) to small (BLUE CHRISTMAS WITH CHARMAGNE CHI at the Alleyway Cabaret), just to name 1/3 of the offerings. For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Shawfest's Royal George Theatre kicked off the first of several productions of Dickens' story,,, AIR HEART, a one-woman show by actor/aerialist Mara Neimanis at Buff State runs through Sunday. Buffalo-born TaNisha Fordham talks about 12 MO' ANGRY MEN, a play about a jury trying to decide on the guilt of a white police officer who has shot and killed a black teenager. (See listings below.) For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • As Brian Higgins prepares to head up Shea's the holiday season finds many, many shows continuing and, depending on your taste, at least 8 openings! (See listings.) For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • Good theater all around, including contining LEGALLY BLONDE at MusicalFare, ALL MY SONS at Road Less Traveled and MASTER HAROLD...AND THE BOYS at Irish Classical and Harold Pinter's THE HOMECOMING at Torn Space. Broadway's John Scherer is back in town as the narrator in A CHRISTMAS STORY at Lancaster Opera House which opens tonight. Many, many shows open in December which is only 7 days away including YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN at Theatre of Youth. For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • Talent abounds on local stages with Jessica Dickey's THE CONVENT, Brazen Faced Varlets at Compass Performing Arts Space at 545 Elmwood Avenue, Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS at Road Less Traveled Productions, Harold Pinter's THE HOMECOMING at Torn Space on Fillmore Avenue, and LEGALLY BLONDE at MusicalFare in Amherst. For 31 years (as of November 2023) Theater Talk has been appointment listening on WBFO, featuring the insights of theater critic and historian, Anthony Chase, who joins Peter Hall for a five-minute weekly broadcast at 6:45 and 8:45 Friday mornings on 88.7 WBFO with a podcast available on wbfo.org. NOTE: Theater listings are included with the podcast. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media), their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, and The Stratford Festival are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.