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Theater Talk: The Artie Awards have a date! Sept. 20 at Shea's 710 Theatre

Artie Awards image L-R Artie Awards co-hosts Anthony Chase and Charmagne Chi with Theater Talk co-host Peter Hall.jpg
Eileen Koteras image posted by Darleen Pickering Hummert
Artie Awards image L-R Artie Awards co-hosts Anthony Chase and Charmagne Chi with Theater Talk co-host Peter Hall.jpg

The Arties are on! Dig out those special shoes you bought just for the occasion, make those hair and nail appoinments, and get ready to pah-tay because in just eight short weeks, you do want to be in the room where it happens.

Event: WBFO presents the 30th annual (2019-2020) Artie Awards
Date: Monday, September 20, 2021
Time: The ceremonies start at 7:00 p.m., but come early for red carpet photo ops
Location: Shea's 710 Theatre (thank you Michael Murphy and staff)
Hosts: Anthony Chase, Charmagne Chi, and Amy Jakiel
Music Direction: Allan Paglia

Artie Awards lined up backstage.  Credit Eileen Elibol. Source Anthony Chase.jpg
Eileen Elibol for WBFO
Artie Awards lined up backstage at Shea's 710 Main Theatre at a previous ceremony.

The last (almost) full year/season, the Artie Awards were originally scheduled to be held on Monday, June 15, 2020. However, because of COVID-19, the Artie ceremony was postponed. Nominees were announced, but awards would not be presented until we could gather together as a community. And that time has come. (For nominees, see below, click here, or visit artieawards.webs.com.) Theater Talk thanks Doug Weyand for his meticulous stewardship of the archives and event production.

Read Javier Bustillos' column "Stagefright" here as published in Anthony's blog TheaterTalkBuffalo.com.

LOVE, LINDA: THE LIFE OF MRS. COLE PORTER has its final weekend at MusicalFare with a show tonight at 7:30 p.m. and matinees Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (no evening performance) and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. From the MusicalFare website: "In this one-woman musical Debbie Pappas plays Linda Lee Thomas (Mrs. Cole Porter), candidly recounting, through song and story, her life’s journey with Cole Porter. Though Porter was gay, their companionship and love lasted through 35 years of marriage and a glamour-filled life. Featuring the music and lyrics of Cole Porter woven through a narrative, LOVE, LINDA celebrates the deep love that blossomed through their unconventional relationship."

Read the reviews of LOVE, LINDA (one by Anthony Chase and one by Peter Hall) by scrolling way down after you click here.

RESERVATIONS FOR A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S WALK HAVE OPENED UP AGAIN! Many people have reported being closed out, but as of today there are spots available. Last week, director Kyle LoConti took the Theater Talk audience "behind the curtain" (if there were a curtain) to talk about A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S WALK presenting five scenes from Shakespeare's play, all acted in the "Rumsey Woods" area of Delaware Park. In order to get the actors to their places for five different walking groups, she said "It was completely about the clock and the Excel spread sheet."

SIDP Midsummer Night's Walk three pucks without make-up credit Anthony Chase.jpg
Anthony Chase
The three actors who play "Puck" in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S WALK: Phil Wackerfuss, Melinda Capeles, and Dan Torres after make-up removal.

Here's what to do: Sign up on line (shakespeareindelawarepark.org) then look for the swag wagon (tee-shirts, mugs, and other tchotchkes for sale) at the top of the traditional "Shakespeare Hill" (between Rumsey Road and Hoyt Lake close to the Rose Garden and/or Marcy Casino). After checking in you will then be directed to the starting area where your guide (one of three actors playing "Puck") will begin your assigned tour. It's about a half mile walk. Performance tours are held Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays through August 12 and begin at 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30
Tours are limited to 25 participants per group.

Before you go, you might want to download the "Family Friendly Guide" (think Playbill with fun games and insider information) here.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park's other concurrent offering, SHAKESPEARE & LOVE, began last week and has shows Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, through August 22. Remaining venues throughout Western New York are as follows:
7/16 - Show Mobile - Aquatic & Fitness Center, Town of Tonawanda
7/17 - Cazenovia Park, Buffalo
7/18 - Freedom Run Winery, Lockport
7/23 - Oxford Park, Lancaster
7/24 - Galanti Park, Lackawanna
7/25 - Academy Park, Lewiston
7/30 - Raymond Klimek Veterans Park, North Tonawanda
7/31 - Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve, Hamburg
8/1 - Orchard Park Gazebo, Orchard Park
8/6 - Bassett Park, Amherst
8/7 - Niawanda Park, City of Tonawanda
8/8 - Hamlin Park, East Aurora
8/13 - Golden Age Center, Grand Island
8/14 - Locust Street Neighborhood Art, Buffalo
8/15 - Parkside Lodge, Buffalo

Outstanding Production nominees were announced on WBFO's Theater Talk on Friday, July 24th.
All other nominees were announced via Facebook Live over two days: August 5 & August 12, 2020.
The 2019-2020 Artie Nominees were then and still are (15 months later):

Production of a Play:
Kiss of the Spider Woman, New Phoenix Theatre
Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeare in Delaware Park
Pipeline, Ujima Theatre Company
Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Irish Classical Theatre Company
To Kill a Mockingbird, Kavinoky Theatre

Production of a Musical:
Fun Home, MusicalFare Theatre
Hairspray, Kavinoky Theatre
Nine, Second Generation Theatre
Passing Strange, Ujima Theatre Company
The Toxic Avenger, Second Generation Theatre

Direction of a Play:
Michael Doben, Mercury Fur
Lorna C. Hill, Pipeline
Kyle LoConti, To Kill A Mockingbird
Victoria Perez, Kiss of the Spider Woman
Fortunato Pezzimenti, Tis Pity She's a Whore
Carly Weiser, Bright Colors and Bold Patterns

Direction of a Musical:
Susan Drozd, Fun Home
Lorna C. Hill, Passing Strange
Carlos Jones, Hairspray
Loraine O'Donnell, Bridges of Madison County
Victoria Perez, Nine
Doug Weyand, The Toxic Avenger

Naila Ansari, Passing Strange
Bobby Cooke & Nancy Hughes, West Side Story
Carlos Jones, Hairspray
Michael Walline, Elf: The Musical
Doug Weyand, The Toxic Avenger

Ensemble of a Play:
The Antipodes, Road Less Traveled Productions
El Coqui Espectacular, Raices Theatre Company
Mercury Fur, Subversive Theatre
She Kills Monsters, Subversive Theatre
Two Trains Running, Paul Robeson Theatre

Ensemble of a Musical:
Fun Home, MusicalFare Theatre
Izzy, New Phoenix Theatre
Miss Nelson is Missing, Theatre of Youth
Passing Strange, Ujima Theatre
The Toxic Avenger, Second Generation Theatre

Actor in a Play:
Chris Avery, To Kill A Mockingbird
James Cichocki, Bright Colors and Bold Patterns
Rick Lattimer, Kiss of the Spider Woman
Roosevelt Tidwell III, Two Trains Running
Dan Urtz, Hand to God

Actress in a Play:
Kelli Bocock-Natale, Entertaining Mr. Sloane
Lisette DeJesus, El Coqui Espectacular
Diane DiBernardo, Lost in Yonkers
Josie DiVincenzo, What I Thought I Knew
Shantinna Moore, Pipeline

Supporting Actor in a Play:
Lucas Colon, Mercury Fur
Rolando Gomez, Tis Pity She's A Whore
Patrick Moltane, To Kill A Mockingbird
Ricky Needham, The Boys Upstairs
Tom Owen, The Navigators
Johnny Rowe, Pipeline

Supporting Actress in a Play:
Cassie Cameron, The Antipodes
Ellen Horst, Lost in Yonkers
Kristen Tripp Kelley, The Antipodes
Alex Malejs, Tis Pity She's A Whore
Shantinna Moore, To Kill A Mockingbird
Emily Yancey, Factory for Murders

Actor in a Musical:
Brian Brown, Passing Strange
Steve Copps, Bridges of Madison County
Preach Freedom, Passing Strange
Chris J. Handley, Fun Home
Ben Michael Moran, Nine

Actress in a Musical:
Bethany Burrows, The Toxic Avenger
Robyn Lee Horn, Fun Home
Maeghan McDonald, Hairspray
Michele Marie Roberts, Bridges of Madison County
Zoe Scruggs, Cookin' at the Cookery

Supporting Actor in a Musical:
Jacob Albarella, Miss Nelson is Missing
Alejandro Gabriel Gomez, West Side Story
John Kreuzer, Young Frankenstein
Nicholas Lama, Elf: The Musical
Raphael Santos, The Toxic Avenger
Dylan Zalikowski, The Toxic Avenger

Supporting Actress in a Musical:
Kelly Copps, Nine
Renee Landrigan, Izzy
Pamela Rose Mangus, Young Frankenstein
Blaise Mercedes, West Side Story
Jenn Stafford, The Toxic Avenger
Ember Tate, Cookin' at the Cookery

Performance in a Featured Role:
Ann DeFazio, Hairspray
Chris J. Handley, The Tempest
Peter Horn, Loves Labours Lost
Lorenzo Shawn Parnell, Hairspray
Marc Sacco, Hairspray
Norman Sham, The Tempest

Set Design:
Paul Bostaph, Hairspray
Dyan Burlingame, The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid
Chris Cavanagh, The Toxic Avenger
David King, To Kill A Mockingbird
Neal Radice, The Navigators

Technical Achievement:
Chris Cavanagh - Lighting Design - The Toxic Avenger
Adam Kreutinger - Puppet Design - Hand to God
Tom Makar - Sound Design/Score - The Tempest
Katie Menke - Sound Design - The Antipodes
John Rickus - Lighting Design - The Antipodes
Roy Walker - Properties - Tis Pity She's a Whore

Costume Design:
Jenna Damberger, The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid
Kari Drozd, Elf: The Musical
Lindsay Salamone, The Toxic Avenger
Kenneth Shaw, The Tempest
Jessica Wegrzyn, Indecent

Career Achievement: Neal Radice

And, in other news,
Buffalo Toronto Public Media has selected Tom Calderone as President/CEO!

The veteran media executive graduated from Buff State and has deep roots in Buffalo.

The Buffalo Toronto Public Media Board of Trustees announced this week its pick for the organization’s new President and CEO – Tom Calderone, media and entertainment executive who has held leadership positions with Spotify, VH1, and MTV. The executive search began last October, after Donald K. Boswell announced his intention to retire. Calderone will take over from Boswell Aug. 2, 2021.

“We are confident that Tom Calderone is the right leader for Buffalo Toronto Public Media because of his vast experience creating content from different perspectives,” said Board Chair Alphonso O’Neil-White. “Tom loves Buffalo and Southern Ontario and is excited to bring his experience as an innovator in radio, TV, and music to serve our communities on both sides of the border.”

“Buffalo is home for me, and being able to lead its public media stations with their rich history and long community partnerships, is an honor,” said Calderone who has been a media consultant since 2018, advising media companies, startups, cable television, and investment firms on the future of streaming services and multi-platform consumption. “I’m looking forward to working with the talented and experienced staff to continue to create high touch documentaries and immersive storytelling series, to broadcast fun and accessible classical music on WNED Classical, and to champion WBFO which is continuously the voice of news and stellar reporting in Buffalo. And I cannot wait for the border to open so I can meet the producers, funders, and organizations we partner with in Canada.”

Calderone, an expert in understanding media audiences, noted the challenge facing all media organizations – keeping the attention of audiences who have so many choices for what to watch or listen to.

“I believe in following the audience, studying their video and audio likes and habits, asking them what they want from all our platforms, and delivering that to them. But just as important, leading them to new content and new ideas, especially ‘snackable,’ short-form content that will keep them in our video and audio ecosystem no matter how it is distributed. Our audience expects that from us. Plus, we are coming from a position of strength,” Calderone said.

Calderone served as the Global Head of Content Partnership/Global Head of Studios for Spotify, pioneering the company’s expansion into new areas of audio and video content, including podcasts and mobile-friendly video series. For 10 years (2005-2015), Calderone was President of VH1/Viacom, during which he led the organization into the Top 5 cable channels for adults 18-49 years old. He was Executive Vice President of Music & Talent Programming at MTV/Viacom from 1998 to 2005, during which he introduced new programming such as Total Request Live, MTVIcon, and music documentaries. He also served as Chairman of Save the Music from 2005 to 2015.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and Communication from SUNY Buffalo State, Calderone worked in radio as on-air talent, program director, and operations manager before moving on to radio consulting with Jacobs Media. Since college, Buffalo has been a home base for Calderone. He owns a home here, has been a Buffalo Bills season ticket holder for more than 20 years, and is a frequent visitor to Toronto for culture and entertainment. He was elected to the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2014. He also received an honorary Doctorate from SUNY Buffalo State in 2008.

O’Neil-White expressed thanks to Board member Maureen Hurley, who chaired the search, to her committee and to the BTPM Executive Committee.

Boswell, whose official retirement date of June 30, 2021 has been extended, will assist during the leadership transition and with ongoing projects.

About Buffalo Toronto Public Media
The Buffalo Toronto Public Media family of stations broadcasts television and radio programming throughout the Western New York and Southern Ontario regions. These high-quality programs and community outreach services inform, enlighten, entertain, and educate our local and regional communities. Our member-supported stations include WNED PBS, WBFO (NPR) broadcasting on 88.7 in Buffalo, 91.3 in Olean, and 88.1 in Jamestown, WNED Classical broadcasting on 94.5 in Buffalo and 89.7 WNJA in Jamestown, WBFO Jazzworks broadcasting on 88.7 HD2, WNED Create, and WNED PBS KIDS. WNED PBS is also a national producer of award-winning documentaries. Additional information about Buffalo Toronto Public Media can be found at wned.org.

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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