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Theater Talk: COVID rules 'not uniform, but ubiquitous' as Buffalo theaters open with diverse casts

SPEED OF DARK (L to R) Quentin Gray, Hugh Davis, Vincenzo McNeill, Monish Bhattacharyya. Photo Credit American Repertory Theater of WNY.jpg
American Repertory Theater of WNY
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SPEED OF DARK at American Repertory Theater opens September 9 with (L to R) Quentin Gray, Hugh Davis, Vincenzo McNeill, Monish Bhattacharyya

The theater season has begun on Broadway (last night WAITRESS starring Sara Bareilles and HADESTOWN starring André De Shields re-opened after COVID shutdowns). And it's about to start in Buffalo, but theater-goers must take responsibility to acquaint themselves with each theaters rules regarding vaccinations, proof of vaccinations, masks, and other concerns. As Anthony cautions: The rules are ubiquitous (found everywhere) but not uniform (each theater has specific restrictions which CAN BE SEEN IN ADVANCE ON THEIR WEBSITES).

RECENT CANCELLATIONS/POSTPONEMENTS DUE TO COVID:

CURTAIN UP! for 2021-2022 has been cancelled.

The long delayed LORNA C. HILL (founder of Ujima Theater) MEMORIAL which was to have been at Asbury Hall on September 7 has been postponed again.

The long delayed 2019-2020 ARTIE AWARDS show which was to have been on September 20 has been postponed again as well. Take September 20, 2021 off your calendars.

There was no 2020-2021 theaterseason, but the good news is that the 2021-2022 Artie season is about to begin. And, theaters are changing their hiring practices as audiences hopefully are changing their pre-conceptions about who gets to play what roles. Openings this month with racially diverse casts include:

Sep 9 - Oct 2* WHITE RABBIT, RED RABBIT at The Alleyway Theater featuring Melinda Capeles, Victoria Pérez, Darryl Semira, Alex Watts, and Brandon Williamson

Sep 9 - Oct 2 SPEED OF DARK, by local African-American playwright Mark Humphries, presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY at Compass Performing Arts Center (the old "Theaterloft" now Compass Performing Arts Center at 545 Elmwood Avenue), featuring Quentin Gray, Hugh Davis, Vincenzo McNeill, Monish Bhattacharyya (see lead photo).

Sep 10 - Sep 24 FROZEN at Shea's Performing Arts Center
featuring Mason Reeves as Kristoff with other African-American cast members as well.

Sep 10 - Oct 3 FROM HONKY TONK TO PROTEST: A WOMAN’S VIEW OF COUNTRY MUSIC at The Kavinoky Theater

Home

Sep 15 - Oct 17 CAMELOT at MusicalFare featuring Darryl Semira as Arthur, Gabby McKinley as Guenevere, Alejandro Gabriél Gómez as Lancelot, Emily Jimenez as Sagramore, Darryl Semira as Lancelot

Sep 9 - Sep 19 ART at O'Connell & Company

* Each night of the 12-night run of WHITE RABBIT, RED RABBIT will feature a different Buffalo actor. With a "Double Bunny Pass" or a "Triple Bunny Pass" you can see two or three different performers with two or three tickets, each to a different performance of WHITE RABBIT, RED RABBIT. See the website https://www.alleyway.com/ for details.

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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