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

SPEED OF DARK at American Repertory Theater opens September 9 with (L to R) Quentin Gray, Hugh Davis, Vincenzo McNeill, Monish Bhattacharyya
American Repertory Theater of WNY
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,” 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
  • On this episode of Theater Talk Anthony and Peter talk about the final few plays that are eligible for the 2023-2024 ARTIE AWARDS to be held on Monday, June 10, and they are I F*CKED YOU IN MY SPACESHIP (BUA), OKLAHOMA (O'Connell), WEDDING BAND (Ujima), and, still to see, CROSSING DELANCEY (Jewish Repertory). (Scroll down for 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.
  • On this episode of Theater Talk Anthony and Peter took in a number of local productions with very high production values and a ton of local talent starting with CROWNS at MusicalFare, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (2nd Generation) at Shea's Smith Theatre, THE A.I. AT DELPHI (First Look Buffalo) at Canterbury Woods, THE DEATH OF A STREETCAR NAMED VIRGINIA WOOLF at The Alleyway Theatre, and AIRNESS at Lancaster Opera House. Scroll down for 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.
  • On this episode of Theater Talk, Anthony reports a fun party hosted by participants on his January Broadway trip, and truly engaging shows THE PRICE at Irish Classical and "WATSON INTELLIGENCE" at Road Less Traveled, plus A PITCH FOR SATCHEL PAIGE (last weekend) at the Paul Robeson Theatre. 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.
  • On this episode of Theater Talk, Anthony and Peter talk about MAMMA MIA! and THE WHITE DEVIL and Anthony's trip to NYC to see a funny Charles Busch creation called IBSEN'S GHOST, in which he plays the widow of playwright Henrik Ibsen, also the musical LEMPICKA, about the Polish expatriate Polish painter, and Steve Carell stars in Chekhov's UNCLE VANYA at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center. 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.
  • On this episode of Theater Talk, Anthony and Peter talk about the bloody "revenge dramas" popular with Elizabethan audienes and those immediately after. One such is John Webster's THE WHITE DEVIL on stage at ART. This contrasts nicely with a silly romp at The Kavinoky.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.
  • This week Anthony and Peter talk about MusicalFare's progress with their new theater. Knowing that this spring's openings on Broadway will (some of them) become Shea's subscription shows next season, they highlight some possibilities. 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 has a positive spin on Shea's lineup for 2024-25 and he talks about PAJAMA GAME (now closed). Two shows not closing until this weekend are at Desiderio's and the Alleyway (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.
  • On this episode of Theater Talk, Anthony and Peter talk about BUFFALO QUICKIES at the Alleyway Cabaret, THE SORCERER which was on the Alleyway Main Stage, THE POLISH CLEANING LADY'S DAUGHTER at the Paul Robeson, PRELUDE TO A KISS by Bellissima Productions on the Theatre of Youth stage, and give a shout out to Genevieve Ellis on Shea's stage in LES MIZ.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.
  • On this episode of Theater Talk, Anthony and Peter talk about the Brazen Faced Varlet's satisfying HAMLET at 345 Elmwood, they look forward to STOP KISS (Bellissima using the T.O.Y. stage), and Peter recommends visiting Anthony's blog theatertalkbuffalo.comFor 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.
  • On this episode of Theater Talk, Anthony and Peter talk about the all-woman HAMLET (Brazen Faced Varlets ), HERstory at Ujima, THE SORCERER (Gilbert and Sullivan) at The Alleyway, THE POLISH CLEANING LADY'S DAUGHTER at Paul Robeson, THE PAJAMA GAME at Lancaster Opera House, the 7 LAST WORDS at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Delaware, the continuing BEAUTIFUL at MusicalFare, and LES MIS, national tour at Shea's. 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.