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Theater Talk: TOOTSIE is a total hoot (tix available!); Brazen Faced Varlets step up ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT; ARTIE AWARDS will be Nov. 1!

ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT presented by Brazen Faced Varlets at The Alleyway Theatre features Kaeli McGinnis as the Ludmilla, the baker
Brazen Faced Varlets
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ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT presented by Brazen Faced Varlets at The Alleyway Theatre features Kaeli McGinnis as the Ludmilla, the baker

With a 2019 Tony Award (Best Book of a Musical, Robert Horn) and equally hilarious lyrics (and music) by David Yazbeck, TOOTSIE at Shea's has three shows left (tonight at 7:30, Saturday at both 2:00 and 8:00) and there are still good seats available in the $30 to $40 range (more on the weekend than Friday). Really, after 18 months of shutdown, you deserve this show.

Based on the movie which starred Dustin Hoffman, the basic idea of the musical is still that NYC actor Michael Dorsey is so opinionated and difficult to work with that his career is over. Then, he reinvents himself as a woman, Dorothy Michaels. What could possibly go wrong? Well, just about everything. With a "Greek chorus" ensemble (including Buffalo''s own Dominique Kempf) singing about the error of his ways, and his roomie Jeff, being even more pointed on that point, the writing is snappy and contemporary and the sound system at Shea's allows you to hear every word. And you won't want to miss any of them.

By the way, David Yazbek, in addition to composing for THE FULL MONTY and DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS is also the Tony Award winning composer for THE BAND'S VISIT (coming to Shea's this season November 2 - 7, 2021).

On the north side of the alley behind Shea's is The Alleyway Theatre where a troupe of women, the "Brazen Faced Varlets," after years of working smaller venues, have a first rate show on the Alleyway's main stage called ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT by Shirley Lauro. The setting is Germany in The Third Reich under Hitler. Many of the themes have been visited before in such plays as TRIAL AT NUREMBURG, but here the action is presented from the point of view of four gentile (non-Jewish) women and one older authority figure "The Fraus." It is not easy for any of the women, but the mood is leavened here and there, sometimes with irony, sometimes with sarcasm.

The 30th annual Artie Awards, presented by Buffalo Toronto Public Media, are making their long awaited return on Monday, November 1, at the Kavinoky Theatre. Hosted by D'Youville College, the awards ceremony will celebrate the performances of the theater community's 2019 - 2020 season. The event will also be an opportunity to raise money for the HIV/AIDS and Immunodeficiency Clinic at ECMC. Doors (and the bar) will open at 6:30, the bar will close for the actual show beginning at 8:00, and then will open back up following until midnight. For tickets visit here.

CONTINUING:

ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT presented by the Brazen Faced Varlets (October 8 - 23) at the Alleyway Main Theatre. (varlets.org/)

ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT presented by Brazen Faced Varlets features L-R Sarah Emmerling, Kathleen Rooney as "The Fraus," Jessie Miller, and Stefani Warnick
Brazen Faced Varlets
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ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT presented by Brazen Faced Varlets features L-R Sarah Emmerling, Kathleen Rooney as "The Fraus," Jessie Miller, and Stefani Warnick

TRIBUTE continues at Desiderio's Dinner Theatre through December 18 in the back of Bobby J's American Grill 204 Como Park Blvd Cheektowaga featuring Gregory Gjurich, Zachery Gammel, Lisa Hinca, Jennifer Starr, Lisa Ludwig, Robert Insana, and Marie Costa. Shows run most Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (& some Wednesdays). (http://www.mybobbyjs.com/desiderio-s-dinner-theatre) Reservations by telephone only (716) 395-3207

Evening: 6pm Dinner, 7:30pm Show

Matinee: 1pm Dinner, 2:30pm Show

OCTOBER OPENINGS (listed by date)

AMERICAN SON presented by Ujima Theatre Collective in the "Lorna C. Hill" Theatre." NOTE NEW OPENING DATE! (October 15 - 30) at 429 Plymouth in Buffalo (716) 322-5178 (ujima.squarespace.com/shows/americanson)

CHORUS LINE presented by O'Connell & Co. (October 15 - 31) at 3200 Elmwood Avenue in Kenmore 716-848-0800 (oconnellandcompany.com/)

PHOTOGRAPH 51 presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre (October 21 - November 14) in the Jewish Community Center in Getzville. (716) 688-4033 (jccbuffalo.org/jrt/)

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD presented by Second Generation Theatre (October 22 - November 14) at Shea's Smith Theatre, 658 Main St, Buffalo. (secondgenerationtheatre.com)

LOOPED presented by New Phoenix Theatre (October 28 to November 20) 95 Johnson Park, Buffalo 716-853-1334 newphnxtheatre@aol.com)

with James Cichocki and Elliot Fox and Julie Kittsley as Tallulah Bankhead.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME presented by "All for One" Productions at Shea's 710 Theatre (October 28 - November 14) (sheas.org/performances/the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-nighttime/)

SOMETHING WICKED presented by American Repertory Theatre (October 28 - November 20) 545 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. (artofwny.org) (716) 697-0837

WOMAN IN BLACK presented by the Kavinoky Theatre (October 29 - November 21) on the D'Youville College campus in Buffalo, 320 Porter Avenue (716) 829-7668 (Kavinokytheatre.com)

CLOSINGS

CAMELOT by Lerner and Loewe at MusicalFare in a small cast version by David Lee, co-directed by Carlos R.A. Jones and Victoria Pérez, continues through October 17 featuring Darryl Semira as Arthur, Gabby McKinley as Guenevere, Alejandro Gabriél Gómez as Lancelot, Arin Lee Dandes as Mordred, and Sam Crystal, Sabrina Kahwaty, and Josh Wilde in a variety of roles. (musicalfare.com/shows/mainstage/event:camelot-2021/)

TOOTSIE The national tour began in Buffalo on October 10 and continues through this Saturday, November 16. Plenty of seats are available. (sheas.org/performances/tootsie/)

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.