Theater Talk: TOOTSIE is a total hoot (tix available!); Brazen Faced Varlets step up ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT; ARTIE AWARDS will be Nov. 1!
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.
ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT presented by the Brazen Faced Varlets (October 8 - 23) at the Alleyway Main Theatre. (varlets.org/)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
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)
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/)