Theater Talk: Comedies tonight! You have a choice of five, some on the silly side and some take a walk on the dark side
Stephen Sondheim begins "FORUM" with "Something familiar, Something peculiar, Something for everyone: A comedy tonight! Something appealing, Something appalling, Something for everyone: A comedy tonight!"
And, indeed, all five shows currently up on area stages are comedies, some with more yucks than others. Two are outright silly - PUFFS and NUNSENSATIONS - and three are more darkly comic - WAITING FOR GODOT, THE SIEGEL, and THE TREASURER.
The THEATER LISTINGS below are accurate as of this Friday morning, January 28, but check with the venue frequently. Pro Tip: Visit the websites to buy tickets but check with Facebook as well which will often have the most up-to-the-minute information on cancellations and postponements.
NUNSENSATIONS: The Nunsense Vegas Revue, a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Dan Goggins, presented by Lancaster Opera House. Jan 28 - Feb 13, Fridays - Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:30. The Lancaster Opera House 21 Central Avenue, Lancaster, NY 14086 (716-683-1776) lancasteropera.org
NUNSENSATIONS BLURB: When a parishioner volunteers to donate $10,000 to the Little Sisters of Hoboken’s school if they will perform in a club in Las Vegas, Mother Superior is hesitant to accept. After being convinced by the other sisters that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” she agrees. Naughty nun hijinks ensue in this Vegas-themed Nunsense sequel.
PUFFS, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic, a play by Matt Cox, directed by Joey Bucheker, starring Kris Bartolomeo, Mike Benoit, Marissa Biondolillo, Nathanial Higgins, Christian Hines, Sabrina Kahwaty, Nicholas Lama, Daniel Lendzian, Gabrielle Nunzio, Jenn Stafford, and David Wysocki. Standby/Swings: Vincent Murphy and Stefanie Warnick.
Jan 28 - Feb 13, Fri - Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2, with one Saturday matinee, February 5, at 2pm. O'Connell & Co at Shea’s Smith Theatre, 654 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14202 (716-847-0850) sheas.org/smith-theatre/ OR facebook.com/OConnellandCompany/
Production crew includes: Alley Griffin, Stage Manager & Properties Designer; Scenic Supervision by Bill Baldwin; Costume Design by Sara Jo Kukulka; Lighting Design by Matthew DiVita; Sound Design by Matt Cox.
PUFFS BLURB: "For seven years a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs... who just happened to be there too. A tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world....PUFFS is a stage play written by Matt Cox as a transformative & transfigured work under the magic that is US Fair Use laws. Puffs is not authorized, sanctioned, licensed, or endorsed by J.K Rowling, Warner Bros., or any person or company associated with the Harry Potter books, films or play.
THE SIEGEL, a romantic comedy by Michael Mitnick. directed by Lucas Lloyd, starring Mike Mack, Lisa Vitrano, David Mitchell, Amanda Borowsk, Elliot Fox, and Phoebe Wright, presented by a new company in town, The Lightbulb Project, Jan 28 - Feb 20, Thursdays - Sundays at 7:30 (Note Sunday, February 13, at 1:30) at The Alleyway Theatre, 1 Curtain Up Alley. Explicit language. 90 minutes, no intermission. lightbulbprojectonstage.com (716-324-5776)
THE SIEGEL BLURB: Ethan Siegel is in love. Tonight, he's going to ask Alice's parents for permission to marry her. There's just one hitch. Ethan and Alice broke up two years ago -- and she's in a serious relationship with someone else. An irresistible comedy about modern love and the need to go back in order to move forward.
A special note: "Alleyway is proud to host some of Western New York's theatre companies. BUFFALO UNITED ARTISTS, BRAZEN-FACED VARLETS, and now THE LIGHTBULB PROJECT all find their home base at the Alleyway complex. However, to see what productions they've got lined up, visit their websites for show dates, times, tickets, and information. Please note: The Alleyway does not sell tickets to outside productions, and our staff is unable to assist with your ticket purchase."
THE TREASURER by Max Posner, directed by Saul Elkin, starring Darleen Pickering Hummert, John Kreuzer, David Lundy, and Alex Watts, presented by the Jewish Repertory Theatre in Getzville Feb 3 - 27 Thursdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3:30 and 7:30, Sundays at 2:00.
THE TREASURER BLURB: This darkly funny, sharply intimate portrait chronicles the strained ties between a son and his aging mother. In the wake of her husband death Ida Armstrong is broke, lonely and fading fast. After spending a large chunk of her children’s money her estranged son is forced to take on the role of The Treasurer: an arrangement that becomes untenable the more he questions his devotion to her. A hit in New York City and across the country, this poetic and thought-provoking show explores the bonds and divisions of families later in life, as well the possibilities of forgiveness and change.
WAITING FOR GODOT, a play by Samuel Beckett, directed by Kate LoConti Alcocer, starring Brian Mysliwy as Estragon and Vincent O’Neill as Vladimir, also featuring Todd Benzin, Ben Michael Moran, Jackson Snodgrass and Teddy Hibbard. Jan 21 – Feb 13, Wednesdays - Fridays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3, Sundays at 2 at The Irish Classical Theatre Company at The Andrews Theatre, 625 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 (716-853-ICTC) (716-853-4282) irishclassical.com/
ASL Interpreted and Open Captioned Performance: Wed, February 9, 7:30 pm Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination OR Proof of Negative COVID-19 PCR Test within 72 hours of performance time
"GODOT" BLURB (per Britannica): WAITING FOR GODOT was a true innovation in drama and the Theatre of the Absurd's first theatrical success. ... The play consists of conversations between Vladimir and Estragon, who are waiting for the arrival of the mysterious Godot, who continually sends word that he will appear but who never does.
COMING LATER THIS MONTH:
AMERICAN RHAPSODY presented by MusicalFare February 23 — March 27, 2022
Wed and Thu at 7pm, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 and 7:30, Sun at 2.MusicalFare Theatre is on the Daemen College campus, 4380 Main Street,
Amherst, NY 14226 (Pro Tip: enter from Getzville Road 0.3 miles north of Main Street.) musicalfare.com (716-839-8540)
AMERICAN RHAPSODY BLURB
What begins as a conversation between a white classical pianist and a black jazz pianist about interpreting George Gershwin’s RHAPSODY IN BLUE transforms through incredible music and exhilarating dance into a dynamic and inspiring exploration of the often ignored cultural and historical context that inspired Gershwin to create this seminal work.
BUFFALO QUICKIES, all-new, all-comedy festival of short plays for 2022, starring Joey Bucheker, Rchel Diana Henderson, Kate Olena, Colleen Pine, Matt Rittler, and Michael Starzynski, presented by the Alleyway Theatre, Feb 24 - Mar 19 (NOTE NEW DATES!) Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, at One Curtain Up Alley (between Pearl and Main along the back wall of Shea's) Buffalo NY 14202 alleyway.com (716-852-2600)
BUFFALO QUICKIES BLURB: Another year (31st annual year!) of brand-new short plays comes to Alleyway! This festival features premiere works from some of today’s best new playwrights both in WNY and around the country. Featuring the world premiere of SEVENTEEN: THE (UNOFFICIAL) JOSH ALLEN MUSICAL.
OKLAHOMA!, musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, North American Tour, part of the Shea's Broadway Series (2/15 - 2/20), Tuesday - Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2 and 8, Sunday at 1 and 6:30. Shea's Buffalo Theatre, 646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202.
WARNING - This performance contains: fog, loud gunshots, moments of darkness, and violence.
OKLAHOMA! BLURB: “How is it that the coolest new show on Broadway is a 1943 musical?” says The New York Times. This is OKLAHOMA! as you’ve never seen or heard it before—reimagined for the 21st century, and now the Tony Award Winner for Best Revival of a Musical. Funny and sexy, dark and jolting.
MACBETH by William Shakespeare, directed by Jonathan Seinen, (with Anthony Chase as King Duncan!), presented by The Buffalo State Theater Department and Casting Hall Productions, March 10-12, 17 and 18 at 8:00 pm and March 19 at 2pm all performances in the Warren Enters Theatre in Upton Hall. Visit theater.buffalostate.edu or call 716-878-3005.
ROAD LESS TRAVELED PRODUCTIONS POSTPONES TRIBES FROM JANUARY 13 TO MARCH 3 AND CANCELS BREADCRUMBS
TRIBES will open March 3 and run through March 27. BREADCRUMBS by Jennifer Haley, originally scheduled March 3 – 27, is now canceled from the 2021-2022 season.
TRIBES, a play by Nina Raine, directed by Doug Zschiegner, starring David Marciniak, Margaret Massman, Anna Krempholtz, Johnny Barden, Dave Wantuck and Melinda Capeles. NEW DATES Mar 3 - Mar 27, Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2. Road Less Traveled Productions, 456 Main Street Buffalo NY 14202
(716-629-3069) roadlesstraveledproductions.org CONTENT ADVISORY:
Tribes contains explicit language and profanity. Students under 17 not permitted. Proof of vaccination required.
TRIBES BLURB: Billy is the only Deaf member of a loving yet dysfunctional family who raised him as part of the hearing world. When Billy meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, he finally starts to learn what it means to be heard. With insight, humor, and an eclectic cast of characters, the award-winning Tribes questions how we define community, family, and belonging.
ALLEY OF THE DOLLS, camp send-up, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Jimmy Janowski as "Helen Lawson," with Chris Standart, Michael Seitz, and Bebe Bvulgary, presented by BUA (Buffalo United Artists) Dates TBD, at the Alleyway Theatre, 1 Curtain Up Alley (along Shea's northen wall) (716-886-9239) buffalounitedartists.org.
ALLEY OF THE DOLLS BLURB: "The bitch is back! BUA is turning 30 in 2022. And to celebrate, in grand style, Jimmy Janowski will be playing the Helen Lawson character in an adaptation of the camp film classic Valley of the Dolls, re-titled ALLEY OF THE DOLLS (it will be at the Alleyway, get it?)"
AN EVENING WITH C.S. LEWIS, written by and starring David Payne playing the famous author, at Shea's 710 Theatre (formerly Studio Arena), 710 Main Street at Tupper, Buffalo, NY 14202. (716-847-1410) sheas.org NEW DATES TBD
LEWIS BLURB: An Evening with C.S. Lewis – written by and starring David Payne – is a one-man show written by David Payne which brings the legendary author to life through monologues. The format is a captivating evening set in 1963 where C.S. Lewis hosts a group of American writers at his home near Oxford. Throughout the evening he recalls the people and events that inspired his thought and shaped his life; of his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien; why he nearly abandoned the Narnia Chronicles; how he came to embrace Christianity and of the American woman who turned his life upside down.
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, a play by by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell & Gordon Farrell, based on the book by John D’Agata & Jim Fingal, presented by D'Youville Kavinoky Theatre, directed by Kyle LoConti, NEW DATES: June 10th - 26th Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3:30 and 7:30, and Sundays at 2. D’Youville Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (716-829-7668) kavinokytheatre.com.
"LIFESPAN" BLURB: A famed essayist is put to the test in this topical comedy when an over-zealous fact-checker finds most of his groundbreaking story is fabricated.
TENDERLY, The Rosemary Clooney Musical, directed by Richard Lambert, starring Mary Kate O'Connell, presented by O’Connell & Company, Dates TBD, on their main stage at Ken-Ton Elmwood Commons, 3200 Elmwood Avenue, Kenmore. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays (except where noted). oconnellandcompany.com (716-848-0800)
TENDERLY BLURB: More than just a "jukebox musical" TENDERLY is a personal and poignant celebration of the woman whose musical talent and charismatic personality made her a legend.
The Brazen Faced Varlets NEW PLAY FESTIVAL produced by Leyla Gentil features four new plays: HOLY INAPPROPRIATE by Allison Fradkin; MISS LE GALLIENNE ANNOUNCES THE NEW SEASON by Carolyn Gage; STAGE SHISPERS by Donna Hoke; and HOT BLOOD SUNDAE directed by Jennifer Arroyo, Caroline Parzy-Sanders, Davida Tolbert, and Stefanie Warnick. NOTE: Originally scheduled Fri-Sat Jan 21-22 at 8 and Sun Jan 23 at 2, to be held at the New Phoenix Theater, 95 Johnson Park, Buffalo, NY. New dates TBD and possibly new venue TBD. See the Brazen Faced Varlets on Facebook or visit www.varlets.org.
Some of this information first appeared in Anthony's blog "Theater Talk Buffalo" (theatertalkbuffalo.com/) or in "Stagefright" by Javier Bustillos in the same blog. Subscribe for free here https://www.theatertalkbuffalo.com/subscribe