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Theater Talk: Last week's OKLAHOMA! & next week's MY FAIR LADY at Shea's. AMERICAN RHAPSODY at MusicalFare

AMERICAN RHAPSODY all cast.jpg
MusicalFare.com
At MusicalFare, AMERICAN RHAPSODY examines the context of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"

OKLAHOMA!, the North American Tour of Daniel Fish’s revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, part of the Shea's Broadway Series, ran through February 20, and resulted in many, many conversations among patrons, many, many of whom were unhappy.

Regardless of how you remember OKLAHOMA! the darker issues were always there, but were probably glossed over. Not in this touring production. Not at all. This was not a “feel good” musical. Anthony talks about his reaction to the musical. We get a brief peek at next week's MY FAIR LADY at Shea's. And Anthony has a few thoughts about his role as "King Duncan" in Buff State's upcoming MACBETH (see listings below).

AMERICAN RHAPSODY opened two nights ago at MusicalFare (see listings below).

The THEATER LISTINGS below are accurate as of this Friday morning, February 25, 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 cacellations and postponements.

CLOSING THIS WEEKEND

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."

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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 Feb 3 - 27 Thursdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3:30 and 7:30, Sundays at 2:00. 2640 N Forest Rd, Getzville, NY 14068. www.jccbuffalo.org/jrt(716-688-4033)

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's 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.

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CONTINUING

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.

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BUFFALO QUICKIES #31, 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.

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MARCH OPENINGS:

MY FAIR LADY, musical by Lerner & Loewe, directed by Bartlett Sher, North American Tour, part of the Shea's Broadway Series, March 1 - 6, 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. (716-847-1410) sheas.org

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2nd Gen CONSTELLATIONS, a play by Nick Payne, directed by Michael Wachowiak, starring Chris Avery and Kristin Bentley at Shea's Smith Theatre, March 11-26, Thursdays - Fridays at 7:30, Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2. (90 minutes no intermission) secondgenerationtheatre.com

CONSTELLATIONS BLURG: A man, a woman, one relationship, and infinite possibilities. Playwright Nick Payne examines a million versions of “what it?” in this breathtaking two-person play. At once romantic and scientific, CONSTELLATIONS takes us on an intriguing ride through the multiverse.

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MACBETH by William Shakespeare, directed by Jonathan Seinen, (starring 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.

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PRIDE & PREJUDICE, a play Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen, directed by Kristen Tripp Kelley presented by the D'Youville Kavinoky Theater, March 4th, 2022 - March 27th, 2022. The Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave.

Buffalo, NY 14201 (716-829-7668) kavinokythatre.com

PRIDE & PREJUDICE BLURB: "This isn’t your grandmother’s Austen! Bold, surprising, boisterous and timely, this P&P for a new era explores the absurdities and thrills of finding your perfect (or imperfect) match in life."

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THE CHILDREN, a play by Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Robert Waterhouse, starring Eileen Dugan, Josephine Hogan, and Peter Palmisano, presented by Red Thread Theatre, on stage at the New Phoenix Theatre, March 4 - 26, Thursdays, Firdays, Saturdays at 8pm (Thursdays are "pay what you can"). The New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park, Buffalo, NY 14201 newphoenixtheatre.org 716-853-1334 email to newphnxtheatre@aol.com

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FALL FROM THE GRACE OF GOD, a One-Act Showcase of plays by Jennifer Tromble, Mark C. LLoyd, TJ Snodgrass, Monish Bhattacharyya, Tim Joyce, Justin Karcher, Karen McDonald, Matthew LaChiusa, John F Kennedy and James A. Marzo, all based on the music of the Celtic/Punk band The Pogues, March 10 to April 2.presented by American Repertory Theatre, at the Compass Performing Arts Center (the old TheatreLoft) 545 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14222. artofwny.org 716-697-0837

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STEW, drama by Zora Howard, directed by Curtis Lovell, presented by Ujima, March 11-27. Fri and Sat at 7:30pm, Sun at 4pm, (716-281-0092) ujimacoinc.org email to boxoffice@ujimacoinc.org

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STEW BLURB: ‘Stew’ takes deeper emotions off the back burner! The kitchen is where the characters reveal their bickering-but-loving true selves in this 2021 Pulitzer Prize Finalist! In Zora Howard’s compelling comedy drama, STEW, three generations of Black women banter and bicker as they prepare for a feast.

Mama is up early to prepare an important meal and even with her family on hand to help, time is running short. Tensions simmer with three generations of Tucker women under one roof, but things come to a boil as the violence hovering around the periphery of their lives begins to intrude upon the sanctity of Mama’s kitchen.

Mama (Ember Tate) is matriarch and benevolent dictator rolled into one, and her rules must be followed by those who share her domain. They include her two daughters: 17-year-old Nelly (Ember Tate) and Lillian (Jacquie Cherry), who is in her 30s and appears to have moved back, if only temporarily, with her tween daughter, Lil’ Mama (Millie-Rae Rodriguez-Spencer), and her son, Junior (who remains unseen, like all the men in the characters’ lives).

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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.

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WORKING, The Musical, based on Studs Terkel's best-selling book of interviews with American workers, adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg and songs by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers, Susan Birkenhead, and Stephen Schwartz, directed by Neil Radice, presented by O'Connell & Company, March 25th-April 10th Fridays-Saturdays at 8:00, Sundays at 2:00 on their main stage 3200 Elmwood Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14217 (716-848-0800) oconnellandcompany.com/

WORKING BLURB: "Working explores what makes our work meaningful across all walks of life. Whether it be in an office, a restaurant, your home, or you’ve retired, this musical reminds us to celebrate not only what we do, but how we do it. "

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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