© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Theater Talk: Great shows continue into the weekend, including MOCKINGBIRD, STAGE KISS, WORKING and more

STAGE KISS by Sarah Ruhl at Irish Classical with Tracie Lane and Guy Balotine
Mark Duggan
/
Irish Classical Theatre Company
STAGE KISS by Sarah Ruhl at Irish Classical with Tracie Lane and Guy Balotine

HARPER LEE'S TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD has been playing to fuller houses at Shea's than we've seen in a while, and for good reason. The play by Aaron Sorkin starring Richard Thomas is smart, philosophical, but humorous and well-acted on a beautiful and magical set that appears, disappears, and changes form right before your eyes. Across Main Street from Shea's, STAGE KISS at the Irish Classical Theatre continues its comedy, and WORKING at O'Connell and Company continues to delight at their "new" location in "the old Philip Sheridan School." (Please see listings below).

The THEATER LISTINGS below are accurate as of this Friday morning, April 1, but check with the venue frequently. Also, check for Covid restrictions regarding vaccination proof and masks. 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.

____________________________________

CLOSING THIS WEEKEND, LAST CHANCE TO SEE:

HARPER LEE'S TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, the 2018 play by Aaron Sorkin, based on the novel by Harper Lee, directed by Bartlett Sher, starring Richard ("John Boy") Thomas as Atticus Finch, Sunday March 27 - Saturday April 2, part of the M&T Broadway Series, Sunday at 1:00 and 6:30, Tuesday-Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00 at Shea's Buffalo Theatre, 646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202. The play also features Mary Badham (the original Scout in the 1932 movie) now playing Mrs. Dubose.

MOCKINGBIRD BLURB: Atticus Finch, a lawyer in 1930s Alabama, defends Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of rape. In this play, Atticus, not his daughter Scout, is the protagonist.

_____

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, through April 2. Thursday-Friday 7:30, Saturday 5:00. 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

FALL FROM THE GRACE BLURB: The music of the Celtic Punk Band "The Pogues" has inspired ten short works presented without pause, all set in a South Buffalo working class bar.

_____

MY LEFT BREAST, by Susan Miller, directed by Heather Fangsrud, featuring Lara D. Haberberger, presented by Brazen Faced Varlets March 18 - April 2, Fridays - Saturdays at 8:00 at the newly designed Alleyway's Cabaret Theater which is at 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, NY - entrance off of Main Street, varlets.org, (716-598-1585)

MY LEFT BREAST BLURB: "I am a one-breasted, menopausal, Jewish, bisexual lesbian Mom, and I'm coming soon to a theatre near you!" A woman's humorous and moving encounters with relationships, parenthood, cancer, and her ever-changing self are charted in this searingly honest solo piece.

_____

OPENING:

BERSERKER, by Bruce Walsh (Mazumdar Award winner world premiere) directed by Robyn Lee Horn, starring Patrick Cameron, Kelly Copps, Haleigh Curr, and Sara Kow-Falcone, March 31 – April 23, 2022, presented by Alleyway Theatre, 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)

BERSERKER BLURB: In this award-winning new play, an idealistic teacher comes face-to-face with a bear in the wilderness and finds himself spiraling into a mid-life crisis. He leaves his partner, child, and students in pursuit of a new career where he forms an unlikely friendship with a young boy, as they help each other step forward into a brave new future. Oh yeah, and Led Zeppelin.

_____

CONTINUING (in alphabetical order):

REMNANTS: An immersive installation experience combining sound, light, film, virtual reality and sculpture exploring the original mythology of Torn Space, Fridays - Saturdays March 25 – April 9, three performances per evning at 7:00, 7:45, and 8:30 at the Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle/Torn Space Theater, 612 Fillmore Ave. Buffalo (at Paderewski). What to wear: black, dark grey, or red. tornspacetheatre.com, 716-768-1109.

REMNANTS BLURB: In groups of six, audiences will experience moments from the past and construct new meanings in the present. Drawing from Torn Space’s original mythology, this project contains traces of past works combined in a fresh, intimate installation with limited and staggered seating. Tickets are offered in 30-minute time slots and purchasers of each time slot will enter every fifteen minutes to allow adequate spacing and comfortable movement throughout the installation.

_____

SCREEN TO STAGE: A Reading of the movie script to "Beverly Hills Cop," one night only, Saturday April 2 at 8:00 pm, a fundraiser for Road Less Traveled Productions. Minimum donation $50 per ticket.

SCREEN TO STAGE BLURB: The Screen to Stage series is a one-night only annual event which will feature a reading of "Beverly Hills Cop" written by Daniel Petrie in 2022. Co-Directed by Artistic Director Scott Behrend and Ensemble member Katie Mallinson, the cast will include Ensemble members Lisa Vitrano, Kristen Tripp Kelley, Dave Mitchell, Peter Palmisano, and Matt Witten alongside Jen Mysliwvy, Jake Hayes, Ricky Needham, Leah Berst, Dan Urtz, John Kaczorowski, Alejandro Gómez and Jenn Stafford. Proof of Vaccination required, masks are recommended. Note: Special permission has been given to RLTP courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

_____

STAGE KISS, comedy by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti, March 27 - April 24, Wednesday - Friday at 7:30, 3:00 Saturdays, 2:00 Sundays, produced by the Irish Classical Theatre Company in the Andrews Theatre, 625 Main Street Buffalo NY 14203. irishclassical.com (716) 853-ICTC (4282). Special ASL interpreted show April 20 at 7:30.

STAGE KISS BLURB: Two actors and ex-lovers find themselves starring opposite each other in an off-off-Broadway 1930s melodrama. It doesn’t take long for the lines between life and art to blur, while the farcical antics of the play-within-a-play make for an unforgettable romantic comedy.

_____

THE LOVE LIST, comedy by Norm Foster, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Jeremy Kreuzer, Elliot Fox, and Suzie Hibbard. March 19 - May 8, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and some Wednesdays. Nights: 6pm meal, 7:30 pm show; Matinees: 1 pm meal, 2:30 pm show. Bobby J's Italian american Greille, 204 Como Park Vlvd, Cheektowaga. www.mybobbyjs.com 716-395-3207

THE LOVE LIST BLURB: Canadian playwright Norm Foster (LADIES FOURSOME; ON A FIRST NAME BASIS) has Leon and Bill concoct a Top 10 list of qualities that make for the perfect mate. When that ideal woman actually arrives, revisions must be made. "Be Careful What You Wish For" is good advice.

_____

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, starring Anne DeFazio, Jared Eichel, Michael Galante, Timiyah Love, Kate Mulberry, John Profeta, and Emily Yancey, 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."

"Updated in 2009, WORKING digs deeper into the original Studs Terkel’s interviews from the 1960s and 1970s, and brings them into today's conversation. Based on the book by Studs Terkel, adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg and Lin-Manuel Miranda."

"This production marks the premiere of the localized version of this powerful show, with both the script and score reflecting updates that bring the characters and their stories into Western New York and the present day."

_____

AND IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

Eagerly anticipated, Shea's Buffalo sent out the email blast last week announcing the M&T Broadway series for 2022-2023 which includes:

THE PROM Sep 27-Oct 2, 2022

TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL Nov 8-13, 2022

COME FROM AWAY Dec 13-18, 2022

HADESTOWN Feb 21-26, 2023

BEETLEJUICE Mar 21-26, 2023

SIX Apr 25-May 7, 2023

JAGGED LITTLE PILL Jun 6-11, 2023

with two "special engagements"

Disney's ALADDIN Nov 22-27, 2022 and

DEAR EVAN HANSEN jUNE 20-25, 2023.

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
  • Local openings include ANNE OF GREEN GABLES at T.O.Y., Bellissima Production's BURN/THIS on the Ujima stage, Neil Simon's I OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES at Desiderio's, REEFER MADNESS presented by O'Connell & Co. at Shea's Smith, and REHEARSAL FOR MURDER at Lancaster Opera House. 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.
  • Continuing, with the "Irish Invasion" the Broadway tour of GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY wraps up a week at Shea's, with music by Bob Dylan and book by Dublin-born Conor McPherson while right across Main Street the Irish Classical Theater Company is putting on Brian Friel's FAITH HEALER, with a small but exquisite cast of Paul Todaro, Vincent O'Neill, and Margaret Massman. 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.
  • Right now there are only two shows in town and they're both by Irishmen! The Irish Classical Theater Company has Brian Friel's FAITH HEALER, with the exquisite cast of Paul Todaro, Vincent O'Neill, and Margaret Massman. Opening Tuesday, January 16, the Broadway tour of GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY begins a week at Shea's, with music by Bob Dylan and book by Dublin-born Conor McPherson (THE WEIR, PORT AUTHORITY, THE SHINING CITY, THE SEAFARER). 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.
  • While the theater community thinks of seasons starting with "Curtain Up!" in September and ending with The Artie Awards in June, often at the end of a calendar year, it's common to look at theater folk whom we lost. Anthony has fond personal memories of seeing many who were mentioned in a recent Playbill.com article. 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 and Peter talk about the transitions in leadership at four of our major stages. Audiences are still not at 2019 levels. And COVID as well as cellphones ringing during shows are still a nuisance. HAPPY NEW YEAR! 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.
  • There are plenty of Christmas shows still running for every taste. ANNIE (it's set at Christmas time) is at Shea's, there are four (4!) different versions of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Lisa Ludwig stars in THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS, and Charmagne Chi stars (with a cast of 7) in her BLUE XMAS at the Alleyway. 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.
  • All across our region, there are a solid dozen good shows open this weekend (See Listings) from Cheektowaga (TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS) to Ontario's Shawfest (A CHRISTMAS CAROL) in big venues (PLAID TIDINGS at Shea's 710) to small (BLUE CHRISTMAS WITH CHARMAGNE CHI at the Alleyway Cabaret), just to name 1/3 of the offerings. 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.
  • A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Shawfest's Royal George Theatre kicked off the first of several productions of Dickens' story,,, AIR HEART, a one-woman show by actor/aerialist Mara Neimanis at Buff State runs through Sunday. Buffalo-born TaNisha Fordham talks about 12 MO' ANGRY MEN, a play about a jury trying to decide on the guilt of a white police officer who has shot and killed a black teenager. (See listings below.) 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.
  • As Brian Higgins prepares to head up Shea's the holiday season finds many, many shows continuing and, depending on your taste, at least 8 openings! (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.
  • Good theater all around, including contining LEGALLY BLONDE at MusicalFare, ALL MY SONS at Road Less Traveled and MASTER HAROLD...AND THE BOYS at Irish Classical and Harold Pinter's THE HOMECOMING at Torn Space. Broadway's John Scherer is back in town as the narrator in A CHRISTMAS STORY at Lancaster Opera House which opens tonight. Many, many shows open in December which is only 7 days away including YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN at Theatre of Youth. 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.