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Theater Talk: More COVID delays, a very funny THE OTHER JOSH COHEN at MusicalFare, and listings of what's up and what's coming

THE OTHER JOSH COHEN continues at Musicalfare. All cast photo..jpeg
THE OTHER JOSH COHEN continues at Musicalfare. All cast photo

Is Covid really done with us? Hospitalizations are down, yes, but shows are still being delayed and recently, the last show of ANASTASIA's national tour at Shea's (Sunday, April 24 at 6:30 pm) was cancelled outright. Openings of LITTLE WOMEN...NOW at Road Less Traveled Theatre as well as PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS at The Kavinoky, DAMN YANKEES at O'Connell & Company, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? at the New Phoenix Theatre and the latest, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at Theatre of Youth have all had openings postponed. SEE LISTINGS BELOW FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION.

Road Less Traveled has also postponed its Second Annual 10-Minute Play Festival originally scheduled for May 2nd.

And the Tony Awards has postponed this year's nomination announcement from May 3 to May 9. Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren (TINA – The Tina Turner Musical) and three-time Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry (Carousel) will announce the 75th Annual Tony Award Nominations very early on Monday, May 9, 2022. As recently announced, the nominations announcement will take place on the Tony Awards official YouTube channel, at 9 a.m. EST/6 a.m. PST. For more information visit tonyawards.com The actual awards ceremony will still take place on June 12th at Radio City Music Hall.

At Theatre of Youth, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was/is employing a number of ensemble members as understudies to ensure that "the show must go on," but even the best-laid plans of mice and beasts oftentimes go awry. Or get postponed.

Anthony recalls one famous understudy, Lenora Nemetz, mentioned in the musical NUNSENSE as the author of the fictitious book "Being An Understudy by Lenora Nemetz." Nemetz's Wikipedia article reads in part:

"A protégé of Bob Fosse, Nemetz first came to the attention of New York critics when she understudied and later succeeded Chita Rivera as Velma Kelly in Fosse's production of Chicago. In a posting on the BroadwayWorld.com message board dated April 13, 2007, Nemetz recalls how she got to play both Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly on the same day during the original production of Chicago: 'I replaced Chita, with Ann Reinking and with Gwen (Verdon) ... and I played both roles - I stood by for both Gwen and Chita, and they were kind enough to let me play both roles in the same day. At the matinee, I played Velma Kelly and in the evening performance, I played Roxie Hart. It was fun!'"

The THEATER LISTINGS below are accurate as of this Friday morning, April 29, 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.



BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, musical, NEW OPENING May 7 to May 22 (original closing date), presented by Theatre of Youth, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:00, Saturdays-Sundays at 2 at the Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen Street. theatreofyouth.org

BLURB: Be swept away by Broadway’s classic musical as TOY proudly presents Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. A tale as old as time, the spirited Belle, a prince-turned-beast, and a gaggle of enchanted friends discover there’s more than meets the eye as they look beyond what we see to discover beauty comes from within.

SENSORY-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE - Sunday, May 8 at 10am. This performance incorporates special modifications to accomodate audiences with sensory needs.

Pay-What-You-Can Preview performance on Thursday, April 28 at 7:00pm. Reservations Required with suggested donation of $10 per person.

SAFETY POLICY: As of March 28, TOY is following a universal masking policy and require all patrons over the age of 2 years wear a mask while in the building.


JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, April 29 - May 15 at the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Avenue, Lancaster. Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays-Sundays at 2:30 pm (No Saturday matinee opening weekend April 30). (716) 683-1776 lancasteropera.org

JOSEPH...DREAMCOAT BLURB: One of the most enduring shows of all time, this gem from Andrew Lloyd Webber (the composer of The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar among many others) uses the biblical story of Joseph—and a handful of popular song types, from Elvis to calypso—to tell a universal story of dreamers: people from broken families who struggle to make the best of what they have, to trust in themselves, and most importantly, to see courage in forgiveness.


LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE, by Nora Ephron, directed by Roger Paolini, starring Darleen Pickering Hummert, Melanie Klaja, Mary Moebius, Mary Kate O’Connell, and Kim Piazza runs for five shows only, April 28 - May 1, presented by O'Connell & Co. at Shea's Smith Theatre. 654 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14202 Runtime 90 minutes, visit sheas.org

LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE BLURB: Proving that a great show is always in fashion, this is a play of monologues and ensemble pieces about women, clothes and memory that covers all the important subjects—mothers, prom dresses, mothers, buying bras, mothers, hating purses and why we only wear black. Love, Loss, and What I Wore, written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman uses clothing, accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny and often poignant stories about matters of the heart and matters of the closet. The actresses sit side-by-side with script in-hand, deftly guiding the audience through an evening of humor, nostalgia and, of course, fashion. Nora Ephron was a writer, director and producer best known for writing the screenplays of romantic comedy films. She received three Academy Award nominations for Original Screenplay, for Silkwood (1983), When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993). Ephron sometimes co-authored screenplays with her sister, writer-producer Delia Ephron, including You’ve Got Mail (1998), Hanging Up (2000), and Bewitched (2005).



LITTLE WOMEN...NOW, a world-premiere adaptation by Donna Hoke, directed by Doug Weyand, starring Lisa Vitrano, Brittany Bassett, Alexandria Watts, Heather Gervasi, Sabrina Kahwaty, Jake Hayes and Ricky Needham. Opens Saturday April 23(!) - May 15, 7:30 Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30, Sunday at 2. Presented by Road Less Traveled Productions.

LITTLE WOMEN NOW BLURB: Little Women… Now brings the beloved March sisters to life in this contemporary adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic story by RLTP Ensemble member Donna Hoke. Follow Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth as they navigate the challenges of love, loss, and family on the road from childhood to adulthood in the 21st century. With fresh perspective and charm, this world premiere production captures the spirit and sensibility of the original for a modern audience.


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; Sunday 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.


THE OTHER JOSH COHEN, a musical comedy, by David Rossmer and Steve Rosen, directed by Randall Kramer, presented by MusicalFare, April 20 - May 22 Wed-Thu at 7pm, Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm at MusicalFare Theatre on the Daemen College campus, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226 (pro tip: enter off Getzville Road). (716 839-8540) musicalfare.com

THE OTHER JOSH COHEN BLURB: Josh Cohen just can't get a break. He's single, broke and to top it all off, his apartment's been robbed of everything but a Neil Diamond CD. Broke and alone, all hope seems lost – until a mysterious letter arrives that changes his life forever. Thus begins the hilarious and quirky romantic comedy about a good guy caught in a lifelong battle with bad luck.

It features a six member ensemble with two actors who play the same hapless-yet-warmhearted title character – one eventful year apart – in a 90-minute life-changing laughfest for the whole family that will leave you feeling better about the world!



AIN'T TOO PROUD – The Life and Times of the Temptations, Broadway musical tour, May 10-15, at Shea's Buffalo 646 Main Street, Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes

AIN'T TOO PROUD BLURB: Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations is the electrifying new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography, it’s a thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal during a decade of civil unrest in America. Set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” Ain’t Too Proud tells the unforgettable story of the legendary quintet that Billboard Magazine named the greatest R&B group of all time. The Production uses an onstage smoke effect. The Production uses Haze during the performance. Recommended ages 12+ (some language, and adult content) Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes


ANTON IN SHOW BUSINESS by Jane Martin, directed by Lara D. Haberberger, starring Rachael Buchanan, Heather Fangsrud, Corey Gorski, Kaeli McGinnis, Davida Tolbert, Alyssa Walsh, Stefanie Warnick, May 6 - 21, Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30, at the Alleyway Cabaret 716-598-1586 or visit brazenfacedvarlets.org or on Facebook.

ANTON IN SHOW BUSINESS BLURB:This madcap comedy follows three actresses across the footlights, down the rabbit hole, and into a strangely familiar Wonderland that looks a lot like American theatre – the resemblance is uncanny! As these women pursue their dream of performing Chekhov in Texas, they’re whisked through a maelstrom of “good ideas” that offer unique solutions to the Three Sisters’ need to have life’s deeper purpose revealed. In the tradition of great backstage comedies, Anton in Show Business conveys the joys, pains, and absurdities of “putting on a play” at the turn of the century.

For tickets: 716-598-1586 or https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5425950


DAMN YANKEES, musical by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler, directed by Joey Bucheker, presented by O'Connell & Co. May 6 (change) - May 15 (original closing date). "We are postponing the opening weekend of the musical DAMN YANKEES in order to ensure the safety and health of our cast, staff, and patrons.

Opening Night will be Friday, May 6th at 8pm and performances continue through May 15, 2022. We have added a few “double headers” in our updated show lineup.


Friday, May 6 - 8:00pm; Saturday, May 7 - 2pm & 8:00pm; Sunday, May 8 - 2:00pm

Friday, May 13 - 8:00pm; Saturday, May 14 - 2pm & 8:00pm; Sunday, May 15 - 2:00pm & 8pmFriday- Saturday at 8, Saturday- Sunday at 2, on their main stage 3200 Elmwood Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14217 (716-848-0800) oconnellandcompany.com/

DAMN YANKEES BLURB: Light, fast-paced and devilishly clever. Based on the novel, "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant," this classic Tony and Oscar Award-winning musical comedy is a captivating tale of devotion, deception, dancing, the Devil, and Major League Baseball.


MODERN ORTHODOX by Daniel Goldfarb, directed by Saul Elkin, May 5-29, presented by Jewish Repertory in the Maxine and Robert Seller Theater, 2640 N Forest Rd, Buffalo, NY 14228.

MODERN ORTHODOX BLURB: This hilarious and heartfelt comedy tells the story of Ben Jacobson, an Upper West Side financial consultant ready to propose to his long-time girlfriend Hannah, and Herschel Klein, an Orthodox diamond dealer tasked with selling Ben an engagement ring. After a fateful first meeting Herschel becomes entangled in the lives of Ben and Hannah for better and worse. Initially Ben and Herschel’s differing views on their shared religions divides them, but as both men struggle with romantic relationships and faith an unexpected bond is forged between them in their pursuit of love.


OREGON TRAIL, by Bekah Brunstetter, May 5 - 28, directed by Chris J. Handley, presented by the 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)

OREGON TRAIL BLURB: It’s 1996 and Jane is trapped in her middle school computer lab playing “The Oregon Trail.” Suddenly the game comes to life and whisks us back to 1848 to travel covered-wagon style with Jane’s great-great-grandmother. As the game moves us (and Jane) back and forth in time, Jane forms a bond with her ancestors while navigating the complexities of a modern life.

This comedy about depression from the EMMY-nominated writer of “This Is Us” is a must for anyone who grew up trying not to die of dysentery.


PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS, a play by Duncan MacMillan, directed by Katie Mallinson, May 5 - May 22, Friday-Saturday at 7:30, Saturday 3:30, Sunday 2pm, presented by D'Youville's Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave, Buffalo, NY 14201.

Performances for this three-week engagement (May 5 - 22nd) will take place on Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. There will be one pay-what-you-can preview on Wednesday, May 4th at 7:30 pm. Opening night is Thursday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m

Box Office: 716-829-7668 kavinokytheatre.com

PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS BLURB: Emma was having the time of her life. Now she’s in rehab. An inventively dramatic tale of addiction, recovery, and everything that happens in between. NOTE: For the production of PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS the D’Youville Kavinoky Theatre is proud to partner with Save the Michaels of the World. On Thursday nights of the run (May 5, 12 & 19) there will be panel discussions with the cast, people with lived experience, professionals from Save the Michaels of the World, and other support organizations. We want to create a safe space for dialogue and questions surrounding the current Substance Use Disorder crisis. On those nights, the bar will be alcohol free. Those “Talk-Back/Panel discussions” are free of charge and take place AFTER each Thursday performance.


PROOF, by David Auburn, directed by Jennifer Simpson, May 5-7 at 7:30 pm, May 8 at 2, May 14-15 at 7:30 pm, starring Sarah Emmerling, Joe Sciammarella, Tammy Dobe, and Connor Caso as Catherine, Robert, Claire, and Hal, presented by the Carriage House Players at the Taylor Theater in Lockport’s Kenan Center, 433 Locust Street, Lockport, NY 14094 kenancenter.org/carriage-house-players 716-433-2617

PROOF BLURB: Catherine, a woman in her late twenties, is strongly devoted to her father Robert, a brilliant well-known mathematician whose grip on reality is beginning to slip away. The play explores Catherine’s fear of following in her father’s footsteps after his death both mathematically and mentally. When Robert’s work reveals a mathematical proof of potentially historic proportions, it sets off shock waves in more ways than one. The play won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. “Proof” is presented during Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been observed in the United States during the month May since 1949.


SPUNK, by George C. Wolfe, adapted for the stage from Zora Neale Hurston stories, directed by Sarah Norat-Phillips, May 6 - 29, Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 4pm, presented by Ujima Theatre, 429 Plymouth Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14213 716-281-0092 boxoffice@ujimacoinc.org

SPUNK BLURB: Using the blues, choral narrative and dance, the three tales focus on men and women, trapped inside the "laughin' kind of lovin' kind of hurtin' kind of pain, that comes from being human. Based on three short stories of Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) and adapted by George C. Wolfe.

Spunk sets the human ability to endure to the strums of a guitar in a stirring musical fable. An unearthly Guitar Man and Blues Speak Woman tantalizingly interweave three tales of the early 20th century African American experience, from the fierce determination of a resilient washerwoman to the zoot suit struts of 1940s Harlem, to the bittersweet innocence of young married love. Glowing with wit, humor and energy, three tales of survival are told in the key of the blues.


WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, play by Edward Albee, directed by Nancy Doherty starring Richard Lambert, Pamela Rose Mangus, Brett Klaczyk, and Pandora Lianne Kew. May 5 (new) - May 28 (original), Thursday - Saturday at 7:30 pm, the final performance to be presented by New Phoenix Theatre on the Park, 95 Johnson Park Buffalo, NY 14201 716-853-1334 newphnxtheatre@aol.com

The production will have one preview performance on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 7:30 pm. The production will run for four weeks, Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays until Saturday May 28. ALL performances will start at 7:30 PM. All Thursday performances are-pay-what-you-can, thanks to a generous grant from M & T Bank.

WHO'S AFRAID BLURB: (from Dramatists Play Service) Audiences at the original Broadway production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? were keenly aware that they were witnessing the transformation of a promising playwright into a figure of world importance, through a play clearly destined to become a modern classic. Time has richly borne out this view. This dazzling work of gut-wrenching dark comedy presents perhaps the most memorable of married couples, George and Martha, in a searing night of dangerous fun and games with a pawnlike other couple who innocently become their weapons in the savaging of each other and of their life together. By the evening's end, a stunning, almost unbearable revelation provides a climactic shock of recognition at the bond and bondage of their love.



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


COME FROM AWAY Dec 13-18, 2022

HADESTOWN Feb 21-26, 2023

BEETLEJUICE Mar 21-26, 2023

SIX Apr 25-May 7, 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,” 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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