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LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Theater Talk: MODERN ORTHODOX, OREGON TRAIL, and SPUNK final weekend; Anthony enjoys NEGLIA BALLET SPRING GALA

MODERN ORTHODOX L-R R.J. Voltz, Adam Yellen, Kayla Storto source JRT Facebook .jpg
JRT Facebook page
MODERN ORTHODOX at Jewish Repertory Theatre stars (L-R) R.J. Voltz, Adam Yellen, Kayla Storto, and Robyn Baun (not pictured)

The Artie Awards Nominees (think Tony Awards for Buffalo) were announced on WBFO's Facebook Live page on Monday, May 23, at noon by Anthony Chase and Curtis Lovell. Listen to the recording on WBFO's Facebook page here. For the complete list, visit Anthony's blog theatertalkbuffalo.com. The actual Artie Awards Ceremony will take place Monday night, June 6, 2022 at Shea's 710 Theatre, sponsored by Buffalo Toronto Public Media. That live event is a ticketed event, to raise money for ECMC's HIV/AIDS Immunodeficiency Clinic.

Anthony attended the Neglia Annual Spring Gala and was very pleased with the high quality of the dancers on stage at the Flickinger Center. Previously WBFO's Jay Moran had filed a story on the event which you can listen to here.

Three closings this weekend include MODERN ORTHODOX at the Jewish Reportory Theatre, OREGON TRAIL at the Alleyway Theatre, and SPUNK at Ujima Theatre. Please see the listings below for details.

The 75th Annual Tony Award Nominations (think Artie Awards for Broadway) were announced on Monday, May 9 on the Tony Awards official YouTube channel. Visit tonyawards.com for the complete listings. The 2022 Tony Awards will take place Sunday night, June 12th, at Radio City Music Hall to be hosted by West Side Story's Ariana DeBose.

The THEATER LISTINGS below are accurate as of this Friday morning, May 27, 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, as well as the best pictures! And always bring a mask and proof of vaccination. Several venues are requiring one or both

OPENINGS THIS WEEK:

GRINDR MOM, play by Ronnie Larsen, directed by Todd Fuller, starring Caitlin Coleman, presented by Plum Stab Productions, May 25-June 5, opened on Wed May 25 and runs Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, with two matinees: Saturday May 28 at 2:00, Sunday June 5 (Pride) at 2:00. Alleyway Theatre Cabaret, One Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, 14202 ci.ovationtix.com/35584/production/1122713

GRINDR MOM BLURB: Caught between the love for her only child and the Church she has given her entire life over to, a Mormon woman seeks answers in the most unexpected of places – Grindr, the gay dating app. And by God, does she get them! This one woman show written by the award winning playwright, Ronnie Larsen (Happy Ending, Sleeping with Straight Men) features Buffalo Artie Award winning actress, Caitlin Coleman, in a powerhouse performance unlike any role you’ve seen her in before. Director Todd Fuller (The Boys Upstairs, Afterglow) and Plum Stab Productions (420: The Musical) are excited to bring this comedic and relevant story to the Alleyway Theater Cabaret to celebrate PRIDE week. Tickets $25-35

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CLOSINGS THIS WEEKEND (FINAL SHOWS):

MODERN ORTHODOX by Daniel Goldfarb, directed by Steve Vaughan, through May 29, Thursdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3:30 and 7:30, Sundays at 2, presented by Jewish Repertory in the Maxine and Robert Seller Theater, 2640 N Forest Rd, Buffalo, NY 14228. 716.688.4114 ext. 309 www.jccbuffalo.org/jrt/

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.

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OREGON TRAIL, by Bekah Brunstetter, through May 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.

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

ON THURSDAY 5/26, 7:30PM, Ujima invites everyone to join them for a special performance and talkback with Professor Nicole M. Morris-Johnson, Scholar of Zora Neale Hurston and Black performance, Director Sarah Norat-Phillips, and the cast of Spunk!

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.

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OPENINGS IN JUNE (listed alphabetically, not by date):

AS YOU LIKE IT presented SHAKESPEARE IN DELAWARE PARK, directed by Steve Vaughan, June 23 - July 17 on "Shakespeare Hill" in Delaware Park near Marcy Casino and The Rose Garden.

NOTE:

The 47th Season Opening Night Reception will be Thursday June 23 – 5:45-7:15 at Shakespeare Hill under the tent amongst the stars, followed by the opening night performance of AS YOU LIKE IT. Respondents will enjoy the music of Queen City Strings and indulge in light hors d’oeuvres provided by the The Terrace At Delaware Park, Freedom Run wine tasting, and delicious treats from Fairy Cakes Cupcakery. $45 For SDP members $55 for Non-members. Seats are limited. You must RSVP or purchase tickets by June 15th. shakespeareindelawarepark.org/ON/

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BLITHE SPIRIT, comedy by Noel Coward, Lancaster Opera House, June 10-26, Fridays - Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:30, at the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Avenue, Lancaster, NY 14086. 716.683.1776 lancasteropera.org

BLITHE SPIRIT BLURB: A novelist invites an eccentric medium to conduct a séance at his house, with the aim of gathering material for his next book. Unexpectedly, the medium conjures up the reappearance of his first wife (who died five years earlier). Since his “ghost” wife cannot be seen or heard by his current wife, he finds himself torn between the two women in a comedic story about ghosts, ex-wives, and next wives.

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BUFFALO STORIES: THE LIFE OF ROBERT GIOIA presented by Road Less Traveled Productions, one night only, June 4.

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CABARET, musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb, directed by Kristin Bentley, starring Joe Russi, Cassie Cameron, Dan Urtz, Steve Jakiel, and Pamela Rose Mangus, presented by Second Generation Theatre June 10th- 26th, 2022, Thursdays - Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00, Sundays at 2:00 at Shea's Smith Theatre.

CABARET BLURB: In 1930s Berlin, everything is beautiful… but for how long? SGT presents CABARET- a beloved musical theatre classic with a message that remains relevant today. Choreographed by Kelly Copps, with Music Direction by Allan Paglia.

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ISLEÑA (Islander), a one-woman play by Victoria Pérez and María Pérez Gómez, featuring Victoria Pérez, directed by María Pérez Gómez, presented by Raíces Theatre runs from June 17 to July 3 at Road Less Traveled (the new home of Raíces) 456 Main Street Buffalo NY 14202

Box Office (716) 629-3069 roadlesstraveledproductions.org

ISLEÑA BLURB: Isleña (Islander) is a memorable story of an island girl’s journey from Puerto Rico to Buffalo ¡Nos vemos en el teatro! (See you at the theater!) (716) 629-3069 roadlesstraveled.org

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THE ONION GAME, by Brian Delaney, directed by ICTC Associate Director Greg Natale, Starring Stan Klimecko, Kelly Meg Brennan, Johnny Barden, Bennett Goldberg, Ray Boucher, and David Lundy, presented by Irish Classical Theatre June 3 - 26. irishclassical.com 716.853.4282.

Runtime: 2 hours 30 minutes, including one 10 minute intermission

THE ONION GAME BLURB:

Stan Klimecko and Company return to finish the run which was halted by Covid back in March during the 2020 production! Onion and Pearl are miserably married. Their children, Ogie and Milly, are displaying increasingly strange behavior. As Onion writes the Great Irish Novel and Pearl covers the house in beads, they secretly plot each other's ruin. The Onion Game, by ICTC’s Playwright-in-Residence Bryan Delaney, author of THE COBBLER and THE SEEDBED, launches a hilarious assault on the hollow aspirations of modern life. This is a grotesque black comedy of treachery, revenge, literature... and onions.

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SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, semi-staged production by Starring Buffalo, June 10 - 11, Friday - Saturday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm at Shea's 710 Theatre. Visit Shea's Box Office at Sheas.org or starringbuffalo.org.

SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE BLURB: Starring Buffalo returnS to Shea’s 710 with SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterpiece. Inspired by the painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat, SUNDAY merges past and present into a beautiful and poignant parable about love and the creation of art. One of the most acclaimed musicals of all time, SUNDAY was nominated for an incredible ten Tony Awards.

Performed in Starring Buffalo’s signature staged concert format, the cast features Tony Award nominee Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar, Amazing Grace, Evita) as George, five-time Broadway actress Emily Padgett (Side Show, Grease, Bright Star) as Dot, and Buffalo star Karen Saxon (Ujima Theater Company) as The Lady, performing alongside an ensemble of Buffalo’s best including Keith Ersing, Jake Hayes, Matthew Iwanski-Jackson, Jetaun Louie, Michele Marie Roberts, Sara States, Andrea Todaro, and Josh Wilde, as well as dozens of Western New York singers, dancers, and musicians.

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THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, directed by Katie Mallinson, presented by D'Youville College's Kavinoky Theatre, June 10 - 22, Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, Saturdays 3:30, Sundays 2, presented by D'Youville's Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave, Buffalo, NY 14201. 716.829.7668 kavinokytheatre.com

LIFESPAN BLURB: John D'Agata is a talented writer with a transcendent essay about the suicide of a teenage boy—an essay that could save the magazine from collapse. When Jim is assigned to fact check D'Agata's essay, the two come head to head in a comedic yet gripping battle over facts versus truth.

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SHAW FESTIVAL LIST OF SUMMER PLAYS:

(Note, visit shawfest.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/2022Calendar_print.pdf for a printable calendar with days, dates, and times)

Shaw Festival Theatre NOTE Mask use until June 10, but not proof of vaccination

2022 Season

FESTIVAL THEATRE

DAMN YANKEES Words and Music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross

Book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop opens Sat May 28 at 6

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST By Oscar Wilde opens Sat Jun 18 at 6

THE DOCTOR’S DILEMMA By Bernard Shaw

opens Sat Aug 20 at 6

ROYAL GEORGE THEATRE

GASLIGHT

By Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson

Based on the play Angel Street by Patrick Hamilton opens Friday May 27 at 6

CHITRA By Rabindranath Tagore (Lunchtime One-Act) opens Sunday June 19 at 11:30 am

JUST TO GET MARRIED By GB Shaw contemporary Cicely Hamilton opens Sun Aug 21 at 11:30 am

BLURB: “It is 1910 and Georgiana is 29, so the burning question is: how can we get her married?”

JACKIE MAXWELL STUDIO THEATRE

TOO TRUE TO BE GOOD By Bernard Shawopens Sun May 29 at 11:30am

EVERYBODY By Branden Jacobs-Jenkinsopens Fri Jun 17 at 6

GEM OF THE OCEAN By August Wilson (The first play in August Wilson’s THE AMERICAN CENTURY CYCLE) opens Fri Aug 19 at 6

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JULY EVENTS IN BUFFALO:

ALLEY OF THE DOLLS, directed by Chris Kelly, as Buffalo United Artists continues their "Summer Camp" series, July 9 - July 31, starring Jimmy Janowski, Renee Landrigan, Matt Refermat, Christopher Standart, Michael Blasdell (Bebe), Michael Seitz… and more! at The Alleyway Theater, One Curtain Up Alley.

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GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, presented by MusicalFare, July 6-August 7

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MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, July 28-August 21

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SHEA'S SEASON SUBSCRIBERS TAKE NOTE: The seat relocation process starts Tuesday, May 31. Renewed subscribers for the MYT Bank 2022-23 Broadway Series will have the ability to search available seats and relocate online the the MY SHEA'S ACCOUNT manager. You will receive an email with a relocation start date and your relocation period will remain active from that date until June 15 at 11 pm.

The M&T Broadway series at Shea's for 2022-2023 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,” 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”).
Latest Episodes
  • For 30 years, 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. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media) their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, The Stratford Festival, and other relevant art forms including ballet and opera are covered.
  • For 30 years, 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. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media) their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, The Stratford Festival, and other relevant art forms including ballet and opera are covered.
  • For 30 years, 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. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media) their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, The Stratford Festival, and other relevant art forms including ballet and opera are covered.
  • For 30 years, 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. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media) their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, The Stratford Festival, and other relevant art forms including ballet and opera are covered.
  • For 30 years, 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. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media) their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, The Stratford Festival, and other relevant art forms including ballet and opera are covered. This week it's all about the 31st Annual Artie Awards held at 710 Main Theatre once again sponsored by Buffalo Toronto Public Media (BTPM).
  • For 30 years, 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. As part of BTPM (Buffalo Toronto Public Media) their beat is primarily Buffalo theater, but Broadway, The Shaw Festival, The Stratford Festival, and other relevant art forms including ballet and opera are covered.
  • For 30 years, 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.
  • For 30 years, 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. This week it's about DAMN YANKEES at both the Shaw Festival and O'Connell and Company as well as AIN'T TOO PROUD at Shea's and a note about Neglia Ballet's Gala on May 21.
  • For 30 years, 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.
  • For 30 years, 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. This week's show talks about Covid postponements, THE OTHER JOSH COHEN at MusicalFare, and mentions famous understudy Lenora Nemetz who is even mentioned in NUNSENSE for writing a (fictitious) book "Being An Understudy."