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Theater Talk: Perfect for our time - LIFESPAN OF A FACT at Kavinoky and Second Gen's CABARET at the Smith.

LIFESPAN OF A FACT L-R Brian Brown as Jim Fingal, Loraine O'Donnell as Emily Penrose, and Peter Palmisano as John D'Agata photo by Gene Witkowski.jpg
Gene Witkowski
D'Youville's Kavinoky Theatre
In THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT at the Kavinoky L-R Brian Brown as Jim Fingal, Loraine O'Donnell as Emily Penrose, and Peter Palmisano as John D'Agata

Perfect for our current times, the musical CABARET centers on the rise of fascism. That's the current offering by Second Generation at Shea's Smith Theatre (see listing below). Across town, THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT at D'Youville's Kavinoky Theatre explores the tug of war between dry facts and "the truth."

If the Arties are "the Tony Awards for Buffalo Theater" then the Tonys are "the Artie Awards for Broadway, and this year, 2022, the 2022 Tony Awards (75th anniversary) took place Sunday night, June 12th, at Radio City Music Hall hosted by West Side Story's Ariana DeBose. For details visit playbill.com.


The THEATER LISTINGS below are accurate as of this Friday morning, June 10, 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


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 Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 6:00 pm. Tickets can be reserved by calling

716-381-9333 or visiting ticketstripe.com/islenaonewomanshow, or calling the RLTP

Box Office (716) 629-3069 or visiting roadlesstraveledproductions.org

ISLEÑA BLURB: Isleña (Islander) is a one-woman show featuring Victoria Pérez’ journey from her beloved Puerto Rico to Buffalo and the struggle to define one’s identity while living in the diaspora. The title character is turning 40 years old and is forced to use this milestone to reconcile with her inner child and the joyful yet traumatic experiences while living in the island. In packing for the return to her homeland she must unpack memories buried in order to survive. Isleña celebrates family, tradition, culture, music and ultimately the longing to return home.


THE BARD'S IN OUR YARD, touring performances of Shakespeare scenes throughout Western New York presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park. See list of venues at shakespeareindelawarepark.org/2022-tour-locations/ Performances are June 16-19 and June 21 - 22 (during the week or so leading up to the opening of AS YOU LIKE IT on June 23) and then performances are July 20 - July 24 and July 26 - July 27 (leading up to the opening of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM on July 28). Also three Mondays (August 8, 15, and 22). Performances are at 7:00 pm except for the 4:30 matinees as noted.

· June 16: Academy Park, Lewiston;

· June 17: Five Points Bakery, (West Side) Buffalo;

· June 18 (4:30 & 7 p.m.): Niawanda Park, City of Tonawanda;

· June 19 (4:30 & 7:00 p.m.): Jewish Community Center, Amherst;

· June 21: Showmobile – Aquatic and Fitness Center, Town of Tonawanda;

· June 22: Community Activity Center, Orchard Park;

· July 20: Bassett Park, Amherst;

· July 21: Quaker Arts Pavilion, Orchard Park;

· July 22: Penn Dixie Fossil Site, Blasdell;

· July 23 (4:30 & 7 p.m.): Nike Base Park, Grand Island;

· July 24 (4:30 & 7 p.m.): Freedom Run Winery, Cambria;

· July 26:Hamburg Town Park (Lakeshore), Hamburg;

· July 27: Veterans Park Complex, West Seneca;

· Monday August 8: Locust Street Art, (Fruitbelt) Buffalo;

· Monday August 15: Raymond Klimek Veterans Park, North Tonawanda;

· Monday August 22: Galanti Park, Lackawanna.



A RAISIN IN THE SUN, by Lorraine Hansberry, presented by the Paul Robeson Theatre, through June 26, Fridays - Sundays at 7 pm, Sunday matinees at 2, at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209 716-884-2013 paulrobesontheatre.org

A RAISIN IN THE SUN BLURB: The play follows the three-generation Younger family as they grapple with different definitions of the American dream and how to achieve it. When the matriarch, Lena, buys a home in an all-white neighborhood, the Youngers are greeted by thinly veiled racism and financial pitfalls that threaten to pull the family apart and push their dreams out of reach. Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s own family’s experience in Chicago in the 1930s, A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959 and, for the first time, hailed an all-Black principal cast, a Black playwright and a Black director. The play was nominated for four Tony Awards, and Hansberry was the first Black woman to be produced on Broadway.


BLITHE SPIRIT, comedy by Noel Coward, Lancaster Opera House, through June 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.


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 through June 26th, 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.


CALAMUS PROJECT, live reading of 23 Whitman poems by Ujima Company at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Calamus is a sequence of poems about camaraderie, friendship, and love among men by Walt Whitman. Written in the late 1850s, Calamus is a daring, ahead-of-its-time masterpiece composed of short, engaging poems.

On June 29, 2022, at 7:30 pm, Ujima Company actors will perform 23 of the poems live onstage at the Burchfield Penney. The program will include a discussion with the actors and brief remarks by Burchfield Scholar Nancy Weekly and Partnership for the Public senior policy fellow Sam Magavern. This performance is free and open to the public.

Calamus Project Live is directed by Ujima Company member Curtis Lovell. It features dancing by Naila Ansari, Ujima’s Director of Dance, along with performances by Brandon Williamson, Gerald Ramsey, Brian Brown, Ben Caldwell, Christina Foster, and Rachel Jamison.

The Burchfield Penney is a particularly fitting venue for this performance, as Charles E. Burchfield was a strong admirer of Whitman and created at least one painting inspired by a Whitman poem. Burchfield’s personal copy of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass will be on display on the day of the performance.

The Calamus Project is a new collaboration aiming to bring Whitman’s Calamus poems to a wider audience. Its website features films of each poem, performed by Ujima Company at Silo City, as well as many other resources illuminating the work.


THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, directed by Kyle LoConti, presented by D'Youville College's Kavinoky Theatre, through June 26, Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, also 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 a 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.


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. Wednesdays - Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 3, Sundays at 2. irishclassical.com 716.853.4282.

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


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.



AS YOU LIKE IT presented SHAKESPEARE IN DELAWARE PARK, directed by Steve Vaughan, June 23 - July 17 Tuesdays - Sundays at 7:15 on "Shakespeare Hill" in Delaware Park near Marcy Casino and The Rose Garden. These performances are free and open to the public (but bring some cash if you can for an intermission donation).

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/



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

Shaw Festival Theatre NOTE Mask use is required until June 10, but not proof of vaccination is not longer required.

2022 Season:


DAMN YANKEES Words and Music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross

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

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


opens Saturday Aug 20 at 6



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?”


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

EVERYBODY By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins opens 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



A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman, music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak, directed by Doug Weyand, presented by MusicalFare, July 6-August 7, Wednesdays - Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3:30pm & 7:30pm, Sundays at 2. MusicalFare Theatre on the Daemen College campus, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226. (716) 839-8540 musicalfare.com

A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE BLURB: This knock-'em-dead, uproarious comedy, was the most-nominated show of the 2014 Broadway season with ten Tony nominations and four wins, including Best Musical. When the low-born Monty Navarro finds out that he's eighth in line for an earldom in the lofty D'Ysquith family, he figures his chances of outliving his predecessors are slight and sets off down a far more ghoulish path. Can he knock off his unsuspecting relatives without being caught? A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER is a fresh new musical comedy filled with non-stop laughs and unforgettable music.


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.


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


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


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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