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Theater Talk: EVITA opens tonight, BURST, GENTLEMAN CALLER, and MISERY continue

THE GENTLEMAN CALLER L-R Jonathan Beckner as William Inge, Matt Rittler as Tennessee Williams.jpg
Cheryl Gorski
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Buffalo United Artists on Facebook
THE GENTLEMAN CALLER (BUA at Hotel Lafayette) stars L-R Jonathan Beckner as William Inge, Matt Rittler as Tennessee Williams

Anthony continues with his rehearsals for his one-man show (well, two, counting Phil Ferugia at the piano) titled ANTHONY CHASE: MY LIFE IN THE AUDIENCE to open in November at the Bittersweet Piano Lounge in the Lafayette Hotel, 391 Washington St, Buffalo, NY 14203 (enter off Washington). One of the plays which opened last week, THE GENTLEMAN CALLER, is at the Bittersweet. Also MISERY at D'Youville's Kavinoky and BURST starring Tracie Lane, Aleks Malejs, and Christine Turturro at the Alleyway (see listings below).

Closing this weekend are BRACE FOR IMPACT at the Mayday Theatre and MAKING GOD LAUGH at Desiderio's Dinner Theatre (see listings below).

Remember to sign up for Anthony's blog theatertalkbuffalo.com. Subscribe and you won't miss out on a lot of juicy theater news as well as great reviews.

OPENINGS:

BEEHIVE: The 60s Musical, by Larry Gallagher, Directed & Choreographed by Carlos R.A. Jones, presented by MusicalFare Theatre, November 9th – December 11th, Wednesdays - Thursdays at 7:00pm, Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3:30pm and 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. On the campus of Daemen College, MusicalFare Theatre is located at 4380 Main Street in Amherst, NY (tip: enter off Getzville Road). There will be a special “half-price preview” on Tuesday, November 8th at 7:00pm. Meet-the-cast talkbacks take place after all Wednesday performances EXCEPT opening night, November 9th. THERE IS NO PERFORMANCE ON THANKSGIVING DAY (THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24th). 716-839-8540 www.musicalfare.com

BEEHIVE BLURB: Starring Brittany Bassett-Baran, Stevie Jackson, Lily Jones, Sabrina Kahwaty, Kristen-Marie Lopez and Timiyah Love, six women sing the rock-n-roll music of the 1960s in a night of non-stop song and dance! Featuring a fantastic showcase of songs like "My Boyfriend's Back," "It's My Party," "Natural Woman," "Me & Bobby McGee" and many more! Assistant Choreographed by Robin Barker, Music Direction by Philip Farugia, Set, Lighting & Sound Design is by Chris Cavanagh, Costume Design is by Kari Drozd and Hair, Wig & Make-up Design is by Susan Drozd.

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THE CHOSEN, a play adapted by Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok from the novel by Chaim Potok, directed by JRT Artistic Director Saul Elkin, starring Ray Boucher, Sam Fesmire, Max Goldhirsch, Tom Loughlin, And David Lundy, presented by Jewish Repertory Theater, November 3-November 20, Thursdays 7:30, Saturdays 3:30pm & 7:30pm, Sundays 2:00pm. 2640 N Forest Rd, Getzville, NY. 716-688-4033 jewishrepertorytheatre.org

THE CHOSEN BLURB: For the first production of our 20th anniversary season, we return to one of JRT’s first hit shows. This stage adaptation of the revered novel is the story of two boys, two fathers, and two very different Jewish communities— “five blocks and a world apart” —in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the 1940s. Set against the backdrop of WWII, the revelation of the Holocaust, and the desperate struggle of Zionism, THE CHOSEN remains not essentially political or religious but deeply human. Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders are both passionate and intelligent young men. When Danny injures Reuven during a heated baseball game between their rival yeshivas, a unique friendship is born. As the boys grow to manhood, they are forced to learn important lessons about each other, their fathers, and themselves. This is a story of friendship, family, and difficult choices that we must all make on the path to understanding, respect, and reconciliation.

NOTE: Stage to Screen: The Chosen- In Association with JCC Cultural Arts

Monday, November 14 at 7:00 pm at 2640 N Forest Rd, Getzville, NY invites everyone for a free screening of the award-winning 1981 film adaptation of "The Chosen," starring Maximillian Schell and Rod Steiger. (Popcorn will be provided!)

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EVITA, musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber, concert performance presented by Starring Buffalo, starring Broadway professionals, Buffalo professionals, and the outstanding high school choirs from City Honors and Frederick Law Olmsted! for three shows only, Friday, November 4 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 5 at both 2 pm and 7:30 pm.

EVITA BLURB: EVITA is the soaring epic musical by seven-time Tony Award-Winning Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera, Cats) and three-time Academy Award-Winning Tim Rice (The Lion King, Jesus Christ Superstar). Set in Argentina between 1934 and 1952, EVITA charts Eva Peron’s rise to become the most powerful woman in Latin America, and features some of musical theater’s finest songs, including the smash hit “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina”. The Starring Buffalo signature concert performances will feature Tony Award-Winning Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Kinky Boots) as Eva, Robi Hager (Spring Awakening, Little Duende) as Che, and Nicholas Rodriguez (Company, Tarzan) as Juan Peron, performing alongside Buffalo area stars Anna Fernandez (Artie Award-Nominee, A Chorus Line) as The Mistress, and Raphael Santos (Artie Award-Nominee, The Toxic Avenger) as Magaldi. Buffalo’s best join them on stage for each unforgettable performance: Blaise Mercedes, Victoria Pérez, Mateo Rivera, Joe Russi, Madalyn Teal and Dan Torres, as well as dozens of Western New York singers, dancers, and musicians.

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TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, part of the M&T Broadway series at Shea's for 2022-2023, runs November 8-13, Tuesday-Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00, Sunday at 1:00 and 6:30, Shea's Buffalo Theatre, 646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202. (716) 847-1410 sheas.org

Runtime: 2 hours and 40 minutes

BLURB: HER VOICE IS UNDENIABLE. HER FIRE IS UNSTOPPABLE. HER TRIUMPH IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER. WARNING - TINA − The Tina Turner Musical is recommended for ages 14+. The production includes loud music, strobe lighting, haze, gunshots, scenes depicting domestic violence and strong language. Please note that Tina Turner does not appear in this production.

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TONI STONE, a play, by Lydia R. Diamond, directed by Phil Knoerzer, November 4 - 20, Friday - Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 4, presented by Ujima Co. Inc. in the Lorna C. Hill Theatre, 429 Plymouth Avenue, Buffalo. (716) 322-5178 ujimacoinc.org

TONI STONE BLURB:

This sensational 2019 N.Y. Times critic’s pick for Best New Play of the Season knocks it out of the park with a high intensity glimpse into the world of the first woman to play professional baseball. “Toni Stone” blazes a path in the male-dominated sports world, shattering expectations and creating her own set of rules. Follow Toni’s journey as she fights for love, equality and a chance to do what she wants the most — play baseball. Filled with humor and the love of the game, this intimate and profoundly relevant portrait of America will have you cheering along

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CONTINUING:

BURST, a new play by Rachel Bublitz, directed by Daniel F. Lendzian, starring Tracie Lane, Aleks Malejs, and Christine Turturro, through November 12, 2022 Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30, with a matinee this Saturday November 5 at 3:30, and a special Monday performance on November 7 at 7:30 (for the convenience of industry but open to the public). Alleyway Theatre, 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo (on Main Street in the Theatre District) 716-852-2600. alleyway.com

BURST BLURB: Sarah is an extraordinary human being on the verge of saving the planet from her cushy office in Silicon Valley. At the helm of one of the fastest growing tech companies in history—a company she built herself from scratch—she is about to announce a major breakthrough that will make her richer, famous-er, and prove that she was right all along: biodegradable plastic. Oh, and tonight she also has to prep for tomorrow’s lawsuit, soothe her frustrated business partner, and fend off an eager journalist hungry for a scoop. It’s all in a night’s work on the climb to success. BURST is a fast-paced exploration of our drive to success, and who it takes down along the way. A contemporary peek into corporate power structures, Silicon Valley politics, and the global plastic emergency, the play was a finalist in the 2022 National New Play Network Showcase and will make its world premiere at the Alleyway.

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THE GENTLEMAN CALLER, by Philip Dawkins, directed by James Cichocki, presented by Buffalo United Artists, starring Jonathan Beckner as William Inge and Matt Rittler as Tennessee Williams. Thursdays - Saturdays, through 12 at 7:30 pm. Bittersweet Piano Lounge in the Lafayette Hotel, 391 Washington St, Buffalo, NY 14203 buffalounitedartists.org No One Under 18 Years Old Admitted. Content Warning: Nudity and Simulated Sex

THE GENTLEMAN CALLER BLURB: Tennessee Williams and William Inge today are recognized as two of the greatest American playwrights, whose work irrevocably altered the theatrical and social landscapes. In 1944, however, neither had achieved anything like genuine success. As flamboyant genius Williams prepares for the world premiere of his play THE GENTLEMAN CALLER(ultimately to become THE GLASS MENAGERIE) self-loathing Inge struggles through his job as a theater critic, denying his true wish to be writing plays. Based on real-life but closed-door encounters, reconstructed from troves of comments (and elisions) by each man about their relationship, Philip Dawkins gorgeously envisions what might have taken place during those early-career meetings.

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MISERY, a play by William Goldman adapted from Stephen King, directed by Brian Cavanagh, starring Adriano Gatto as Paul, Steven Brachmann as Buster, and Kavinoky Artistic Director Loraine O’Donnell as Annie ("the Kathy Bates role") through November 20, 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 Thursday, October 27th at 7:30 pm. The D’Youville Kavinoky Theatre, (716) 829-7668. kavinokytheatre.com

MISERY BLURB: The play version of the beloved Stephen King classic movie follows successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash by his “Number One Fan,” Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. Annie forces Paul to write a new “Misery” novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere.

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CLOSING THIS WEEKEND:

BRACE FOR IMPACT, a new play, by Vincent DeStefano, directed by Mike Doben, presented by Bellissima Productions, starring Vincent DeStefano (Logan), Taylor Lee Hall (Lily), Sean Patrick Ryan (Trevor), Andrew Brown (Brad), and Colleen Pine (Julia). Through November 5 Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30, one matinee, October 29 at 3:00. Marie Mayday Theatre, Canisius College, in Lyons Hall, 2048 Main St, Buffalo, NY (ample off-street parking). 716-218-8530. bellissimaproductions.com

BRACE FOR IMPACT BLURB: Five long-time friends gather one last time in a North Buffalo apartment as an asteroid hurtles towards earth. Faced with their untimely ends, and aided by various vices, they confront their life regrets, what could’ve been, and their deepest secrets.

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MAKING GOD LAUGH, a "comedy/drama" by Sean Grennan, directed by Jay Desiderio, presented by Desiderio's Dinner Theatre, starring Lisa Hinca, Michael Breen, Audrey Grout, Vincent Barile, and Caleb Paxton. September 15 - November 6 on select days (see website) with evening show dinner at 6 and show at 7:30, matinée show dinner at 1 and show at 2:30. Theater is located within Bobby J's Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd. Cheektowaga, NY 14227. (716)395-3207 mybobbyjs.com/desiderio-s-dinner-theatre.

MAKING GOD LAUGH BLURB: This is a family comedy/drama that takes place in four scenes, each ten years apart, set at various holidays. Starting in 1980, the newly “launched” kids (a priest, an aspiring actress, and a former star football player) all return home, where we learn of their plans and dreams as they embark on their adult lives. The “empty nest” parents contend with their own changes too, as old family rituals and dubious recipes are trotted out and ancient tensions flare up. Over the course of thirty years worth of celebrations- Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Easter- we see how, despite what we may have in mind, we often arrive at unexpected destinations. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans...”

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The M&T Broadway series at Shea's for 2022-2023 includes:

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”).
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  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.
  • 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, are covered as other relevant art forms are touched on, including ballet and opera.