THEATER TALK: The season is wrapping up but not just yet! There's plenty to see.
Anthony and Peter originally thought that there might not be enough to talk about during this episode of Theater Talk, but the 40th anniversary of A CHRISTMAS CAROL continues at the Alleyway; THE BIRTH OF SANTA has one more performance this Friday; ELF, the Broadway Tour begins a week at Shea's (note the early start times in the listings below); The Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake has chosen WHITE CHRISTMAS as this year's holiday show (along with A CHRISTMAS CAROL, both wrapping up their season tonight); and Buffalo's own Stephen McKinley Henderson has his first leading role on Broadway in BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, a play by Stephen Adly Guirgis.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL, adapted and directed (and starring as the narrator) Neal Radice, also starring David Mitchell as "Scrooge" at the Alleyway Theatre, 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, NY 14202 716-852-2600 alleyway.com.
Two shows left, tonight, December 23 at 7:30, and Saturday, December 24 at 12:00 noon.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL BLURB: Join Scrooge, Tiny Tim, a festive quartet of carolers and the whole gang, as we celebrate the 40th annual production of Buffalo's favorite holiday family tradition.
THE BIRTH OF SANTA, a play by Justin Karcher & Eric Mowery, directed by Eric Mowery, featuring Andrew Zuccari, David Wysocki, Daniel Burning, Eric Mowery, Ian Michalski, and Rick Lattimer, NOTE: THIS RUNS THROUGH DECEMBER 23, at 7:30 pm, at American Repertory Theater, 545 Elmwood Avenue. (716) 697-0837 artofwny.org
THE BIRTH OF SANTA BLURB: A reimagining of A Christmas Carol. An artist, famous for their Christmas-themed paintings, tries something different and has a show during the holiday season. It is not well-received. They fall into a tailspin heading back into their studio hoping to discover the true spirit of joy. They are visited by three artists of the Christmas spirit, including Norman Rockwell, Little Drummer Boy, and Brutus the robot.
ELF, the musical, the Broadway tour, December 26 - 31, Monday - Friday at 7:00 NOTE EARLIER THAN USUAL START TIMES! with three matinees at 1:00 on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at Shea's Buffalo Theatre, 646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202. (716) 847-1410 sheas.org Runtime:
2 hours and 20 minutes, including intermission
ELF is suitable for all ages but may be best enjoyed by those 8 and older. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.
ELF BLURB: ELF is the tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern-day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.
Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, ELF features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Prom, The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Aladdin, The Prom, The Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). The production will feature direction by Sam Scalamoni and choreography by Connor Gallagher.
WHITE CHRISTMAS and A CHRISTMAS CAROL wrap up tonight at Niagara on the Lake's Shaw Festival. 905-468-2172 / 1-800-511-7429 shawfest.com
COMING IN JANUARY
PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS, a play by Duncan Macmillan returns, for FREE, January 12 -15, at Shea's 710 (not Kavinoky). This limited 5 performance run (January 12th-15th) will take place on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Shea’s 710 Theatre, 710 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14202.
Due to the generous support of the Scott Bieler Family Foundation, tickets for this event are FREE but need to be reserved at www.Sheas.org.
PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS BLURB: This play was originally produced at the D’Youville Kavinoky Theatre last fall and was forced to cancel the majority of shows due to COVID. Due to the generosity of Mr. Scott Bieler, the Scott Bieler Family Foundation is sponsoring the return of this important play that deals with addiction and recovery. The award-winning drama follows an actress who goes into rehab after coming unhinged onstage. It's an unsentimental take on addiction and recovery that offers no easy answers. This critically acclaimed production is directed by Katie Mallinson and stars Aleks Malejs as Emma with an ensemble of Buffalo’s finest actors including Christopher Guilmet, Michele Roberts, Diane DiBernardo, Gabriella McKinley, Ben Michael Moran, Gregory Gjurich, Maureen Ann Porter, Afrim Gjonbalaj and Dylan Zalikowski.
COMING IN FEBRUARY
INTO THE WOODS, Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by James Lapine, Direct from Broadway, 2 shows only, Saturday 2/18 at 8 and Sunday 2/19 at 1:00 at Shea's Performing Arts Center,
INTO THE WOODS BLURB: Direct from Broadway, the critically acclaimed and much beloved production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony®-winning triumph is coming to Buffalo with its Broadway stars to boot. Into the Woods features Montego Glover as The Witch, Stephanie J. Block as The Baker’s Wife, Sebastian Arcelus as The Baker, and Gavin Creel as Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf – all reprising their Broadway roles – in a production called “radiant” (Variety), “enchanting” (The Wall Street Journal), and “a priceless revival with a perfect cast” (The Washington Post). Directed by Lear deBessonet (Hercules), this theatrical event honors Sondheim’s legendary memory and his Broadway masterpiece like never before.
Choreographed by Lorin Latarro, Music Supervisor Rob Berman, Directed by Lear deBessonet.
The M&T Broadway series at Shea's for 2022-2023 includes:
HADESTOWN Feb 21-26, 2023
BEETLEJUICE Mar 21-26, 2023
SIX Apr 25-May 7, 2023
JAGGED LITTLE PILL Jun 6-11, 2023
DEAR EVAN HANSEN June 20-25, 2023 (a "special engagement")