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Theater Talk: Blizzard of 2022 created some cancellations; January brings LADY DAY to MusicalFare and THE MAI to Irish Classical plus others (see listings)

The Theatre District on Main Street in downtown Buffalo saw some blizzard cancellations this December 2022.
Andrew McLaughlin
/
Alleyway Theatre Facebook page
The Theatre District on Main Street in downtown Buffalo saw some blizzard cancellations this December 2022.

Happy New Year from Theater Talk. Anthony Chase and Peter Hall, along with everyone at WBFO and Buffalo Toronto Public Media thank you for being a loyal listener this past 2022. We look forward to an even better 2023. There is currently one show running, ELF , but things get rolling the second week in January with several shows (one of them a world premiere and one of them free)! See listings below.

LISTING (one only) THIS DECEMBER 2022

ELF, the musical, the Broadway tour, through December 31, two more shows, this Friday at 7:00 NOTE EARLIER THAN USUAL START TIME! and Saturday at 1:00 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 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.

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COMING IN JANUARY, 2023 (alphabetically by title)

ANN, a play by Holland Taylor, directed by Lara D. Haberberger, presented by the Brazen Faced Varlets, starring Priscilla Young Anker as Ann Richards. January 27 - February 11, Fridays - Saturdays at 7:30 at the Alleyway Theatre's Cabaret Space, 1 Curtain Up Alley (between Pearl and Main north of Shea's). 716-852-2600 alleyway.com

ANN BLURB: "Tough as nails, funny as hell" ANN is a no-holds barred portrait of Ann Richards, the legendary late Governor of Texas who said "I'm not afraid to shake up the system, and the government needs more shaking up than any other system I know." PLaywright Holland Taylor is known to many for her role as Evelyn Harper (Charlie's mother) in the TV sit-com "Two and a Half Men."

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ANTHONY CHASE: MY LIFE IN THE AUDIENCE has been extended again! This one-man show features Anthony Chase (with Philip Farugia at the piano) at the Bittersweet Piano Lounge in the Lafayette Hotel, 391 Washington St, Buffalo, NY 14203 (enter off Washington). Two more shows have been added: Sunday and Monday, January 8 and 9, both at 8:00. For tickets, check out brownpapertickets.com And remember to sign up for Anthony's blog theatertalkbuffalo.com. Subscribe and you won't miss out on a lot of useful theater news as well as great reviews.

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GET IN THE CAR PLAYS (10 new, short plays by Buffalo artists on the theme "Get in the Car") Saturday, January 7, at 2:00 pm (duration 2 hours) presented by Buffalo Writers' Theater at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library - Central Library - "Ring of Knowledge" area.

Free. Playwrights: Karen McDonald, Neal Radice, Tj Snodgrass, Jennifer Tromble, Tim Joyce, Allison Fradkin, Jenn Dlugos, Charlie Hatton, Madison Sedlor, Matt Boyle, and Mike Fanelli. FREE! Visit Buffalo Writer's Theater on Facebook for details.

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LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL, a musical by Lanie Robertson, directed by Thembi Duncan with music direction by George Caldwell, starring Alex McArthur, January 13 – 29, Fridays - Saturdays at 8:00, Sundays at 2:00, presented by MusicalFare Theatre on the Premier Cabaret Stage, located on the Daemen University campus, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226 (716) 839-8540 www.musicalfare.com

LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL BLURB: This is the inaugural production in MusicalFare's "Cabaret Musicals Series." Witness one of Billie Holiday's final performances in this tour-de-force evening starring JazzBuffalo’s Female Vocalist of the Year, Alex McArthur. Taking place in the late 1950s in Philadelphia only four months before Holiday’s untimely death, LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL gives a poignant and visionary look at the woman behind the music. Featuring direction by Thembi Duncan and music direction by Grammy-Award winner, George Caldwell, LADY DAY promises to electrify audiences.

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THE MAI, a play by Marina Carr, directed by Josephine Hogan, presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, starring Kate LoConti Alcocer, January 13 - February 5, Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3:00, Sundays at 2:00, 625 Main Street Buffalo NY 14203 716-853-4282 irishclassical.com

THE MAI BLURB: The Mai, an accomplished, savvy, middle-aged woman, is thrown into a world of confusion after her husband abandons her and her children. His return causes even more trouble, uniting four generations of women to grapple with love, loss, and the idiosyncrasies of family. Executive Artistic Director Kate LoConti Alcocer stars as the titular character leading a powerhouse cast in this award-winning modern Irish play, directed by ICTC Co-Founder Josephine Hogan. The cast includes

Kate LoConti Alcocer as The Mai, Christine Turturro as Millie, Pamela Rose Mangus as Grandma Fraochlán, Chris Avery as Robert, Cassie Cameron as Beck, Megan Callahan as Connie, Mary Moebius as Julie, and Lisa Ludwig as Agnes.

Additional Programming includes: Open Rehearsal: Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:30; Industry Night: Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7:30; Speaker Series: Sunday, Jan. 22, at 1:30; Young Professionals Night: Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7:30; Community Matinee: Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 10am (AM!); and an ASL Interpreted/Open Captioned Performance: Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7:30.

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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.

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RETURN TO SEYMOUR ST, a play by Tom Dudzick, a world premiere, directed by Steve Vaughan, presented by O'Connell & Company, January 20 - February 5, Fridays - Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 3:00, with an extra matinee Saturday, January 28 also at 3:00, on the OCC new stage, 4110 Bailey Avenue, Amherst, NY 14226 716-848-0800 oconnellandcompany.com

RETURN TO SEYMOUR ST BLURB: In this world premiere play by Tom "Over the Tavern" Dudzick, the character Peter Witkowski visits his empty, run-down boyhood house and, within that nostalgic atmosphere, attempts to rekindle a romance with his childhood sweetheart, Irene. She's a widow with a 14-year-old son who happens to be psychic. Just as romance is looking favorable the boy starts saying little things like, "We're not alone here." The grownups' first instinct is to head for the hills but, as fate would have it, they are trapped by an iconic Buffalo blizzard!

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COMING IN FEBRUARY TO SHEA'S

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.

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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

and

DEAR EVAN HANSEN June 20-25, 2023 (a "special engagement")

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,” WNED Classical 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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