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Theater Talk: LONDON CALLING at A.R.T., THE FOLKS AT HOME at Alleyway, TEACH at Buff State and many, many openings (see listings)

in the play TEACH Emerson asks a question of his teacher, Chris
Jesse Steffan-Colucci
/
Buffalo State University
in the play TEACH Emerson asks a question of his teacher, Chris

On this episode of Theater Talk, Anthony and Peter talk about LONDON CALLING at the American Repertory Theatre at 545 Elmwood Avenue, THE FOLKS AT HOME at the Alleyway Theatre, and mention TEACH's short run (last chance this weekend) at Buff State.

Check out Anthony's reviews and Javier's "On the Boards" at theatertalkbuffalo.com!

COVID is once again affecting theatrical performers and audiences so it's worth getting the booster, available at pharmacies everywhere. Did you know that, for your convenience, you can get your COVID booster AND your flu shot at the same time, and if your age qualifies, you can also get your RSV vaccine with those other two. After Anthony told Peter that he "doubled up" then Peter "tripled up" and you can too!

Anthony's reviews appear on his blog theatertalkbuffalo.com and Peter's reviews appear in Buffalo Rising (buffalorising.com).

LOCAL LISTINGS ARE PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS: CLOSINGS (last chances to see these plays), then OPENINGS, followed by CONTINUING, then OPENINGS LATER THIS MONTH. Within the categories, shows are alphabetical by title.

CLOSINGS THIS WEEKEND (last chance!):

LONDON CALLING, a unified series of six one-acts by six local playwrights inspired by post-punk music pioneers, The Clash, directed by Catherine Burkhart and Mariangela Mercurio, starring Stephanie Bax, Sarah Emmerling, Brooke Goergen, Kaylie Horowitz, Jamie Moore, Danette Pawlowski, Justin Pope, Isabella Ruof and Andrew Zuccari, presented by American Repertory Theater. 2/8 - 2/24 Thu - Fri 7:30, Sat 5:00 at the Compass Performing Arts Center, 545 Elmwood Avenue (716) 697-0837 artofwny.org Tickets $25 General/$20 Student or Military Vets, Thursdays are pay-what-you-can

LONDON CALLING BLURB: The American Repertory Theater of Western New York (ART) has had considerable success for several years assembling pieces by a variety of local playwrights all connected by a common plot and a common theme, usually music by a certain artist or group (e.g. Tom Waits, The Pogues, etc.) Here it's The Clash with this punk rock sound being adapted into 1940s era styles of Swing & Boogie Woogie because the “Should I stay or should I go” narrative will take place during the Battle of Britain. Each story centers on the identities of individuals chased into the London “tubes” (subways) during the infamous 1941 London Blitz (aerial bombings by the Nazis). Plays are by Justin Karcher, Ellen Falank, Monish Bhattacharyya, James Marzo, Mark Humphrey, and j Snodgrass.

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KINDERTRANSPORT, a play by Diane Samuels, directed by Saul Elkin, produced by the Jewish Repertory Theatre, starring Charmagne Chi, Robyn Baun, Wendy Hall, Ellen Horst, Renee Landrigan and Dave Wysocki. February 1-25 Thu 7:30, Sat 3:30 & 7:30, Sun 2:00. At the Maxine and Robert Sellers Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 2640 N Forest Rd, Getzville, NY 14068 716.688-4033

KINDERTRANSPORT PUBLICITY BLURB: In this powerful audience favorite, nine-year-old Eva, a German Jewish girl, is sent by her parents on the Kindertransport to start a new life with a foster family in Britain just before the outbreak of World War Two. Over forty years later, she has changed her name to Evelyn and denied her roots. When her own daughter discovers some old letters and photos in the attic, she is forced to confront the truth about who she really is and reveal a dark secret that she has done to keep everything hidden.

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TEACH, a new play by Donna Hoke, directed by Sabrina Kahwaty. 2/21-25 Wed-Sat 7:00, also Sat 2/24 at 2:00, Sun 2/25 at 1:00. Flexible Theatre in the Savage Theater and Communication Building on the Buffalo State University campus (plenty of free on-campus parking). https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/31655/buffalo-state-theater-department NOTE: FREE PERFORMANCE TODAY, FRIDAY FEBRUARY 23 AT 1:00 PM!

TEACH PUBLICITY BLURB: "Curiosity doesn't end when the bell rings." Five actors, three characters, one story: Ten years ago, Ken and Chris were teacher and student. Now, as principal and teacher, Ken uses a student's suspiciously high grade as license to grill Chris until the young teacher is forced to confront both past and present. Note the short run from February 21 to 25, six performances only.

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OPENINGS THIS WEEK :

BEAUTIFUL, the Carol King musical, directed by Randall Kramer, starring Maria Pedro, Gretchen Didio, Sean Ryan, Marc Sacco, Josh Wilde, and 13 others. 2/21 - 3/24 Wed - Thu 7:00 pm, Fri 7:30, Sat 3:30 and 7:30, Sun 2:00 at MusicalFare Theatre, c/o Daemen College 4380 Main Street, Suite 123
Amherst, NY 14226 716-839-8540 musicalfare.com

BEAUTIFUL PUBLICITY BLURB: Before she was hit-maker Carole King — she was Carole Klein, a spunky, young songwriter from Brooklyn with a unique voice. From the chart-topping hits she wrote for the biggest acts in music to her own life-changing, trailblazing success with Tapestry, BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL takes you back to where it all began — and takes you on the ride of a lifetime. With a stirring book by the late Oscar and Tony-nominated Douglas McGrath and the music and lyrics of icons Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Featuring such unforgettable classics as "You've Got a Friend", "One Fine Day", "So Far Away", "Take Good Care of My Baby", "Up on the Roof", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", and "Natural Woman", this Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning musical phenomenon is filled with the songs you remember and a story you'll never forget.

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BETRAYAL a play by Harold Pinter, directed by Greg Natale, starring Anthony Alcocer, Steve Copps, Aleks Malejs, and John Profeta. 2/23 - 3/17, Thu - Fri 7:30pm, Sat 3:00, Sun 2:00pm Sundays.at Irish Classical Theatre, 625 Main Street, Buffalo. 716-853-4282 irishclassical.com

BETRAYAL PUBLICITY BLURB: Emma has been having an affair with her husband Robert’s close friend, Jerry, for seven years. Told in reverse-chronological order, Pinter’s semiautobiographical play explores relationships’ layered lies and all the complexities that come with them. Director Statement: “There are no innocents in Betrayal. Pinter, locks Robert and Emma, husband and wife, and Emma’s lover Jerry, her husband’s oldest and best friend, into a love triangle that leaves no one unscathed. The betrayals are more than just those between husband and wife, and best friends, they are non-stop and multilevel occurring not only between characters, but also within one’s self, to one’s own belief systems and integrity, even to unseen spouses, clients, and children."

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THE BOWLING PLAY, a play by Buffalo playwright Kelly Copps, directed by Amy Jakiel, presented by Second Generation Theatre, starring Connor Graham, Alexandria Watts, Jacob Albarella, Nick Lama, Adam Yellen, Sofia Matlasz and Rick Lattimer. 2/23 - 3/10 10. Thu-Fri 7:30, Sat 8:00, Sun 2:00 at Shea's Smith Theatre, 658 Main St, Buffalo. 716-847-0850 sheas.org

THE BOWLING PLAY PUBLICITY BLURB: SGT’s second show of the season is a world premiere comedy developed in our free reading series! Pete is attractive, single, and on a blind date… in a bowling alley. Will his misfit bowling team come between him and the girl of his dreams?

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FAUCI AND KRAMER, a new play by Drew Fornarola, directed by Kate Powers, produced by Bob Rusch and Emily Glick for First Look Buffalo, starring Steve Jakiel and Louis Colaiacovo. Feb 23 - Mar 17 Fri - Sat 8:00, Sun 2:00 at the new Canterbury Woods Performing Arts Center, 705 Renaissance Dr, Williamsville NY 14221. 716-771-6358 FirstLookBuffalo.com

FAUCI AND KRAMER PUBLICITY BLURB: "America's Doctor" Anthony Fauci and playwright and activist Larry Kramer had an unlikely and complicated friendship when both were fighting the AIDS crisis from opposite ends of the political spectrum in the 90s. After Kramer's death during COVID, his spirit visits Fauci one last time to discuss art, power, progress, and where we go from here. Fauci and Kramer is a heartfelt new play that takes a serious and sometimes comical look at this famously complex relationship.

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GRUMPY OLD MEN THE MUSICAL, book by Dan Remmes, music by Neil Berg, lyrics by Nick Meglin, based on the Warner Bros film Grumpy Old Men by Mark Steven Johns, directed by Steve Vaughan, choreographed by Terri Filips Vaughan, musical direction by Nathanial Higgins presented by O'Connell & Company, starring Michael Starzynski, Michael J. Galante, Anne DeFazio, Christopher Wagner, Sára Kovácsi, John Kreuzer, Pamela Rose Mangus, Christopher Andreana, and Mary Kate O'Connell. 2/23 - 3/10. Opening Friday 9/23. Thu - Sat 7:30, Sun 3:00, additional Saturday matinees 3/2 and 3/9 at 3:00 with all shows on the O'Connell & Company Mainstage, 4110 Bailey Avenue, Amherst, NY 14226 (716) 848-0800 oconnellandcompany.com

GRUMPY OLD MEN PUBLICITY BLURB: based on the 1993 Warner Bros. film Grumpy Old Men which starred Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret. It tells the story of two childhood friends, John Gustafson and Max Goldman, now aging neighbors. An old grudge resurfaces when a mysterious woman moves in across the street.

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THE LIGHT FANTASTIC, a play by Ike Holter, co-directed by Scott Behrend and John Hurley, presented by Road Less Traveled Productions, starring Leah Berst, Melinda Capeles, Diane DiBernardo Alejandro Gabriel Gómez, Greg Howze, Ricky Needham, and Davida Evette Tolbert. Feb 22 - Mar 24 Thu - Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:00 (Mighty Taco Student Thursday tickets only $10) 456 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. 716-629-3069 roadlesstraveledproductions.org

THE LIGHT FANTASTIC PUBLICITY BLURB: In an unremarkable town in rural Indiana, on an uneventful evening, something truly terrible occurs, and a small family is thrust into a tit-for-tat game of survival against forces that are far from human. A play that is equal parts drama and comedy, and brings old school horror into the now and new.

CONTINUING:

THE FOLKS AT HOME, play by R Eric Thomas, directed by Daniel F. Lendzian, starring Josie DiVincenzo, P.K. Fortson, Roderick Garr, Shanntina Moore, Ryan Adam Norton, and Julianna Tracey. 2/9 - 3/2 Thu - Sat 7:30, at the Alleyway Theatre, 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, NY 14202 716-852-2600 alleyway.com

Opening Wed 2/14 at 7:30, Industry Night Monday 2/19 at 7:30, Closing 3/2 at 8:00, Previews Fri, Sat, Sun, Tue 2/9,10,11, 13 at 7:30.

PUBLICITY BLURB: A love-letter to the great sitcoms of the 70s, THE FOLKS AT HOME by R Eric Thomas is a contemporary and hilarious look inside the homes of our neighbors. Roger and Brandon are an interracial couple living in South Baltimore and doing the best they can. A late mortgage, months of unemployment, and a possible ghost in the attic are all complicated when all of their parents show up at the door and need to move in. THE FOLKS AT HOME premiered at Baltimore Center Stage in 2022, and opens later this season at Indiana Repertory Theatre. Alleyway is proud to present the second staging of this new play.

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I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES, a play by Neil Simon, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Lisa Hinca, David Lundy, and Reagan Zuber. Jan 25- March 30, shows run most Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays (click or call for exact dates and times). Dinner at 6:00, Show at 7:30, Matinee dinner at 1:00, Show at 2:30. Desiderio's Dinner Theatre at Bobby J's, 204 Como Park Blvd. Cheektowaga (716) 395-3207 mybobbyjs.com

I OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES PUBLICITY BLURB: In this 1980 three-character "comedy-drama" (Neil Simon's 18th play) struggling Hollywood screenwriter Herbert Tucker who abandoned his family in NYC 16 years ago is visited by his daughter Libby who wants a career in the movies. It's up to Herb to straighten out his relationship with Libby, his career, and his girlfriend Steffy.

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Shea's Buffalo Theatre continues its 2023-24 Broadway Season:

LES MISERABLES (8 shows) 3/12 - 18, 2024 Tue - Fri 7:30, Sat 2:00 and 8:00, Sun 1:00 and 6:30 Runtime: 2 hours and 50 minutes

MAMMA MIA! (8 shows) 4/9 - 14, 2024 Tue - Fri 7:30, Sat 2:00 and 8:00, Sun 1:00 and 6:30 Runtime: 2 hours and 30 minutes

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (5 shows) Friday 4/26 - 4/28 Fri 7:30, Sat 2:00 and 8:00, Sun 1:00 and 6:30

SHREK (5 shows) Thursday 5/16 - 5/19 Thu - Sat 7:00 also Sat-Sun 1:00

MJ THE MUSICAL (8 shows) 6/11 - 16, 2024 Tue - Fri 7:30, Sat 2:00 and 8:00, Sun 1:00 and 6:30 Runtime: 2 hours and 30 minutes

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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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