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Arts/Culture

Theater Talk: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! NEWSIES to open

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Buffalo Humanities Festival
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Don't Americans love a story of the little guy talking truth to power? How about lots of little guys - knee high kids hawking newspapers on the street - striking in 1899 to bring two publishing giants - Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst - to their knees.  The Disney Broadway musical opens Tuesday at Shea's.

Winner of 2012 Tony Awards for best score and best choreography, NEWSIES features music by Alan Menken (Academy Awards for THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, and POCAHONTAS) and runs at Shea's Performing Arts Center from Tuesday September 19 through Sunday, October 4 (two shows each Saturday and Sunday).

For something competely different, you have only to walk 50 feet to the Alleyway's Main Street Cabaret for Jonathan Tolins' one man comedy BUYER AND CELLAR, starring Kurt Erb, about a young man working in Barbra Streisand's basement (cellar) managing her collection of costumes for the benefit of only one buyer, Ms. Streisand!

And only 20 feet away from the Cabaret, in the Alleyway's main stage, you can enjoy the world premiere of a musical written and directed by Neal Radice - GRANNYBIRD - a fanciful story about a great-grandmother who chooses to maintain her freedom in old age.

FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! by Buffalo-born author Laura Pedersen (whose biography, by the way, reads like a play) continues at 710 Main Theatre. What Tom Dudzik did for Polish-Catholic-Buffalonians in the 1950s, Laura Pedersen's play does for Irish-Catholic-Buffalonians in the 1950s. You don't need to be from Buffalo to enjoy the play, but it will help to "get" all of the jokes and references. It's a little uneven, with the darker elements overpowering the humor at times, but it does end with a family not disintegrating, but holding itself together through good times and bad.

The Buffalo Humanities Festival explores the theme of GENDER BENDER all day Saturday on the Buffalo State College campus including two theater related events at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center auditorium.  At 1 p.m. a scene from Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT will be presented by actors from SHAKESPEARE IN DELAWARE PARK, once with two male actors and once with two female actors.  Will it matter?  And if so, how or why? Then at 3 p.m. in the auditorium Anthony Chase will interview Buffalo drag actor Jimmy Janowski (seen most recently in B.U.A.'s BETTY AND JOAN, THE FINAL CURTAIN).

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