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Arts/Culture

Theater Talk: Quest for cultural identity stirs emotions

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Two plays, both running through Sunday, February 28, deal with the emotions that cultural identity stirs up, as well as culture versus stereotypes. BAD JEWS presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Steve Vaughan, asks questions about Jewish identity while FETCH CLAY, MAKE MAN presented by Paul Robeson Theatre, directed by Laverne Clay, presents a late-in-life friendship between boxer Muhammad Ali and Hollywood actor Steppin' Fetchit.

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Arin Lee Dandes appears in BAD JEWS at The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre through February 28.

BAD JEWS, the comedy by Joshua Harmon presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Steve Vaughan, starring Arin Lee Dandes, Jamie Nablo, Adam Rath, Nick Stevens runs through February 28, Thursdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 4 & 8, Sundays at 2 at The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (688-4114 x391). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com

FETCH CLAY, MAKE MAN, a play by Will Power directed by Laverne Clay, starring Johnny Rowe, Joe Giambra, Leon Copeland, Courtney Turner, and Fisher runs through February 28, Fridays & Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 4 at the Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

ORDINARY DAYS, musical by Adam Gwon presented by O’Connell & Company, directed by Victoria Perez, starring Reed Bentley, Edith Grossman, Adam Hayes, Jennel Pruneda runs through February 21, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

RING OF FIRE, musical featuring the songs of Johnny Cash, directed by Michael Walline, starring Katie Clark, Steve Copps, Kevin Craig, Philip Farugia, Bob Mazierski, Theresa Quinn, Zak Ward, Maggie Zindle runs through February 28, Wed & Thursdays at 7, Fridays at 8, Saturdays at 4 & 7, Sundays at 2. MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

OPENINGS THIS WEEKEND

LOVE’S PASSIONATE FIRE – Shakespeare’s Sonnets, directed and conceived by Kelli Bocock-Natale, starring Eric Rawski, Bobby Cooke, Nick Lama, Michael Wachowiak, Noah Doktor, Joseph Natale. February 12-27, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 at The New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park. (853-1334). www.newphoenixtheatre.org

THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, world premiere adaptation of Mark Twain's classic novel, written and directed by L. Don Swartz, starring DJ Swartz, Ben Torres, Daniel Arrasjid. February 11-21, Thursdays at 7, Fridays & Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2 at the Ghostlight Theatre, 170 Schenck St., North Tonawanda (743-1614).www.starrynighttheatre.com

COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN, play by Ed Graczyk presented by Batavia Players. February 12-20, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2 at the Harvester 56 Theater, 56 Harvester Ave. #15, Batavia (585-861-6471). www.BataviaPlayers.org

CLOSINGS THIS WEEKEND

ALICE IN WONDERLAND, fantasy by Lewis Carroll, presented by Theatre in the Mist, directed by Corey Bieber, starring Elizabeth Teal, David Lewis, Maggie Ralph, Chris Teal. Through February 13, Fridays at 7:30, Saturdays at 2 & 7:30 at Stella Niagara Education Park, 4421 Lower River Road, Lewiston (1-877-856-0694).  www.theatreinthemist.org

FREUD’S LAST SESSION, play by Mark St. Germain, directed by Katie Mallinson, starring David Oliver, Matt Witten. Through February 14, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2 at Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

THE MIRACLE WORKER, drama by William Gibson presented by The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Les Bailey, starring Sarah Potozniak, Bethany Kulikowski, Jessica Dows, Joe Cassidy. Through February 14, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 3 at the Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Rd., Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com.

SPEAK NO EVIL, world premiere comedy by Sonya Sobieski, directed by Neal Radice, starring David C. Mitchell, Melissa Leventhal, Joey Bucheker, Emily Yancy, Joyce Stilson, James Cichocki runs through February 13, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com

WHY WE HAVE A BODY, comedy-drama by Claire Chafee, presented by the Brazen-Faced Varlets, directed by Elizabeth Oddy starring Jennifer Fitzery, Heather Fangsrud, Lara Haberberger, Jeanne Vuich. Through February 14, Saturdays & Sundays at 2 at Rust Belt Books, 415 Grant St. (598-1585). www.varlets.org