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Theater Talk: Locals dominate Buffalo Quickies 25th showcase


Every theater in Buffalo has its niche, a special calling, and for the Alleyway that means putting on new plays. Meanwhile, the New Phoenix seems to specialize in classics – sometimes 16th century, sometimes 20th century. And, for the Jewish Repertory Theatre, well, their name says it all.

They’re baaaaaaack! A Buffalo tradition for a quarter of a century! BUFFALO QUICKIES, the 25th annual celebration of new one-act plays, this year featuring all-Western New York writers, with an experienced cast of veteran local actors, directed by Joyce Stilson, opened last night and runs through April 8, Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley. 

Of Mice and Men opens tonight at the New Pheonix.

OF MICE AND MEN, the famous drama by John Steinbeck about the two migrant farm workers, George and Lennie, their mean-spirited boss Curley, and his flirtatious wife, directed by Kelli Bocock-Natale, opens Friday March 25 and runs through April 16, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. at The New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park. 

There are other openings and special events:

If you like to get in on the ground floor of theatrical productions, you might want to attend a special presentation. HOARDING HOPE is a reading of a new play by Kerrykate Abel-Smith, presented by Buffalo United Artists, and featuring a variety of your favorite Buffalo actors, including Theater Talk co-host Anthony Chase!  It’s one night only, this Monday March 28 at 7p.m. at Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main St.

COMPULSION OR THE HOUSE BEHIND, a play by Rinnie Groff concerning the diary of Anne Frank presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Saul Elkin, starring Ray Boucher, Peter Palmisano, Anne Roaldi opens Thursday, March 31 and runs through April 24, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4 & 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., plus two Wednesday performances, April 13 & 20 at 7:30 p.m. at The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville.

Terrence McNally, a four-time Tony Award winner considered by many to be one of America's most important playwrights today, will read from his new book, Selected Works, A Memoir in Plays, on Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site. This special fundraising event will benefit local LGBT theater Buffalo United Artists (BUA). Interspersed with McNally's readings, BUA actors will read scenes from the author's plays. 641 Delaware Avenue  There are also activities planned at Buff State’s Flexible Theater in the Donald Savage building.

And some plays continue into April.

FULLY COMMITTED, the one-man comedy by Becky Mode presented by The Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti stars ARTIE Award winning Brian Mysliwy whom many will recall from his recent role as the anarchist in “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime.” As an out-of-work actor trying to handle a busy reservation desk for a fancy NYC restaurant all the while waiting for an audition callback Mysliwy creates 40 different characters in the course of the play. Through April 3, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3 & 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. at the. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St.

THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, adapted from the children’s novel by C.S. Lewis, presented by Theatre of Youth, directed by Chris Kelly runs through April 3, Saturdays at 10 a.m. & 2 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. at the historic Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St.  (884-4400). www.theatreofyouth.org  Four very talented actors play the roles of the four children – Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter, as well as all of the other characters (Tumnus, Aslan, the White Witch). It runs about 75 minutes but do plan to stay around for the talk back where the children in the audience get to ask questions. It’s almost as entertaining as the show!

THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, play by John Guare presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY, at their new home, a very serviceable building with good sightlines on Amherst Street (near the Sportsmens Tavern) directed by Drew McCabe, runs through April 2, Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 a.m. at 3;30 p.m. Amherst St. 

SAFE, the world premiere of the play by Donna Hoke, directed by Kyle LoConti, runs through April 3, Thurdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 (no performance Mar 27) at Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St.

Upcoming productions include AVENUE Q, the musical by Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx presented by MusicalFare Theatre, directed by Doug Weyand, starring Jacob Albarella, Charmagne Chi, Jeffrey Coyle, Maria Droz, Amy Jakiel, Dominique Kempf, Marc Sacco opens April 7 and runs through April 24, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. at the luxurious 710 Main Theatre located at, believe it or not, 710 Main Street in Buffalo. (1-800-745-3000). 

Listen for Theater Talk, Friday morning at 6:45 and 8:45 during Morning Edition.
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