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Theater Talk: Master Harold, Taming of the Shrew, and Marni Nixon are on our minds

MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS packs a lot of drama into 90 minutes at the Shaw Festival's Courthouse Theatre in a play, set in the 1950s, that looks at many issues, including apartheid.  Classically trained but a "behind the scenes" Hollywood star, Marni Nixon, who sang for stars who couldn't, passed away this week. And the Buffalo Infringement Festival 2016 has too many offerings to list, so you'd be wise to visit the website.

MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS is one of white South African writer Athol Fugard’s most powerful plays, his attempt to atone for a racially tinged act of youthful indiscretion that haunted him for years. It's an incendiary 90-minute play that covers a lot of ground, including family, friendship, and the racial injustice that lingers far beyond its apartheid era setting. As usual with the Shaw, the acting, set, lighting are of the highest order. No detail is left out.

Credit famousdudes.com
Marni Nixon, the voice behind the stars, passed away at the age of 86

And WBFO observes the passing of Marni Nixon, from cancer, at the age of 86 in Manhattan. Trained as a classical singer, she sang with the NY Philharmonic and at Carnegie Hall, but was best known as the singing voice in a series of very high profile Hollywood films, dubbing Deborah Kerr in THE KING AND I, Natalie Wood in WEST SIDE STORY, and Audrey Hepburn in MY FAIR LADY among many others.


Events at the 2016 Buffalo Infringement Festivalinclude BUFFALO CAR PLAYS 2016, world premiere short plays that actually take place in cars (as the audience sits in the back seat). Plays are by Donna Hoke, Bella Poynton, Darryl Schneider, Winifred Storms & Jon Elston July 28, 29, 31, August 3, at 6 p.m. in the  Kleinhans Music Hall parking lot, 3 Symphony Circle. Tickets and info: donna@donnahoke.com

THE LAST READING OF CHARLOTTE CUSHMAN, play by Carolyn Gage presented by The Brazen-Faced Varlets for the 2016 Infringement Festival, directed by Lara Haberberger, stars Heather Fangsrud. July 30 at 5:45. Rust Belt Books, 415 Grant St. (771-6277). www.varlets.org

TOO BIG TO FAIL, new play by Michael Fanelli presented by Subversive Theatre Collective for the 2016 Infringement Festival, is directed by Verneice Turner, starring Tim Finnegan, Tyler Brown, Tamara Hopersberger. 28-August 4 at 7:30 (no performance July 31). Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave. (652-6719).

W3, new play by Jamie Hamilton, presented by Barking Fish Project for the 2016 Infringement Festival, directed by Morgan Hamilton, starring Sarah Hamilton, Coreen Hamilton, Moira Hamilton. August 1 & 3 at 9:15, August 2 at 5:45, Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave.  August 4 at 7 & August 6 at 2:45, Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave.  (523-3274). www.barkingfishproject.com


THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, comedy by William Shakespeare presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, opened last night, directed by Steve Vaughan, starring Bonnie Jean Taylor, Chris Hatch, Zev Steinberg, Marissa Puzutto, Norm Sham, Adam Yellen, Marc Ruffino, David Lundy, Rolando Gomez.  July 28 – August 21 Tue-Sun at 7:30. Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park (856-4533). www.shakespeareindelawarepark.orgONGOING


EVITA, the musical by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber, directed by Randall Kramer, starring Michele Marie Roberts, John Fredo, Marc Sacco, Paschal Frisina III, Arianne Davidow, Victoria Perez, Jeffrey Coyle, Alejandro Gomez, Taylor Carlson, Jon Yepez, Matthew Iwanski, Emily Yancey, Jake Hayes, Thomas Evans. Through August 7, Wed & Thu at 7, Fri at 8, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 2. MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

and IT’S ONLY A PLAY, comedy by Terrence McNally presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Drew McCabe, starring Anthony Alcocer, WBFO's OWN Anthony Chase, Adam Hayes, Jimmy Janowski, Lisa Ludwig, Mary Kate O’Connell, Michael Seitz vocal cameos by WBFO's Eileen Buckley and Omar Fetouh. Through August 14, Sat at 8, Sun at 7. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (886-9239). www.buffalobua.org


THE PROFANE, play by Zayd Dohrn presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Vivienne Benesch. Through July 31.  Bratton Theater, Chautauqua Institution (357-6250).


LOOKING, comedy by Norm Foster presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Don Gervasi, Marc-Jon Filippone, Lisa Hinca, Tammy Reger.  Through August 28. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com


THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, comedy by William Shakespeare presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Andrew Borba. August 12-19.  Bratton Theater, Chautauqua Institution (357-6250).


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