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Theater Talk: Harold Pinter's THE COLLECTION opens tonight at Torn Space on Fillmore

Mark Thomas Duggan

This week Theater Talk mentions one of the few plays up in a week of musicals.  Torn Space Theater presents THE COLLECTION by Nobel Prize winning playwright Harold Pinter about two couples whose dwellings are separated by an on-stage wall, with, however, telephone connection. Was there infidelity? With typical "Pinteresque" ambiguity the play proceeds to answer that. Or not. Meanwhile you have your pick of musicals, including A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER (the book which was the basis of the Alec Guinness movie "Kind Hearts and Coronets') at Shea's, RING OF FIRE, THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH (and others) directed by Michael Walline at Shea's 710 Main Theatre, and SOPHISTICATED LADIES at MusicalFare presenting a high-energy revue of the music of Duke Ellington, directed by John Fredo, with stunning sets by Chris Schenk and costumes, make-up, and wigs by the Drozd sisters, Kari and Susan.


BUCK, BOOGIE, BOP AND BEYOND: The Black and Brown of Broadway Musicals, musical revue conceived and directed by Carlos R. A. Jones, presented in collaboration with Buffalo State College. Feb 17-19, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org
CHARLOTTE’S WEB, based on the book by E.B. White adapted by Joseph Robinette presented by Theatre in the Mist, directed by Corey Bieber, starring Michael Giannini, Reagan Posey, Isaac Fesmire, November Reign Maziarz, Natalie Condino. Feb 17-26, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2.  Stella Niagara Education Park, 4421 Lower River Rd., Lewiston. (1-877-856-0694)  www.theatreinthemist.org
THE COLLECTION, drama by Harold Pinter presented by Torn Space Theater, directed by Dan Shanahan. Feb 17-Mar 11, Thu-Sat at 7:30, plus Mar 12 at 7:30. The Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave. (812-5733). www.tornspacetheater.com

Credit Mark Thomas Duggan
Is there infidelity in THE COLLECTION? Maybe. Maybe not. Playwright Harold Pinter has lent his name to a word in the dictionary -Pinteresque - defined as "characterized by implications of threat and strong feeling produced through colloquial language, apparent triviality, and long pauses."

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED), comedy presented by Springville Center for the Arts, directed by Mike Kowal, starring Justin Chortie, Tim Musial, Cory Golabek. Feb 16-26, Thu-Sat at 8, Sun at 2 (no performance Feb 23). Carol Mongerson Theater, 37 North Buffalo St., Springville (592-9038).
DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE, comedy by Sarah Ruhl presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Trevor Copp. Feb 16-19, Thu at 7, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. Castellani Art Museum, NU campus (286-8685).
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER, touring production of the Broadway musical presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Feb 16-22, Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2 & 7. Tue & Wed at 7:30. Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org

MOON OVER BUFFALO, comedy by Ken Ludwig, presented by Lancaster Regional Players, directed by Russ Wendel, starring Marc Ruffino, Catherine Burkhart, Rachel Wach, Gail Stengel, Trevor Dugan, Ryan Mulvihill, Suzie Hibbard, Ken Smyntek.  Feb 17-26, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30.  Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave, Lancaster (683-1776). www.lancopera.org

RING OF FIRE, THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH, presented by MusicalFare, directed by Michael Walline, starring Katie Clark, Steve Copps, Kevin Craig, Philip Farugia, Bob Mazierski, Theresa Quinn, Zak Ward, Maggie Zindle. Feb 15-Mar 5, Wed & Thu at 7, Fri at 8, Sat at 4 & 7, Sun at 2. Shea’s 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000).  www.sheas.org/710main
AFTER THE REVOLUTION, play by Amy Herzog presented by The Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Saul Elkin, starring Lisa Ludwig, Tom Makar, David Marciniak, Adam Rath, Tina Rausa, Anne Roaldi, Bonnie Jean Taylor, Steve Vaughan. Through Mar 5, Thu at 7:30, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 2.  The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (688-4114 x391). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com

IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, musical by Brian Hargrove and Barbara Anselmi presented by O’Connell & Company, directed by Roger Paolini, starring Joey Bucheker, Todd Fuller, Gregory Gjurich, Bill Group, Adam Hayes, Sara Kovacsi, Pamela Rose Mangus, Mattthew Mooney, Mary Kate O’Connell, Emily Pici, Heather Reed, Rebecca Runge Dan Urtz. Through Feb 26, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

SOPHISTICATED LADIES, a revue with music by Duke Ellington directed by John Fredo, starring Cecelia Barron, Annette Christian, Dudney Joseph, Jr., London Lee, Katy Miner, Ben Michael Moran, and Zoe Scruggs. Through Mar 5, Wed & Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com


HEAVEN CAN WAIT, comedy by Harry Segall, presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Brett Klaczyk, Michael Breen. Through Apr 9, most Thu, Sat & Sun, evening shows arrival at 6, show at 7:30; matinee shows arrival at 1, show at 2:30. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com

TONY N’ TINA’S WEDDING, interactive comedy presented by Actors Anonymous Theatre Company, directed by Kevin Barwell, starring Karah Krajewski, Bill Kennedy, John Pirrone, Scot Kaitanowski, Justyn Harris, Curtis Rose, Peter Snodgrass, Jodi Cook, Dan Morris, Sean Farrell, Joe Schenkel. Through Feb 25, Fri & Sat at 7:15. Lancaster Country Club, 6061 Broadway St., Lancaster (633-4355).


BUFFALO QUICKIES, 26th annual celebration of new one-act plays, directed by Joyce Stilson, starring Kyle Baran, Stephanie Bax, Timothy Patrick Finnegan, Christopher Standart, Becky Globus. Feb 23-Mar 11, Thu-Sat at 7:30. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com

THE EDGAR ALLAN POE SHOW, adapted and directed by L. Don Swartz, Chris Fire, Trey Wydysh, Joann V. Mis, Shelby Ebeling. Feb 23-Mar 5, Thu at 7, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Ghostlight Theatre, 170 Schenck St., N. Tonawanda (743-1614). www.starrynighttheatre.com.

OTHER DESERT CITIES, play by Jon Robin Baitz presented by Aurora Players, directed by Tom Durham, starring Katie Buckler, Mary Eckstein, Kris Kielich, Mary Moebius, Rick Sweet. Feb 24-Mar 12, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2:30. Roycroft Pavilion in Hamlin Park, East Aurora (687-6727). www.auroraplayers.org
STOP KISS, play by Diana Son presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Kelly Beuth,  starring Brittany Germano, Jenny Gembka, John Profeta, Justin Fiordaliso, Brian Brown, Theresa DiMuro Wilber.  Feb 23-Mar 18, Thu-Sat at 8. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (408-0499). www.subversivetheatre.org



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