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Theater Talk: You don't have to wait for Curtain Up! Great theater is available now!


The 2017-2018 theater season has begun with the first of our Curtain Up! plays: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER: A GROWNUPS' PREQUEL TO PETER PAN directed by Chris Kelly, starring Renee Landrigan as "Molly" and Jesse Tiebor as "The Boy/Peter Pan"," two of the twelve actors who take on 100 roles.

Pictured (l to r): Preston D. Williams, Renee Landrigan, Jesse Tiebor, Steve Copps
Credit Photo by Jesse Sloier

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Did you know that the original book for STARCATCHER was co-authored by national syndicated humorist Dave Barry? It's very funny, very fast paced, and requires a very energetic cast. If you missed it at The Shaw Festival last season, don't miss it here at MusicalFare.

Speaking of the Shawfest, and characters taking on multiple roles, the play 1979, about the short tenure of Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark (Joe Who?) known later in life as "The conscience of Canada" for sacrificing his career by placing principles over politics, is much, much more enjoyable that one might think. The play has gone dark for September, but will reopen in the Jackie Maxwell Theatre (adjacent to the Festival Theatre) for a limited run in October.

Other Buffalo openings this week include ROOMMATES, a play by Mark Humprehy over at American Repertory Theater (adjacent to The Sportsmen's Tavern),  THE PRODUCERS at The Kavinoky (on the D'Youville College campus), and JOHN by Annie Baker at Road Less Traveled Productions, 500 Pearl Street, right behind the old Studio Arena.


JOHN, play by Annie Baker, directed by David Oliver, starring Darleen Pickering Hummert, Priscilla Young Anker, Sara Kow Falcone, Adam Yellen. Sep 8-Oct 1, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2 (Sep 15 at 8). Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. (629-3069). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

THE PRODUCERS, musical by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan, directed by Lynne Kurdziel Formato, starring Norm Sham, Brian Mysliwy, Arianne Davidow, Greg Gjurich, Marc Sacco, Todd Benzin. Sep 8-Oct 1, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2 (Sep 15 at 8). Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com

ROOMMATES, world premiere of a play by Mark Humphrey, presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY, directed by Drew McCabe, starring Victor Morales, Michael J Starzynski, Brett Klaczyk. Sep 7-23, Thu-Sat at 8. The 330 Performance Space, 330 Amherst St. (697-0837). www.artofwny.org


PETER & THE STARCATCHER, play by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson, music by Wayne Barker, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Jacob Albarella, Anthony Alcocer, Bobby Cooke, Steve Copps, Kevin Craig, Philip Farugia, Renee Landrigan, Jordan Levin, Jesse Tiebor, Daniel Torres, Doug Weyand, Preston D. Williams. Through Oct 8, Wed & Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2 (Sep 15 at 8). MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540). www.musicalfare.com

The Shaw Festival (www.shawfest.com) continues to offer plays into October. While MIDDLETOWN ends on September 10; WILDE TALES and Shaw's ANDROCLES AND THE LION run through October 7; and 1837: THE FARMER'S REVOLT ends on October 8 (note that Thanksgiving Day in Canada and Columbus Day in the U.S. are celebrated on Monday, October 9). Looking at the final weekend, DRACULA; 1979 (about Prime Minister Joe Clark); and AN OCTOROON end on October 14; while Shaw's SAINT JOAN, the musical ME AND MY GIRL; THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III; and DANCING AT LUGHNASA close the Festival's offerings on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Also note that Sunday performances are now "an hour early" at both 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.



ANYTHING GOES, musical by Cole Porter presented by Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by Dan Zerpa, starring Michelle Holden, M. Joseph Fratello, Chris Andreanna, Marni Stone, John Panepinto, Kelsey Giampoala. Sep 15-Oct 1, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3, plus Sep 30 at 3.  Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Rd., Tonawanda (260-2319). www.niagaratheatre.com


DESIGN FOR LIVING, comedy by Noel Coward presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Katie Mallinson, starring Kate LoConti, Adriano Gatto, Ben Michael Moran. Sep 15-Oct 8, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2 (Sep 15 at 8). Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com


THE FEVER, interactive piece by 600 Highwaymen presented by Torn Space Theater. Sep 15 at 7:30, Sep 16 at 4 & 7:30. The Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave. www.tornspacetheater.com


IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE, play by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen adapted from the novel by Sinclair Lewis, presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Kurt Schneiderman, starring Dennis Keefe, Christopher Standart, J. Tim Raymond. Sep 14-Oct 7, Thu-Sat at 8. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (408-0499). www.subversivetheatre.org


KILLER RACK: The Feminist, Horror Musical Comedy, world premiere of the musical written and directed by Neal Radice, starring Emily Yancey, Nathan Andrew Miller, Kim Piazza, Joey Bucheker, Kyle Baran, Andrew Zuccari, James Cichocki, Heather Reed, Sabrina Kahwaty, Colleen A. Pine. Sep 14-Oct 7, Thu-Sat at 7:30 (Sep 15 at 8). Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com



MY OLD LADY, play by Israel Horovitz directed by Michael Lodick, starring Eileen Dugan, Anne Gayley, Richard Lambert. Sep 15-Oct 7, Thu-Sat at 8. New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park (853-1334). www.newphoenixtheatre.org


9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL, musical by Dolly Parton & Patricia Resnick presented by Rocking Horse Productions, directed by Leigha Eichhorn, starring Susana Breese, Anne DeFazio, Derrik Reynolds, Emily Styn. Sep 8-24, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30 (Sep 15 at 8). Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.LancOpera.org


SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS, comedy by Richard Alfieri starring Loretta Swit, David Engel. Sep 14-24, Wed & Thu at 7:30, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2, plus Sep 23 at 2. Shea’s 710 Main Theatre, 710 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org/710main


SONS & LOVERS, new play by Donna Hoke presented by Buffalo United Artists, directed by Tod Fuller, starring Caitlin Baeumler Coleman, Steve Brachmann, A. Peter Snodgrass, Dave Granville. Sep 15-30, Fri & Sat at 8, plus Oct 1 at 7. Alleyway Theatre’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main St. (886-9239). www.buffalobua.org


STEEL MAGNOLIAS, comedy by Robert Harling, presented by Western Door Playhouse, directed by Sami Carol, starring Dawn Ansel, Betsy Bittar, Patricia Crowe, Elaine Meranto, Rasheedah Muhammad, Airy Nikohl. Sep 15-24, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun. at 2:30. Woodbox Theatre, Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave. at Portage Rd. (297-5910).

Adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 9/7/2017

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Even though "semi-retired," Peter Hall continues to wear many hats. He is the Sunday afternoon host on WBFO’s “sister station,” Classical 94.5 / WNED where he has produced over 1,000 radio interviews with musical artists. If you see him at a theater with a pen in his hand, he’s probably getting ready to co-host “Theater Talk” with Anthony Chase (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO) or to write a review for www.buffalorising.com. He is also a member of the "Artie Awards" committee (think “Tony Awards for Buffalo theaters”).
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