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Theater Talk: DESDE EL PUENTE Christmas Edition offers 10 holiday themed shorts

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This week's topics include the A CHARLIES BROWN CHRISTMAS, HELLCAB, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, and Raices Theatre's DESDE EL PUENTE features 10 short plays with Latino themes, but you don't have to speak Spanish to enjoy this Christmas show.


A CHRISTMAS CAROL, adapted and directed by Neal Radice, starring David C. Mitchel, Joyce Stilson, James Cichocki, Roger VanDette, Jerry Hudson, Emily Yancey, Michelle Holden, David G. Poole, Allison Barsi, Shawn Calmes, Jack Flammer. Dec 8-23, Fri at 7:30, Sat & Sun at 2 & 5 (De 23 at 5 & 8). Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, play by August Wilson directed by Willie Judson Jr., starring Sandra Gilliam, Rachel Henderson, Leon Copeland, Ricky Needham, Sean Farrell, Tuhran Gethers, Roosevelt Tidwell, Al Garrison, Marcus Thompson Jr. Dec 8-24, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org

YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS, play by Andrew J. Fenady, directed by DJ Swartz, starring Jesse Swartz, Vanessa Stipkovits, Greg Blarr, Carla Kwasniak, Madison Swartz. Dec 7-17, Thu at 7, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2. Ghostlight Theatre, 170 Schenck St., North Tonawanda (743-1614). www.starrynighttheatre.com

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, based on the story by Charles M. Schulz and the television special by Melendez & Mendelson, adapted by Eric Schaeffer, presented by Theatre of Youth, directed by Meg Quinn. Through Dec 17, Sat & Sun at 1 & 3:30. Added performances, Dec 9 & 16 at 6. Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. (884.4400). www.theatreofyouth.org

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, adapted and directed by Tim Carroll, starring Michael Therriault as Scrooge, through Dec 23, presented by The Shaw Festival at the Royal George Theatre, Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake (1.800.511.7429) www.shawfest.com

CINDERELLA, conceived and directed by Kelli Bocock-Natale, starring Jamie Nablo, Alejandro Gomez, Daniel Williams, Sean Murphy, Michael Wachowiak, Ray Boucher, Caitlin Coleman, Eric Rawski. Through Dec 16, Thu-Sat at 8, plus Dec 9 & 16 at 3. New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park (853-1334). www.newphoenixtheatre.org

DESDE EL PUENTE, Christmas Edition, one-act play festival presented by Raíces Theatre Company, starring Marta Aracelis, Melinda Capeles-Rowe, Lissette De Jesús, Chris Espinal, Rolando Martin Gómez, Alexia Rose Guzmán, Smirna Mercedes-Pérez, Víctor Morales, María Pérez-Gómez, Josué Rosario-Cáliz, Carlos Rafael Maggiolo, Amara Gómez. Alejandro Pérez. Through Dec 17, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 6. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (381-9333).  www.raicestheatrecompany.com

HELLCAB, dark comedy by Will Allen presented by Pollyanna Productions in association with ART of WNY, directed by John F Kennedy, starring Nick Lama, Catherine Burkhart, Rich Kraemer, Shabar Shabazz Rouse, Thorin Vallentine, Emily Styn, Aqueira Roberts. Through Dec 16, Thu-Sat at 8. 330 Performance Space, 330 Amherst St. (697-0837). pollyannaproductions.com

IRVING BERLIN’S AMERICA, musical play written and arranged by Chip Deffaa, presented by O'Connell & Company, directed by Drew McCabe, starring William Group, Matthew Mooney Through Dec 17, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY by Joe Landry, presented by Road Less Traveled Productions, directed By John Hurley, starring Anthony Alcocer, Kelly Copps, Steve Copps, Charmagne Chi, Phil Farugia, Fisher. Through Dec 17, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2.  Shea’s 710 Theatre (1-800-745-3000). www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org

IT WAS A WONDERFUL LIFE, a Christmas show celebrating the lives of some of the more famous “permanent residents” in a revue format at the chapel presented by Forest Lawn Cemetery. Saturdays, through December 30, at both 11:00 a.m. and 2 p.m., most shows sold out. (288-5999) www.forest-lawn.com/events


IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, adapted for the stage by James W. Rodgers, presented by Rocking Horse Productions, directed by Jane Navarro, starring Angelo Heimowitz, Michael Breen. Through Dec 10, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.LancOpera.org

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, presented by Western Door Playhouse, directed by Sam Granieri. Through Dec 10, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun. at 2:30. Woodbox Theatre, Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave.  at Portage Road (297-5910).
SHE LOVES ME, musical by Masterhoff, Bock & Harnick presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Doug Zschiegner. Through Dec 10, Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Leary Theatre in Clet Hall, NU campus (286-8685). theatre.niagara.edu


SHOW UP, solo comedy written & performed by Peter Michael Marino, directed by Michole Biancosino & The Audience. Dec 7 at 8. Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. www.showuptheshow.com

STEEL MAGNOLIAS, comedy by Robert Harling presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Lisa Ludwig, Lisa Hinca, Justyne Harris, Maureen Porter, Mary McMahon, Bethany Gruendike. Through Dec 10, 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


THE LION KING, touring production of the Broadway musical by Elton John & Tim Rice, presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Preview Dec 13 at 7:30.  Dec 14-Jan 7, Tue-Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 1, plus Dec 21, 27 & 29 at 1.  Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (1-800-745-3000). www.sheas.org

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by J. Michael Landis & Jay Wollin, directed by David Bondrow. Dec 15-17, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 11, 2:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.LancOpera.org

Listings adapted from "On the Boards" appearing in Artvoice 12/6/2017

Listen for Theater Talk, Friday morning at 6:45 and 8:45 during Morning Edition.
Even though "semi-retired," Peter Hall continues to wear many hats. He is the Sunday afternoon host on WBFO’s “sister station,” WNED Classical 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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