Theater Talk: GOLDEN BOY features strong cast, PHILOSOPHUS is a comic romp, last week for HEATHERS
Clifford Odets was expected to inherit the mantle of the great American dramatist Eugene O'Neill, and you can see why in Odets' 1937 drama GOLDEN BOY, about a boxer who really wants to be a violinist. Across Main Street, at the Alleyway Theatre, PHILOSOPHUS had its world premiere, and will no doubt be tightened up a bit by the playwright Colin Speer Crowley, but as it stands its sold-out shows are full of comedic shtick. There's a new production of PINKALICIOUS at Theatre of Youth starring Sabrina Kahwaty, and a musical about high school, HEATHERS, closes this weekend, an ART production put on in an old high school.
A LITTLE MURDER NEVER HURT ANYBODY, presented by Western Door Playhouse, directed by Sami Carol. Sep 21-30, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. Woodbox Theatre, Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave. at Portage Rod., Niagara Falls (297-5910).
FARENHEIT 451, play by Ray Bradbury presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Gary Earl Ross & Michael Doben, starring Rick Lattimer, John Profeta, Jamie Nablo. Through Oct 6, Thu-Sat at 7:30. The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor (462-5549). www.subversivetheatre.org
GOLDEN BOY, drama by Clifford Odets presented by the Irish Classical Theatre Company, directed by Fortunato Pezzimenti, starring Christian Brandjes, Cassie Cameron, Anthony Alcocer, David Lundy, Steve Jakiel, Adam Yellen, Rolando Gomez, Arin Lee Dandes, David Autovino, Jeffrey Coyle, Eric Rawski, Gabriel Robere, David Mitchell, Gerry Maher. Through Oct 7, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-ICTC). www.irishclassicaltheatre.com
HELLO, DOLLY!, musical by Jerry Herman presented by The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed by M. Joseph Fratello, starring Dianna Kolek, Marc Ruffino, Michele Holden, Richard Plotkin, Angelo Heimowitz, Sarah Mullin. Through Sep 30, Fri & Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3, plus Sep 29 at 3. Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Rd. Tonawanda (260-2319).
PHILOSOPHUS, world premiere comedy by Colin Speer Crowley, directed by Neal Radice, starring Chris J. Handley, Andrew Zuccari, James Cichocki, Christopher Standart, Emily Yancey. Through Oct 6, Thu-Sat at 7:30. Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600). www.alleyway.com
PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL, musical by Kann, Kann & Gregor, presented by Theatre of Youth. Through Oct 7, Sat & Sun at 2. Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. (884-4400). www.theatreofyouth.org
PUMP BOYS & DINETTES, musical by Foley, Hardwick, Monk, Morgan, Schimmel & Wann, directed by Chris Kelly, starring Jaclyn Lisenby Brown, Jayson Clark, Joseph Donohue III, Maria Droz, Ryan Kaminski, Andrew J. Reimers. Through Oct 7, 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
PURLIE, musical by Davis, Udell, Geld & Rose, directed by Carlos R. A. Jones. Through Oct 7, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 4. Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013). www.aaccbuffalo.org
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, musical by Sondheim & Wheeler, directed by John Fredo, starring, Matt Witten, Loraine O’Donnell, Peter Palmisano, Aleks Malejs, Leah Berst, Anthony Lazzaro, Bill Lovern, Marc Sacco, Charmagne Chi, Kelly Copps, Lucas Denies, Adam Eckmair, Karen Harty, Dudney Joseph, Ben Moran, Bob Mazierski, Derek Moran, Steve Heatley. Through Sep 30, Thu & Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 & 7:30, Sun at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668). www.kavinokytheatre.com
HEATHERS THE MUSICAL, by Laurence O'Keefe & Kevin Murphy, presented by American Repertory Theater of WNY, directed by Candice Kogut, starring Madalyn Teal, Joe Russi, Carly Luksch, Kelly O'Hara, Talia Mobley, Parker Welling, Jake Grear, Kaeli McGinnis, Katy Miner, Nick Lama, Rich Kraemer. Through Sep 22, Thu-Sat at 8, Sun at 7. 3200 Elmwood Ave. (983-4345). www.artofwny.org.
SOCIAL SECURITY, comedy by Andrew Bergman presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Susan Toomey, starring Lisa Hinca, Larry Smith, Marc-Jon Filippone, Margo Davis, Eileen Dugan, Lawrence Rowswell. Through Oct 28, 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
EDGAR LEE MASTERS’ SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY, adaptation conceived and arranged by William Group and John Reich, a Dessert Theatre production presented by Western New York Players. Oct 5 & 6 at 7:30. Immanuel Lutheran Church, 107 Scott St., Tonawanda (692-0906).
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, musical by Ashman & Menken presented by O'Connell & Company, directed by Joey Bucheker, starring Jenny McCabe, Mathew Mooney, Dan Morris, Daniel Lendzian, Jack Hayes, Marta Aracelis Torres, Emily Pici, Mercedes Perez, Zach Haumesser, Ben Caldwell, Matt Myers. Oct 4-28, Thu-Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2:30. The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder (848-0800). www.oconnellandcompany.com
Continuing at the Shaw Festival, 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 1-800-511-7429, shawfest.com (Drive time 60 minutes, but with bridge traffic allow two hours.)
THE BARONESS AND THE PIG: A much more sinister Pygmalion story. At the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre through Ocotber 6.
GRAND HOTEL: The Tony-award-winning musical set in 1920s Berlin on the Festival stage through October 14.
HENRY V: First act set in a World War I trench, Second act in a military hospital. At the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre through October 28 (end of season).
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES: by A.C. Doyle, dramatized, on the Festival stage through October 27.
THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW: The "prequel" to C. S. Lewis’s "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" from The Narnia Chronicles on the Festival stage through October 6.
O’FLAHERTY, V.C.: by Shaw about a disenchanted Irish doughboy during World War I. The lunchtime show. At the Royal George Theatre through September 29.
OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR: an anti-war play at the Royal George Theatre through October 13.
All of the above are playing now at the Shaw Festival, 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 1-800-511-7429, shawfest.com (Drive time 60 minutes, but with bridge traffic allow two hours.)
And, a little further west of the Shaw, currently up at the Stratford Festival, 55 Queen Street, Stratford, Ontario, 1-800-567-1600, stratfordfestival.ca. (Drive time 2-1/2 hours, possibly more depending on bridge traffic) we have:
AN IDEAL HUSBAND by Oscar Wilde. Upper class blackmail and hijinx, at the Avon Theatre, through October 28,
BRONTE:THE WORLD WITHOUT is an ultimately disappointing look back at the three sisters who lived in poverty, but wrote some of English literature's most enduring novels. At the Studio Theatre, through October 13.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS: an early, lightweight, Shakespeare comedy. At the Studio Theatre through October 14.
CORIOLANUS by Shakespeare directed by the formidable Robert LaPage and starring Shaw favorite (on loan) Andre Sills. A must see at the Avon Theatre through October 20.
JULIUS CAESAR by Shakespeare, a gender bender starring Seana McKenna in the title role. At the Festival Theatre through October 27.
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT by Eugene O'Neill. A classic with two of Stratford's venerable stars: Seana McKenna and Scott Wentworth. At the Studio Theatre through October 13.
NAPOLI MILIONARIA! by Eduardo De Filippo stars Tom McCamus (what a voice!) and Brigit Wilson (who played Tillie Boulter in the 1987 "Anne of Avonlea" seen locally on PBS). At the Avon Theatre through October 27.
PARADISE LOST by Erin Shields, inspired by John Milton's classic, is a first rate, not to be missed, although R-rated, production. At the Studio Theatre through October 14.
THE MUSIC MAN by Meredith Willson is a traditional favorite, lovingly produced with stunning dance numbers, and the greated "Wells Fargo Wagon" horse puppet you'll ever see. At the Festival Theatre through November 3.
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW by Richard O'Brien, in which the cult movie becomes a musical. It's getting great reviews at the Avon Theatre, but leave your toast and squirt guns home, through October 31 (of course!)
THE TEMPEST by Shakespeare. More gender bending with Martha Henry as Prospero, at the Festival Theatre through October 26.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Harper Lee’s novel brought to the stage, dramatized by Christopher Sergel at the Festival Theatre through November 4.
The above are currently on stage at the Stratford Festival, 55 Queen Street, Stratford, Ontario, 1-800-567-1600, stratfordfestival.ca. (Drive time 2-1/2 hours, possibly more depending on bridge traffic.)
Local (WNY) listings adapted from "On The Boards" appearing in Artvoice 9/19/2018.
Shaw and Stratford listings style inspired by "Playbill" appearing in The Public.