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Theater Talk: Last weekend for six worthy shows. Hamilton tix go on sale at Shea's.

Irish Classical

Folks lined up at Shea's in the wee hours to buy the hottest ticket in America as HAMILTON, the musical, went on sale. And the "Hamilton phenomenon" seems to have raised interest in theater generally. So, if you're interested in a really good show locally, we can recommend any of the six plays and musicals closing this weekend.

See details below, but closing on Saturday with final performances at 7:30 p.m. are both FARENHEIT 451 and PHILOSOPHUS. Sunday at 2:00 will see the final performances of GOLDENBOY, PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL, as well as PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES. And, unless it's sold out, you have until Sunday at 4:00 for the final performance of PURLIE at the Paul Robeson Theatre. Just remember, when one curtain comes down, another one goes up. So here are the three openings this week:


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

SHE LOVES ME, musical by Harnick & Masteroff presented by Aurora Players, directed by Patricia Hoefler, starring Paul Waara, Suzie Hibbard.  Oct 5-27, Fri & Sat at 8, Sun at 2:30. Roycroft Pavilion, Hamlin Park on South Grove St., East Aurora (687-6727). www.auroraplayers.org

THE STRUDEL LADY, world premiere of a musical by Shirl Solomon presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre, directed by Saul Elkin, starring Lisa Ludwig, Tom Makar, David Marciniak, Mary Kate O’Connell. Oct 4-28, Thu at 7:30, Sat at 4 & 8, Sun at 2.  The Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville (650-7626). www.jewishrepertorytheatre.com


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

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


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).

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


BIG FISH, musical by Lippa & August presented by Second Generation Theatre, directed by Michael Walline, starring Louis Colaiacovo, Michele Marie Roberts, Ricky Needham, Victoria Pérez, Brittany Bassett, Stevie Jackson, Bethany Burrows, Jacob Albarella, Bobby Cooke, Preston Williams, Noah Bielecki, Dave Spychalski, Alexandria Watts, Alejandro Gomez. Oct 12-28, Thu at 7:30, Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, Sun at 2. Shea’s Smith Theatre, 658 Main St. (847-1410). www.secondgenerationtheatre.com

THE TAMING, play by Lauren Gunderson presented by The Brazen-Faced Varlets, directed by Lara D. Haberberger, starring Jennifer Fitzery, Jessica Leigh Tokarski, Emily Yancey, Stefanie Warnick. Oct 19-Nov 3, Fri & Sat at 8. Alleyway Theatre’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main St. (598-1585).

THE WOLVES, play by Sarah DeLappe presented by Niagara University Theatre, directed by Adriano Gatto. Oct 11-15, Thu at 7, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2 & 7:30, Sun at 2, Mon at 7. Leary Theatre, Clet Hall, NU campus (286-8685).

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 10/03/2018.
Shaw and Stratford listings style inspired by "Playbill" appearing in The Public.

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,” 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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