Theater Talk: ARTIES a success (click to see winners), many openings this week, JAGGED wows at Shea's, HORIZONS at LOH continues
The 32nd Annual Artie Awards, sponsored by Buffalo/Toronto Public Media, with additional sponsorship by the Shaw Festival, were held on Monday, June 5, 2023, and are in the history books now. (See winners below.) And just like that, we're already watching shows with a view toward the 33rd Arties to be held in June 2024.
Anthony will deliver a "Talk Forward" before the Sunday, June 11 performance of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. (See listings below.)
The Artie Awards is an opportunity to recognize Western New York’s theater arts, as well as to raise funds for the HIV/AIDS & Immunodeficiency Clinic at ECMC.
Anthony and Peter both reviewed JAGGED LITTLE PILL now on stage through Sunday at Shea's. Anthony saw actress Heidi Blickenstaff (who plays a mom character named Mary Jane Healy) on stage on Broadway and loved what she continues to do at Shea's.
Anthony's reviews appear in The Buffalo News (buffalonews.com) and Peter's reviews appear in Buffalo Rising (buffalorising.com).
LOCAL LISTINGS ARE PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS: CLOSINGS (last chances to see these plays), then OPENINGS, then CONTINUING, the OPENINGS LATER THIS MONTH.
BLOOM, a play by Marco Antonio Rodriguez, WNY Premiere, directed by Katie Mallinson, starring Alejandro Gómez and Victoria Pérez, June 9 - 25, Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 6, at Road Less Traveled Theater 456 Main Street raicestheatrecompany.com
BLOOM BLURB: For years the government has sought to eradicate those who love in the way that Roan does. After being taken, imprisoned, and tortured, he is now returned home to his mother, Julia. But the sentence is clear: she has but one hour to end her son’s life or face the consequences for her and her entire family.
GRAND HORIZONS, a comedy by Bess Wohl, directed by Frank Kuhn, starring Eileen Dugan, Steven Jakiel, Pamela Rose Mangus, Jason Francey, Merrick Allen, Lisa Sember, Shawn Adiletta. June 9 - 25, Fridays - Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:30. Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776). www.lancasteropera.org
GRAND HORIZONS BLURB: Nancy and Bill practically breathe in unison; they anticipate each other's sighs, sneezes, and ends of sentences. But just as they settle into "Grand Horizons," their new retirement community, Nancy wants out. Sophisticated and funny, provocative and honest, this new Broadway hit comedy takes an intimate look at the unpredictable and enduring nature of love. (Contains mature themes and language, recommended for age 18+)
HEAD OVER HEELS, conceived by & original book by Jeff Whitty; adapted by James Magruder, directed by Nicolette Navarro, produced by Bellisima Productions, starring Karen Harty and Eric Glynn. June 9 - 17, Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 3:00, in the Lorna C. Hill Theater, Ujima Company, Inc, 429 Plymouth Ave., Buffalo 14213 Bellissimaproductions1@gmail.com Bellissimaproductions.com
HEAD OVER HEELS BLURB: This laugh-out-loud love story is set to the music of the iconic 1980s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s, including the hit songs, “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You". A hilarious, exuberant celebration of love, HEAD OVER HEELS follows the escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction — only to discover the key to their realm’s survival lies within each of their own hearts. The plot of the show is adapted from "The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia" written by Shakespeare's contemporary Sir Philip Sidney in the 16th century! HEAD OVER HEELS opened at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in June 2015, running for five months in their outdoor theater. Three years later, after Jeff Whitty's departure, it opened on Broadway in July, 2018 at the Hudson Theatre where it ran for 36 previews and 164 performances. Content Warning- Simulated sexual acts and partial nudity.
JAGGED LITTLE PILL, a musical, the last of the M&T Broadway series at Shea's for 2022-2023. June 6-11, 2023. Tuesday - Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00, Sunday at 1:00 and 6:30. Shea's Buffalo Theatre, a.k.a. Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 845-1410 sheas.org
JAGGED LITTLE PILL BLURB: joy, love, heartache, strength, wisdom, catharsis, LIFE — everything we’ve been waiting to see in a Broadway show — is here in the exhilarating, fearless new musical based on Alanis Morissette’s world-changing music. WARNING - Jagged Little Pill is recommended for ages 14 and up. Content Warning: Please note: this production contains strong language, adult themes, drug use, and moments of sexual violence that some may find upsetting.
THE SOUND INSIDE, a play by Adam Rapp, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Aleks Malejs. June 9- 25, Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3:30, Sundays at 2. Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (716) 829-7668 www.kavinokytheatre.com
THE SOUND INSIDE BLURB: A brilliant Ivy League writing professor. A talented yet mysterious Yale student. An unthinkable favor. Everyone has a story - the question is how it ends.
COME BLOW YOUR HORN, a comedy by Neil Simon presented by Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, directed by Jay Desiderio, starring Joseph Marciniak, Jacob Applegate, Buddy Baker, Molly McGrath Alyssa Grace Adams, Marc Ruffino, Cindy Schmitt. May 11-Jul 9, Thu & Sat dinner at 6, show at 7:30; Sun dinner at 1, show at 2:30. Bobby J’s Italian American Grille, 204 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga (395-3207). www.mybobbyjs.com
COME BLOW YOUR HORN BLURB: Buddy is a 21-year-old virgin who decides to leave the home of his parents and live with his older brother Alan who is a ladies' man leading a swinging '60s lifestyle with an apartment in Manhattan's East Sixties. Later in the play Alan discovers feelings for one of the many women with whom he is sleeping and when she leaves him, he falls apart. Meanwhile, Buddy is becoming the ladies man.
GOLDEN GIRLS 3, "a naughty drag parody" by David Cerda, directed by Todd Warfield, June 1 - 18, Thursdays - Sundays all at 7:30 at The Alleyway Theatre 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, NY 14202 | 716-852-2600 alleyway.com
GOLDEN GIRLS 3 BLURB: Leave the kids at home for this adults-only naughty drag parody featuring Dorothy, Rose, Sophia, and Blanche getting into lots of x-rated mischief!
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, a comedy by Oscar Wilde, directed by Kristen Tripp Kelley, produced by Irish Classical Theatre, starring Josh Wilde as John Worthing, Ben Michael Moran as Algernon Moncrieff, Chris Kelly as Lady Bracknell, with Melinda Capeles, Renee Landrigan, Vincenzo McNeill, Jenn Stafford, and Charmagne Chi. June 2 - 25, Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 3, Sundays at 2 at The Andrews Theatre, 625 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203. 716-853-4282 irishclassical.com
"EARNEST" BLURB: Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of confused identity lights up ICTC’s early Summer. John Worthing is Jack, except when he’s Ernest. And his best friend Algernon is Algy… except when he’s Ernest. What does Victorian-era code-switching and the quest for self-discovery look like in 2023? Vibrant characters, mistaken identities, and farcical antics come to play in this effervescent finale to ICTC’s 32nd Season, helmed by Kristen Tripp Kelley in her ICTC directorial debut.
Speaker Series: Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 1:30 pm with guest speaker Anthony Chase! Note: Anthony at 1:30 followed by the play at 2.
SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, a musical revue by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine presented by MusicalFare, directed by Michael Wachowiak, starring Brittany Bassett-Baran, Kelly Copps, Philip Farugia, Alex Anthony Garcia, Ricky Needham, and Michele Marie Roberts. June 2-18, Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2 at The Premier Cabaret at MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, 14226. (716) 839-8540 www.musicalfare.com
SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM BLURB: This cabaret features a multitude of classic Stephen Sondheim songs and video interviews with the legendary composer, revealing his inspirations. The songs are from 19 Sondheim shows produced over a 62-year period, including several songs each from WEST SIDE STORY, COMPANY, FOLLIES, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, PASSION, GYPSY, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC and INTO THE WOODS.
OPENINGS NEXT WEEK AND LATER
WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A PLAY, an hour of scenes and sonnets by Shakespeare, adapted by Brendan Didio, directed by Norm Sham, presented in a touring format by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, starring Emily Basset, Heather Casseri, Connor Graham, and Nathaniel "Nate" W.C. Higgins. June 14 - August 21, all shows are free at 7:00 (with one added matinee, July 23 at 4:30 at Freedom Run Winery). For dates and locations, visit https://shakespeareindelawarepark.org/2023-tour-locations/
Bring your own chair or blanket, picnics are encouraged.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN (a Shea's "special engagement") runs June 20-25, 2023. Tuesday - Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00, Sunday at 1:00 and 6:30. Shea's Buffalo Theatre, a.k.a. Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 845-1410 sheas.org
DEAR EVAN HANSEN BLURB: A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. WARNING - DEAR EVAN HANSEN is recommended for ages 12+. This production contains some adult themes, including discussions of suicide.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE by William Shakespeare, presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, directed by Virginia Monte, starring Daniel Lendzian, Gretchen Didio, Luke Brewer, Lisa Ludwig. June 22-July 16, Tuesdays-Sundays nightly at 7:15 on "Shakespeare Hill" near the Rose Garden and the casino in Delaware Park. Bring your own chair or blanket, picnics are encouraged. (716) 856-4533) www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org
MEASURE FOR MEASURE BLURB: The Duke leaves Angelo in charge of Vienna, where he rules as a religious tyrant, quickly condemnING Claudio to death for immoral behavior. However, Angelo offers to pardon Claudio if his sister, Isabella, sleeps with him. Isabella agrees but actually has Angelo's fiancee switch places with her. The Duke returns to spare Claudio, punish Angelo, and propose to Isabella.
Shea's Buffalo Theatre has announced their 2023-24 Broadway Season:
MRS. DOUBTFIRE 9/24 - 30, 2023
MOULIN ROUGE! 10/24 - 11/5, 2023
with ANNIE as a "special engagement" 12/19 - 24, 2023
and then in calendar 2024:
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY 1/16 - 21, 2024
FUNNY GIRL 2/13 - 18, 2024
LES MISERABLES 3/12 - 18, 2024
MAMMA MIA! 4/9 - 14, 2024
MJ THE MUSICAL 6/11 - 16, 2024
2023 ARTIE AWARD WINNERS
provided by Anthony's blog theatertalkbuffalo.com
PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
Murder on the Orient Express, All for One Productions
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
Once on This Island
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE OF A PLAY
Ujima Theatre Company
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE OF A MUSICAL
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Kragtar! The American Monster Musical
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Guards at the Taj
Kristy E. Cavanagh
Nice Work If You Can Get It
OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Joe Russi in Cabaret
OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Kevin Craig in Every Brilliant Thing
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Amy Jakiel, Kragtar! The American Monster Musical
LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Aleks Malejs in People, Places, and Things
EMANUEL FRIED AWARD FOR NEW PLAY
María Pérez-Gómez and Victoria Pérez for Isleña
Raices Theater Company
OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
Murder On The Orient Express
OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL ELEMENT
Kris Bartolomeo for Makeup Design in The Addams Family
OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare in Delaware Park
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR MUSICAL
Anthony Alcocer in Rock of Ages
OUTSTANDING Supporting Actor in a Play
Brian Brown in Toni Stone
OUTSTANDING Supporting Actress in a Play
Lisa Ludwig in Murder on the Orient Express
OUTSTANDING Supporting Actress Musical
Arin Lee Dandes in Disaster!
Outstanding Featured PERFORMANCE
Renee Landrigan in Alley of the Dolls
Zhanna Reed in Once on This Island
KATHARINE CORNELL (for out of town actors)
Brian Marable in Thurgood
Irish Classical Theatre