Theater Talk: Shakespeare in Delaware Park opens excellent MEASURE FOR MEASURE, and we note passing of actor Jerry Maher
MEASURE FOR MEASURE by William Shakespeare, presented by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, had a very entertaining and comedic take on this play that can go dark or humorous, depending. Director Virginia Monte went with the fun. And Theater Talk mourns the loss of beloved Buffalo character actor, two-time Artie Award winner, Jerry Maher.
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.
OPENINGS: (listed alphabetically by title)
BUTTERFLIES, a reading of a new play by Canadian playwright Steven Elliott Jackson, conceived by Richard Lambert, presented by The African American Cultural Center's Paul Robeson Theatre, starring Jame Cichocki and Verneice Turner. Jackson. Friday, July 7th at 7:00 & Sunday, July 9th, at 4:00 pm at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave.
BUTTERFLIES BLURB: "Hear Butterfly McQueen's story from her own self and from a man who took a great interest in her life and career, and it all started from a chance meeting in a theater as a young man in the South." Admission is Free. Donations are gratefully accepted.
CHICAGO, the musical, Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, with Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb, directed and choreographed by Joey Bucheker, presented by O'Connell & Co., starring Nicole Cimato as Roxie Hart, Aimée Walker as Velma Kelly, Gregory Gjurich as Billy Flynn, Mary Coppola Gjurich as Matron “Mama” Morton, Dan Urtz as Amos Hart, and
D. Pieffer as Mary Sunshine. July 7-16, (8 performances only)
Dates & Showtimes:
• Friday, July 7th, 2023 at 7:30pm
• Saturday, July 8th, 2023 at 3:00 pm
• Saturday, July 8th, 2023, at 7:30pm
• Thursday, July 13th, 2023 at 7:30pm
• Friday, July 14th, 2023 at 7:30 pm
• Saturday, July 15th, 2023 at 7:30pm
• Sunday, July 16th, 2023 at 3:00pm
• Sunday, July 16th, 2023 at 7:30 PM
at O’Connell & Company, 4110 Bailey Ave., Amherst, NY 14226
CHICAGO BLURB: Set in the legendary city during the roaring “jazz hot” 20s, Chicago tells the story of two rival vaudevillian murderesses locked up in Cook County Jail. Nightclub star Velma’s serving time for killing her husband and sister after finding the two in bed together. Driven chorus girl Roxie’s been tossed in the joint for bumping off the lover she’s been cheating on her husband with.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Velma enlists the help of prison matron Mama Morton and slickster lawyer Billy Flynn, who turn Velma’s incarceration into a murder-of-the-week media frenzy, thus preparing the world for a splashy showbiz comeback. But Roxie’s got some of her own tricks up her sleeve…
Devilish and delightful, Chicago is an indisputable Broadway landmark that utilizes minimal scenery and simple costumes (we’re talking some seriously basic black) to deliver one big musical bang after another. With one great showstopper after the next, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s now-classic score keeps the story moving at a gunshot pace. The scantily-clad dancers tip their bowler hats in tribute to the style of original choreographer Bob Fosse, whose moves are still as steamy and sexy today as they were when Chicago first appeared in 1975. For a show that stands chin-deep in dirty deeds, it feels like one helluva good time.
TWELFTH NIGHT, a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's play, conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub, Music and Lyrics by Shaina Taub, Directed by Susan Drozd, presented by MusicalFare, starring a cast of 16. July 5 to August 6, Wed- Thu at 7:00, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 3:30 and 7:30, Sun at 2:00 at MusicalFare Theatr's Main Stage, on the campus of Daemen College, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226 (716) 839-8540
TWELFTH NIGHT BLURB: A contemporary take on the classic Shakespearean tale with an electrifying jazz-funk score by composer Shaina Taub. Named one of the best theatrical productions of 2018 by Time, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Washington Post, TWELFTH NIGHT is a rousing contemporary musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy about mistaken identity and self-discovery. It tells the story of Viola, a young heroine who washes up on the shores of Illyria, disguises herself as a man, is hired to court a countess as she falls hard for a Duke. As she navigates this strange and wonderful new land, she finds her true self and discovers true love in the process. The running time of the production is approximately 2 hours, including intermission.
CONTINUING: (listed alphabetically by title)
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.
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.
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.
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
PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
Murder on the Orient Express for 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