Theater Talk: As Shawfest continues, WNY theaters to open on September 1,6,7,8,10,14 with more to come soon (see listings below). MusicalFare to offer Frank Loesser's GUYS AND DOLLS.
Now that ROMEO AND JULIET wrapped up last weekend at Shakespeare in Delaware Park and Anthony went to the last show of WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY (and found it delightful as adapted by Brendan Didio, directed by Norm Sham, and presented in a touring format by Shakespeare in Delaware Park, starring Emily Basset, Heather Casseri, Connor Graham, and Nathaniel "Nate" W.C. Higgins) there are no local theater productions this weekend. Of course, the Shaw Festival is at its peak (see listings below).
Local theater companies Buffalo United Artists, MusicalFare, Paul Robeson, Kavinoky, Alleyway, Second Generation + Ujima + Shea's 710, and Road Less Traveled Productions all have shows opening between September 1 and September 14.
Canterbury Woods Performing Arts Center located at 705 Renaissance Dr. in Williamsville, NY, is WNY’s newest state-of-the-art theater. With 250 seats, Anthony reports it's quite wonderful and they have a very good piano there, as well! First Look Buffalo will be mounting productions there starting on October 6, 2023 with HELL-OWEEN: 10 short plays by local playwrights.
Road Trip! GYPSY, A Musical Fable, with Book by Arthur Laurents, Music by Jule Styne, and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim has been called "the perfect musical" by Anthony who will be leading a bus tour up to Niagara on the Lake Wednesday, September 27 leaving from the AAA parking lot in Amherst at 8:30 am and returning at 6:30 pm. To get your ticket click here:
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, then The Shaw Festival lineup for 2023.
No CLOSINGS and no OPENINGS this weekend, but a flurry of WNY activity begins later next week with seven openings on September 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 14, and 14 (and more beyond those!) (Note that "Curtain Up" this 2023 is on Friday, September 22.) For CONTINUING shows to get you through this weekend, please see the listings for The Shaw Festival and The Stratford Festival below. There are no CLOSINGS this week either.
OPENINGS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 14: There are seven starting next week, listed alphabetically by title, and note that plays starting with the word "The" are alphabetized under "T")
A GREAT WILDERNESS, a play by Samuel D. Hunter, directed by Drew McCabe, presented by Buffalo United Artists, starring Michael Starzynski, Diane DiBernardo, Jon May, Emily Yancey, Kerrykate Abel and Jonathan Beckner. 9/1 - 9/23, Fridays at 7:30; Saturdays at 5:00 at the Compass Performing Arts Center, 545 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222. agreatwilderness.eventbrite.com or www.buffalounitedartists.org
A GREAT WILDERNESS BLURB: After decades as the gentle-natured leader of a Christian retreat that endeavors to "cure" gay teens, Walt is packing up his life and preparing for a reluctant retirement. But when his final client quietly disappears into the remote Idaho wilderness, Walt discovers that his previously unwavering moral compass no longer points the way. With profound humanity and subtlety, A Great Wilderness navigates complex moral terrain, exploring the shifting motives and inconstant strength of our personal convictions.
GUYS AND DOLLS, a musical, based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon, music & lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows, directed by Chris Kelly. Sep 6 - Oct 8, 2023. Wed & Thu at 7pm, Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 3:30pm & 7:30pm, Sun at 2pm. Note: The performance on Friday, September 22nd (Curtain Up! night) is at 8pm.
MusicalFare Theatre, c/o Daemen College, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226 (Tip: Enter off Getzville Road, about 500 yards north of Main Street.) (716) 839-8540 email@example.com
GUYS AND DOLLS BLURB: A fresh and innovative production of the all-time classic musical comedy, GUYS & DOLLS tells the overlapping stories of high-roller Sky Masterson, who falls in love with mission worker Sarah Brown, and lovable rapscallion Nathan Detroit, engaged for 14 years to Miss Adelaide, a headliner at the Hot Box Club. It features a classic score by Frank Loesser, including the songs "Luck Be a Lady," "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," "If I Were A Bell" and "A Bushel and a Peck."
THE LIFE AND SLIMES OF MARC SUMMERS, a play by Alex Brightman, directed by Chad Rabinovitz, starring the real-life Marc Summers (and audience volunteers), with music by Drew Gasparini. 9/10 - 9/30 (Two pay what you can previews on 9/9 at both 2:00 and 7:30; Opening Night Sunday, September 10 at 7:00; Industry Night Monday 9/18 at 7:30; Curtain Up! September 22 at 8:00, Note: Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 only; One extra performance Wednesday, September 27 at 7:30). All other shows Thu - Sat at 7:30, Saturday matinees at 2:00, Sundays 9/17 and 9/24 at 2:00.
THE LIFE AND SLIMES OF MARC SUMMERS BLURB: Marc Summers is an icon of a generation. You may know him from his time hosting Nickelodeon’s DOUBLE DARE and Food Network’s UNWRAPPED or as the Producer of hits like DINNER: IMPOSSIBLE and RESTAURANT: IMPOSSIBLE, but now you get the chance to meet the real Marc Summers in person– a man who’s led a fascinating life of fame and frustration. The play is a guided tour through Marc’s life, from an early obsession with magic to his notable television career to his appearance on Oprah announcing his ongoing battle with OCD. Marc himself stars in this tell-all about his life, his disorder, and taking the physical challenge. Get ready for games, music, magic, and Double Dare!
MURDER BALLAD, by Julia Jordan with music and lyrics by Juliana Nash, directed by Doug Weyand, starring Anthony Alcocer, Leah Berst, Jenn Stafford, and Ricky Needham. 9/14 - 10/15 Thu-Sat 7:30, Sun 2:00. (Note: Curtain Up! performance Friday, September 22 is at 8:00.) (716) 629-3069, roadlesstraveledproductions.org
MURDER BALLAD BLURB: Murder Ballad is the dramatic story of a love triangle gone wrong, an exploration of love, lust, and betrayal centering on Sara, an uptown girl who seems to have it all with her husband Michael, but whose downtown past with bad boy Tom lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her.
THE COLOR PURPLE, music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray; book by Marsha Norman, based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker, directed by Sarah Norat Phillips, music direction by Karen Saxon, choreographed by Naila Ansari, starring Gabriella McKinley as Celie, Anika Pace as Nettie, George Brown as Mister, Brian Brown as Harpo, Curtis Lovell as Sophia, Jetaun Louie as Shug, and many others. Co-presented by Second Generation Theatre, Ujima Company, and Shea's 710. 9/14 - 10/1, Thu - Fri 7:30, Sat 8:00, Sun 4:00 at Shea's 710 Main Theatre (Main Street corner Tupper). (716) 847-1410 sheas.org
THE COLOR PURPLE BLURB: This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel boasts a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music, and blues. It's a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love, and a celebration of life. Produced with Ujima Company, Inc. and Shea's 710.
ASL performance 9/24 @ 4:00.
THE ROYALE, a play by Marco Ramirez, directed by Verneice Turner, starring Vincenzo McNeill, Roosevelt Tidwell III, VerNia Sherisse Garvin, David Mitchell, and Matthew Ball. 9/8 - 24 Thur - Sat at 7:30 / Sun at 2:00. The Paul Robeson Theatre, 350 Masten Avenue, Buffalo NY 14209. (716) 213 7253, revelationtheatre.org
THE ROYALE BLURB: It’s the opening decade of the 20th Century, and Jay “the Sport” Jackson is about to become the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World! But for Jay, as his aspirations and success become real, so do the harsh truths of life in
Jim Crow America, and the consequences they could have on his family back home. The Royale examines society’s relationship with our cultural heroes and the responsibilities that are thrust upon them when they find themselves outside of the ropes. Loosely based on real events, The Royale explosively brings to life the ultimate fight for a place in history.
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME, a play by Heidi Schreck, directed by Robyn Lee Horn, presented by The Kavinoky Theatre, starring Lindsay Brandon Hunter, Amara Gomez, and Kodi James. 9/8 - 24 Thu - Fri 7:30, Sat 3:30, Sun 2:00. D'Youville University's Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave, Buffalo, NY 14201 716-829-7668 kavinokytheatre.com/
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME BLURB: Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful, and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Playwright Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans. CONTENT WARNING: What the Constitution Means to Me contains mature and potentially triggering content and is recommended for ages 15+.
AT THE SHAW FESTIVAL THEATRE, Venue by Venue listings.
For details visit https://www.shawfest.com/2023-season/
AT THE FESTIVAL THEATRE
A Musical Fable, Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee
BLITHE SPIRIT by Noël Coward
THE AMEN CORNER
By James Baldwin
AT THE ROYAL GEORGE THEATRE
Adapted for the stage by Damien Atkins
Based on the novel by C.S. Lewis
ON THE RAZZLE
By Tom Stoppard
Adapted from Einen Jux will er sich machen by Johann Nestroy, but you'll recognize scenes from Thornton Wilder's THE MATCHMAKER and also from the musical HELLO, DOLLY!
VILLAGE WOOING (2023's Lunchtime One‐Act)
By Bernard Shaw
THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT
By Edith Wharton
At the JACKIE MAXWELL STUDIO THEATRE
THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD
By J.M. Synge
THE APPLE CART by G.B. Shaw, directed by Eda Holmes, starring Tom Rooney and others, is in repertory through Saturday October 7, 2023 at the Shaw Festival’s Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre behind the Festival Theatre (they share a courtyard), 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (905-468-2172 / 1-800-511-7429) www.shawfest.com Download house program here.
By Helen Edmundson
And there are two new "venues" at the Shaw Festival including
THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHANCE
A romantic comedy by Pierre de Marivaux
Improvised by the Shaw Festival Ensemble – a new play every time.
Written and directed by Selma Dimitrijevic
and there's "OUTDOORS @ THE SHAW"
A SHORT HISTORY OF NIAGARA
Created by Alexandra Montagnese and Mike Petersen
Commissioned and presented by the Shaw Festival
Rogers and Hammerstein’s
A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING – ONE ACT – IN CONCERT
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Musical arrangements by Fred Wells
Orchestration by Michael Gibson and Jonathan Tunick
Conceived by Walter Bobbie
For the HOLIDAY SEASON 2023 The Shaw Festival will bring back
Lerner and Loewe’s
Book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe
Original dances created by Agnes DeMille
Revised book by Brian Hill
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
By Charles Dickens
Adapted and originally directed by Tim Carroll
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