Buffalo Theater News: October 2022
STAGEFRIGHT by JAVIER
Congratulations to Terrie George and George Caldwell, who were officially inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame on October 12th at a dinner celebration at Seneca One Tower. This is the 40th anniversary of the BMHF. In addition to their accomplishments in music performance, George and Caldwell are both also known for their work in musical theater.
What can I say? The immortal Angela Lansbury! (1925-2022)
After a successful production of Dog Fight starring Karen Harty and Luke Weber, Bellissima Productions will present the world premiere of Brace for Impact by Vincent DeStefano. Set in an apartment in North Buffalo, five long-time friends get together for what may be a last time as an asteroid is heading towards planet Earth. Directed by Mike Doben, the play stars Vincent DeStefano, Taylor Lee Hall, Sean Patrick Ryan, Andrew Brown, and Colleen Pine. The show will run October 27th – November 5th at the Marie Maday Theater on the Canisius College campus. This is great timing for the play as NASA successfully rammed an asteroid with a small space craft, just this week, successfully shifting its orbit in a save-the-world test.
Up next for Starring Buffalo, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, starring Tony Award Winner Lena Hall, Broadway stars Robi Hager as Che and Nicholas Rodriguez as Juan Peron. Buffalo’s Anna Fernandez and Raphael Santos will also star as The Mistress and Magaldi. Hall won a Tony in 2014 for her performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch which starred Neal Patrick Harris. Rodriguez made his Broadway debut in Disney’s Tarzan and came to Buffalo a few years ago in the touring production of The Sound of Music. Santos was an Artie nominee for his performance in The Toxic Avenger. Fernandez was an Artie nominee for her performance in O’Connell & Company’s production of A Chorus Line. Evita will play November 4th & 5th at Shea’s 710 Theatre. For tickets go to starringbuffalo.org
Speaking of O’Connell & Company, the ribbon cutting ceremony for their new space will take place on Friday, October 14th! It was just a few weeks ago when I first saw the space in the rough, so I know they worked extremely hard to have it ready for the big opening. Located just over the Amherst town line, at 4110 Bailey Avenue, west of Main Street, the complex has a theater, a cabaret space, a bar, a huge storage area, and its own parking lot.
There is a double reason for O’Connell & Company to celebrate on October 14th, as it’s also the opening night for their production of The Addams Family Musical, directed by Dewayne Barrett with musical direction by Joe Isgar. The show will run through October 30th, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 3, which is a very decent time to have a Sunday matinee so you can have a leisurely nap after brunch. The show stars, among others, Joey Bucheker as Gomez, Anna Fernandez as Morticia, Michael J. Galante as Uncle Fester, Madalyn Teal as Wednesday, John Perno as Pugsley, Sara Kovacsi as Grandma, and Dan Mink as Lurch.
Yet another theater company is set to debut this week. David Oliver’s Revelation Productions will focus on the development of original plays and reimagined interpretations of classic plays. The company’s first production, Infinite Distances will play October 14th at 7:30 and October 15th & 16th at 2 p.m. in the Flexible Theatre of the Donald Savage Building on the Buffalo State campus. Infinite Distances is an energetic movement performance devised and directed by choreographer Gerry Trentham and Oliver, in collaboration with five experienced and diverse dancers. Trentham and Oliver previously collaborated in the All for One production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. All students and people under the age of 22 are admitted free with ID.
The Alleyway has assembled a first-class trio of actresses to appear on stage in the company’s next production. Tracie Lane, Aleks Malejs, and Christine Turturro are set to star in Burst, a contemporary peek into corporate power structures, Silicon Valley politics, and the global plastic emergency. Written by Rachel Bublitz, the play was a finalist in the 2022 National New Play Network Showcase and makes its world premiere at the Alleyway, directed by Daniel F. Lendzian. Opening night is October 26th at 7:30. Pay-what-you-can previews are scheduled for October 21, 22, 23 & 25 at 7:30. The show runs through November 12th, matinee on November 5th at 3:30
Up next at the D'Yourville Kavinoky is the regional premiere of the horror classic Misery by William Goldman, adapted from the novel by Stephen King. The 2015 Broadway production of the play starred Bruce Willis, Laurie Metcalf, and Leon Addison Brown. The Kavinoky production will star Adriano Gatto, Loraine O’Donnell, and Steve Brachman, directed by Brian Cavanagh. And just like on Broadway, there are standbys: Don Gervasi, Marie Costa, and Kodi James who is one of the MFA students at the newly created program at D'youville University. On Broadway though, there was just one standby for both male parts. Misery opens on October 28th. Back in the good old days, on Saturdays between performances, cast and crew used to bring dishes for a pot-luck dinner. Now that has been taken over by the company’s new sponsor, Wegmans.
Things got off to a great start for First Look Buffalo Theatre on the opening of their show Future Wars-A Sci-Fi Double Feature at the Park School Theater, where they are now in residence. The double feature consisted of the east coast premiere of Reset by Samantha Macher, directed by Mike Doben, starring Jacob Applegate (in a very impressive stage debut), Aaron Krygier, and Madeline Allard-Dugan (notice the hyphenate last name now). The other play was also an east coast premiere, Overlay by Adam Hahn, directed by Drew McCabe, starring Becky Globus, Kathleen Rooney, Steven Maiseke, Bob Rusch, and Allard-Dugan. Theater veterans Kurt Schneiderman and Anthony Grande were in charge of light and sound, respectively. We hear that Schneiderman, formerly of Subversive Theater Company, might be planning a comeback. Opening night party was held down the street at Brunner’s Tavern, I guess Amherst’s best kept secret. Kitchen open until midnight, and great wings.
Oscar winning actress Louise Fletcher has passed. Iconic in film history as Nurse Wratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Lisa Ludwig will always be remembered for playing the part at the Kavinoky a few years ago.
It is the 60th anniversary of the James Bond movies. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Sean Connery, I did meet George Lazenby (who just turned 83 in September). He was the second actor to portray British secret agent Bond, playing the character in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). He appeared in only one film, the shortest tenure among the actors in the franchise.
Best known for her work on the television show, Glee, Lea Michele is wowing Broadway with her reportedly sensational performance as Fanny Brice in the revival of Funny Girl.
Curtain Up was curtailed (no dinner) but nonetheless sensational! Here I am with the elegantly dressed cast of Babushka!, which peformed at Alleway Theatre -- Todd Benzin and Don Gervasi.
Curtain Up! was a fabulous night for fabulous personalities to shine. Here I am with the director of Doubt at Irish Classical, Victoria Perez Maggiolo, and her equally fabulous sister, actor, director, playwright, Maria Perez-Gomez. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month Buffalo!
Naila Ansari's production of Once on this Island was an unmitigated triumph as Shea's 710. Here are the star, Buffalo State alumna Zhanna Reed and director-choreographer Ansari.
It's always grand when Buffalo exports return home. Here I am with actor-singer-raconteur Kevin Kennedy and Musical Director Eric Alsford, in from Nashville and Florida, respectively.
A spontaneous Kavinoky reunion broke out at Saul Elkin's retirement party in the Delaware Park Casino. Here are the legendary David Lamb, founder of the Kav, with two of his greatest leading ladies, Anne Gayley and Eileen Dugan.
Saul Elkin has retired as artistic director of Shakespeare in Delaware Park. The party, celebrating his total wonderfulness, was at the Delaware Park Casino. Here is the festival founder, Saul (right) with his gorgeous and charismatic wife Janine at the event.