Buffalo Theater News - November 2022
Stagefright by JAVIER
After a two-year COVID delay and a one-week snow delay, the Irish Classical Theatre Company (ICTC) production of Great Expectations finally opened on Friday November 25th. Smartly directed by Chris Kelly, the production stars Josephine Hogan, Charmagne Chi, and Lisette DeJesus who has an adorably stylish new haircut. And, so many men, so little time -- several pictured above. Great Expectations will run through December 11th.
And also because of the snow, ICTC’s Speaker Series has been re-scheduled for Sunday, December 4th at 1:30 p.m. Join author and playwright j. Snodgrass with a dramaturgical presentation and moderated discussion to introduce the world of Great Expectations followed by the matinee performance, and a talk-back after the show. Also, December 1st is Industry Night, featuring discounted tickets, Happy Hour, and a post-show Talk Back. Actor Christine Turturro is the guest bartender.
Congratulations to Buffalonian Ron OJ Parson who will receive the 2022 Zelda Finchandler Award presented by The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF). Parson is now based in Chicago where he is Resident Director at University of Chicago's Tony-winning Court Theatre. We last saw Parson when he came back to Buffalo for the grand opening of the Lorna C. Hill Theatre.
Ujima Company’s acclaimed production of Toni Stone, starring Gabriella McKinley as the title character, co-directed by Phil Knoerzer & Curtis Lovell, will be back for two final performances on December 1st and 2nd at 7:30 p.m. Not to be missed! And all eyes are now set on the company’s next production, Choir Boy by American playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney to be directed by Karen Saxon. Set within the walls of a prestigious African-American prep school, the play is a coming of age story filled with Gospel music. McCraney is the chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble. He co-wrote the 2016 film Moonlight, based on his own play, for which he received an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Choir Boy had its world premiere in London in 2012 and finally made it to Broadway in 2019 where it received a Tony nomination. The show opens March 10th at the Lorna C. Hill Theatre and is in the process of being cast.
After a little break, the Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center opens its next production on Thursday, December 1st. Cadillac Crew by Tori Sampson, directed by Linda Barr, starring Francesca D’Auria, Janate “Solar” Ingram, Aqueira Oshun, and Nikol Stellabuto, will run through December 18th, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m. Set in a local civil rights office in Virginia in mid-1963, four women engage in a humorous discussion on the day when Rosa Parks will be giving a much anticipated speech. Cadillac Crew had its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 2019.
If you didn’t get a chance to see D’Youville Kavinoky’s production of People, Places, and Things, you are in luck. Speaking of Giving Tuesday, Mr. Scott Bieler and the Scott Bieler Family Foundation are sponsoring the return of the company’s production with its original cast, January 12th-15th at Shea’s 710 Theatre. Bieler was very touched by the show and decided to finance its return in order to allow more people to see it. Tickets are free, but you have to make reservations at sheas.org. This production will again partner with Save the Michaels of the World Inc. and other recovery agencies (who will be on-site) to help promote awareness of Substance Use Disorder. Katie Mallinson has directed the production, which stars Aleks Malejs as Emma with an ensemble of Buffalo’s finest actors including Christopher Guilmet, Michele Roberts, Diane DiBernardo, Gabriella McKinley, Ben Michael Moran, Gregory Gjurich, Maureen Ann Porter, Afrim Gjonbalaj and Dylan Zalikowski.
Playwright Rajiv Joseph was in Buffalo attending a performance of his play Guards at the Taj at Road Less Traveled. This fascinating play was directed by Katie Mallinson, starring Darryl Semira and Afrim Gjonbalaj. Joseph was highly complimentary of the production, even stating that one of the scenes was the best performance he had ever seen. The play runs through December 11th.
Up next for Desiderio’s, a farce by master of the genre, Ray Cooney, It Runs in the Family. Directed by Jay Desiderio, the play takes place in a hospital and you should expect a lot of running in and out of doors. The production opens on January 12th and will star David Marciniak, Lisa Hinca, Dan Greer, Jeremy Kreuzer, Margo Davis, Katherine Parker, Len McMike, Bill Baldwin, Brendan Cunningham, Bob Lohr, and Lisa Vitrano.
So it was bound to happen, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap will be making its Broadway debut in 2023. The London production of the play has been running on the West End since 1952. November 25th marked the 70th anniversary of The Mousetrap's premiere on the West End. Good thing that the Tony awards rules were changed several years ago. The Mousetrap would have been eligible for the Tony award for new play.
Buffalo and UB alum Stephen Stocking is making his Broadway debut in the current revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman which also stars André De Shields as Ben Loman. Stocking is playing Bernard and is wonderful in the role. He is a favorite of above mentioned playwright Rajiv Joseph. Stocking has appeared in Joseph’s Obie-winning play Describe the Night and the world premiere of Joseph’s Archduke at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
All is set to go! Between Riverside and Crazy, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Stephen Adly Guirgis, starring Stephen McKinley Henderson recreating his award-winning off-Broadway performance, is ready to start previews on Broadway on November 30th at the Helen Hayes Theater.
The fabulous Anne Gayley was spotted at a recent performance of Babushka! the hilarious improvisational show starring Todd Benzin and Don Gervasi by Eclectic.
Late breaking news!
Victoria Pérez, co-founder and artistic director of Raíces Theatre Company, has just been named the Interim Director of Arts Engagement and Education at Shea's! Felicitaciones!!!