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Hot tickets Free theater event draws interest; 3 shows still open

There's good news and bad news about the Buffalo theater community's first-ever participation in the nationwide Free Night of Theater.

The good news is that it has been an amazing success.

The bad news is that it has been such an amazing success that many of the tickets were snapped up quickly.

"We're test-piloting this," said Constance McEwen Caldwell, director of communications for the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo. "We were all so surprised by this immediate enthusiasm."

Originally, seats were available for 12 shows from Irish Classical Theatre Company, Alleyway Theatre, MusicalFare Theatre, Road Less Traveled Productions, the Kavinoky Theatre, Theatre of Youth and Theatre Plus.

As of late this week, just three shows remain available: "Tromping on Sacred Ground" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Alleyway Theatre; "The Boxcar Children" at 2 p.m. Oct. 25 presented by Theatre of Youth in Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St.; and "No Child" at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 presented by Theatre Plus in the Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main St.

Reservations for free tickets, limited to two per person, can be made at www.freenightoftheater.net. Choose "find a show" from the menu, then "New York State."

Caldwell said the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo has been publicizing the free night of theater among "people who don't go to the theater already, who might have some preconceived idea that theater is inaccessible, or too expensive."

"Some people might think theater might be over their heads or something they have to study or already know about," she said.

"It's hard to feel that theater is inaccessible when we are flinging our doors open and saying, 'Come on in!' " Caldwell said.

The Free Night of Theater Web site asks people to provide their e-mail addresses if they would like to know about special theater offers. The mailing list will be shared with theaters and provide a pool of people who might be interested in future special offers, including two-for-one tickets, a show's extension or a deep discount for preview audiences, Caldwell said.

All tickets have already been snapped up for: "The Cavalcaders" presented by Irish Classical Theatre Company; "Jamestown Gals: The Music of Lucille Ball and Peggy Lee" at MusicalFare Theatre; "Triangles" by Road Less Traveled Productions; and "Heroes" at the Kavinoky Theatre.

e-mail: aneville@buffnews.com

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