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Busy Buffalo theater week features a show for every taste

So you've heard that Buffalo has a busy theater scene.

You've seen the digital marquee at Shea's Performing Arts Center. You've watched the news stories about Curtain Up. Maybe you even have a friend of a friend who performs. But, for some reason, you haven't bought a ticket.

If you were waiting for the right opportunity, that opportunity has arrived.

During the next week, Buffalo's hyperactive theater industry will open six shows, one for every taste. If you're into musicals, you can take your pick among a Kander & Ebb masterpiece, a Stephen Schwartz classic and a jukebox show directed at music lovers who think they don't like musicals. More of a straight-play person? No problem. Check out an original play by a Buffalo theater veteran, a classic import from the United Kingdom or a feel-good story fit for the Hallmark channel.

Here's a look at what's on.

"Million Dollar Quartet," April 19 to May 21 in MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst.

Based on a legendary Memphis recording session featuring Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, this show guides audiences on a tour of the '50s most popular music. MusicalFare's production, directed by Randall Kramer, features many of Buffalo's most active musicians. Among the cast is Brandon Barry and Joseph Donohue III, of the now-disbanded Albrights, along with Andrew J. Riemers, Dave Siegfried, Brian McMahon, Jeffrey Coyle, Steve Copps and Arianne Davidow. Tickets are $43. Call 839-8539 or visit

"I'm Fine," April 20 to May 13 in Alleyway Theatre, 1 Curtain Up Alley.

The protagonist of Alleyway Theatre founder Neal Radice's new play, a middle-aged widower reeling from his wife's death, is decidedly not fine. Radice was inspired to write this by Alleyway board member Herb Knoll, who wrote the book "The Widower's Journey" about his  experiences recovering from loss. He linked Knoll's story to that of his own father, Radice wrote in a release about the play, and "the connection with him seemed to build a bridge to the insights I needed to step into the work.” The production stars Ray Boutcher. Tickets are $14 to $25. Call 852-2600 or visit

"The Cemetery Club," April 20 to May 21 in the Park School, 4625 Harlem Road, Snyder.

Continuing on the theme of "I'm Fine," O'Connell and Company's production of this 1990 play by Ivan Menchell centers on the lives of a group of widows coming to terms with a new reality. With a "Golden Girls" tinge, the play features Anne Gayley, Joy Scime and Constance Caldwell as a trio of widows who meet monthly for tea before traveling to the cemetery to visit their husband's graves. Sounds grim, but a release from the company promises a story both "hilarious and touching." Tickets are $30. Call 848-0800 or visit

"The Winslow Boy," April 21 to May 14 in the Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St.

A wrongful accusation threatens to destroy the life of a young naval cadet in this 1946 play by Terence Rattigan based on a real incident. The Irish Classical Theatre Company's production stars Collan Zimmerman as the cadet and Matt Witten as the high-profile barrister who defends him. Brian Cavanagh directs. Tickets are $45. Call 853-4282 or visit

"Godspell," April 21 to May 7 in the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster.

Beloved by college and high school drama clubs the world over, Stephen Schwartz's take on the Gospel of Matthew smacks of the '70s in all the right ways. The show promises "messages of kindness, tolerance, and love," all packaged in Schwartz's highly hummable melodies. The production will feature a "multimedia" take on the show, with innovative direction by Kevin Leary and a cast featuring many up-and-coming local performers. Tickets are $10 to $30. Call 683-1776 or visit

"Cabaret," April 25 to 30 in Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St.

John Kander and Fred Ebb's much-revived show from 1966 takes audiences on a dark journey into the heart of Weimar Germany. Focused on the outrageous cabaret performer Sally Bowles and the British writer Cliff Bradshaw, this 50th anniversary tour of the show is based on the acclaimed revival co-directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall. It stars Leigh Ann Larkin as Sally, Benjamin Eakley as Cliff and Jon Peterson as the emcee. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 847-0850 or visit


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