Curtain Up! 2017, the 36th annual kick off to Western New York’s theater season, is adding a new party to its three-act evening on Friday, Sept. 15. The Greenroom Gala is a pre-theater gathering that’s an alternative to the traditional black tie gala.
"We wanted to broaden the scope of Curtain Up and give more people a chance to enjoy what has become a tradition in Buffalo," said Curtain Up! chair Adam Hayes. The Greenroom Gala will feature a lighter, more informal meal served in the Expo Market at 617 Main St. from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Hayes says this party, in a more casual setting that appeals to theater-goers of all ages, adds another dimension to the festivities.
The traditional black tie Curtain Up! gala will still be held during the same time frame, with a back-to-its-roots twist: the gala is moving outside underneath an elegant tent.
"This year challenged our creativity as Shea’s Performing Arts Center will be teching the first National Tour of On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan in September," said Hayes.
While it’s an exciting endeavor that has significant economic impact on the region, it makes Shea’s main stage, which has been home to the Curtain Up! Gala dinner for a number of years, unavailable.This year’s gala will instead be held at Fountain Plaza in the 500 block of Main Street. Guests will enjoy an elegant three-course meal complete with wine and live music, said Hayes.
If Act 1 is dinner, Act 2 is your choice of performances at 11 stages throughout the community, with the curtains ceremoniously rising together at 8 p.m. This year’s season runs the full gamut, from original plays by local playwrights Neal Radice (Killer Rack: The Feminist Horror Musical Comedy at Alleyway Theatre) and Donna Hoke (Sons and Lovers staged by Buffalo United Artists), to classics like Noel Coward’s Design for Living at Irish Classical Theatre and Mel Brooks’ timeless comedy The Producers at The Kavinoky Theatre.
The party’s not over when the performances end. For Act 3, the theater district plays host to live music, dancing, street performers and a few
surprises until 1 a.m..
Curtain Up! is one of the largest regional
theatrical celebrations in the country, and each season it invites more participation, creativity and positive buzz about Buffalo’s theater community.
Theater also delivers a significant economic impact, especially in downtown Buffalo.
"Curtain Up started 36 years ago when businesses were in a decline downtown; the thing that stayed open were the theaters," said Hayes.
The Theatre District Association organizes this annual affair with sponsorship from M&T Bank. Information and tickets for both the Curtain Up!
Gala Dinner and the Greenroom Gala are available by phone at 847-0850 or at Ticketmaster.com.
The Theatre District Association’s website has
the lowdown on the entire theatre season, too: Tda-wny.com.