Ben Siegel, The Buffalo News
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Ben Siegel

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You might know Michael Walline’s work but you might not know Michael Walline. As one of Buffalo’s leading choreographers and directors, he works mostly behind the scenes, but began his career on stage (and still appears there from time to time). Here he shares some thoughts about his life in the theater. Name a role you would never be cast in, but have always wanted…

Young people have a lot on their plates. Between school, activities, peer pressure, bullies and those flammable hormones, well, it’s not easy. Throughout it all, the brave search for identity rages on. This is the premise of the new musical “Pretty Funny,” which received its world premiere at MusicalFare on July 12 and continues through Aug. 13. It is written b…

Dudney Joseph Jr. isn’t letting the summer off-season keep him from performing around Buffalo. The cheery-faced actor, who made a splash in last season’s “Sophisticated Ladies,” joins Raphael Santos and Lorenzo Parnell for “3 Tenors Soul Collective Cabaret” on July 15 at Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth). The show features songs by Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, D…

Ed Sheeran is a big deal. A global superstar. He sells out arenas and stadiums around the world. His last album, “(Divide),” went No. 1 in nearly every country it was released. And Sunday night he played a nearly sold-out headlining gig at KeyBank Center – get this – all by himself. Just Sheeran, his guitar and a loop pedal. This foot-powered device allows him t…

It usually takes an interviewer asking their celebrity subject about Buffalo’s quintessential chicken wings for that tired local folklore to come up. But James Blunt doesn’t waste time. On a recent phone call with the singer, who comes to town on July 9 to open for Ed Sheeran at KeyBank Center, wings came up immediately. He brought it up. “For me, Buffalo is the h…

Victoria Pérez can do anything, it seems—straight drama, musical comedy, run a theater company (the fantastic Raíces). But this summer, a first: Shakespeare! Pérez appears in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” with Shakespeare in Delaware Park through July 16. She recently shared a few thoughts about her life on and off the stage. Tell me a story about a time you wer…

Why don’t women rule the world? I’m asking. They know more about conflict, about love, about problem-solving and combat and the stamina to get through it. They’re built to break and bleed, to adapt and regenerate. And not only do they persevere, they have the generosity to show us how they did it. I’m speaking in generalities, of course. But if there’s o…

Twenty-four years, 10 months and 23 days ago, Paula Abdul canceled a concert at then-Pilot Field. I’m not bitter. It’s safe to say this reviewer has only recently reconciled his feelings about this childhood disappointment. The months of anticipation leading up to the moment of defeat; it adds up. (Don’t even get me started on Janet Jackson’s last-minute cancell…

Four years ago this month, Second Generation Theatre lifted the curtain on their new company with a premiere production in the New Phoenix Theater. It had a superb cast, an astute directorial vision, and a crafty aesthetic that spelled magic. The show was Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Into The Woods,” an adult fairy tale about growing up, about children and pa…

Laughing at silly, obnoxious rich people will never get old. Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever” is one of the more famous “comedy of manners” in the canon, and nearly 100 years after its premiere, it still rings true. And while the topic of greed may feel super relevant these days, informing every joke, internet meme and editorial cartoon, it is perhaps humbling to rem…

After more than 13 years on Broadway, and three previous pit stops in Buffalo, the mega-hit musical “Wicked” has returned to Shea’s Performing Arts Center. The national tour touched down Tuesday night for a three-week stay through June 4. I’m happy to say it has never looked better. It’s hard to maintain high standards after so many years. “Wicked” has joi…

Last week, it was reported that the leader of Chechnya wants to exterminate the country's LGBT population before the beginning of Ramadan, the holy month of Islam. The week before that, we learned that gay men had already been sent to concentration camps, where they were tortured and beaten, humiliated beyond repair. Some are alleged to have been killed. How does this i…

Let me get this out of the way: “Godspell” has never resonated with me. And it’s not because I’m Jewish. The hippie-rock retelling of the Gospel of Matthew is a story like any other. I’m not prejudice to its subject matter. No, it has to do with its theatricality. The show’s parable voice employs a gestural kind of storytelling that can be fun, party-like ev…

“The Golden Girls.” “Designing Women.” “9 to 5.” “Steel Magnolias.” “The First Wives Club.” “Living Single.” “Sex and the City.” “Girls.” And better late than never, “The Cemetery Club.” I’ve never heard of Ivan Menchell’s 1990 play, nor the 1993 film adaptation starring Olympia Dukakis, Ellen Burstyn and Diane Ladd. It has nev…

Alleyway Theatre’s “Buffalo Quickies” one-act play festival is en route to becoming my favorite annual theater event. While I often take issue with the quality of work on Alleyway’s stage, whether under-rehearsed or unchallenging, “Quickies” has bloomed into quite a spring flower. Director Joyce Stilson’s curation has gotten more discerning. Not one play i…