Ted Hadley, The Buffalo News
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Ted Hadley


ART of WNY, Matthew LaChiusa’s “diamond-in-the-rough” tiny acting space in Buffalo’s Black Rock, has opened its 11th season with a Drew McCabe-directed production of local playwright Mark Humphrey’s latest work, “Roommates.” McCabe loves the several sides of this new play, calling it “serious, darkly comedic and provocative.” Full of twists and turns and …

STRATFORD, Ont. - The 64th season of this western Ontario theater arts outpost is well underway, nine plays already open, five either in or about to begin preview performances. Artistic director Antoni Cimolino has assembled a season with the theme, “exploring identity,” plays about knowing thyself, self-deception, deceit, identities that “unite or divide,” pers…

Over the decades, the plays of the witty, flamboyant, irritating and inspiring Oscar Wilde have been huge successes at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Shaw Festival. Wilde was both prophet and pariah in the late 19th century United Kingdom, but he was particularly chastised on a trip to America in the 1880s.“A sovereign of insufferables,” hissed the caustic columnist, Ambrose …

It is no secret that Matt LaChiusa, the artistic director of the American Repertory Theater of Western New York - ART of WNY - loves plays with plenty of quirk, off-the-wall stories that enrage or enthrall, shock or surprise. Some gore, maybe. Matt would have been at home back in the 1920’s at the Grand Guignol Theater in Paris where horror was central: blood, brutality,…

One good play by Pulitzer Prize-winning Donald Margulies deserves another. Road Less Traveled Productions seems to think so. The company opened the 2016-17 Buffalo stage season with his acclaimed “Dinner with Friends” and now closes with the more recent “The Country House,” a story of an acting family at home - fractious, egos- in-residence, rancor rampant - any…

When Herb Knoll's wife of 16 years, Michelle, died in 2008 after a lengthy battle with cancer, he found his world to be an uncertain place: lonely at home, listless at work, lethargic at play. He was, suddenly, a "widower." Months after Michelle's death, Knoll was still wallowing in grief. Lots of moping. He decided to get counsel and comfort from outside sources: his c…

A dozen years ago, a play by and featuring New York University students and aspiring actresses Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira, “In the Continuum,” an intense and engrossing tale of women living with the HIV virus, was just a classroom project. An acclaimed staging of the work led to an Off-Broadway run and a subsequent national tour. Still in demand worldwide, “I…

If you’re an inveterate vintage movie watcher or merely an insomniac, you’ve probably discovered on all-night television a 1943 classic comedy titled “Here Comes Mr. Jordan,” starring Hollywood legends Don Ameche, Gene Tierney and Charles Coburn. Preposterous, sappy, giggle-filled story, larger-than-life characters, a paean to being true to yourself and the pursuit…

At Road Less Traveled Productions these pre-holiday nights, there is a stage version of a Charles Dickens mid-19th century novella, "The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In," or as RLTP adapter and director John Hurley has thankfully and wisely retitled it, "The Chimes: A Goblin Story." Over the years, a few critics have said th…

Beth Henley was 29-years old when she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for her first full-length play, “Crimes of the Heart.” Someone commented back then that Henley was “probably the first and only winner of the prestigious award to sport a pony-tail.” The Jackson, Mississippi-born playwright has often been compared favorably to Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Conn…

It took Subversive Theatre Collective a few years to present the Dale Wasserman stage adaptation of Ken Kesey’s seminal novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” But, better late than never. The play has arrived at The Manny Fried Playhouse, brought there “unapologetically,” as Subversive’s Kurt Schneiderman is fond of saying. “Cuckoo’s Nest” appa…

Playgoers heading for a performance of Red Thread Theatre’s “The Unfortunates,” once inside the sprawling, looming Jim Bush Studios on Buffalo’s West Side,  have a shadowy, candle-lit walk down a simulated alley to a sparsely furnished acting space. There is a bar with whisky bottles on it, more candles, a table, some chairs, a rug. It's designated temporarily as …

“Human beings go to the theater,” once said poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht, “in order to be swept away, captivated, impressed, uplifted, horrified, moved, kept in suspense, released, diverted and set free.” A more complete list would be hard to  find. The list is apropos to a taut and tense production of William Mastrosimone’s 1982 drama, “Extremities,…

The late August Wilson, one of America’s finest and rightly acclaimed 20th century poet-playwrights, wrote a 10-play series known as “The Pittsburgh Cycle.” They were stories of “The Great Migration,” the fabled diaspora of some 6 million blacks from America’s rural, “deep and near South” to the country’s northeastern urban cities.Beginning with “Gem o…

The late and acerbic George Jean Nathan, a 1920’s drama critic and editor – a colleague and friend of H.L. Mencken - was once asked about his definition of theater. “I think,” famously replied Nathan, “that theater is what literature does at night.” At the conclusion of Red Thread Theatre’s first performance of its season-opening play, “Louisiana Bacchae…