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Three nationally known actors will appear at an April 14 gala to benefit the Global Concepts Charter School in Lackawanna. The school, dedicated to arts, music and entertainment, will honor actors Stephen McKinley Henderson and Keith David at the event, which will also feature musical and theatrical entertainment provided by students. Lackawanna-born actor Ruben Santiag…

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"School of Rock," the latest musical-from-a-movie to arrive at Shea's Performing Arts Center, is a jamming celebration of the fact that girls (and boys) just want to have fun -- even the kids at one of the country's most exclusive fictional private schools. So, when a substitute teacher arrives with no lesson plans, and really no plans at all beyond his dream of being a…

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It's a curse and blessing for great Broadway composers that their songs so often outlive the stories they tell. Chances are you know the names of many more ballads in the American songbook than you know titles to the musicals from which they came. For most casual theatergoers, especially those younger than 40, this is likely the case with "The Roar of the Greasepaint, t…

Theater

I didn't know Michael Lodick. Though he was one of those seemingly omnipresent theater figures, whose name you read in programs and see at opening nights, he was one of the few local directors I haven't talked with at any length. So, when it was announced that he died last week during a performance of "The Nance" in the Manny Fried Playhouse, he remained an abstraction …

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Over the last several years, budget concerns have driven local theater companies to produce plays and musicals with smaller and smaller casts. But Artpark, which has just announced an original musical adaptation of "The Odyssey" planned for August, is heading in the opposite direction. Its production will feature 150 cast members recruited from across Western New Yor…

Obituaries

Feb. 23, 1950 to March 23, 2018 Michael Lodick, a Buffalo theater director and designer known for his committed work ethic and gregarious personality, died Friday while watching a performance of Subversive Theatre's production of "The Nance." The cause was likely a heart attack, according to Mr. Lodick's wife, Elaine. He was 68. Mr. Lodick (in the photo at left weari…

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Adulting is hard. And for Jordan Berman, a young gay man living in loveless terror of his impending 30th birthday and watching his female friends marry off one by one, it's becoming harder by the day. Jordan's struggle to find happiness, to project his outsized emotions somewhere beyond his own addled brain, drives the action of Joshua Harmon's smart play "Significan…

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Betsy Carmichael was born out of crisis. In 2015, as O'Connell and Company prepared to stage "The Queen of Bingo," they received a cease-and-desist letter from the show's authors, who objected to the fact the company planned to cast two men in roles meant to be played by women. On the fly, instead of canceling the show, Buffalo performer and writer Joey Bucheker got …

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In 2018, the year of "Time's Up" and #MeToo, the patriarchy is under renewed assault. "Toxic masculinity," the current term of art for the defining feature of America's white, male ruling class, is once again being put on notice, even as it retains its stubborn grip on American politics and culture. And although some may think of this movement as a recent ideological…

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Junie B. Jones is back, and going through a rough patch. She’s lost her favorite fuzzy mittens. The black ones that give her comfort, that she wears proudly, that she uses to gain the attention of friends and romantic interests. But now they’re gone, and her carefree kindergarten days just aren’t the same. With “Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook,” the latest from Theatre…

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Buzz has been building for months around the most sought-after shows in Shea's Performing Arts Center's 2018-19 season: The genre-expanding hit "Hamilton" and audience favorite "Dear Evan Hansen." But tonight, Buffalo's flagship theater announced the rest of its Broadway season, and it's likely to make Broadway fans swoon. Especially those with kids. In addition to t…

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The 2018-19 season at Shea's Performing Arts Center has more weeks than any in the history of the theater's Broadway series. That means more opportunities for ticket-seekers looking to snag good seats. http://buffalonews.com/2018/03/13/sheas-announces-a-packed-2018-19-season/ Here's how to do it: When it comes to clinching tickets for the season's most in-demand s…

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The rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” has always belonged to Judas, and never more so than in the sold-out production being presented this Easter season by American Repertory Theater of Western New York. Much more than Christopher Teal as Jesus, Anthony Alcocer’s Judas brings the passion to this now-classic version of the passion of the Christ. Along with his acting c…

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Amir Kapoor believes he is on a lifelong journey away from his faith. But he has no idea the path he has chosen is a circle. In an effort to distance himself from the traditions of his Islamic background, Kapoor has changed his name and social security number. He has married outside his culture and religion against the wishes of his family. And, as another character in …