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You can't quite restage the sexism out of "The Phantom of the Opera," but you can certainly distract us from it with retina-burning pyrotechnics. That's pretty much the gist of Laurence Connor's darkened, coarsened and reshuffled version of "Phantom" that opened Friday night in Shea's Performing Arts Center to an adoring crowd. It was, true to its promise, as gaudy and …

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In the quiet Irish town where a local guy meets a foreign girl, and they meet over a moment of music, and that moment blooms into an immediate partnership, and that partnership turns into a life-aligning realization and momentous turning point, everything that feels impossible suddenly appears within reach. In between those sparks breathes the lovely “Once,” an effervescen…

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Who needs actors to put on a play? Certainly not Torn Space, the experimental theater company that acknowledges no boundaries, follows no rules and hews to no conventions except those of its own inscrutable design. To that end, the company this weekend will mount an original production called "Security," featuring about 10 actual security guards recruited from a small B…

Festivals

Bucket List Bash 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Statler City (107 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $35 pre-sale or $45 at the door. VIP passes run for $60. Event is 21+, and there is no valet parking this year. Cross several items off your bucket list in one fell swoop, as Unyts' fundraiser allows guests to experience virtual reality, face their fears, walk the red carpet and get an …

Festivals

1) "Phantom of the Opera," 8 p.m. April 27, 2 and 8 p.m. April 28, 2 and 7 p.m. April 29 in Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Limited tickets remain for several of the scheduled slots, with prices ranging from $37 to well over $100. The play runs through May 6. Commentary: Reading through the various takes of Buffalo theater members in regard to "Phantom" is amusin…

“The Awful Truth,” a comedy written for the stage nearly a century ago by Arthur Richman, mothballed for years except for a Hollywood revival in the 1930’s and a movie musical version decades later - “Let’s Do It Again,” with Jane Wyman and Ray Milland - is the kind of play that Irish Classical Theatre Company does best. Costumed to the nines, classy set pieces, witty repa…

Local News

Buffalo filmmakers are looking for actors to play in their movie, "Klausferatu," which puts Santa on the naughty list. They will hold an open casting call from noon to 3 p.m. May 5 in room F129 of the Dolce-Valvo Art Center during the Niagara County Community College Film Festival, 3111 Saunders Settlement Road in Sanborn. "Klausferatu" is a horror comedy. Actors of …

The national touring company of "The Phantom of the Opera," in town for a 160show run at Shea's Buffalo Theatre, is joining with Alleyway Theatre for a benefit concert on April 30 to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and as part of the fundraising efforts of the WNED/WBFO Artie Awards to benefit ECMC’s HIV/AIDS and Immunodeficiency Services. "Phantom Unm…

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The annual Shea's Black-Tie Gala began with a cocktail hour in Shea's Buffalo Theatre before moving to the stage to enjoy dinner- the pinnacle of the evening was a special production held in Shea's 710 Theatre, on Friday, April 20, 2018.

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It's one of the great artistic paradoxes that artificial limits and formulas encourage creativity. It's why some writers who fail at novels succeed with short stories, or poets who flounder with free verse shine when their language is compacted into quatrains. The principle is at play with the 27th annual version of "Buffalo Quickies," a compilation of pint-sized plays …

Our personal identities and brands are often mistaken as portraits, preserved snapshots of a single moment, but in application they are much more like a composite. As Jews, we like to marinate in our histories, to reconcile and reconstitute our past selves. This can be a blessing and a curse. In Donald Margulies’ “Sight Unseen,” now onstage at Jewish Repertory Theatre, …

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Some plays burn bright for a few important moments and quickly fall out of fashion. Such was the case with "The Awful Truth," Arthur Richman's post-Victorian comedy that ran on Broadway in 1922, inspired a 1937 film starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant and then was never heard from again. That is, until the Metropolitan Playhouse produced a version of it in 2015. Some…

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Theater people have opinions on "The Phantom of the Opera." They are not shy about sharing them. Few musicals in the history of the form have produced such polarized reactions from musical-lovers, whose takes on the 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber classic tend to fall into one of two camps: "BEST SHOW EVER" or "CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY." As "Phantom" makes its way to Buffa…

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"Shen Yun," the Chinese dance spectacle that has been blanketing Western New York businesses and homes with promotional material for the past few months, is returning to Shea's Performing Arts Center on May 9 and 10. Those interested in attending should note both the required dress code -- "business attire or evening wear" -- and the price points, which range from $83 t…

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In 16 years together at WGRZ, co-anchors Maryalice Demler and Scott Levin have developed more than a bit of chemistry. So it came as no surprise that when they took to the stage of the Ellicott Creek Playhouse Saturday night to appear in a fundraising performance of A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters," they inhabited their roles as effortlessly as if they were reading the even…