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Comedy

Few Buffalo performance spaces are quirkier than the tiny Main Street Cabaret. That quirkiness -- views are sometimes obscured by columns and you can often hear the Metro Rail clanging during performances -- makes it totally appropriate for its next iteration as a comedy club. The cabaret, housed in the Alleyway Theatre's complex in a renovated former bus depot, will…

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The Pazinskis are back. And this time they're singing. Tom Dudzick's "Christmas Over the Tavern," a holiday musical featuring the beloved clan of working-class Catholics from the playwright's popular "Over the Tavern" series, is set for MusicalFare Theatre's 2018-19 season. "For years I've had this idea to do a Christmas story with these guys, with the Pazinskis," Du…

Dance

For nearly 50 years, Rochester-based choreographer Garth Fagan has been honing his signature style of contemporary dance. The Tony-winning artist is perhaps best known for his work on the 1997 Disney musical "The Lion King," which recently played in Shea's Performing Arts Center. But equally impressive is his century-spanning career with his eponymous dance company. …

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Caryl Churchill’s “Far Away” is a modern day Greek drama in all the best ways. Her spare dystopian tale of a society and world at war with themselves has echoes of Aeschylus and Euripides, still, after thousands of years, addressing issues of morality, hypocrisy and mortality. Even with those ancient echoes, “Far Away,” now onstage at Torn Space Theater, has a distinctl…

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Roland isn’t a bad guy, but he isn’t much fun to be around, either. His negative attitude borders on the cynical, and he does all he can to keep people at arm’s length. In fact, he can be so condescending it’s a wonder anyone will talk to him. Luckily for him, in “Beginning Again,” playwright David Alan Brown introduces Roland to people who recognize his irritable…

Featured

Since the mid-1990s, Buffalo's theater scene has been running on steroids. Over the past 20 years, the number of professional and semi-professional theaters has approximately doubled, to about two dozen. Those companies, not including community theaters or the nearby Shaw Festival, mount more than 100 productions per year. The growth has come with challenges: As volu…

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Tonight's opening performance of "Master Harold... And the Boys," a 2016 Shaw Festival production slated for a four-day run in Shea's 710 Theatre, has been canceled because of a visa issue, said Shea's marketing and communications director Sarah Heximer. According to a statement from Shea's President and CEO Michael Murphy and Shaw Festival Executive Director Tim Jennin…

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Philip Akin does not believe in "magic black people." So the plays he directs for Toronto Obsidian Theatre Company, the Shaw Festival and elsewhere avoid the simplistic characterizations of black men and women so common in Hollywood or on Broadway. "I call it the 'magification problem,' " said Akin, whose sterling 2016 production of Athol Fugard's play "Master Harold…

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It never gets any easier to watch, to absorb the horrifying reality depicted in “The Diary of Anne Frank.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Anne’s story, and felt both worry and awe. Each time, it rattles a nervous bone, and by lights down, it strengthens my spine a little more. And yet, the fear of redundancy, of complacency or, worse, irrelevance lingers. So whe…

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There is a bit of a feeling of falling down the rabbit hole when you are sent to review the opening night of a play about the cast and crew of a play who are nervous wrecks about having the opening night of their play reviewed. Consider it "Jitters" squared. The popular 1979 comedy by Canadian playwright David French has just opened in the intimate performance space of …

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There is no better way to experience true musical originality than live and in the flesh. This inconvenient fact has tortured obsessive music fans for ages. We dream about what it must have been like to watch a young Mozart dazzling members of the Viennese court, to hear Ella Fitzgerald sing at the Savoy Ballroom in the 1930s, or to be in the audience when The Beatles p…

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"Smokey Joe's Café" is one of those places that ask you to just sit down and let yourself be carried away. Whether the music evokes the warm embrace of memory or is a fresh introduction to some American classics, MusicalFare's latest production is designed to showcase the jukebox talents of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller with very little in the way of distraction. The ch…

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Shea's Performing Arts Center is teasing a deal for $20 tickets to the touring production of "Waitress" that opened there on Feb. 6 and runs through Feb. 11. A post on Shea's Facebook page teases the deal, imploring theatergoers to grab them "while they last." The show, starring Desi Oakley in the role of a down-on-her-luck waitress who begins an unlikely love affair…

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ROCHESTER – On a frigid night in late January, Edward Joseph Mahoney straggled into a high school gym on the outskirts of this Rust Belt city to take a look at his own life. The rock star, looking slightly bedraggled in jeans and a black hoodie bearing his stage name, settled into a folding chair beneath the basketball net. He nervously tucked his Big Mac under his seat…

Festivals

1) Cupid's Undie Run, noon Feb. 10 in and around Thin Man Brewery (492 Elmwood Ave.). Tickets are $40 and may be purchased here. Commentary: At first glance, Cupid's Undie Run is a chance to enjoy a few local craft beers before running - scantily clad and quite chilled - around downtown before warming up with a few more drinks (we recommend Thin Man's Bliss, even if you…