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It may take a village to raise a child. But under the right circumstances, it only takes two actors to bring that village to life. In the Irish Classical Theatre Company's production of Shay Linehan's play "Minding Frankie," that task falls to two of Buffalo's most experienced performers: Christian Brandjes and Kirsten Tripp Kelley. They drive the action and take on all…

Obituaries

May 26, 1922 – Oct. 25, 2017 Long before Nike adopted its famous slogan, Buffalo director and SUNY Buffalo State professor Warren Enters was spreading it like gospel through Buffalo's theater community. "He would just say, 'Do it! Stop talking about it. Do it,' " said television writer and producer Tom Fontana, Enters' former protégé and Buffalo State student. "He pu…

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In the world of "Glengarry Glen Ross," if you aren't a winner, you're a loser. A bleeping, bleeping loser. And you're fired. Sound familiar? When writer David Mamet debuted this tough play back in 1983, it was shocking for its relentless profanity and disturbing for its unfiltered vision of the dark, abusive side of American business. Not anymore. Mamet could have…

Buffalo

A special performance of "Free Fred Brown!" will be performed at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave. The play by Ujima Company, Inc. is about a young African-American who becomes the reluctant face of a movement while in prison for theft of services from a gas company. The story, set in a rust-belt city i…

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Second Generation Theatre, an ambitious local company launched by three young performers in 2013, is scrapping plans to establish a permanent space in the soon-to-be-restored Shea's Seneca building in South Buffalo. "After a great deal of due diligence, we have determined that the Shea’s Seneca space is not a financially viable site for Second Generation Theatre," compa…

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Sometimes it takes a little gestation for a theater production to reach its full potential. Take, for example, Jeanine Tesori's musical "Violet," which tells the story of a young woman who sets out on a cross-country journey in desperate search of a cure for her condition. It premiered off-Broadway in 1997 and but did not make its Broadway debut until 2014 in an acclaim…

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Matt Witten has a thing for bad guys. The mild-mannered Buffalo actor is fresh off a nightmare-inducing performance in the title role of Shakespeare in Delaware Park's production of "Macbeth." And now he's taking on one of the most soulless characters in contemporary drama: Ricky Roma, a ruthless real estate salesman with dark heart and a moral compass stuck on evil.…

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In a time of constant conflict, figuring out where you fit in the grand scheme of things can be a full-time occupation. The task of defining, explaining and holding onto your own identity at a time when the political ground is shifting beneath your feet is the main concern of the CEPA Gallery exhibition "Place Relations: Identity in Contemporary Israeli Avant-Garde Art.…

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Too often, trying to squeeze some joy out of the commercial theater requires the downward adjustment of expectations. Few who attended the opening of "The Bodyguard: The Musical" in Shea's Performing Arts Center walked into the theater expecting to be transported by high art to the threshold of revelations. Many, lured by the formidable talents of star Deborah Cox an…

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Sometimes it’s exhausting talking about art. Sometimes, all I want to do is stand in a gallery, or sit in an auditorium, or lounge in my home, and just absorb what’s in front of me. The pontification and processing of what it means, how it was presented, what it could have done better is important to me. But there are times when the discussion gets in the way of being p…

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On Thursday night in the Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre in Getzville, the Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York celebrated the opening of its 15th season. Since 2002, the company co-founded by Shakespeare in Delaware Park's Saul Elkin and David Bunis has pumped out a steady stream of quality productions. Smartly, it has adjusted its output to match its resource…

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"New Kid," opening at the Theatre of Youth, wants to show us the immigration experience from the inside out. And so the play throws us a twist. Only Nick, the "new kid" -- who comes from an undisclosed country just called "Homeland" -- speaks in intelligible English. The people who surround him in his new land all speak what sounds like gibberish. The play is especially…

Buffalo's intimate, rococo Kavinoky Theatre is nestled in a beautiful hall on the campus of D'Youville College -- a hall some have whispered is haunted. Is it really? Find out when you are invited to look around, and enjoy haunting readings as you do so. You'll meet Mary Shelley reading from "Frankenstein," as well as other departed authors, and a surprise visitor. Literar…

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Like most young aspiring singers in 1992, Deborah Cox’s life was changed by “The Bodyguard.” The popular film was a success unto itself (though not a critical hit), but it was the soundtrack and lead single, “I Will Always Love You,” that turned it into a phenomenon. The album went on to become the fourth-highest selling album of all time. For Cox, the movie offered a v…

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Educational theater can be a difficult thing to stomach. It has a more specific objective and audience in mind than most other plays do. If it’s too instructional or explanatory, it condescends. I sensed this feeling in the pit of my stomach as soon as the lights came up on “Blood at the Root,” the season opener at the Paul Robeson Theatre. The play is a co-production w…