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To Shakespeare, the play's the thing. In Buffalo, the party is. Buffalo is a theater town second to none. We are famous for our wealth of theaters -- probably more per capita than any other burg our size. Live theater in Buffalo has a devoted, passionate audience. But for one evening, reality eclipses the stage. Curtain Up!, which takes place this year Sept. 15…

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"Dear Evan Hansen," the popular Broadway musical about a high schooler with social anxiety that brought home six Tony Awards in June, will come to Shea's Performing Arts Center during its 2018-19 season. The national tour, announced on Thursday, will launch in October, 2018 in Denver and go on to play 50 cities, including Buffalo, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago and Los Angele…

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Annette Daniels Taylor is a multifaceted theater artist. As a published poet, she has performed her writing all over the city, including this summer’s Silo City Reading Series, presented by Just Buffalo. As an actor, she has worked tirelessly in many companies, as well as an arts educator with Young Audiences of Western New York. Here she shares some thoughts about her l…

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Every year, as the new theater season approaches, observers of the scene ask themselves the same question: How long can Buffalo's great theatrical growth spurt last? It's been going on long enough -- two decades and counting -- that you can hardly call it a spurt anymore. Even with the natural entropy of Buffalo's theatrical ecosystem -- companies flaming out, fading…

The Towne Players will hold auditions for its annual Christmas show from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11-12 at 169 Sheridan Parkside, Tonawanda.  Actors of all ages are needed, especially from 6 to 12 years and from 30 to 60 years.  Production dates are Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17. Actors will read from the script. Call 885-3179. ... Cheektowaga Chorale/Chamber is seeking teno…

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As Buffalo's summer theater season winds down, the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. is moving ahead at full steam. Its 11-show season, in which comedy and tragedy live in close quarters and music suffuses almost everything, runs through October. A look at four shows that opened in July: "Androcles and the Lion," through Oct. 7 in the Court House Theatre…

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Melissa Meola is one half of the brain behind Torn Space Theater, the avant-garde, experimental company that wows audiences at the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle and in site-specific performances around the city, like its production of "The Gathering" at Silo City last weekend. The collaborative Response Performance Festival has returned for a second year and has more …

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As Artpark Executive Director Sonia Kozlova-Clark works to revive the institution's national reputation as an incubator for cutting-edge art, some unexpected events are popping up at the Lewiston venue. Case in point: A staged reading of a new musical about elephant poaching written by the Tony-nominated actor Sahr Ngaujah and puppet artist Jean Marie Keevins. Nguajah i…

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Diana Huey, the "Little Mermaid" star whose struggle with anti-Asian racism has sparked a national conversation about diversity in the theater, doesn't usually get stagefright. But on Tuesday night in Shea's Performing Arts Center, the butterflies returned. Huey found herself with a new case of nerves as she faced a packed house of theatergoers whose sky-high expectati…

Art

1) Arkells, Edgefest: Part 3, 5 p.m. Aug. 19 in Artpark (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston). Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here. Commentary: After Volbeat and 311, the closing act of three-pronged Edgefest is Canadian rockers Arkells, who sold out back-to-back shows in Town Ballroom last December. Frontman Max Kerman explained why he adores the Queen City in this 2015 int…

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Let’s cut to the chase: The sole reason you should buy a ticket to “The Little Mermaid,” which runs through Sunday in Shea’s Performing Arts Center, is star Diana Huey. She is star-making in the lead role of Ariel, the red-haired princess of the underwater who longs for legs, the mermaid created by Hans Christian Andersen and immortalized by Disney in the 1989 a…

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Since its founding in 2003, Torn Space Theater has sought to bring audiences to the edge of their comfort zones. The company's productions have sometimes required audiences to traipse through derelict industrial spaces, sometimes wearing dust masks or white handkerchiefs. Its summer series of Silo City performances have become increasingly complex and impressive, someti…

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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…

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Many readers were appalled to see the hatred directed toward Diana Huey, the Japanese American cast as Ariel from "The Little Mermaid" for the touring Disney production. The News' Colin Dabkowski interviewed Huey before the production hits Shea's Performing Arts Center, at 646 Main St., from Aug. 15-20, and Huey's honesty about the racism she's faced - her opponents bel…

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Diana Huey doesn't seek out negative social feedback. But too often, it finds her. That's what happened one recent day in Memphis, where Japanese-born Huey was set to perform the role of Ariel in a touring production of "The Little Mermaid" at the historic Orpheum Theatre. Before the show, scrolling through Facebook, she came across outraged comments from Disney fans…