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Any Buffalo theater veteran will tell you that launching a new company here has never been easy.Ask Victoria Perez, who tried for two seasons to build an audience for Latino theater through a small company called Raíces before calling it quits in 2004.Or ask Kelli Bocock-Natale and Loraine O’Donnell, two actor-directors who helped launch the female-focused company Red T…

At the holidays, Buffalo’s theater and music scenes briefly swell with new members, as many of the city’s creative diaspora blow back home for at least a few days to visit. Many of those visitors are kind enough to get up on stage.This year, among the Buffalo-bred performers passing through town are Theatre of Youth alumni Jay Dref and Harry Lipsitz. They’ll give aud…

The holiday theater productions that began to appear like faint flurries in late November are about to become a lake-effect deluge. You could easily fill your entire weekend and then some with holiday fare if you were so inclined. Here’s one possible itinerary:Start with the Subversive Theatre Collective’s Thursday night opening of “You Can’t Get a Decent Margarita…

Any Buffalo theater veteran will tell you that launching a new company here has never been easy.Ask Victoria Perez, who tried for two seasons to build an audience for Latino theater through a small company called Raíces before calling it quits in 2004.Or ask Kelli Bocock-Natale and Loraine O’Donnell, two actor-directors who helped launch the female-focused company Red T…

British essayist, moralist and observer Samuel Johnson, never at a loss for words, said this about sailing the seas: “Being in jail with the chance of being drowned.”Right on again, Dr. Johnson. A case in point, the small but sturdy HMS Bounty, setting sail on Christmas Eve in 1787, bound for Tahiti, a 10-month journey to the South Pacific paradise, where breadfruit gr…

Buffalo playwright Neil Wechsler announced this week that he is teaming up with the Burchfield Penney Art Center to launch an outdoor theater festival that will open next July with a production of Goethe’s tragic play “Faust.”The inaugural Against the Grain Festival, according to a release, will feature a roving, multimedia production of both parts of the play among …

Let the holiday theater season begin.The first entry in this year’s spate of local yuletide productions comes from Family Life Ministries, a faith-based organization out of Bath, south of Rochester. The company will mount a dinner theater production of the musical “Gifts of the Magi,” which opens tonight and runs through Saturday in the Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church …

The New Phoenix Theatre, at the edge of picturesque Johnson Park, has developed a reputation for producing haunting and innovative original theater. There was Franklin LaVoie’s thoroughly bizarre “Medium Rare” in 2005, a company-wide collaboration on “Gilgamesh” in 2007 and Richard Lambert’s modern musical ghost story “Fillmore” in 2011.Now, the restless mi…

Go ahead. Try not to be charmed by Tom Dudzick. Let me know how far you get.I held out for maybe half an hour of his sublimely hokey “Miracle on South Division Street,” the latest page in Dudzick’s seemingly endless book of love letters to his native Buffalo, which opened Friday in the Kavinoky Theatre.Beyond that point, no plot twist was too absurd, no line of dialo…

Let the holiday theater season begin.The first entry in this year’s spate of local yuletide productions comes from Family Life Ministries, a faith-based organization out of Bath, south of Rochester. The company will mount a dinner theater production of the musical “Gifts of the Magi,” which opens tonight and runs through Saturday in the Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church …

The New Phoenix Theatre, at the edge of picturesque Johnson Park, has developed a reputation for producing haunting and innovative original theater. There was Franklin LaVoie’s thoroughly bizarre “Medium Rare” in 2005, a company-wide collaboration on “Gilgamesh” in 2007 and Richard Lambert’s modern musical ghost story “Fillmore” in 2011.Now, the restless mi…

The scene is so Buffalo it almost seems staged:On a gritty section of Seneca Street just east of Larkinville, amid boarded-up houses and tattered brick buildings that line the street like broken teeth, sits a humble shrine to the Virgin Mary. Inside the brick structure are dozens of notes and letters, mailed to its address at 847 Seneca St. or pushed through the tarnished …

On a recent morning in Spot Coffee on Delaware Avenue, Buffalo-born playwright Tom Dudzick sat at a wobbly table near the cafe’s hissing espresso machine and pulled out his best Jimmy Cagney impression.“What’s the secret of your success, Mr. Cohan?” Dudzick said when asked about the appeal of his latest hit, slightly misquoting from a 1942 film about the Broadway p…

Sometimes racism dresses itself up in the most sensible clothes.In Bruce Norris’ play “Clybourne Park,” which opened Friday night in 710 Main Theatre, it enters from stage left wearing a loose brown suit, red tie and 1950s-style wire-frame glasses. When it opens its smirking mouth, it pours out a stream of syllables that sound exactly like well-mannered and well-mean…