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The Buffalo Infringement Festival – our rising city’s loudest, longest and most egalitarian arts event – has served as a beacon for artists with big imaginations and miniscule budgets since its quiet beginnings in 2005.From one year to the next, it casts an ever-wider net and dredges up artists of all stripes from across the region. For many artists, the free-for-all festi…

Every year in late June, one of the more beautiful sights in Buffalo materializes on a sloping plot of land near the edge of Delaware Park.Some 2,000 people carry picnic spreads, red wine and lawn chairs, some of them lingering for a minute in the park’s blooming rose garden, to attend a performance of Shakespeare in Delaware Park. The sight of all those people sprawled ou…

It’s tough to cut it as a young playwright. With fierce competition and paltry rewards for their hard work, aspiring bards in most cities could be forgiven for throwing up their hands in defeat. But in Buffalo, where opportunities to develop new plays abound, they have reason to be optimistic.The results of one of several new play development programs can be seen this week…

Featured

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. – The Shaw Festival’s version of “Enchanted April” is pure escapist theater, full of clever jokes and smart acting.What sets it apart are the sets. Few plays draw such a sharp difference between time and place. In “April,” Act I plays out in the rainy clubs and drawing rooms of drab, depressing post-World War I London. In Act II, the sun comes out…

Nearly 30 Buffalo Public Schools students have been rehearsing for weeks under the hot sun for a production of Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest,” which opens a four-day run Friday night in Ujima’s TheatreLoft at 545 Elmwood Ave.The performance, part of Peace of the City Ministries’ “Shakespeare Comes to (716)” project, is meant to give students from disadvantaged background…

Lifestyles

STRATFORD, ONT. – The Stratford Festival’s 61st season is well under way with eight plays open at four venues and a quartet of works in rehearsal or preview mode, gearing up for late July or mid-August debuts. Four plays by William Shakespeare highlight the summer-fall schedule: “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Othello” and “Measure for Measure.”The slate als…

Gusto

What if a show could see itself? See and hear itself from the outside, supporting itself with positive and constructive feedback, forcing a mirror to its own problematic but promising life. Just like its characters are supposed to do. Just like we are all supposed to do.This would be nice, if not for us in the gallery then for its own merit. Theater is a living thing.For “…

Niagara County

The innumerable von Trapp children, clad in floral lederhosen and ready to sing their hearts out, will swarm the stage of Artpark’s Mainstage Theater for “The Sound of Music,” which opens at 8 tonight and runs through July 19.The annual Artpark musical, always family friendly and typically cast with a combination of local and national talent, has become one of Western New …

Amherst

When Gwen Stefani wrote her 2003 hit song “Just a Girl,” chances are she didn’t have the struggles of a 19th century female pianist in mind. But Randall Kramer and Theresa Quinn did.The duo collaborated on a new musical, “Talk to Me Now,” which opened on the MusicalFare Theatre stage Wednesday night. The bold show, which pulls from a broad swath of singer-songwriter materi…

Last summer, when local playwrights Donna Hoke and Matthew Crehan Higgins launched the inaugural version of Buffalo United Artists’ short-play festival, they received some 200 submissions. For its second version, now playing in the BUA Theatre, that number shot up to 300.It must have been grueling work to cull through so many submissions, but the results are nothing short …

As the 2012-13 theater season wraps up, several Buffalo-area theaters have nailed down plans for their upcoming seasons.Theatre of Youth will open its 2013-14 lineup with “A Year with Frog and Toad,” from Sept. 20 to Oct. 13, followed by “Madeline’s Christmas” from Dec. 6 to 15. In 2014, the theater presents “Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Crandall Jewels” from Jan. 31 …

Featured

The Shaw Festival’s lunchtime series, featuring bits of bite-sized theater on a menu otherwise filled with heavy entrees, rarely disappoints.The two choices for this year’s midday appetizer – just enough to whet your appetite for “Guys and Dolls” or “Lady Windemere’s Fan,” are Susan Glaspell’s haunting pint-sized thriller, “Trifles,” and Eugene O’Neill’s rickety but charmi…

Local News

George Bernard Shaw had a tricky relationship with fascism.In the 1920s and ’30s, as the idealism of his youth hardened into an all-consuming disgust over man’s inability to govern himself, and as Europe headed toward a second world war, Shaw allowed his mind and pen to wander into uncomfortable territory. In the leadup to the war, according to an excellent article by Stan…

Buffalo

Early one morning in 1992, while working as news anchor and reporter for a television station in Huntsville, Ala., Harold Fisher was roused from his sleep by a remarkable dream.He sat bolt upright in bed and went straight for his pen and a yellow legal pad, where he scribbled down his memories of the dream on the floor of his sparsely furnished apartment before they had a …

Lifestyles

Peter Hinton’s lush, cinematic and visually intoxicating production of Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windemere’s Fan,” running through Oct. 19 on the Festival Theatre stage, is sure to be remembered as one more beautiful feather in the Shaw Festival’s already crowded cap.In this production, Wilde’s classic tale of marital strife and dissatisfaction among the hypocritical aristocracy…