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Gusto

What nonsense. What total, delightful, ridiculous nonsense! "Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery," a romp of a rewrite of one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous detective stories, is bouncing around Shea's 710 Theatre this weekend and next in a production designed to knock off any lingering gloom from the overly long winter season. "Baskervill…

Gusto

A regular reader of my columns probably realizes I was predisposed to love "Rise," the new NBC high school musical drama series that premieres at 10 p.m. March 13 after the season finale of "This Is Us." "Rise" is created by Jason Katims, the writer and showrunner of two of my all-time favorite series that dealt with complicated family relationships, "Friday Night Light…

Gusto

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…

Gusto

"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…

Gusto

Pills might not be good for performers. But they sure get them a lot of publicity. Think of the mileage classical pianist Glenn Gould got out of pills. Would he have gotten half the coverage without them? Jazz singer Billie Holiday became defined by her sodden personality, which gave her life and singing an edge that was tragic but romantic. You don't hear so much ab…

Gusto

It's a challenge to capture the spirit of Rosemary Clooney. As a "girl singer," she had a bittersweet naivety. As a veteran singer, she acquired new richness and soul. She knew the truth of the songs she sang, time-tested standards of love and loss. She had lived. Her imperfect life gets new life in "Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical." This new biographical musical…

Theater

How to succeed in reviving a period piece without falling victim to that period’s pitfalls: Hire Chris Kelly to direct it. That was the wise but so far only partially effective tack taken by MusicalFare Theatre for its kitsch-laden and impossibly high-spirited production of the old chestnut “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which opened April 13. The in…

Theater

How to succeed in reviving a period piece without falling victim to that period’s pitfalls: Hire Chris Kelly to direct it. That was the wise but so far only partially effective tack taken by MusicalFare Theatre for its kitsch-laden and impossibly high-spirited production of the old chestnut “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which opened April 13. The in…

Theater

One of the quintessential musicals of the 1960s and most revived shows of all-time is getting a new production in MusicalFare Theatre, where director Chris Kelly’s take on “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” will open April 13. The show, with a witty score by Frank Loesser and a critically lauded book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, is ba…

Theater

One of the quintessential musicals of the 1960s and most revived shows of all-time is getting a new production in MusicalFare Theatre, where director Chris Kelly’s take on “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” will open April 13. The show, with a witty score by Frank Loesser and a critically lauded book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, is ba…

Featured

Western New York has not yet had its fill of “Avenue Q,” the raucous, clever and frequently filthy musical that beat out “Wicked” for the best musical Tony Award in 2003. This much was evident in the 710 Main Theatre on Thursday night, when MusicalFare Theatre’s lauded 2012 production of the show was revived to the wild approval of the crowd, whose response grew from nerv…

Featured

Western New York has not yet had its fill of “Avenue Q,” the raucous, clever and frequently filthy musical that beat out “Wicked” for the best musical Tony Award in 2003. This much was evident in the 710 Main Theatre on Thursday night, when MusicalFare Theatre’s lauded 2012 production of the show was revived to the wild approval of the crowd, whose response grew from nerv…

Featured

The latest version of “Ring of Fire,” the Johnny Cash tribute show, is pared down and pepped up, and it plays out on stage as a celebration of Cash, not as an embodiment of him. He probably would prefer it this way.The “Ring of Fire” now playing at MusicalFare Theatre, looks like a production that his biggest fans would put together, with none of them mistaken for the Man …

Amherst

In 2005, Studio Arena Theatre staged what appeared at the time to be one of the more promising pieces of Buffalo-born theater in recent history.That local hit, conceived by William Meade and written and directed by Richard Maltby Jr., was the jukebox show “Ring of Fire,” which was based on the songs of Johnny Cash. Its Buffalo debut was well-reviewed, but its subsequent tr…

Amherst

The spirit of 1995 is alive and well in MusicalFare Theatre, where the crowd-pleasing parody “Pageant” has been resuscitated for the fifth time in the company’s history.The well-traveled musical, an intermittently clever send-up of American beauty pageants featuring men in drag, is specifically calibrated for ’90s-era mainstream sensibilities. It debuted at the dawn of tha…