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Wartime suffering

When Martin Sherman's play "Bent" opened on Broadway in 1980, it stirred up a number of controversies. For one thing, it was the first major play to consider the systematized persecution of homosexuals under the Nazi regime. For another, it contained scenes of sexual frankness that threw the delicate sensibilities of some theatergoers into a tizzy. Exactly as intended.

Though its original Broadway run was short, the play soon overcame its struggles and went on to become one of the more respected pieces in the gay canon -- not in spite of its supposedly risque subject matter, but because of it. Buffalo United Artists will open a production of the play, starring Marc Sacco, Chris LaBanca, Christopher S. Parada, Michael Seitz and others, at 8 tonight.

The play, a tale of devastating misery, charts the journey of two ill-fated lovers and their futile attempt to escape the persecution of the Third Reich. Drew McCabe directs.

Tickets are $15 to $23. For more information, call 886-9239 or visit www.buffalobua.org.

-- Colin Dabkowski

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