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Anthony Chase


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Jacques Lacan, the great French psychoanalyst, maintained that the unconscious mind is structured like a language. Within our unconscious, he argued, one item stands in for another in a signifying process driven by encoding and decoding. I was reminded of this proposition while watching "Scotch and Madness," the new play by Tatiana Gelfand and Paul Jensen at Alleyway Theat…

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Annie Baker’s 2017 play, “The Antipodes,” now at Road Less Traveled Theater, takes us into a corporate writers’ room where six authors are in search of a story. Leading this group is Sandy, a narcissistic story guru who arrogantly lords his power over the team as he challenges each member to tell a succession of true-life narratives: their “first time,” “the worst thing…

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“When you bring someone new into the room, you get an entirely new perspective,” observed Scott Behrend, artistic director of Road Less Traveled Productions. Behrend is directing the regional premiere of Annie Baker’s play, “The Antipodes,” with Buffalo native and Broadway actor Sean Cullen, this year’s Road Less Traveled American Theater Master, in a leading role. As B…

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The irresistible performance of Michele Marie Roberts is the primary reason to see the Kavinoky Theatre production of the “The Bridges of Madison County.” Down to the last ensemble member, this luxuriously romantic musical is populated with some of Buffalo’s best musical theater talent, but foremost among these is golden-throated Miss Roberts, who plays Francesca Johnso…

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Ed Smith, director of the Paul Robeson Theatre’s current production of August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running,” says that he will go anywhere to direct an August Wilson play. Smith has directed seven of the plays in Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle,” a series of 10 plays, each representing African-American life in a different decade of the 20th century. Smith’s first Wilson play…

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The Kavinoky Theatre, through an exclusive and unlikely deal, has opened a production of Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant adaptation of Harper’s Lee’s 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This event is unlikely, because the play is still being performed to sold out houses on Broadway, where Ed Harris has just replaced Jeff Daniels in the central role. Nonetheless, after getting cau…

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From 1971 until 2003, Peter Falk’s characterization of rumpled but shrewd Lt. Frank Columbo captivated the imaginations of television viewers. In fact, "Colombo" is one of the most beloved television characters of all time. Interestingly, Peter Falk was not the first actor to play Columbo. The invention of writers William Link and Richard Levenson, the Columbo charac…

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O’Connell & Company, the venerable little theater company headed by Mary Kate O’Connell, has moved from its longtime home at the Park School in Snyder to a new theater at the Ken-Ton Elmwood Commons, formerly Philip Sheridan School (3200 Elmwood Ave.). They have inaugurated the space with the big, brash and wacky 2007 Mel Brooks musical, “Young Frankenstein.” This i…

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The title of John Ford’s “‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore” is still shocking.  Published in 1633, this is one of the great decadent dramas written during the chaotic reign of Charles I in the years leading up to the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell, the closing of the theaters and all that mess. Now on stage at the Irish Classical Theatre Company, in a production directed by …

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Road Less Traveled Theater has begun its 2019-2020 season with “The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid,” a play from very early in the career of playwright Lee Blessing who would go on to write the highly admired play, “A Walk in the Woods” in 1988. Set outside Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1908, in “The Authentic Life,” we meet retired law man Pat Garrett, 20 years after he beca…

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At the start of a television season (if such a thing still exists in this age of streaming) critics can preview shows and advise audiences on what they can expect to see. Not so with a theater season. The best I can do is gaze over a roster of announced titles, as if into a crystal ball, and guess. As a live art, theater is unpredictable. Already, we’ve seen quiet cast …

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NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. – The Shaw Festival season unfolds in waves of plays. The enormous logistics of the enterprise requires coordination of rehearsals and production, followed by juggling the roster of 11 shows, plus special theater events, spread over the Shaw’s theater spaces. The first titles, which began to roll out in the spring, bode well for what is turning…

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The current Shakespeare in Delaware Park production of “The Tempest” is a playful and magical affair. Under the direction of Saul Elkin with sound design and original music by Tom Makar, choreography by Terri Filips Vaughan and set by David Dwyer, we are transported to a wondrous island, where Prospero, the usurped duke of Milan and his daughter, Miranda, have been strande…

I will admit that I arrived for the delayed opening of Joe Orton’s 1964 play, “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” at the Irish Classical Theatre Company with a sense of dread. The postponement had inspired rumors of trouble in rehearsal, actors unprepared, and a production slogging its way toward certain disaster. As the lights began to dim, I silently uttered the universal critic’s…

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Bad things happen to women in this world. In Gordon Farrell’s new play, “Girls Who Walked on Glass,” the playwright introduces us to three young women navigating the hazards of modern life in stories adapted from the work of contributing authors Molly Heckerling, Tatiana Gelfand and Lucy A Robbins. The production marks the start of Farrell’s term as Playwright in Reside…