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Anthony Chase


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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…

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“Fun Home” is a glorious musical. Indeed, this exquisite show reminds us why musical theater exists. When the need for the characters to express themselves reaches the limits of speech, their thoughts and emotions overflow into song. And in this intriguing story, adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, also called “Fun Home,” speech fr…

The national touring production of “The Book of Mormon,” currently at Shea’s, maintains the cheeky fun of the original with admirable freshness and an excellent cast. Indeed, seeing this show again reminded me just how good it feels to give yourself over to unbridled laughter. “The Book of Mormon” tells the story of a pair of mismatched 19-year old Mormon missionaries, …

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The plays of William Shakespeare are an obsession for scholars and a passion for audiences, but relatively little is known about the man’s personal life and personality. Playwright Bill Cain taps into the enduring fascination, bringing Shakespeare fully to life in his play, “Equivocation,” now at the Kavinoky Theatre. In “Equivocation,” Shakespeare is a passionate man, …

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The idea to produce the musical, “1776,” with an all-female cast proves to be delightful, and even mischievously subversive, at O’Connell & Company in Snyder. The 1969 show tells the story of John Adams’ campaign to persuade members of the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence. The somewhat fictionalized tale gains a boost of contemporary relevan…

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The Buffalo Quickies are the Alleyway Theatre’s annual lineup of short plays. Now in its 28th year, this year’s roster features eight plays, all by local playwrights, most of whom attended the opening, giving the event a happy buzz. The personality of the annual Quickies is defined as much by the ensemble of actors as by the plays. This year’s quick and able crew includ…

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Arthur Miller’s 1964 play, “After the Fall,” is an expansive work that runs through its central character’s moral conundrums in stream-of-consciousness style. It’s a kind of psychoanalytic vaudeville. It’s a spoken essay. It’s a marathon. Miller fans might find the work radically different from the plays for which he is best known – “Death of a Salesman,” “All My Sons,”…

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The national touring production of the musical "Rent," now playing at Shea’s, is powerful and beautiful. The youthful cast embraces the story and the music with the roar of a jet engine. Their fully committed performances and terrific voices make the material seem as fresh and vital as when I first heard it. This is billed as the 20th Anniversary Tour. My memories of th…

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"Parade" is a powerful and famously difficult musical. Written by Alfred Uhry with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, the show was first done in 1998, and tells the story of the trial and lynching of Jewish factory superintendent, Leo Frank. In 1913, Frank was accused of murdering 13-year-old Mary Phagan, one of his employees. The show is a clear descendant of such Ka…

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"Between Riverside and Crazy" is the story of Pops, a disabled former cop, shot while off-duty and out of uniform by another cop. With real estate values skyrocketing, Pops’ landlords want to kick him out of his opulent apartment on Riverside Drive in New York City. That’s what this play, by Stephen Adly Guirgis is about. That is also not what it’s about. Guirgis is a s…

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"Miss Saigon" returned to Shea’s Buffalo Theatre in a national touring production, directed by Laurence Connor, that features an excellent cast and spectacular scenic design. Even after all these years, this show continues to pack the emotional wallop we associate with an overripe musical from the creators of "Les Misérables." With music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and A…

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What makes a perfect dinner theater experience? I thought about that while attending the opening night of Bernard Slade’s 1975 play, "Same Time, Next Year" at Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre in Cheektowaga. There are a few different ways to answer the question. Dinner theater is a form of entertainment that combines dining out with seeing a show. Typically, you have di…

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Jane Austen’s 1811 novel, “Sense and Sensibility,” spins across the stage with playful effervescence in Kate Hamill’s adaptation, now being performed at the Irish Classical Theatre Company. First produced at the Bedlam Theatre in New York City in 2014, the original director, Eric Tucker, put his indelible mark on the piece when he equipped all of the chairs and tables w…