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Anthony Chase


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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…

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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…