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Ted Hadley


Eighty uncomfortable, maddening and elliptical minutes. There you have it, a brief summary of Buffalo Laboratory Theatre’s first production of the new theatrical season, “Gidion’s Knot,” by one of America’s newest and brightest playwrights, Johnna Adams. BLT calls Hamburg’s Hilbert College campus home. Of course there is more to this dark, bleak and disturbing adult-them…

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A year ago, The New Phoenix Theatre – Richard Lambert, Robert Waterhouse and company – “developed and performed” an adaptation of the classic story of the sea, “The Mutiny on the Bounty.” A year later, for an encore, they’re back with a retelling of another literary benchmark, Eric Maria Remarque’s relentless 1929 anti-war novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front.” These guy…

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“What goes around comes around.” How many times have we said or heard that contemporary adage? It’s sort of like saying “The chickens will come home to roost.” Both have a kind of “You’ll get yours, buddy” connotation: We’ll get repaid somehow for what we do, good or bad. There’s a lot of the goes-around, comes-around theory in American Repertory Theatre of Western New Yo…

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A quick list of remarkable statistics for “The Drowsy Chaperone”: • Nearly 700 Broadway performances • Five Tony Awards, seven Drama Desk Awards • Two American national tours, now playing everywhere regionally and seen in major cities around the world. Not bad for a homegrown spoof of American musical comedies – particularly vintage ones of the 1920s – that began with …

In October 1938, American writer John Steinbeck sent the final pages of his epic novel, “The Grapes of Wrath,” to his publisher with this note: “Finished this day and I hope to God it’s good.” Not to worry – it won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1940. The story: Oklahoma tenant farmers are ruined and displaced by the catastrophic dust storms that ravaged the state, …

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NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. – Sean O’Casey’s mesmerizing and heart-wrenching play, “Juno and the Paycock,” probably won’t cause riots in the streets of this historic village or mimic the arguments and rifts that plagued Dublin’s Abbey Theatre artistic directors Lady Gregory and W.B. Yeats – like the story did when it bowed back in the 1920s. But the story – one third of O’C…

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Déjà vu. Well, almost. A dozen years ago, Steve Vaughan directed a production of William Shakespeare’s 420-year-old bit of foolishness – one of his first plays and by many accounts, his shortest – “The Comedy of Errors,” for Shakespeare in Delaware Park. If memory serves, Vaughan’s work that summer was faithful to fun and loyal to text with just the right amount of t…

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Déjà vu. Well, almost. A dozen years ago, Steve Vaughan directed a production of William Shakespeare’s 420-year-old bit of foolishness – one of his first plays and by many accounts, his shortest – “The Comedy of Errors,” for Shakespeare in Delaware Park. If memory serves, Vaughan’s work that summer was faithful to fun and loyal to text with just the right amount of t…

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STRATFORD, Ont. – Antoni Cimolino, artistic director of the Stratford Festival, home to North America’s largest classical theater company, has built his 2014 season of a dozen plays around themes of madness, “minds pushed to the edge” over love, family, power, war, desire and money.” Tall order but not impossible when considering Cimolino’s lineup of dreamers, itinerants, …

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STRATFORD, Ont. – Antoni Cimolino, artistic director of the Stratford Festival, home to North America’s largest classical theater company, has built his 2014 season of a dozen plays around themes of madness, “minds pushed to the edge” over love, family, power, war, desire and money.” Tall order but not impossible when considering Cimolino’s lineup of dreamers, itinerants, …

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“You’re going to love this show,” the usher confided to me. “It’s a hoot.”I had heard about shows being hoots. Didn’t know if I had ever seen one. Maybe, somewhere along the line. Perhaps, I thought, this national touring play with the intriguing title, “Menopause: The Musical,” will finally put me into the hoot column.And you know what? It did. The show is a success where…

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“You’re going to love this show,” the usher confided to me. “It’s a hoot.” I had heard about shows being hoots. Didn’t know if I had ever seen one. Maybe, somewhere along the line. Perhaps, I thought, this national touring play with the intriguing title, “Menopause: The Musical,” will finally put me into the hoot column. And you know what? It did. The show is a success w…

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Name a topic, a theme, an event and chances are someone has made it into a musical.Rape, incest, corruption, sleaze, war, betrayal, love stories and tales of derring-do: Someone has put the whole thing to words and music. Nazis? No problem. Jewish pogroms in Russia? Big hit on Broadway. A murderous couple in Dickensian London whose victims end up in pies; a show with full …

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Name a topic, a theme, an event and chances are someone has made it into a musical.Rape, incest, corruption, sleaze, war, betrayal, love stories and tales of derring-do: Someone has put the whole thing to words and music. Nazis? No problem. Jewish pogroms in Russia? Big hit on Broadway. A murderous couple in Dickensian London whose victims end up in pies; a show with full …

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. – Over the Shaw Festival’s 53 seasons, the company’s dramaturges – theater researchers, archivists, historians – have scoured museum niches, dustbins, cardboard boxes and forgotten files, seeking plays by neglected playwrights. Their mission: Find plays from long ago that would complement the works of George Bernard Shaw, the festival’s namesake. …