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The 32nd Curtain Up! celebration opened Buffalo’s dynamic and varied theater season in typically grand fashion Friday on a night that also honored Buffalo-born playwright A.R. Gurney.Theater leaders and arts supporters – many adorned in black tuxes and glitzy gowns – gathered under a big tent on the 700 block of Main Street to attend a gala dinner before heading off to one…

The 32nd Curtain Up! celebration opened Buffalo’s dynamic and varied theater season in typically grand fashion Friday on a night that also honored Buffalo-born playwright A.R. Gurney.Theater leaders and arts supporters – many adorned in black tuxes and glitzy gowns – gathered under a big tent on the 700 block of Main Street to attend a gala dinner before heading off to one…

Theater

Neal Radice’s new play “Night Work,” a heartfelt exploration of women’s rights in World War I-era Buffalo that opened in Alleyway Theatre last Thursday, begins and ends with some excellent writing.In the first scene, we meet the young couple Anna and Karl Schmidt (Eliza Blake and Tyler Brown) in the midst of a nervous chat about how Anna will carry on while Karl is off fig…

Theater

This is how you kick off a theater season.Moliere’s “School for Husbands” is one of those blissful pieces of comedy that act as both an entertaining distraction and artistic primer, a reminder of how stories can be told. Irish Classical’s production, under Fortunato Pezzimenti’s direction, casts a wonderful spell on us. Simplicity is key here, and it’s executed, on the who…

Buffalo

For the 32nd year running, Buffalo theater companies are combining their efforts to launch the new season in grand fashion. On Friday night, the Theater District’s annual Curtain Up! celebration will turn Main Street into a festive thoroughfare teeming with well-coiffed, tuxedoed and otherwise fancy-looking theatergoers along with bands, street performers and no shortage o…

Theater

Playwright David Ives is an interesting study.He’s not “young and promising”; he’s 60-plus and an established author. He doesn’t write in any particular style or genre. Ives has written plays with whimsical titles such as “Variations on the Death of Trotsky” and “Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread” as well as children’s plays, earned praise for “All in the Timing” and has h…

If a theater production isn’t firing on all cylinders, wouldn’t you want to know?Most theatergoers probably would. But because of a cynical trend among theater producers trying to extract every last dollar from their patrons, many of us don’t.This is thanks to the way so-called “preview performances” are being scheduled and advertised – or rather, not advertised – in small…

Theater

Everything you need to know about Buffalo in its current moment of renewal, you can learn from “Buffalo Rises,” Road Less Traveled Productions’ series of short plays that opened Friday night in the Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre.Taken as a whole, this extraordinary collection of eight plays by local writers is as intelligent, as heartfelt and as good-humored a portrait…

Featured

WASHINGTON – Carlos Santana, the Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter who pioneered the genre of Latin-infused rock, and Billy Joel, the New York-bred piano man who became one of the best-selling musicians of all time, are among the five artists to receive the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors.The honorees, announced Thursday by the Kennedy Center, also include opera singer …

Amherst

If ever a show and director seemed custom tailored for one another, they are the Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein musical “La Cage aux Folles” and the multitalented Buffalo director Chris Kelly.The musical was an audience favorite when it opened on Broadway in 1983, dragging drag into the public spotlight and bringing a happily sitcom-esque storyline along with it. Kelly,…

Amherst

It’s been clear for some time that Western New York is in the midst of a golden age of theatrical variety.No one can predict how long this era of seemingly endless options will last or how many new theater companies will join the pack before we arrive at critical mass. The only thing to do now is to gaze out with admiration at the constantly changing landscape and apprecia…

Buffalo

Jaws will drop a little lower the next time visitors step into Shea’s Performing Arts Center.As workers started Monday to dismantle the 65-foot-high mountain of metal scaffolding at the front of the ornate theater, the scrubbed, painted and better-lit proscenium arch, together with the ceiling and high walls near the stage, began to reveal a movie-palace grandeur that had …

Amherst

In 1983, Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s musical “La Cage aux Folles” became a surprise hit when it opened on Broadway. The show, which critic Frank Rich called “the first Broadway musical ever to give center stage to a homosexual love affair,” emerged at a time when the American public was beginning to shed its entrenched prejudices against gay men and drag. And thoug…

Art

Seven years ago, SUNY Buffalo State theater professor Drew Kahn made a commitment to honor the memory of Anne Frank, the young Holocaust victim whose diary has become one of the defining documents of the 20th century.Three years later, Kahn launched the inaugural version of the Anne Frank Project, a modest attempt to bring his students face-to-face with history in a way th…

Theater

STRATFORD, Ont. – Two historically controversial plays by William Shakespeare have opened, late-summer additions to an already acclaimed first season for Stratford artistic director Antoni Cimolino. “Othello” and “The Merchant of Venice,” both riveting and repellent, continue until mid-October. A brief look at the festival’s final two 2013 offerings:A fast-moving ‘Othello…