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Cellino and Barnes: Even if you never met these guys, you feel as though you know them. You know their faces, their jobs, their jingle and, of course, their phone number. They are part of the local landscape; they go together like beef and weck. The only thing people aren't sure of is which one is Cellino (he often wears glasses) and which one is Barnes (he is the balding …

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The best thing about seeing a brand new play is the pleasure of discovery — finding out who the characters are, why they are together  and what is going to happen to them. In Alleyway's season opener, "Navigators," playwright Gordon Farrell charts that journey with an expert hand, and the payoff is a treat. Set on a New England lake, the action begins in a boathouse, wh…

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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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The secret to success in entertainment is to give the people what they want, and people in the Buffalo area want two things in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Dec. 25: They want their football team to have a chance at making the playoffs, and they want Christmas shows. Well, they can count on at least one happy ending. Local theaters are awash in holiday shows, with …

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Leave it to the Brazen-Faced Varlets to find the perfect all-American prelude to the "Hamilton" juggernaut arriving in town next month. Their energetic production of Lauren Gunderson's "The Taming" gives Buffalo audiences a different sort of lesson in U.S. history, dissecting today's fractured and factional politics without musical numbers or taking sides, but with plen…

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Ripping a page out of "The Book of Mormon" school of comedy, Alleyway Theatre opens its 2018-19 season with a low-brow comedy about a high-brow subject, the legendary 18th century French philosopher known as Voltaire. "Philosophus" is a winner of Alleyway's Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. In it, playwright Colin Speer Crowley turns the drily humorous Voltaire into …

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Comedy comes naturally to Kenmore native Brooke Cartus. In fact, she wishes somebody had told her that long ago, as it could have saved a couple of years. She returns home to Buffalo to perform stand-up comedy on May 26 at Alleyway Theatre. “I’m so excited to be back,” Cartus said during a recent phone interview from her home in Columbus, Ohio. She’ll also be celebratin…

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Graycliff Estate opens for the season Tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 6472 Old Lake Shore Road, Derby. Basic tours are $18 for adults, $12 for students and free for members. Each basic tour lasts 75 minutes. Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff Estate, constructed in the 1920s for the family of Buffalo businessman Darwin D. Martin, was supposed to be a simple, lakeside cotta…

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Roland isn’t a bad guy, but he isn’t much fun to be around, either. His negative attitude borders on the cynical, and he does all he can to keep people at arm’s length. In fact, he can be so condescending it’s a wonder anyone will talk to him. Luckily for him, in “Beginning Again,” playwright David Alan Brown introduces Roland to people who recognize his irritable…

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“Buffalo Quickies,” Alleyway Theatre’s festival of one-act plays, is a spring ritual, the presentation of world and regional premieres written by playwrights near and far. It has been a breeding ground for first-time playwrights, a launching pad for full productions, and a showcase for the theater’s annual Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. This year’s installation celeb…

Featured

“Buffalo Quickies,” Alleyway Theatre’s festival of one-act plays, is a spring ritual, the presentation of world and regional premieres written by playwrights near and far. It has been a breeding ground for first-time playwrights, a launching pad for full productions, and a showcase for the theater’s annual Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. This year’s installation celeb…

Featured

The math is impressive: since 1992, Alleyway Theatre’s “Buffalo Quickies” festival has been responsible for 197 one-act plays, including 119 world premieres and 67 regional premieres. Festival coordinator Joyce Stilson directed 149 of those plays, which have featured 136 actors performing in 521 roles. The annual festival is a springtime rite of passage in the theater com…

Theater

Michael McKeever's play "Daniel's Husband," which wraps up its run Saturday night in the Alleyway Theatre, is a tear-jerker to begin with. When the house lights went up on opening night, nearly everyone was wiping away tears. That went double for Friday's penultimate performance, which ended with the onstage proposal of cast member and veteran Buffalo actor Michael Seitz …

Featured

Every now and then, a play changes your posture. Something lands just so, a shift in plot, a persuasive expression, a realization that you didn’t know you hadn’t had. That moment burrows deep inside, splitting at the perpendicular, equidistant to the head and heart. It nestles there and changes your form. You’re changed.I didn’t expect such seismic shifts from Michael McKe…

Theater

The Thursday Theater Roundup is a weekly list of current productions that received three or more stars from our reviewers. If you need help deciding, check out the end of this post, where you'll find a quiz and flow chart designed to help you find the theater that best matches your interests. Here are this week's picks: "Newsies," through Sunday in Shea's Performing A…