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Marriage is often the key to a Shakespeare comedy. No matter how wild and complicated the play’s twists and turns might be, it always veers towards a happy wedding (or three). At Kleinhans Music Hall, we see another kind of marriage: a perfect matrimony of theater and music, as Irish Classical Theatre and the Buffalo Philharmonic jointly stage a magical “Midsummer Night…

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There are few things more powerful than memories of childhood Christmases, partly because of the magic and anticipation, and partly because of the traditions and familiarity. As the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas wrote, "All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street ..." Into that "wool-w…

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Even as a boy, Dylan Thomas had a poet's eye for the world, and, like other boys (and girls), his world came to a special kind of life at Christmastime. His reminiscences of that time are brought to life in a theatrical adaptation of his essay "A Child's Christmas in Wales," opening at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22 in Irish Classical Theatre Company. Vincent O'Neill leads the cast …

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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 …

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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Theater is at its best when it uses history to illuminate current times. A great historical play reminds us of those relentless truisms about civics: that corruption is a timeless craft, that it’s always the cover-up that will get you, and that politics is all optics. Peter Morgan’s “Frost/Nixon” checks all of these boxes, and in a dazzling new production at Irish Class…

Festivals

Slurping soup might be a pet peeve for some, but it will be hard to resist this weekend at Buffalo Soup-Fest, which leads off a strong event list for the Buffalo area this weekend. Outdoor events, such as the four-day Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament and 42 North's rural Brewski, celebrate winter, perhaps (slightly) reversing the irksome reputation it's earned from ha…

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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…

Food and Drink

That it's hard to develop a unifying theme around a Things to Do newsletter is proof that, contrary to opinion of many, Buffalo winters aren't so bleak that people huddle in bars to pass the time. Well, many Buffalonians do drink during the winter, but it's often to complement an event with a different purpose, as you'll see in the diversity of choices for this weekend.…

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There is nothing epic about "Sive," John B. Keane's tragic family drama set in a small, rude farmhouse. This is a story of gritty survival, where poverty pushes people to make desperate choices with unconscionable results. There are parts that feel like a slap in the face, and others that are a punt in the gut. Thankfully, there also are frequent moments of dark humor, …

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There is a golden girl at the heart of the Irish Classical Theatre production of Clifford Odets’ 1937 classic, "Golden Boy," and her name is Cassie Cameron. As Lorna, the role originated by Frances Farmer of the legendary Group Theater, and snapped up by movie icon Barbara Stanwyck for the 1939 film, Cameron gives a five-star performance in this four-star production. Lo…

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Art imitates life imitates art, the saying goes, and in today’s divisive social and political climate, Irish Classical Theatre Company is aiming to further conversations with its thought-provoking 2018-19 season lineup, aptly called "A Season of Power, Sex and Politics." Hot-button topics like sex, power and politics are tackled in the popular classics “Sense & Sens…

Food and Drink

BBQ and Blues Bash 5 to 9 p.m. at the Cobblestone District, Illinois Street near the KeyBank Center. Tickets $25 pre-sale here, $30 at the door, and $65 VIP, including food and drink specials. The 10th edition of the Cobblestone District's celebration of barbecue, live blues and beer raises money for the Gateway-Longview social services agency. Barbecue lineup: Babz BB…

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Regret is a recurring character in the work of Irish playwright Conor McPherson, a favorite of the Irish Classical Theatre Company and its audiences. McPherson’s dark and somewhat mystical work returns to the Andrews Theatre stage on March 2, when the company opens a production of his 2013 play “The Night Alive.” (It last produced a play of McPherson’s, the devastating …

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Irish Classical Theatre fondly remembered the life of fictional character Hugh R. Boxworthy, a notorious party animal, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in the Atrium at Rich's. Browse shots of the crowd.