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It's tough to over-emphasize the importance of "local." Supporting Buffalo businesses, events and people is absolutely crucial to the city's economy, well-being and growth. Like every week, local events are at the root of this list, with a chance to support farmers and other producers, artists, actors and restaurateurs all detailed below. Giving back to the community n…

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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…

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It will never be too soon to revive “Ragtime.” It’s a magnificent piece of theater, with a glorious score that still sounds transcendent more than 20 years after its debut. With a pageant of characters, and their wealth of perspectives on American life, the show’s hope for a more diverse future is as wide as the ocean. Yes, it is that epic. An impressive new producti…

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Step aside, Mr. Hamilton. There's another hot show playing in Buffalo this month, and those lucky enough to have their tickets better hang on to them. The world premiere of Tom Dudzick's "Christmas Over the Tavern" sold out its entire monthlong run at MusicalFare before the show even opened. For advance ticket buyers, it was a good bet, but not a sure one. Dudzick, Buff…

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Four days before opening night of “The Three Musketeers,” the most ambitious collaboration Buffalo theaters have produced in recent memory, the pressure is starting to seem real. Inside Shea’s 710 Theatre, Kenneth Shaw’s set gleams like a Renaissance jungle gym under the lighting design of Chris Cavanagh, who stands behind a control panel running through sound cues sugg…

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For all the jabs taken at musical theater—that it’s overwrought, laborious, self-indulgent—few laugh as earnestly at it as those who perform it. This makes the trip to “Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits,” the spoof revue now at MusicalFare’s Premier Cabaret, all the more delicious. If you ever rolled your eyes at a dramatic interpretation, or felt your mouth agape, in …

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MusicalFare Theatre is looking for a new home but theatergoers are told not to worry – nothing is changing right now. "It won’t be changing our immediate future, but our long-range future," said MusicalFare Artistic Director Randall Kramer, who was recently told by Daemen College that it would not be renewing the theater's contract when it expires in 2025. "We are a …

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Two world premieres, two regional premieres plus three productions at Shea’s 710 Theatre, including a major collaboration with four theater companies, fill the 29th anniversary season of MusicalFare Theatre. The following five shows are part of MusicalFare’s subscription series presented on the Mainstage at Daemen College (4380 Main St.). Musical direction is by Theresa…

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The popularity of “Murder for Two” doesn’t really hinge on the murder. With this show, it’s all about the execution. That is, how well can a theater company pull off the manic antics of Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian’s smart musical homage that marries “Masterpiece Mystery” to the Marx Brothers? Well, in its summer production, MusicalFare kills it. The show require…

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What nonsense. What total, delightful, ridiculous nonsense! "Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery," a romp of a rewrite of one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous detective stories, is bouncing around Shea's 710 Theatre this weekend and next in a production designed to knock off any lingering gloom from the overly long winter season. "Baskervill…

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A regular reader of my columns probably realizes I was predisposed to love "Rise," the new NBC high school musical drama series that premieres at 10 p.m. March 13 after the season finale of "This Is Us." "Rise" is created by Jason Katims, the writer and showrunner of two of my all-time favorite series that dealt with complicated family relationships, "Friday Night Light…

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The Pazinskis are back. And this time they're singing. Tom Dudzick's "Christmas Over the Tavern," a holiday musical featuring the beloved clan of working-class Catholics from the playwright's popular "Over the Tavern" series, is set for MusicalFare Theatre's 2018-19 season. "For years I've had this idea to do a Christmas story with these guys, with the Pazinskis," Du…

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"Smokey Joe's Café" is one of those places that ask you to just sit down and let yourself be carried away. Whether the music evokes the warm embrace of memory or is a fresh introduction to some American classics, MusicalFare's latest production is designed to showcase the jukebox talents of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller with very little in the way of distraction. The ch…

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Pills might not be good for performers. But they sure get them a lot of publicity. Think of the mileage classical pianist Glenn Gould got out of pills. Would he have gotten half the coverage without them? Jazz singer Billie Holiday became defined by her sodden personality, which gave her life and singing an edge that was tragic but romantic. You don't hear so much ab…

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It's a challenge to capture the spirit of Rosemary Clooney. As a "girl singer," she had a bittersweet naivety. As a veteran singer, she acquired new richness and soul. She knew the truth of the songs she sang, time-tested standards of love and loss. She had lived. Her imperfect life gets new life in "Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical." This new biographical musical…