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It takes a long time for Walter Jenkins to breathe. He’s gone to use the public restroom in a Washington, D.C. park. It’s 1964, and when he’s not using these facilities, he works in the White House as a top aide to President Johnson. He is white. When Bayard Rustin isn’t doing the same – just going about his personal necessities in a legal, public, bladder-sanctioned…

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Post-Industrial Productions, one of the area’s newest theater companies, opens its inaugural season Jan. 17 with the area premiere of “Medusa Undone” at New Phoenix Theatre on the Park (95 Johnson Park). Written by local playwright Bella Poynton, the play dramatizes the Medusa origin story and how the sea-nymph suffered violence at the hands of Poseidon. The play also d…

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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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It’s hard to imagine a more wholesome Christmas story than the one about the three French prisoners who worked on the shop-owner’s roof and then killed his cousin with a snake. You know the one. Samuel and Bella Spewack’s 1953 play “My Three Angels” is exactly that holiday gem, and then some. It’s just as ludicrous as that only somewhat-abridged summary sounds, while al…

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In 2018, the year of "Time's Up" and #MeToo, the patriarchy is under renewed assault. "Toxic masculinity," the current term of art for the defining feature of America's white, male ruling class, is once again being put on notice, even as it retains its stubborn grip on American politics and culture. And although some may think of this movement as a recent ideological…

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Theater is great for “what ifs.” I love when a playwright pontificates on the unknowable, imagines the impossible. For those wondering about God, the New Phoenix Theatre has got your curiosity covered. “Way Back When” is an evening of one-act plays about faith that pairs the work of two local Jewish playwrights with a spirited ensemble. The results are enjoyable and ins…

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Subversive Theatre and the New Phoenix are teaming up again, another in a nearly decade-long collaboration on plays centered around injustice. The pairing’s previous outings include such political tales as “Waiting for Lefty,” “Inherit the Wind” and “On the Waterfront.” Add to that a new production of Abby Mann’s “Judgment at Nuremberg,” adapted from the famous 1961 film …

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In the wrong hands, Shakespeare can sound like ancient Greek. We’ve all experienced that at some point: huddled in some dark theater or stretched out on a blanket in Delaware Park, straining to make sense out of some impenetrable volley of Shakespearean wordplay. But in the right hands, the dark musings and idealistic yearning of Shakespeare’s poetry can be artfully rehy…

Buffalo

April 25, 1963, to Dec. 3, 2015Michael Hake provided the beat and the backbone for hundreds of musical theater productions, concerts and events during his long career. And Wednesday night was no different, as he performed in MusicalFare Theatre’s production of “Pageant.” But it was his last performance as one of the busiest and most sought-after Buffalo music directors, ar…

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: "Carrie: The Musical," through Oct. 10 in an Ame…

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…

Theater

The Thursday Theater Roundup is a weekly list of current productions that received three or more stars from our reviewers. If you're daunted by all the options, 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: "Doubt," through Sept. 26 in a Buffal…

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Murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery. Those seven nouns open the 1975 Kander and Ebb musical “Chicago” about two vaudeville murderesses, an ironic primer to the devilishly fun evening that follows. “All those things we hold near and dear to our hearts,” a sexy, wry dancer concludes before the orchestra blasts into its first of many jazz…

It has come down through the centuries that William Shakespeare wrote “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for certain functions in the court of Elizabeth I or maybe for a wedding or some other gala where little audience thought was required. Well, nothing much has changed. The 420-year-old comedy/fantasy, easily Shakespeare’s silliest and most absurd play, has opened at New Phoeni…

“Shall we their fond pageants see?/Lord, what fools these mortals be!”So says the impish Puck, sent on a dubious errand that goes awry, some drops of magical love juice ending up in the wrong eyes and … well, hilarious results are the norm in William Shakespeare’s 420-year old romance comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as young lovers, a duke, a duchess, a half-donkey, f…