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The starkly intricate stage design audience members see as they take their seats is the first hint that "The Illusion" is something special. Deep and dark, the many layers of this sorcerer's cave signify the many mysteries soon to be revealed on the Road Less Traveled Theater stage. One secret the set doesn't reveal is how much fun playwright Tony Kushner packs into his…

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In the first scene of "Speed-the-Plow," Bobby Gould has just been promoted to head of production at a Hollywood studio and is settling into a brand-new office. He is awash in the heady aroma of power and possibilities, and in this new show from Road Less Traveled Productions, the scene gets an added verisimilitude from the venue itself, the company's relocated and just-ope…

Buffalo

A new sign of progress is coming to downtown Buffalo – literally. Road Less Traveled Productions seeks to install a giant new marquee sign on the front of its new home, in the former Baker Shoes Building, located at 456 Main St. The local theater company says it needs the increased visibility offered by the large banner because the facade of the building is otherwise…

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Road Less Traveled Theatre is moving to one of the less traveled stretches of road in Buffalo. Just three years after decamping from its longtime home in the former Market Arcade Film and Arts Center for a cavernous space at 500 Pearl Street, the ambitious local theater company will spend the summer building a new home in a former shoe store on a carless block of Main S…

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If you want to understand why theater exists, see Road Less Traveled's current production of "True West." Tight, brutal, comic and exhausting, it is one of the best plays Sam Shepard ever wrote and, under the direction of Scott Behrend, this Buffalo cast doesn't let Shepard down. The electricity starts flowing with the opening scene, a current alternating between the tw…

Featured

Politics makes you gag, doesn’t it? It’s a gross, slimy, bilious fact. Beau Willimon’s “Farragut North” pulls back a tiny corner of a presidential campaign’s blood-soaked veil. It covers a mere 24 hours in the week before the crucial Iowa caucus, an epic time for an embattled campaign staff. But it feels even grander than that. It plays as opera, except it’s far too close…

Featured

The life and times of former Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello will take center stage in the Road Less Traveled Theater on June 4 as the company presents a one-night fundraiser honoring the local politician. The event is the first in a new annual series for Road Less Traveled called "Buffalo Stories," which will spotlight a well-known Buffalonian every year. Tickets are $20…

Featured

As is their custom, Road Less Traveled Productions has assembled a pamphlet loaded with facts about the themes surrounding a work on its stage, in this case, “Safe,” the latest play by the company’s unofficial playwright-in-residence, Donna Hoke. RLTP dramaturge Katie Mallinson puts together facts and figures, theories and commentary about a play’s theme. The information …

Featured

For many Broadway-bound theatrical properties, the out-of-town tryout is an essential ingredient. It allows new plays to breathe and blossom from the rigidity of the page to the dynamic environment of the stage. When jokes don’t land or moments seem false, the script and performance can be fine-tuned in accordance with audience reaction. The result, if all goes to plan, i…

Featured

It's been a strong year for theater in Western New York. From small community productions with national implications to keenly executed comedies on Buffalo's most elite stages, theatergoers had their pick from the regional theater community's yearly embarrassment of riches -- which seems to grow richer every year. Of the dozens of productions I saw this year, the followi…

Buffalo

In theater as on television, political content increasingly arrives by Trojan horse.In the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” creator Jenji Kohan openly admits to using the promise of a story about a pretty, white, upper-class inmate as a delivery system for stories about the black and brown women whose lives eventually become the heart of the show.Similarly, in Bra…

Buffalo

By Colin DabkowskiNews Arts CriticFew tropes have produced more reliable comedic fodder than the dysfunctional family. And the extended family unit that fuels Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie-winning play “Appropriate” is about as dysfunctional as they come.The show, which has its local premiere Friday in the Road Less Traveled Theatre in a production directed by Scott Behrend…

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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On paper, Jon Elston’s new comedy “After America: Wasteland 2015,” which opened Friday in Road Less Traveled Theatre, has the makings of a hit:Four survivors of the apocalypse from different walks of life converge, “Breakfast Club”-style, on a desolate military outpost in Evangola State Park. There, under the supervision of a bumbling com…

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Nothing makes us feel better about the horrid state of the world than imaging something even worse. Hence the post-apocalyptic thriller, a genre as central to creative expression in this century as dystopian fantasies were in the last one. For anyone who might be getting a bit sick of “The Walking Dead,” a different and more local flavor of apocalyptic terror is on offer …