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Picture director Steve Vaughan, wearing tall Wellington boots and covered head to toe in mud, clomping through a swamp in search of the perfect prop. This scene, which bore a striking resemblance to Shakespeare's famous tale of an unhinged King Lear wandering across the heath, played out early this spring in Vaughan's muddy Grand Island backyard. And while some might…

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During his visit to Buffalo on April 27 for his appearance in the University at Buffalo Distinguished Speaker Series, stage and screen star Kevin Spacey made an important side-trip. No, not to Charlie the Butcher, the Anchor Bar or Canalside. But to one of America's single deepest troves of world-changing literature and poetry, at 420 Capen Hall on the school's Amherst Ca…

Featured

During his visit to Buffalo on April 27 for his appearance in the University at Buffalo Distinguished Speaker Series, stage and screen star Kevin Spacey made an important side-trip. No, not to Charlie the Butcher, the Anchor Bar or Canalside. But to one of America's single deepest troves of world-changing literature and poetry, at 420 Capen Hall on the school's Amherst Ca…

Featured

And so it was proclaimed, on a gloriously seasoned Thursday night, in the company of eager patronage, giddy company and stagehands and state’s royalty – state Sen. Marc Panepinto, in the Queen’s absentia – on the grassy knoll known colloquially as “the hill,” that the state honor Shakespeare in Delaware Park, the venerable cultural landmark that it is, on its 40th season w…

Buffalo

Act I, Scene I of “Shakespeare in Delaware Park.”Scene: The Anchor Bar on Main Street, 1976.Enter SAUL ELKIN, a young University at Buffalo theater professor and JOSEPH PAPP, legendary founder of New York City’s Public Theater and Elkin’s Ph.D. thesis adviser, along with certain commoners, eating chicken wings.Papp: “So, who’s doing Shakespeare?”Elkin: “I don’t know, the c…

Featured

James Sherman’s “Beau Jest,” the second in Jewish Repertory Theatre’s “Season of Humor,” is just what the doctor ordered. After this fall’s “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” which I found to be staid, archaic and alienating, “Beau Jest” reminds us of a kind of humor we can all find in our own lives. The kind that renews us from within, if only in passing moments. It builds on the…

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When Saul Elkin watches his daughter perform onstage, he tends to get lost in the moment. “I'm sometimes taken aback by her intelligence, by her wit,” Elkin said in a recent interview on the half-finished set of Jewish Repertory Theatre's “Beau Jest,” in which Elkin and Rebecca Elkin-Young play two characters not entirely unfamiliar to them: a father and daughter working …

Columns

Rarely does any experience, however important it may seem at the time, survive in your memory completely intact. But certain jarring moments do stand out, inserting their grappling hooks into your brain and dragging the details around them into sharper focus. It could be anything: The look in an actor’s eyes during an emotional scene; a child’s surprising reaction to an a…

Art

The battle-hardened veterans filed neatly into the gallery of the Erie County Legislature’s chambers in Old County Hall on Monday afternoon, many of them carrying small placards identifying their individual regiments: The Olmsted Parks Conservancy. The Lancaster Opera House. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Juneteenth. The Orchard Park Chorale. As the meeting came to order…

Gusto

Getzville's Jewish Repertory Theatre and the Paul Robeson Theatre at Buffalo's African American Cultural Center each received a 2014 50/50 Applause Award from the International Centre for Women Playwrights, the organization announced this week. The award went to 67 theaters throughout the United States around the world whose recent seasons featured plays by female writers…

Theater

Armed with lawn chairs, blankets, bug spray and – in some instances – feasts fit for a Shakespearian king, more than 40,000 people gather on a hill near Hoyt Lake each summer. It’s not called Shakespeare Hill for nothing. Shakespeare in Delaware Park is one of the oldest and largest free Shakespeare festivals in the country. The Buffalo News’ Brian Meyer met with founder…