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Author Joseph Heller will live forever for coining the phrase "Catch-22" with his bestselling antiwar novel of the same name, but the play he adapted from that novel does not enjoy the same cachet. Heller has only himself to blame. His book "Catch-22" is masterpiece of contradictions, satire and sincerity balanced on an intricate scaffolding of chicanery, horror and dea…

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Arthur Miller’s 1964 play, “After the Fall,” is an expansive work that runs through its central character’s moral conundrums in stream-of-consciousness style. It’s a kind of psychoanalytic vaudeville. It’s a spoken essay. It’s a marathon. Miller fans might find the work radically different from the plays for which he is best known – “Death of a Salesman,” “All My Sons,”…

Gusto

If there’s one thing you can count on at Subversive Theatre, besides the lumbering climb up those Pierce-Arrow building stairs (or a forgiving ride in the entertaining old service elevator), it’s their commitment to the worker. Every production over the last 16 years, whether self-derived or a revived classic, has proudly waved the flag of laborers, freedom-fighters, ac…

Art

We're not here to bash snow days. They're great chances to relax, stay safe from the elements, spend meaningful time with the whole family and perhaps day-drink, as we saw many Buffalonians share on social media. But relaxation can turn quickly into restlessness, a strong desire to do something other than dally from the living room to the dining room to the bathroom. Fo…

There’s an urgent message being shared at Subversive Theatre right now, delivered right from the source. In “Slut: The Play,” this summer’s iteration of the company’s summer youth series, a cast of students from Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts shares the reality of enduring various kinds of abuse and disrespect. About how our current culture propagates an…

Featured

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 …

Featured

Subversive Theatre’s first production of the new year is, by now, not a new story, though it’s still relevant and still piercing. “Keely and Du” tells of a pregnant woman, Keely, kidnapped by two Right-to-Life extremists in what is called an “unflinching abortion rights drama.” The battle lines between Keely and her abductors, ostensibly as cut-and-dry as their politics, t…

Subversive Theatre’s “Workers’ Power Play Series” will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Nov. 5 with a production of “Joe Hill’s Last Will,” a look into the life and legacy of the lionized union leader.Hill, who incurred the ire of the ruling class and the respect of workers as a union organizer and songwriter for the Industrial Workers of the World, was executed by firing…

Buffalo

There is no rational response to death.That’s especially true when it occurs on a scale as unfathomable as the destruction of Dresden, Germany, in 1945, when British and American warplanes dropped enough explosives on the city to reduce it to rubble and kill at least 25,000 people.The bombing was one of the greatest tragedies in the history of warfare. That Kurt Vonnegut w…

Theater

The Thursday Theater Roundup features current productions that received three or more stars from our reviewers. Here are this week's picks: "Talley's Folley," through June 7 in a Red Thread Theatre production in the Marie Maday Theatre at Canisius College. ★★★ "House at Pooh Corner," through June 7 in a Theatre of Youth production in the Allendale Theatre. ★★★ "The Un-A…

Buffalo

In 1954, the great Buffalo playwright and labor leader Manny Fried, who died in 2011, made an agonizing decision that would haunt him for the rest of his life. With his marriage on the rocks and the future of the thousands of Western New York union members he represented weighing on his mind, Fried refused to answer questions or name names during his appearance before the …

Subversive Theatre Collective calls its newest play, “Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them,” a wild and dark comedy by Christopher Durang, “a gleeful tornado of sacrilege.” The company also states in its playbill that they are presenting it “unapologetically.” Subversive needn’t apologize – except for the last 15 minutes or so. A little background: Playwrigh…

Western New York made it through a frigid February. Now, can it survive Christopher Durang? Durang is the outrageous American playwright whose work has spawned much hilarity and shock along with equal shares of controversy, pulpit protests and promises of eternal damnation from various religious denominations. The New Jersey native, now 66, has well earned his “Poet Laure…

Featured

The thing about a political cartoon, drenched in its satire like a queen in a studded robe, is that you get the joke before the punch line. A good satire will have layers under which the depths of its subversiveness reveal pockets of comedic gold. A good satire will make you jealous you didn’t come up this wit yourself. “The Police,” Subversive Theatre Collective’s annual…