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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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Every decade or so, a blockbuster show emerges with the power to create new theater fans on a previously unimagined scale. In the 1990s, "Rent" propelled legions of drama club teens toward the stage. In the early 2000s, "Wicked" minted a new generation of Broadway devotees who thrilled to the vocal acrobatics of Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth and to the show's empow…

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Two Buffalo-born theater experiences debut this weekend in the heart of the city's historic East Side. One brings in some of the community's newest arrivals, the other is built around its geologic roots. Together, "Manmade Earth" and "Light/Station" combine to form the conclusion of Torn Space Theater's 2018 Response Festival. "Manmade Earth" has been midwifed by the th…

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Roald Dahl's wickedly charming "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" opens another chapter in its history when it takes the stage at Shea's on Friday to begin the colorful musical's national tour. Buffalo audiences will be the first to taste this latest incarnation of the tale that, like a recipe handed from one cook to another, has had its ingredients tweaked and changed…

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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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Art imitates life imitates art, the saying goes, and in today’s divisive social and political climate, Irish Classical Theatre Company is aiming to further conversations with its thought-provoking 2018-19 season lineup, aptly called "A Season of Power, Sex and Politics." Hot-button topics like sex, power and politics are tackled in the popular classics “Sense & Sens…

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Love by Shakespeare is a messy tale. Enchanting flirtation, desperate manipulation, love potions, unlikely affairs. Any way you cut it, many of the Bard’s comedies (and a few harrowing tragedies) remind us that romance sometimes takes a ton of work to feel effortless. If you’re trying too hard, you might be missing the mark. And if you’re not laughing, you’re definitely…

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Betsy Carmichael was born out of crisis. In 2015, as O'Connell and Company prepared to stage "The Queen of Bingo," they received a cease-and-desist letter from the show's authors, who objected to the fact the company planned to cast two men in roles meant to be played by women. On the fly, instead of canceling the show, Buffalo performer and writer Joey Bucheker got …

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For most young men growing up in Brooklyn, going out for a beer with friends is an activity as natural as breathing. But the first beer Afrim Gjonbalaj drank in public, as an observant young Muslim testing the boundaries of his faith, caused a miniature crisis of conscience. The 35-year-old actor, who stars in Road Less Traveled Theatre's production of Ayak Akhtar's …

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Regret is a recurring character in the work of Irish playwright Conor McPherson, a favorite of the Irish Classical Theatre Company and its audiences. McPherson’s dark and somewhat mystical work returns to the Andrews Theatre stage on March 2, when the company opens a production of his 2013 play “The Night Alive.” (It last produced a play of McPherson’s, the devastating …

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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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ROCHESTER – On a frigid night in late January, Edward Joseph Mahoney straggled into a high school gym on the outskirts of this Rust Belt city to take a look at his own life. The rock star, looking slightly bedraggled in jeans and a black hoodie bearing his stage name, settled into a folding chair beneath the basketball net. He nervously tucked his Big Mac under his seat…

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In 1964, Bruce Jackson took a tape recorder to Texas and rescued a dying piece of history. The University at Buffalo professor's 1965 album, "Negro Folklore From Texas State Prisons," features spirituals, work songs, poetry and scripture sung by inmates toiling in the state's agricultural prison farms. Many of the songs and styles Jackson preserved, carried on slave …

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Sara Bareilles is halfway between happy and exhausted. In a phone interview from New York City, where she recently returned to lead role in the Broadway hit "Waitress," the California-bred composer, lyricist and pop artist bluntly described what it was like to be back performing her own music and lyrics eight times a week. "I feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck t…