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If it were customary, in a less imaginative world, for dinner theaters to serve the food eaten or talked about on stage, then Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers” would be a tough swallow. Think German mustard soup, the medicinal solution Grandma Kurnitz serves when someone’s sick. Think bowls of it, forced upon her live-in grandson, Arty, as he suffers a fever on her uptight…

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NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. – The Shaw Festival season unfolds in waves of plays. The enormous logistics of the enterprise requires coordination of rehearsals and production, followed by juggling the roster of 11 shows, plus special theater events, spread over the Shaw’s theater spaces. The first titles, which began to roll out in the spring, bode well for what is turning…

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Grab your swimsuit and martini shaker, kids. It’s time for summer camp! If you’ve been to Buffalo United Artists’ annual drag romp, roasting the queerest classics of pop culture with a wink, a nod and a tuck – if you, indeed, summer at BUA – then you know. You know what a bow-topped gift it is to see master thespian Jimmy Janowski parade his mascara-drooped eyelashes…

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No online dating algorithm ever would have put Aaron and Casey together. He's a straight-arrow investment guy who goes to work in a suit and spends most nights alone; she's a free-spirited artist and "serial dater" who gravitates toward the kind of bad boys that inevitably let her down. Fortunately for them (or not ....), friends and family see through their public prof…

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The current Shakespeare in Delaware Park production of “The Tempest” is a playful and magical affair. Under the direction of Saul Elkin with sound design and original music by Tom Makar, choreography by Terri Filips Vaughan and set by David Dwyer, we are transported to a wondrous island, where Prospero, the usurped duke of Milan and his daughter, Miranda, have been strande…

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It is a rare treat for an actor to return to a role they played years after the fact. To get to reinterpret the same character, now with more maturity and perspective, and with different creative direction. I’ll never forget seeing Ben Michael Moran – then Ben Puglisi – play Guido Contini, the Fellini-esque film director at the heart of “Nine,” at the University at Buff…

I will admit that I arrived for the delayed opening of Joe Orton’s 1964 play, “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” at the Irish Classical Theatre Company with a sense of dread. The postponement had inspired rumors of trouble in rehearsal, actors unprepared, and a production slogging its way toward certain disaster. As the lights began to dim, I silently uttered the universal critic’s…

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…

There’s really nothing funnier than a bunch of nuns behaving badly. A salty joke, a bawdy shoulder shrug, a whispered grievance in the quiet halls of God. Surely, at some point, something’s gotta give. That was the idea behind the great 1992 film, “Sister Act,” which managed to make an even bigger star out of Whoopi Goldberg than she already was. In it, she played Delor…

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Bad things happen to women in this world. In Gordon Farrell’s new play, “Girls Who Walked on Glass,” the playwright introduces us to three young women navigating the hazards of modern life in stories adapted from the work of contributing authors Molly Heckerling, Tatiana Gelfand and Lucy A Robbins. The production marks the start of Farrell’s term as Playwright in Reside…

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On paper, a play called “A Time to Kill” does not lure you to a dinner theater. It sounds bloody and venomous, hardly fitting for bread baskets and side salads. But there’s more than meets the eye at Desiderio's Dinner Theatre. Whatever notions you might have about what a dinner theater can and should be, producer-director Jay Desiderio often validates and extends. T…

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Let's not wait until the end to sum up: "Dear Evan Hansen" is an extraordinary piece of musical theater, and if you have a chance to see it at Shea's, you should go. The show is the modern-day story of Evan Hansen, a socially inept high school senior who struggles to make friends. His time-stressed mom has him in counseling, and his counselor has him on anti-anxiety dru…

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"Looking Through Glass," now onstage at Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York, is a window into another world. Here the boundaries between life and death become meaningless against the forces of love and faith, and leave us with the question, What happens to an unlived life? It is the story of a young woman who is possessed by the spirit of her dead true love jus…

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“Fun Home” is a glorious musical. Indeed, this exquisite show reminds us why musical theater exists. When the need for the characters to express themselves reaches the limits of speech, their thoughts and emotions overflow into song. And in this intriguing story, adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, also called “Fun Home,” speech fr…