Our previews of interesting/fun local happenings.
Apr 19, 2012
05:00 AMBe There
Spree Theater with Darwin McPherson: Miscellaneous Don’t Miss
Aside from the “big name” theaters, a number of smaller, independent companies and individuals produce fine performance pieces throughout Western New York. Quite a few are occurring in late April and early May, so let’s have a quick look.
420: The Musical - April 20-May 5
The Francis Bacon Experiment, a local improv comedy group, has established a theater company with the same name. Their first theatrical production is 420: The Musical, written by FBE founder John Kehoe with an original score by Laura Lonski. According to their press release, “420 is a light hearted adult comedy that travels through the mind of a young man confused about his place in the world and where his life is headed.”
The musical is staged at The Vault, an art gallery in downtown Buffalo. Nick Russo, one of the cast members, explains that the show takes place in one of the rooms at The Vault, which has been converted into a theater space. The set for 420 is “very colorful and very involved,” he says. “There are eight different scenes, each with its own detailed set.” There are lots of moving set pieces.
Thorin Zallentin stars in 420 the Musical, which also features John Kehoe, the scriptwriter and director; Laura Lonski, who wrote the score; Todd Fuller; Jocelyn Hanson, who also choreographs; Sara Ball; Bre Kaminskas; and Nick Russo.
420: The Musical runs April 20, 21, 27, 28 and May 5 at The Vault, 702 Main Street in Buffalo. Doors open at 7 pm. The show starts at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or by e-mailing email@example.com.
My Favorite Things - May 4 and May 6
Some of Broadway’s biggest and best hits will be heard as the Buffalo Choral Arts Society honors Marcia A. Giambrone for her 25th anniversary as their Conductor/Music Director with a pair of concerts entitled My Favorite Things. The program features Ms. Giambrone’s favorite selections and arrangements of popular favorites, including Beauty And The Beast, The Fantasticks, Fiddler On The Roof, The King And I, Mama Mia!, Chicago, Wicked and more.
“[Marcia A. Giambrone’s] contributions to Western New York’s choral music community have been enormous, so it is fitting that we celebrate this special anniversary by performing a repertoire comprised of her favorite songs and arrangements under her baton,” says Kevin Phalen, President of the BCAS.
A long-time resident of West Seneca, Ms. Giambrone is retired as a music educator from West Seneca Central Schools, but remains active teaching at Houghton and Fredonia. She also is an adjudicator and zone representative for NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association).
The 100+ member community chorus Buffalo Choral Arts Society provides memorable and affordable concerts in accessible venues to enrich singers and audiences alike.
The “My Favorite Things” concerts will be held May 4 at 7:30 pm at Sweethome Middle School, 4150 Maple Road in Amherst, and May 6 at 3 pm at Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center on the Buffalo State College campus. Tickets are $15. For tickets or further information, call 716-812-1541 or visit www.buffalochoralarts.org.
The Good Doctor - May 4-19
Neil Simon has had a major presence on Western New York stages over the last year or so, with recent productions from Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions and American Repertory Theater of Western New York. And, of course, someone is always doing The Odd Couple somewhere.
Over at the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, Simon’s The Good Doctor hits the boards in early May. Inspired greatly by Anton Chekhov and his work, The Good Doctor features a number of stories set in 19th century Russia. Most of the pieces are little comedies, but there are some dramatic bits in there. The skits are linked through a character called “The Writer,” who seems to be a hybrid of Simon and Chekhov.
The Good Doctor, a play with music, runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3 pm at The Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Rd., Tonawanda, NY 14150. Tickets are $14 Pre-Sale, $17 General Admission, $15 Seniors & Students w/ID, $10 Children 16 & Under. Tickets are available by phone at (716) 284-6358 or in person at The Ellicott Creek Playhouse lobby box office, immediately prior to any performance.
My Life in the Basement - April 28, June 1-3
When John Kennedy Kane was growing up in South Buffalo, he wanted to join the circus. It is (or was) a common childhood dream, which rarely comes true. Yet it did for Kane, who picked up the nickname “Circ.” The whole story is the basis of Kane’s one-man show called My Life in the Basement.
Directed by the Alleyway’s Joyce Stilson, the one-act show recounts Kane’s thirty-year adventure and introduces audiences to the “many colorful characters, real and imaginary, that he met on his hilarious journey,” according to its publicity materials.
This will be one of the last opportunities for Western New Yorkers to see Kane’s story. Later this year, “Circ” will be serving as the new Ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center in New York.
My Life in the Basement runs Saturday, April 28 at 9 pm and one final weekend run in June—Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 at 9:15 pm and Sunday, June 3 at 7:15 at the Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub, 2134 Seneca Street in Buffalo, 14210. Tickets are $20. Call 716-825-9327 for reservations.