Looking at WNY’s visual art, theater, music, and dance scenes.
Aug 23, 2012
09:16 AMTalk about Arts
Spree Theater with Darwin McPherson: Curtain Up
On Wednesday, August 15, the collective theaters of Western New York gathered at Shea’s Intermission Lounge for Press-ed for Time, a media reception intended to inform local reporters about Curtain Up! and the 2012-13 theatre season. Before the “8-minute dating” styled exchange took place, Curtain Up! chairman David Bondrow introduced Dr. Anthony Chase as the honorary chairman of the Curtain Up! Gala.
This is the thirty-first Curtain Up! and Dr. Chase has attended them all. In a brief speech, he reminded us all of the unique and extraordinary community collaboration that Curtain Up! is and prompted us to celebrate it enthusiastically.
As I (very briefly) interviewed all of the theater representatives who came to the event, I couldn’t help but note the singular attribute that connected us all: an unrepentant love and appreciation for the art of theater. Whatever your tastes, there’s something for everyone to savor on Curtain Up!, Friday, September 14, or later in the remarkable 2012-13 season.
The Alleyway Theatre presents Karen JP Howes’ Roadkill, a play originally presented as part of the Buffalo Quickies show about twelve years ago. (From the “It’s a Small World” Department: New Phoenix Robert Waterhouse actually directed a workshop production of the piece in Atlanta years ago.) In December, the Alleyway will offer British actor John Smeathers’ last performance as Scrooge in their annual production of A Christmas Carol.
Buffalo Laboratory Theatre presents Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard with a largely female cast. A considerable amount of “scenery chewing” was promised by actress Katie White.
Besides the highly anticipated shows Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next to Normal, Irish Classical Theatre Company artistic director Vincent O’Neill shared his enthusiasm for the decidedly Irish comedy A Couple of Blaguards by Frank and Malachy McCourt, which combines storytelling, song, and dance. A nice bit of “Craic” (Gaelic for “fun”), coming in October.
Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions’ Keith Wharton discussed their Curtain Up! farce, The Fox on the Fairway by Ken Ludwig, and their collaboration with Medaille College to reach out to the Buffalo community.
Along with the popular interactive musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Kavinoky Theatre manager director Joseph Demerly teased us with news about the three story set that the Kav will utilize for April’s undoubtedly historic production of August: Osage County by Tracy Letts as well as announcements that Brian Mysliwy, Spree Best Of WNY pick for Best Actor, will be featured in Drood, and that Demerly will direct I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change in June.
Over at the Lancaster Opera House, Curtain Up! attendees can enjoy Same Time, Next Year from Rocking Horse Productions. In November, RSDP Productions follows up last year’s hit The Second Time Around with a Neil Simon comedy God’s Favorite. And the Opera House staff will produce Oklahoma! in March.
MusicalFare marketing/production coordinator Doug Weyand says director Chris Kelly’s production of The Music Man (opening pre-Curtain Up! on Sept. 5) is branching out technologically by using projections to help create the illusion of movement.
New Phoenix artistic director Robert Waterhouse is directing Mr. and Mrs. Nobody by his late father Keith Waterhouse. The “Victorian Entertainment” stars Richard Lambert and Josephine Hogan with musical accompaniment by Steve Borowski and Kathleen Ashwell.
O’Connell and Company won’t be up during Curtain Up!, but artistic director Mary Kate O’Connell encourages her audience to go downtown to enjoy the festivities. Their production of Kander and Ebb’s The World Goes ‘Round opens the following week.
This season is mostly the “Year of the Woman” at Road Less Traveled Productions, with the exception of his own End of the Road, notes RLTP literary manager Jon Elston.
Though Shakespeare in Delaware Park is not presenting on Curtain Up!, managing director Lisa Ludwig announced their special November 4 staged reading of Titus Andronicus, a Shakespeare play that is rarely produced because of violence.
Shea’s launches its 25th anniversary season with Billy Elliot, which opens on September 25. Marketing director Lisa Grisanti also reminds us to check out Seth Rudetsky at the 710 Main Theatre (the former Studio Arena headquarters) on Curtain Up!
For their tenth anniversary, Subversive Theatre is reviving the first show they did: The Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo. Look for an ambitious production of the entire Angels in America saga later this season.
Once again, Theatre of Youth is allowing kids and families to get involved with Curtain Up! with their all ages presentation of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale. You can follow Knuffle Bunny around Allentown via Facebook and social media.
Torn Space Theater associate director David Oliver discussed the company’s “writer’s season,” which opens with director Dan Shanahan’s reimagined A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Stan Klimecko.
For more details on Curtain Up! shows and ticket information for the Gala dinner at Shea’s, visit the official Curtain Up site at www.BuffaloCurtainUp.com.