Choose a Curtain Up! show
Don’t miss Buffalo’s grand theater celebration
If you’ve never been to Curtain Up!, you’re missing out on a celebration that is unique to Buffalo. Each year, the Theatre District Association invites patrons to see a show, then celebrate the start of the season with a massive street party on blocked-off Main Street (if you choose, you can also start your evening with a catered outdoor dinner or at one of many restaurants contributing to the expanded downtown culinary scene—watch for our roundup of theater district restaurants in next month’s theater issue). No other city in the country does it quite like this, so if you want to partake this year—or if you have before and just need help choosing a pre-party show—check out the list of twelve available at press time (check tda-wny.com/curtainup/curtain-up-schedule for new additions), then buy your tickets, because for this special night, theaters sell out fast!
By Colin Speer Crowley
Alleyway opens with the winner of the 2017 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. Voltaire, along with his trusted companion Collini, is on the run. It seems he has stolen a treasured notebook from Frederick The Great and the monarch’s men have him surrounded in the German town of Frankfurt. Choose if you like new work and being the first to see it, or comedy (especially the absurd variety).
Tickets: alleyway.com, 852-2600
American Repertory Theater of Western New York
Heathers: the Musical
By Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy
A musical based on the 1988 cult film, Heathers is the story of Veronica, a teenage outcast who hustles her way into the Westerberg High’s most ruthless clique: the Heathers. The show will be cast with teens from West Seneca Youth Theatre. Choose if you support youth theater, like teen drama in the vein of Bat Boy and Legally Blonde (both Laurence O’Keefe vehicles), or musicals!
Tickets: artofwny.org, 697-0837
Irish Classical Theatre
By Clifford Odets
Arguably Odets’ greatest work, Golden Boy is the story of scrappy young Joe Bonaparte, who is torn between his desire for the modest and satisfying life of an artist and the pressure to pursue fame and fortune as a prizefighter. Choose if you like heightened street language, character-driven drama, or classics in the vein of Eugene O’Neill.
Tickets: irishclassicaltheatre.com, 853-4282
Music by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler
With eight Tonys under its belt, Sweeney Todd has become a bloody, dramatic, funny musical theater classic. Director John Fredo brings together a cast featuring Kavinoky favorites, including last year’s Mamma Mia! pairing Matt Witten and Loraine O’Donnell. Choose if you like Sondheim, offbeat stories, or if you’ve never seen it!
Tickets: kavinokytheatre.com, 829-7668
Pump Boys and Dinettes
By John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, Jim Wann
The eponymous musical written by a group of the same name, Pump Boys and Dinettes is an evening of country, rhythm and blues, and rockabilly songs that surround the story of four gas station attendants and two waitresses at the diner next door. Choose if you like music played on guitars, piano, bass, and kitchen utensils; shows that involve the audience; or if you aren’t too particular about whether there’s a plot.
Tickets: musicalfare.com, 839-8540
Paul Robeson Theatre
Book by Ossie Davis, Philip Rose, and Peter Udell
Music by Gary Geld
Lyrics by Peter Udell
In the Jim Crow era, Purlie Victorious, that strutting, newfangled preacher man is back home in Georgia hoping to save Big Bethel, the community’s church, and emancipate the cotton pickers who work on oppressive Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee’s plantation. Choose if you like rarely seen musicals, period pieces, rousing music.
Tickets: aaccbuffalo.org, 884-2013
Smith Theatre/O’Connell and Company presents
Gentlemen Prefer Divas
By Mary Kate O’Connell and others
This Smith Theatre production combines the venerable Diva by Diva! with a male counterpart, Gentlemen’s Gentlemen, in one all-star cabaret celebration. Choose if you like cabaret-style entertainment, singing, and humor.
Tickets: oconnellandcompany.com, 716-848-0800
Shea’s 710 Theatre
Hamiltunes: An American Singalong
Whether you’ve seen Hamilton, know every word of every song, or just want to find out what the excitement is all about, all are welcome! While everyone is encouraged to sing along, there will be opportunities for participants to lead songs from the Shea’s 710 Theatre stage.
Subversive Theatre Collective
By Rad Bradbury
As a civil servant, Montag has worked for ten years burning books, but has become unsure about the meaning of his vegetable-like life. When he’s exposed to sixteen-year-old Clarisse and her strange ideas, he finds himself in a highly combustible situation that forces him to choose between his nonexistent existence and risking it all for the right to think.
Tickets: subversivetheatre.org, 408-0499
Theatre Of Youth
Pinkalicious the Musical
Book by and based on the book by Elizabeth Kann & Victoria Kann
Music by John Gregor
Lyrics by John Gregor, Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann
Experience the joy again! Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe, a dream come true—until her hue goes too far!
Tickets: theatreofyouth.org, 884-4400
This is a selective list of shows opening during Curtain Up! and is by no means an official guide to Curtain Up! Visit tda-wny.com for complete information on Curtain Up! events or call Shea’s box office at 847-0850