Five More New Plays Open This Week
by Anthony Chase
No, it’s not about the president. It’s about the Buffalo neighborhood. Set in a boarding house on Fillmore Avenue, the new musical follows residents who “find themselves unable to move either forwards or backwards while attempting to survive the trap of one of Buffalo’s most neglected neighborhoods.”
Fillmore continues to engage New Phoenix Theatre executive director Richard Lambert’s interest with Buffalo’s disenfranchised citizens, which he explored with last season’s Sweet Street. Written in collaboration with composer-in-residence Steve Borowski and under the direction of Drew McCabe, this play with music dramatizes the stories of Fillmore Avenue’s residents. The cast includes Kathleen Ashwill, Wendy Hall, Mary Moebius, Marshall Maxwell, Crescenzo Scipione, Marshall Maxwell, Carmen Swans, and Jenny Kulwicki. Lighting is by Franklin LaVoie, costumes by Betsy Bittar, and sound by John Shotwell.
Fillmore runs May 5-28 at the New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park. Call 853-1334 for more information.
This British comedy by Kristi Kane (not to be confused with Sarah Kane) involves farcical misunderstandings, passersby, droppers-in, lovers—and the inevitable collision of people who bump into each other in the wrong place at far from the perfect time.
Presented by RSDP Productions, Perfect Timing is being staged by a crew well versed in the genre; veterans of the dinner theater circuit abound. Directed by Peter Palmisano, the production features Palmisano, Susan Toomey, Dolores Mendolia, Jon Summers, Ron Swick, Jennifer Toomey Starr, and Andrew Starr. Perfect Timing plays May 6-15 at the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Avenue, Lancaster. Call 683-1776 for more information.
The intriguing premise of Lebensraum, a new play by Israel Horovitz, opening this week at Alleyway Theatre under the auspices of Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York, has the German chancellor waking from a nightmare and calling a press conference to invite six million Jews to return to Germany. “Haunting memories clash with a family’s dream of a better life as younger and older generations clash over the offer,” according to the company’s description of the play.
The German word Lebensraum means “living space” or, more idiomatically, “elbow room.” Adolph Hitler used the term to justify Germany’s expansion into Eastern Europe. Directed by Saul Elkin, the production features Tim Newell, Megan Callahan, and Nathan Winkelstein. Lebensraum runs May 5-29 at Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley. Call 688-4114 ext. 391 for more information.
A musical by Jonathan Larson, who is better known as the genius behind Rent, this show is about a crisis in the life of a man who thinks he’s destroyed his life by pursuing a career in the arts. Given the subject matter, the show is a natural fit for a collaboration between Subversive Theatre in association with the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. Tick, Tick…Boom is performed and collaboratively co-directed by Daniel Henderson, Vanessa Elder, and Connor Graham, and runs May 6-22 at the Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Avenue, third floor. Call 408-0499 for more information.
The youthful and dynamic New Alt Performance Group takes on the classical Greek tragedy and transports it to a hospital setting.
Having fallen in love with Jason and abandoned her home and family in order to help him on his fantastic journey, Medea is understandably displeased when the guy dumps her to marry the daughter of the King of Corinth. Using her magical powers, Medea devises a revenge involving the death of the rival princess and the king, as well as the killing of her own children with Jason.
The production is directed by David Lundy and stars Morgan Chard, Patrick Caughill, Brittany Kucala, James Heffron, Norman Daniels, Richard Hummert, Alice Cunningham, Meghan Morono, Megan Callahan, Russ Papia, and Amy Taravella. Medea runs May 5-28 at the ALT Theatre, 255 Great Arrow Avenue, third floor. Call 868-6847 for more information.
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