Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

The Ghost of Fort Niagara

Neal Radice and the gang at Alleyway Theatre are getting a load of mileage out of the hokey legend that the headless ghost of an 18th-century soldier walks the grounds of the Fort Niagara State Park. Radice first heard the yarn as a schoolboy during a class trip. He revisited the story a few years ago as a possible topic for a fort-oriented theater experience for visitors to the park. Now, he’s written the book, music, lyrics, and orchestrations for The Ghost of Fort Niagara, and directed the musical’s premiere. It’s a nicely structured piece with a lot of overblown fun centered on the soap opera romance between a French lieutenant, his reluctant Native American beloved, and his insincere and drunken rival.

42nd Street

The Kavinoky Theatre clearly decided to begin a great big season with one huge gesture. Unlike Oliver!, which MusicalFare transplanted to the Great Depression, this really is a Depression-era musical, written for Hollywood in 1933. The place is Broadway, where famed impresario Julian Marsh is putting on a show that promises to be a big hit, providing much-needed employment to all involved. The hitch? Has-been actress, Dorothy Brock, is locked in to headline, because her wealthy boyfriend du jour is putting up the dough. Countless costume changes later, Brock is out on her broken ankle, and erstwhile chorine Peggy Sawyer has to decide whether to go back home to Allentown or to become a big-time Broadway star.

La Bete

The cast of the Irish Classical Theatre Company production of La Bête at the Andrews Theatre take to the stage with so much confidence, they’re practically smug. The beauty of that is, they’re so damned good, they earn the self-congratulation!

Internal Continuity

The comic book industry has loomed large in my life. I’ve never really read them, except for a pre-teen phase with Archie comics. But my baby sister is a legend in the industry, who once bought a farm using her comic collection as collateral, and famously started to decorate her Christmas tree with Marvel action figures in 1984.

Elegies: A Song Cycle

Composer William Finn wrote 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Falsettos, A New Brain, and most recently the new musical version of Little Miss Sunshine. He began writing musical reminiscences of lost friends in response to the AIDS crisis and completed Elegies: a Song Cycle in response to the events of September 11, 2001. I saw them performed at Lincoln Center in 2003 with a cast that included Michael Rupert, Carolee Carmello, and Betty Buckley, and found the piece quite moving at the time.

Back to issue index