Curtain Up! 2013
by Anthony Chase
Time again for Curtain Up!, the traditional opening of Buffalo’s professional theater season. While the event itself takes place on Friday, September 20, most of the shows will linger for a few more weeks.
As always, the event is “theatrically designed” in three acts.
Act I: Have Dinner in the District!
Make reservations with any of the Theater District’s fine restaurants, or join Buffalo native and renowned playwright A. R. Gurney under the bright white tent set in the middle of Main Street, just north of Tupper Street, for a creative black-tie gala dinner.
A cash bar cocktail party begins at 5:30 pm, dinner is served at 6:15pm.
Act II: See A Show!
All Curtain Up! performances on September 20th start at 8pm. For details about the full run of these shows, see On the Boards.710 Main Theatre I LOVE LUCY© LIVE ON STAGE
A brand-new and tuneful hit stage show adapted from the most beloved program in television history! Young or old, everybody really does love Lucy!Alleyway Theatre NIGHT WORK by Neal Radice
What women can or cannot do at night in Buffalo’s old Theater District is the preoccupation of businessmen, politicians, and lawyers in this world premiere drama. (See review in this issue.)American Repertory Theater BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, book by Alex Timber
From the hills of Tennessee to our seventh president, some call him our greatest, others a poor man’s Hitler.Buffalo Laboratory Theatre DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE by Sarah Ruhl
A wildly imaginative new comedy about how we memorialize the dead, how remembering changes us, and how we search for connections in this technologically obsessed world.Buffalo United Artists CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY by Steven Fales
A sixth generation Utah Mormon reclaims his “Donny Osmond” smile in this incredible true story told with humor, song, and The Book of Mormon, written and performed by award-winning actor/playwright Steven Fales.Irish Classical Theatre Company THE SCHOOL FOR HUSBANDS by Moliere, translated by Richard Wilbur
L’amour is in the air and intrique mounts as desperate young lovers and impudent servants attempt to deceive the old fuddy-duddy who holds sway over their hearts.Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions BOEING BOEING by Marc Camoletti
This French farce features a self-styled Parisian lothario who intermittently romances three fiancèes; airline hostesses with frequent “layovers”, until they all land at the same time.The Kavinoky Theatre THE BIG BAND THEORY: WHEN SWING WAS KING by James Runfola
A musical review that highlights the music of a bygone era in the manner it was meant to be heard—with great singers and a 13-piece big band!Lancaster Opera House LOVE, SEX, AND THE I.R.S. by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore
This hilarious comedy is a cross between I Love Lucy and Some Like It Hot, with enough twists and turns to leave you rolling in the aisles.MusicalFare Theatre LA CAGE AUX FOLLES by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman
This Tony Award-winning musical is a tuneful and touching tale of one family’s struggle to stay together, stay fabulous and, above all else, stay true to themselves.New Phoenix Theatre on the Park VENUS IN FUR by David Ives
When a playwright auditions an apparently hapless young actress, the young woman leads him on a journey that provides both carnal and cerebral excitement.O’Connell & Company THE KATHY & MO SHOW: PARALLEL LIVES/THE DARK SIDE by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy
A talented cast of two create a multitude of characters to delight and confound. A penetrating look at Americana featuring Pamela Rose Mangus and Mary Kate O’Connell.Paul Robeson Theatre/African American Cultural Center THE THREE SISTAHS by Thomas W. Jones II
An intimate musical embracing the lives of three women who reunite, reveal, reconcile, and share the promise of tomorrow set to gospel, rhythm and blues, funk, and folk.Red Thread Theatre LOVE LETTERS by A. R. Gurney
A thread of love binds two lives with a great deal of help from the US Mail. Buffalo native A. R. Gurney at his most touching and whimsical.Road Less Traveled Productions BUFFALO RISES: A SHOWCASE OF SHORT PLAYS by RLTP Playwrights
Provocative, funny, and hopeful tales of this city’s challenges, achievements, and aspirations as seen through the eyes, minds, and hearts of some of Buffalo’s favorite playwrights. (See review in this issue.)Shea’s Performing Arts Center
Free screening of the movie Chicago.The Smith Theatre MIND GAMES With Mentalist Marc Salem
Just when you thought it was safe to think, “mentalist” Marc Salem comes to town…and no brain is sacred.Subversive Theatre Collective A LOVE SONG OF J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER by Carson Kreitzer
An explosive and deliciously bizarre encounter between the father of the Nuclear Bomb and Lilith, Adam’s first wife in the Garden of Eden.Theatre of Youth Company, Inc. A YEAR WITH FROG & TOAD Book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale
A whimsical musical for ages four and up. Best friends Frog and Toad celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special.Torn Space Theater A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
It began as a groundbreaking book, became a controversial film, and for 20 years has placed its infamous mark on the live stage. Now it’s at Torn Space.Ujima Company, Inc. GOSPEL AT COLONUS by Lee Breuer, music by Bob Telson
Seamlessly blending the agony of Greek tragedy and the ecstasy of American gospel music with the ground-shaking thunder of a gospel revival meeting.Jewish Repertory Theatre A LIFE IN THE THEATRE by David Mamet
The story of the evolving relationship between a stage veteran and a promising young actor. (Note: JRT does not perform on Friday night.)
Act III: Crash The Cast Party! 10pm (or so) - 1am
When the theaters let out, the Theater District comes alive with free outdoor entertainment, including the George Scott Big Band, the Bar-Room Buzzards, the Albrights, Zydeco, Gravitational Bull, and Pat Ruof. Rub elbows with actors, directors, singers, dancers, and even stage managers!
Don’t miss Artvoice’s crowning of the Curtain Up! King and Queen at midnight and more surprises!
And it’s all free!
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