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Janowski Swims

(photo by Cheryl Gorski)

The Poseidon Adventure at BUA

BUA seems to take the idea of summer “camp” literally. This is the favored season for Buffalo theater legend and grand diva of the BUA stage, Jimmy Janowski, to put on a dress (or several) and to flip his wig. I’d call Janowski “incomparable,” but that’s one thing he decidedly isn’t. Audiences delighted in comparing him to Tippi Hedren in The Birds Attack!; to Joan Crawford in Mommie Queerest, and to Lana Turner in L’Imitation of Life.

And now, just when you thought it was safe to venture out onto the water, Jimmy is back, this time in a role he was apparently born to play, Belle Rosen, the Shelley Winters character in Poseidon: the Upside Down Musical!

Yes, God help us, it’s a musical!

Based on the 1972 cinematic marvel (as opposed to masterpiece), The Poseidon Adventure, “as the celebratory clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, the luxury liner SS Poseidon is hit by a 90 foot high tidal wave and capsizes, forcing the cast of characters to climb from the top, now the bottom, up through the ship to safety.”

We’re being told that this very special occasion has actually required BUA, known for its minimal staging, to construct a set. Their priorities usually require entire budgets to be spent on wigs.

Indeed, the production promises special effects that are wryly being described as “fabulous” and “jaw dropping,” and musical production numbers with such enticing titles as Just Panties... (What Else Do I Need?), Keep On Climbing!, Bad Girls Need Love Too, and (In The Water) I’m A Very Skinny Lady.

Have no fear, this disaster won’t be averted until the fat lady sings and swims.

Poseidon: the Upside Down Musical has book & lyrics by David Cerda (w/Cheryl Snodgrass); and music by David Cerda & Scott Lamberty. The BUA production has been designed and directed by Todd Warfield; with music direction by Chuck Basil and choreography by Joey Bucheker. The show stars Janowski with fellow travelers Jeffrey Coyle, Eric Rawski, Kerrykate Abel, Tyler Brown, Joey Bucheker, Bebe Bvlgari, Maria Droz, Timothy Patrick Finnegan, Christopher Standart and Michael Seitz, all undoubtedly giving sensitive performances as they pay tribute to a triumphant moment of American cinema. The show plays through August 17th at the Alleyway Theatre. Call (716) 886-9239 for details.