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Cinderella in one paragraph
by Anthony Chase
Plus a roundup of holiday shows
Yes you are likely to love Rodgers & Hammerstein’s updated Cinderella, now at Shea’s, whether you are young or old, a curmudgeonly cynic or a sentimental fool. This luscious production has something for everyone, from a snappy new script by clever Douglas Carter Beane, to added songs culled from the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook, to magically glorious costumes from the genius of William Ivey Long, to an incandescent performance by beautiful, graceful, charismatic Paige Faure as Cinderella. It’s got a goofy but entirely charming prince in Andy Jones, who laments after slaying a monster that he wishes he were doing something more meaningful with his life. It’s got Kecia Lewis, the fairy godmother of all fairy godmothers who turns the added R&H tune, “There’s Music in You” into an anthem for the ages. It’s got a glamorous and delightfully wicked stepmother with expert comic timing in gorgeous Beth Glover and equally funny and endearing stepsisters in Ashley Park and Aymee Garcia—the latter gets to sell the eternally funny “Stepsister’s Lament” and to deliver a litany of hilarious Douglas Carter Beane one-liners. The other sister gets a love interest of her own in nerdy but adorable David Andino, the revolutionary with a heart of gold. It’s got a new and slightly feminist moral for its story about kindness, social responsibility, and self-confidence. Directed by Mark Brokaw and choreographed by Josh Rhodes with a chorus that sings as well as it dances as well as it performs light-hearted comedy, this is an evening that will make memories to last a lifetime.
Tis the season! From Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Shea’s to Nutcrackers and Christmas concerts everywhere, to the traditional A Christmas Carol at the Alleyway, there is an abundance of holiday fare on Buffalo’s stages. Among the more interesting...
CHARLES DICKENS PRESENTS: A CHRISTMAS CAROL is much adored Mike Randall’s much adored solo performance conceived, written, directed by and starring Mike Randall himself, in which her portrays Mr. Dickens, reading his beloved classic. This will be presented by The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild. Dec 7 at 3pm at the Ellicott Creek Playhouse, in Tonawanda. The Towne Players will present the production Dec 12 at 7:30 at the Sheridan-Parkside Community Center Theatre in the town of Tonawanda
THE GUNS OF CHRISTMAS is a world premiere of a play by local playwright Gary Earl Ross, presented by Subversive Theatre, directed by Ross, at the Manny Fried Playhouse. Award winning Mr. Ross tells the story of real life incident in 1914 when soldiers on both sides of the Western Front during World War I climbed out of the trenches, put down their weapons, and declared a Christmas Truce so they could celebrate the holiday together.
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS is the holiday offering from Theatre of Youth. If Subversive turns to WWI, Theatre of Youth goes to London in 1941 where a boy must band together with his friends to rescue Father Christmas from the clutches of Jack Frost. As in Clement Clarke Moore’s beloved poem, it all ends happily. The production is at the Allendale Theatre.
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING OUT is a one-man show by Jeffrey Solomon presented by Buffalo United Artists. Told in the style of The Laramie Project, a letter to Santa from a boy who is distressed that he has received a truck when he wanted a doll, prompts old Saint Nick to use his celebrity to make a bold social statement. Directed by Christopher Standart, and starring Timothy Patrick Finnegan with Chuck Basil at the keyboard, this is the first time the piece has been performed by anyone other than Mr. Solomon himself. Performances are at the Main Street Cabaret, 687 Main St.
THE SANTALAND DIARIES is the one-man show by David Sedaris & Joe Mantello in which Marc Sacco stars as the beleaguered and cynical employee of a department store SantaLand. Yes, a grown man required to dress as an elf and deal with tired children and their ill-tempered parents during the rush of Christmas. Sacco should be hilarious in the role. Directed by Doug Weyand, the piece started as a story by Sedaris, and is based on his fictionalized account of an actual job on 34th Street. Performances are at Road Less Traveled Theater in the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre.
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