Choose a Curtain Up! Show
by Anthony Chase
A brief rundown of what's on stage for this year's big opening night
Curtain Up! is Buffalo’s 34 year old celebration of the start of the theater season. This year, the event will be held on Friday, September 18th. Presented by the Theatre District Association of Western New York, the evening is divided into 3 Acts. Act I is dinner. Act II is a performance at one of the region’s many professional theaters. Act III is a big downtown street party featuring live music, dancing, and street performers.
Acts I & III are easy to plan. Either dine at the gala dinner onstage at Shea’s or at one of the city’s fine restaurants, and afterward follow the crowds to join the fun. Act II requires making a decision about which show to see. The On the Boards theater calendar now lists the shows that will be playing on Curtain Up! night.
In honor of the season, here is some additional information to help you choose a show for the special evening.
710 Main Theatre
FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE! by Laura Pedersen
COMEDY—Set in Buffalo, 1974, the play follows “a typical Irish-American family, during a time when the world outside was changing fast.”
www.alleyway.com, 716-852-2600 x0
GRANNY BIRD book, music and lyrics by Neal Radice
MUSICAL—based on a story by Robin Rice Lichtig, the musical tells the tale of an elderly woman who evades her family’s plan to send her to a senior facility by escaping to a tree house where she hides out with her great-granddaughter.
American Repertory Theater of WNY
CARRIE THE MUSICAL music by Michael Gore, book by Lawrence Cohen
MUSICAL—based on the cult classic, Carrie, an outcast high school girl with super-kinetic powers, goes to the prom, but things don’t turn out as she had hoped.
Buffalo Laboratory Theatre
DOUBT by John Patrick Shanley
DRAMA—A Catholic nun in Kennedy era New York City suspects one of priests of an inappropriate relationship with one of the school boys.
Buffalo United Artists
BUYER & CELLAR by Jonathan Tolins
SOLO COMEDY—a young man lands a plumb job working in Barbra Streisand’s basement where the elusive star maintains her vast collections in a miniature shopping mall where she is the only customer.
Irish Classical Theatre Company
www.irishclassicaltheatre.com, 716-853-ICTC (4282)
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC book by Hugh Wheeler, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
MUSICAL—a gracious and humorous evening of love and infidelity among a group of wealthy Scandinavians set to waltz music by Sondheim. This is the show that gives us “Send in the Clowns.”
The Kavinoky Theatre
KING O’ THE MOON - OVER THE TAVERN: Part Two by Tom Dudzik
COMEDY—The author of “Over the Tavern” returns to the foibles of Polish American family in Buffalo
Lancaster Opera House
MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT book & Lyrics by Eric Idle, Music by John Du
Perez & Eric Idle
MUSICAL—hit Broadway parody of the King Arthur legend.
IN THE HEIGHTS book by Quiara Algeria Hudes, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
MUSICAL—family drama in the mostly Dominican neighborhood in the Washington Heights area of New York City
New Phoenix Theatre On The Park
THE REAL THING by Tom Stoppard
DRAMA—Stoppard plays with levels of reality and honesty in his examination of a relationship.
O’Connell & Company
TEN DAYS TO HAPPINESS by Donna Rae Davidson
ONE-WOMAN COMEDY—a woman attends a ten-day meditation retreat
Paul Robeson Theatre at the African American Cultural Center
HOW I GOT OVER by Paulette D. Harris
MUSICAL—Original musical about five local legends of Gospel music.
Road Less Traveled Productions
SPEED OF LIGHT by Bella Poynton
Sci-fi drama about a physicist on a far off planet racing against time to unlock the secret of light speed travel in order to save humanity from alien invaders.
Subversive Theatre Collective
SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE (OR THE CHILDRENS CRUSADE) by Eric Simonson
DRAMA—stage adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s 1960 anti-war novel, in which anti-hero Billy Pilgrim spins through a non-linear narrative from youth to old age.
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