As most of you know, CURTAIN UP!, the official start to Buffalo’s theater season, is mere weeks away, with the main event held on Friday, September 11th. After the curtain has fallen on all of our local theaters’ opening shows, there will be plenty more entertainment to last the entire year! I’ve looked through all of the schedules for this upcoming season and now present to you some of my choices for the must-see shows on the season from many of our area theaters. Enjoy! I’ll see you at the show!
Shea’s Performing Arts Center: In April and May, Jersey Boys (pictured above; photo courtesy of Lisa Grisanti) will cap off a great season at Shea’s. From Chicago to Fiddler on the Roof, the theater will bring audiences the best shows Broadway has to offer. This show, about Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Four Seasons, will ignite the stage from April 21st through May 9th with its Tony Award-winning music and flair.
Shakespeare in Delaware Park: Though this summer’s final performance of Julius Caesar just concluded, it’s never to early to start planing for next summer. Personally, I’m definitely looking forward to the all-female version of Macbeth, which in Shakepeare’s time would have been performed completely by men. This interesting twist on the classic story is sure to thoroughly entertain audiences from July 22nd through August 15th next summer.
Road Less Traveled Productions: This theater company, which prides itself on performing works from playwrights with WNY ties, will put on The Goat from April 23rd to May 22nd. This play — about a man who begins an unusual love affair — is written by Edward Albee, the man behind such works as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Zoo Story. Albee will actually be in attendance on May 8th for their 2010 Gala evening!
Alleyway Theatre: Buffalo’s longest running holiday show, A Christmas Carol, returns for its 27th season this year. This time Alleyway Executive Director Neal Radice has adapted the original show and will direct Alleyway’s version. John Smeathers (pictured above; photo courtesty of Radice) will star as Ebenezor Scrooge in this classic tale. It’s not to be missed!
Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions: After all of the controversy surrounding KTP earlier this summer, Beth Gerardi, the company’s artistic director, said KTP is happy to have found a new home at Medaille College. This season, KTP will perform Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, which I cannot wait to see! From January 29th through February 13th, KTP will present a new version of this classic tale where Hyde is portrayed by four different actors. It promises to be a fantastic show.
O’Connell & Company Productions: After a year off from the Buffalo theater scene, this company is also happy to have found a new home at Erie Community College’s North Campus. As the grand finale to their 2009-2010 season, they will perform The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. From having seen this show before, I can confidently say that it’s a funny, crowd-pleasing show that I loved. Don’t miss it!
Theatre of Youth: The theater company dedicated to performing shows for the youngest generation has a wonderful line-up of shows in store for audiences this season, including The Snow Queen, whose program illustration is pictured above (courtesy of Robert Brunschmid). Their must-see show this season is C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which opens on January 29th. The kids will love this production!
Kavinoky Theatre: This season, the Kavinoky will perform Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, from November 6th through December 6th, as part of their 30th anniversary season. With a cast of 150 characters (and just four talented actors), this production blends Hitchcock, Monty Python and an intriguing spy novel to create a hilarious show audiences will love.
Of course, it’d be very difficult to feature every production at every theater, so that was just a sample of some of the amazing shows coming to a theater near you. Catch more at: MusicalFare, the Jewish Repertory Theatre, Torn Space Theater, the Irish Classical Theatre, Alt Theatre, New Phoenix Theatre and the Playhouse of American Classics, which is based out of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. It’s a great year for theater in Buffalo!
(Pictured above is the program art for Blood Brothers, Irish Classical Theatre’s season opener about twins who were separated at birth. The show opens for CURTAIN UP! on September 11th and runs through October 11th. Image courtesy of Deb Wanecski, ICT’s director of marketing.)