CLEOPATRA, a comedy by Charles Busch, is back for a “Special Encore Performance Run” presented by Buffalo United Artists, celebrating 25 years of presenting LGBTQ relevant theater. CLEOPATRA was last seen in March/April and now perfectly fits the annual desire by B.U.A. to present some “summer camp.” Camp is defined as “outrageous in concept and wild in its execution with double entendres flying every which way.” Yup. That’s it.
Directed by Todd Warfield, once again it stars the fabulous (there is no other word) Jimmy Janowski, Bebe Bvlgari, Maria Droz, Timothy Patrick Finnegan, Adam Hayes, Michael Seitz, and Guy Tomassi. This encore run continues Friday July 14 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday July 15 at both 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday July 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (a pedestrian walkway which connects Main to Pearl Streets). Runtime: Two hours with a 10-minute intermission (886-9239). www.buffalobua.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I originally wrote about CLEOPATRA in March of this year.
I liked it then; I liked it again now. Since then, at the 27th Annual Artie Awards presented by WNED|WBFO, Jimmy Janowski received the Career Achievement Artie Award, Jimmy Janowski and Todd Warfield were Artie nominated for Outstanding Costume Design for CLEOPATRA, and Maria Droz was Artie nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play for CLEOPATRA.
My opinion of Maria Droz as “Iras” was pretty high last March; it’s even higher after seeing her again this July.
My opinion of Maria Droz as “Iras” was pretty high last March; it’s even higher after seeing her again this July. She doesn’t hold back. And this time I noticed something else. While there are two male actors in full drag and two men who cross dress, Droz is the only female on stage and, playing a female role, this gives her a warrant to deliver certain lines which, in our age of political correctness, might not work as well coming from another actor.
The other actor I appreciated more the second time around is Guy Tomassi who is listed as playing three but really plays four roles: Julius Caesar, Caesar’s wife Calpurnia, Caesar’s ghost, and the patrician Lepidus (who formed the triumvirate with Mark Antony and Octavian). I’m counting the ghost as a fourth role because it is so well done.
Note: For “Curtain Up 2017” (the start of the “theater season” in Buffalo) B.U.A. presents a brand-new play, SONS & LOVERS, by Buffalo playwright Donna Hoke. It will star Caitlin Coleman, currently on stage as “Robert Shallow” in the all-woman production of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR at Shakespeare in Delaware Park, which, like CLEOPATRA, up only through Sunday, July 16.