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36th Annual Curtain Up!

One of the region’s most highly anticipated events is coming up on Friday, September 15, 2017. The Theatre District is preparing for the 36th Annual Curtain Up! event, which celebrates the opening of the 2017-2018 Theatre Season. The evening is dedicated to some of the most respected cultural institutions in Buffalo, from the smaller indie theaters to the major heavy hitters (theater performances start at 8pm). Curtain Up! encompasses so many different aspects of the theater scene, including a multitude of performances, and a tribute (street party) dedicated to the reenergizing of Main Street, home of the Theatre District.

In 2017, Adam Hayes will serve as The Theatre District Association’s Vice President/Chair of the Curtain Up! 2017 Steering Committee.

“In am honored to be at the helm of this prestigious event which will be celebrating its 36th year in Buffalo’s thriving Theatre District,” said Mr. Hayes, who is a respected local attorney and actor. “This year challenged our creativity as Shea’s Performing Arts Center will be teaching the first National Tour of On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan in September, an exciting endeavor that will have a widespread economic impact on the region, but will make Shea’s Main Stage, which has been home to the Curtain Up! Gala Dinner for a number of years, unavailable. This presented an opportunity to delve into the Curtain Up! concept and what it means to Buffalo in truly thoughtful ways.”

“We are pleased to announce that the annual black-tie Curtain Up! Gala Dinner will return, by popular demand, to Fountain Plaza in the 500 block of Main Street, where guests will enjoy an elegant 3-course meal complete with wine and live music,” said Hayes. “Additionally, in an effort to encourage participation in Curtain Up! by a wider cross-section of the community, we will present for the first time the Greenroom Gala for those seeking something a little more informal. This new and innovative event called Cirque Du EXPO! will take place at Expo Market, 617 Main Street, and add another dimension to the festivities.”

This will be the 2nd Annual Cirque Du EXPO! After Buffalo’s Glorious Curtain Up & Green Room Gala, the market will be feature a fun-filled party with special performances by: The Birds Nest; acrobatics & circus. Music by Gary Quatrani. All 5 EXPO market restaurants will be open late, with drink specials at GBGB. The streets will be closed & the patio Open. 

2017 is presented by The Theatre District Association and M&T Bank

Alleyway Theatre

1 Curtain Up Alley; Buffalo, NY 14202

(716) 852-2600

Killer Rack: The Feminist Horror Musical Comedy

Book, Music and Lyrics by Neal Radice

Based on Killer Rack, the screwball comedy horror movie


A crazy, B style, horror movie, recently filmed in Buffalo, is now a campy new musical for the stage. In a world that prices breast size over accomplishments, Betty Downer impulsively books enhancement surgery with the evil Dr. Libby Niptuck . . . but all hell breaks loose as singing, dancing, musical mayhem is brought on by a set of monstrous mammaries!

Buffalo United Artists at Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret

1 Curtain Up Alley; Buffalo, NY 14202

(716) 886-9239

Sons & Lovers

By Donna Hoke


As long as Ellen doesn’t openly acknowledge that husband Butch is a cheater or son Bill is gay, they’re just . . . not. As long as Bill doesn’t introduce Marq to his mother, he can avoid commitment. It takes fantasy, farce, and one fabulous makeover before the truth flies free, and mother and son discover just how much they have in common.

Irish Classical Theatre Company at the Andrew’s Theatre

625 Main Street; Buffalo, NY 14203

(716) 853-4282

Design for Living

By Noel Coward


“I love you. You love me. You love Otto. I love Otto. Otto loves you. Otto loves me,” says Gilda; and that’s the dilemma. Three slick and stylish young bohemians in 1930’s England take us on a delicious romp only Noel Coward could conceive. Vivacious interior designer Gilda; successful playwright Leo; and starving artist Otto are all entangled in a tempestuous love triangle that flaunts society’s conventions. Although this offbeat trip attempts to force their lifestyle’s triangular peg into a round hole of respectability, their shameless carryings-on make for an uproarious rollercoaster of a comedy you’ll love.

Kavinoky Theatre

320 Porter Ave.; Buffalo, NY 14201

(716) 829-8141

The Producers

By Mel Brooks


Declared one of the funniest Broadway musicals of all time, the record breaking Tony award winning musical “The Producers” is the Broadway hit based on the Mel Brooks classic film of the same name.

Rocking Horse Productions at Lancaster Opera House

21 Central Ave.; Lancaster, NY 14086

(716) 683-1776

9 to 5: The Musical

Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton, Book by Patricia Resnick


A high-energy musical adaptation of the 1980 hit movie.

MusicalFare Theatre

4380 Main Street, Suite 123; Amherst, NY 14226

(716) 839-8540

Peter & The Starcatcher

By Rick Elice


Tony-winning Peter & The Starcatcher upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). Featuring a dozen actors portraying more than 100 unforgettable characters, Peter & The Starcatcher uses ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination to bring the story to life.

New Phoenix Theatre

95 Johnson Park; Buffalo, NY 14201

(716) 853-1334

My Old Lady

By Isreal Horovitz


A down on his luck middle-aged man inherits an apartment in Paris and must live with the elderly woman that has inhabited it for decades. There, he learns friendship, falls in love, and must finally deal with the death of his father.

O’Connell & Company at The Shea’s Smith Theatre

660 Main Street; Buffalo, NY 14202

(716) 848-0800

Gentlemen Prefer DIVAs

By Mary Kate O’Connell


DIVA by DIVA meets GENTLEMEN’S GENTLEMEN in an all star cabaret celebration. A one-act cabaret revue celebrating men & women through quotes, stories, and jokes! Filled with wonderful music, great fun!

Road Less Traveled Productions at Road Less Traveled Theater

500 Pearl Street; Buffalo, NY 14202

(716) 629-3069


By Annie Baker


A young couple, struggling with their future, arrives at a mysterious B&B in Gettysburg, PA—one brimming with watchful objects, where certain rooms are not to be entered and certain things are better left unsaid. Annie Baker (Circle Mirror Transformation, and Pulitzer Prize-winner for The Flick) flirts with the supernatural in her latest work, a reflection on what we know and what we think we know, on strained connection and pervasive loneliness, on what we carry with us and what we leave behind.

The Subversive Theatre Collective at the Manny Fried Playhouse

255 Great Arrow Ave.; Buffalo, NY 14207

(716) 883-0856


By Joseph Heller


Subversive Theatre kicks off its 15th season of subversion with the anti-war, anti-conformity, anti-stupidity masterpiece CATCH-22. Adapted for the stage by the author of the watershed 1961 Novel, this Two Act stream of consciousness play whirls through the delirium of military life for a World War II American airman who’s just sane enough to see how insane war really is. Dripping with a breath-taking mixture of dread and wry satire, this smirking screed stands out as an eternal rallying cry against the machine.

Torn Space Theater

612 Fillmore Ave.; Buffalo, NY 14212

(716) 812-5733

The Fever

By 600 Highwaymen


Every performance of The Fever is a collaboration with the audience that tests the limits of individual and collective responsibility, and our willingness to be there for one another. Placing the audience center stage, The Fever becomes an observation of human behavior. The group performance displays how we organize and care for the bodies around us.

Shea’s 710 Theatre

710 Main St.; Buffalo, NY

(716) 847-0850

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

By Richard Alfieri

This touching comedy revolves around Lily Harrison (Loretta Swit), a formidable retired woman living in St. Petersburg, FL who hires a young, acerbic dance instructor (David Engel) to give her dance lessons–one per week for six weeks. While dancing the Tango, Waltz, Swing, Foxtrot, and Cha-Cha, a relationship blossoms into a beautiful friendship as they learn to overcome their outward differences and discover an unlikely but profound connection.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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