Author: Grant Golden

Grant Golden

GRANT GOLDEN wears a number of hats. He has been practicing radiology in Buffalo since 1981, for the past 15 years, with Seton Imaging. Dr Laszlo Tabar, internationally famous mammographer, has been his special friend and mentor. Grant began The Old Chestnut Film Society, Buffalo’s only film society, in 1983. Now in its 35th consecutive season, the OCFS does monthly screenings of Hollywood classics in 16mm. He has written the scores (and some of the books) for a number of locally produced musicals, including the old WONDERMAKERS shows, THE OTHER ISLAND, NOBODY’S INN (Alleyway Theatre), IZZY! (Musicalfare), and ME II (Western Door Playhouse). He reviewed local plays on the radio for 20 years--on WBEN and WBFO—before making the switch to BuffaloRising. Grant and his lovely wife Deborah live in Central Park with their dog Ginger, and cats Ella and Felix. They have three adult children, and now, happily, two grandchildren!

THE BASICS: The area premiere of this comedy-drama/fantasy by Bekah Brunstetter (author of “This is Us”) runs weekends (Thurs-Saturday evenings) at Alleyway Theatre through May 28th. A.D. Chris Handley directs a cast of six. TRAIL runs about two hours with its single intermission. THUMBNAIL SKETCH: The action takes place now, in 1997 and in 1848. As Jane, an angry, troubled Millennial, comes of age, she is surprised and delighted to find that her all-time favorite video game, The Oregon Trail, has come to life, and provides her with some well-worn comfort and welcome guidance as she struggles with young adulthood. This unusual piece is about perseverance, and…

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The Basics:  The Kavinoky Theatre is back, after another pandemic break, with a play version of Jane Austen’s beloved classic.  This adaptation, by Kate Hamill, features a cast of eight, with all but the main romantic leads doubling up, to accommodate the large scale of the undertaking. Kristen Tripp Kelley directs. Performances continue weekends through March 27.  P&P runs approximately 2 ½ hours with its single intermission. Thumbnail Sketch:  Lizzy Bennet, her sisters and her cohort play The Mating Game in Regency Era England.  The glib, outspoken Lizzy is determined to resist marriage. But can she, when the handsome, mildly…

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THE BASICS:  The (Irish Classical Theatre Company) ICTC is back with live theater (at last!) with this Andrews Theatre mounting of Samuel Beckett’s 1952 Absurdist classic. Performances continue weekends through February 13. Josephine Hogan directs a cast of five. The show, with its single intermission, runs approximately two hours and ten minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Vladimir and Estragon, a couple of tramp-like figures, ne’er-do-wells, struggle through one long, meaningless day after another in a world that seems to have no place for them. Through all the pain and craziness, they wait for a mysterious Mr. Godot, who may provide them with some long-sought…

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THE BASICS:  This is the WNY premiere of Shirley Lauro’s 2006 stylistic, female-centric memory-drama of the Third Reich.  Produced by the Brazen Faced Varlets company, NIGHT plays on the main stage at Alleyway Theatre, weekends through Oct. 24th.  Varlet co-founder Lara Haberberger directs a cast of five.  The play, with its single ten minute intermission, runs a full 2 ½ hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:   In ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT, we follow the lives of four young German Gentile women, first as teens and subsequently young adults, through the dark days of Nazi ascent and rule.  The action unfolds in a series of…

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THE BASICS:  Historical drama/lesbian love story by Paula Vogel (HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE), which ran for a time on Broadway in 2017.  Kavinoky Theatre (with a co-production credit to the JRT), weekends between March 6 – March 29.  Kristen Tripp Kelley directs a cast of eight, with nearly all playing multiple roles.  There are also four musicians, comprising a sort of wandering klezmer band.  The announced running time was 95 minutes, but INDECENT ran a full two hours on opening night.  There is no intermission. ABOUT THE PLAY:  INDECENT is the story of an old and largely forgotten play,…

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THE BASICS:  The regional premiere of the Broadway musical version (2014) of the former hit novella (1992) and movie (1995) plays weekends at the Kavinoky Theatre through February 2nd.  Loraine O’Donnell, the Kav’s Artistic Director, directs a cast of twelve.  Musical direction is by Allan Paglia.  The play, with its single intermission, runs somewhat in excess of 2 ½ hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Winterset, Iowa, 1965.  Francesca Johnson, former Italian war bride, has made the tough transition to the American heartland.  She has a solid, respectable mate, and is the mother of two argumentative but blossoming teens.  When these significant others…

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THE BASICS:   This grossly expanded version of Dylan Thomas’ beloved little childhood reminiscence is this year’s holiday offering at the Irish Classical Theatre.  Chris Kelly directs a cast of 14 (!)  Musical direction is by Joseph Donohue III.  A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS runs weekends at the Andrews Theatre through December 15th.  The play, with its single, 10 minute intermission, runs a tad over 2 hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The adult Dylan Thomas, who narrates, takes us back to the long-ago Christmases of his boyhood in rural Wales.  A memory play, it is not about any specific Christmas, or any specific year, although it…

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THE BASICS:  Lerner and Loewe’s Scottish musical/fantasy, from 1947, is a tentpole production at the Festival Theatre this season at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The cast of 26 (!) is directed by Glynis Leyshon.  Musical direction is by veteran Paul Sportelli, who also conducts the pit orchestra of fifteen. BRIGADOON plays in repertory through October 13th. The show, with its single intermission, runs approximately two hours and twenty minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The action takes place (mainly) in the Scottish highlands, one very special day in 1946.  “Two weary hunters”,  Americans Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas, lost, discover a strange…

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THE BASICS:  Sensational drama by Mae West, about the rise of a sultry, smart, strong-willed madam. The program tells us that it has not been revived since being shuttered by the New York Police “for corrupting the morals of youth”, in 1926.  Peter Hinton-Davis directs a cast of twelve, with a number of the actors playing multiple roles.  SEX is yet another offering at this season’s Shaw Festival, playing at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre, immediately opposite the large Festival Theatre, on selected dates through October 13th.  With its single intermission, SEX runs about 2 ½ hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The…

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THE BASICS:  This gloomy little one-act Russian style love story, for three players and a violinist, was written by esteemed Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch in 2006.  Director Diana Donnelly heads the mainly female production team.  Running about 45 minutes, and without intermission, THE RUSSIAN PLAY is this year’s Lunchtime Theatre offering at the Shaw.  It plays various weekdays and weekends at the Royal George Theatre in Niagara on the Lake, through October 12th.  Please note: curtain time for lunchtime theatre is 11:30am. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The action unfolds in Russian, in the 1920’s. However, Sonya, the protagonist, also “exists” in the…

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