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:  This perky tale of disparate singles out on a blind date was written by Austin Winsberg, with music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. After a brief tryout in Seattle, it moved to Broadway (in 2013), where it had a respectable five month run.  The regional premiere, at MusicalFare Theatre, runs through August 11th.  Doug Weyand directs (and choreographed) a cast of five. The musical director (and pianist) is Theresa Quinn.  FIRST DATE plays without an intermission (although it sure could have used one), and runs about 90 minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  A bar/restaurant inNew York City,…

Read More

THE BASICS:  A revival of Bernard Shaw’s chatty social comedy of 1908.  Tanja Jacobs directs a cast of twelve.  MARRIED plays in repertory at the Royal George Theatre in Niagara on the Lake through October 13th.  The play, with its single intermission, runs approximately 2 ½ hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The action (what there is of it) takes place in a room near the entrance at the Palace of the Bishop of Chelsea.  The program suggests that the time has been updated, to 1950.  Edith, the youngest of the Bishop’s six daughters, is set to follow in her sisters’ footsteps, and…

Read More

THE BASICS: This two-handed domestic drama by Sharr White premiered in NYC in 2014.  The Buffalo premiere, starring Lisa Ludwig and John Profeta, and directed by Terry Kimmel, plays weekends at the New Phoenix Theatre (95 Johnson Park) through May 18th.  It runs just over 90 minutes, and has no intermission. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Present day, a trailer home just outside a fly-speck town in the Rockies. Twenty years after Emma, his former wife, abruptly fled, with their young son in tow, Ulysses, formerly an esteemed writer and now a recluse, finds her on his doorstep, with a whole lot of luggage. …

Read More

THE BASICS: This powerful 1998 musical by Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown concerns a sensational crime and murder trial that took place in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1913. This ambitious ART production features a cast of thirteen. There are also four musicians. The direction is by Matthew Refermat, with musical direction by Donald Jenczka. PARADE plays weekends at TheatreLoft, 545 Elmwood Avenue, through April 13th. The play, with its single intermission, runs a hefty 2 ¾ hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH: When pretty 13 year old Mary Phagan is found dead, beaten and raped in the basement of the pencil factory where…

Read More

THE BASICS:  Lanford Wilson’s one act (97 minutes according to our protagonist, Matt Friedman!) two-hander, a comedy of mismatched lonelyhearts, runs weekends (minus Friday nights) through March 3rd.  This Valentine’s Day offering from the JRT (2640 North Forest Road, Getzville) has been directed by Steve Vaughan, and co-stars Anne Roaldi Boucher and Chris J. Handley.  THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The play takes place one evening at the delapidated old boathouse (read: folly) on the lot of the Talley estate in rural Lebanon, Missouri, in the summer of 1944.  Matt Friedman, 42 year-old immigrant and accounting whiz from St Louis, and Sally Talley, thirty-something…

Read More

THE BASICS:  Rousing revival of the 2005 musical hit by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, adapted from the landmark 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Directed and choreographed by Lynne Kurdziel Formato.  The large cast (19!) includes a six wench chorus. There’s also a ten player band, led by musical director Allan Paglia.  SPAMALOT (at Kavinoky Theatre), with its single intermission, runs about two hours and twenty minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The Middle Ages.  Arthur, King of the Britons, works to assemble knights for his newly devised Round Table, then gets a mission from the Almighty (as video…

Read More

THE BASICS:  The New Phoenix Theatre has at last kicked off its 2017 -18 season, with this largely forgotten holiday story from 1953, written by Samuel and Bella Spewack (authors of KISS ME KATE).  Tom Makar directs a cast of nine, including the Phoenix’s Artistic Director, Richard Lambert.  MY THREE ANGELS plays weekends at the company’s cozy, historic home at 95 Johnson Park, through December 15th.  This “old chestnut” has two intermissions, which jacks up the running time to about 2 ½ hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The action takes place at Christmastime in 1911, at the home of Felix Ducotel, a…

Read More

THE BASICS:  The Jewish Repertory Theatre (Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Williamsville) stages its first musical, a world premiere no less, weekends (but no Friday nights) through October 28th.   Director Saul Elkin directs a cast of four (Lisa Ludwig, Mary Kate O’Connell, Tom Makar, David Marciniak).  The show, with its single intermission, runs approximately 2 hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH (courtesy of the Broadway World website): “THE STRUDEL LADY (is) the story of Chava, an American-born, Jewish Orthodox wife and mother, who seeks to put her life back together when she is deserted by her husband and children. Embarrassed and confused…

Read More

THE BASICS:  The Paul Robeson Theatre opens its 51st season with a musical hit from 1970.  Carlos Jones directs a cast of eleven in this sweet-natured tale of the late Jim Crow South.  A jazz combo of three handle the Gary Geld score.  The lyrics are by Peter Udell, who, along with Philip Rose, helped to adapt the original straight play by Ossie Davis.  With its single intermission, PURLIE runs about 2 ½ hours.  It plays weekends at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Avenue, through October 7th. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Traveling preacher Purlie Victorious Judson, a glib, strutting, “Newfangled…

Read More

THE BASICS:  Another Shaw rarity, this stinging little comedy from 1915 is GBS vs. War, with a healthy helping of Anglo-Irish acrimony thrown in for good measure.  Kimberley Rampersad directs a cast of four.  O’FLAHERTY, which runs about 45 minutes (no intermission) is this year’s Luchtime Theatre offering at the Festival.  It runs on selected dates through October 6th. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  An Irish country house, summer of 1915.  Dennis O’Flaherty, who has just won the Victoria Cross (V.C.) for conspicuous bravery in battle, returns to the estate where he grew up, along with his commanding officer General Sir Pearce Madigan,…

Read More