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:  Paired shorter comedies by Bernard Shaw:  HOW HE LIED TO HER HUSBAND and THE MAN OF DESTINY.  Philip Akin directs a cast of seven.  LIED runs about half and hour, MAN roughly twice that.  The two plays, with single intermission, make for a show of about two hours.  MARRIAGE plays in repertory at the Shaw Festival’s Royal George Theatre, through September 2nd. THUMBNAIL SKETCHES: HOW HE LIED TO HER HUSBAND.  Standard issue domestic comedy, with a love triangle very similar to the one already used by Shaw for CANDIDA.  GBS actually has his characters discuss CANDIDA in the play!  Funny…

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THE BASICS:  This breezy, strongly theater-rooted play by Sarah Ruhl is part romantic comedy, part puckish mindbender, part backstage/onstage farce. There are even a few musical numbers tucked into this unique concoction!  Anita Rochon directs a cast of seven. KISS (at the Shaw Festival), with its single intermission, runs approximately two hours and twenty minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The play begins in New Haven, CT, present day.  He and She, forty-something actors who were each other’s first loves two decades earlier (and who haven’t been in contact since their long ago break-up) get cast opposite one other in the revival of…

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THE BASICS:  This 1989 musical version of Vicki Baum’s 1930 novel/play runs in repertory at the Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake through October 14th.  Eda Holmes directs a cast of twenty-six.  The play, with its single intermission, runs roughly 2 ½ hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  (courtesy of Wikipedia)  The musical focuses on events taking place over the course of a weekend in an elegant hotel in 1928 Berlin.  We follow the intersecting stories of the eccentric guests of the hotel, including a fading prima ballerina; a fatally ill Jewish bookkeeper, who wants to spend his final days living in luxury; a young, handsome, but destitute Baron;…

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THE BASICS:  Finishing up the Paul Robeson Theatre’s 50th season, DAZE is an original small ensemble “costume” musical by Thomas W. Jones II, based upon a novel by Ruth P. Watson.  The original score is by William Knowles.  Writer Jones also directs the Robeson’s company of seven (two play double roles).  BLACKBERRY DAZE runs weekends through May 27th, at the African American Cultural Center, 350 Masten Avenue.  The show, with its single intermission, runs approximately 2 hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The action takes place in a little town in Virginia, shortly after the end of the Great War.  Smooth operator Herman Camm,…

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THE BASICS:  This Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley musical from 1964, a tuneful allegory about the haves and have-nots, is getting a rare revival at the Lancaster Opera House, weekends through April 22nd.  Merete Muenter directs a cast of nine.  ROAR, with its single intermission, runs nearly 2 ½ hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The wealthy, aristocratic Sir and the impoverished, downtrodden Cocky play The Game over and over, always with the same result.  Cocky simply cannot win; the  domineering Sir is forever changing the rules, sometimes even inventing new ones to confound his hapless “friend”. Cocky looks to lady luck, in vain.  He daydreams an ideal mate; Sir…

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THE BASICS:  Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama (2013) is all about race, religion, assimilation, and how complicated it is to be a Muslim American in present day America.  The WNY premiere, with Road Less Traveled Productions, runs weekends through March 31st at their Pearl Street theater.  John Hurley directs a cast of five.  DISGRACED runs a little under ninety minutes in length.  There is no intermission. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Amir Kapoor, who has altered his name and his social security number, and completely renounced his religion, seems to be on the verge of partnership at a high-powered NYC law firm. …

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THE BASICS:  This recent vintage (2014) historical comedy by Richard Strand plays weekends at the Kavinoky Theatre, through March 25th.  Robert Waterhouse directs a cast of four.  BUTLER, with its single intermission, runs approximately two hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The action takes place at Fort Monroe in Virginia during the first days of the Civil War. Benjamin Butler, lawyer and politician, has been newly minted as a Major General by President Lincoln, and assigned to command this Union outpost in the seething, newly seceded state.  His young Lieutenant, a West Point graduate named Kelly, bursts into the office to inform him that…

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THE BASICS:  This 2015 religion-based comedy/satire by David Javerbaum is having its WNY premiere with O’Connell & Company at their Park School home.  Victoria Perez-Maggiolo directs a cast of three.  The show plays weekends through February 11th.  ACT, with its single intermission, runs about 90 minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The Almighty (Judeo-Christian version) temporarily hijacks the body of Joey Bucheker, a “short, balding character actor… with a serious penchant for wearing women’s clothing” (his descriptors) to Explain It All To Us. With the help of two Archangels, Gabriel and Michael, God gives us jaunty takes on a lot of (mainly) Old…

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THE BASICS:   This offbeat comedy/drama by Will Kern, from the new PollyAnna Productions, is having its WNY premiere at the American Repertory Theater, 330 Amherst Street, weekends through December 16th.   John F. Kennedy directs a cast of seven.  The show, with its single intermission, runs about 90 minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  HELLCAB, a string of vignettes, gives us a long, crazy day (Christmas Eve) in the life of a young Chicago cabbie.  His various passengers,  highly eclectic, provide the grist for this scattershot tale. THE PLAY, THE PLAYERS AND THE PRODUCTION:  While I applaud the efforts of all concerned to give…

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THE BASICS:  Tina Howe’s Alzheimer’s-related family drama was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1984.  O’Connell and Co. is doing a special limited engagement for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.  Performances continue through November 19th.  Lucas Lloyd directs a cast of three.  The show, with its single intermission, runs a little under two hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  From the playbill and theater website:  “Gardner and Fanny Church are preparing to move out of their Beacon Hill house to their summer cottage on Cape Cod.  Gardner, once a famous poet, is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, as his wife Fanny valiantly tries to keep them…

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