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 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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THE BASICS:  Noel Coward’s granddaddy (1932) contribution to the Unconventional Loving Arrangements genre kicks off the ICTC’s 2017-18 season.  Katie Mallinson directs a cast of ten.  Be warned: it’s long, especially for a light comedy, running close to three hours with its two ten minute intermissions! THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Gilda (muse and sometime interior decorator), Otto (starving artist) and Leo (successful playwright), three “bright young things” with decidedly Bohemian tendencies, play mix-and-match for a few years, even involving their square mutual friend Ernest (art dealer) in the fun.  In the end, though, they just can’t play by the accepted rules… THE…

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THE BASICS:  Bernard Shaw’s wild and woolly take on this ancient, well known tale has been adapted by the Shaw’s new Artistic Director, Tim Carroll (and to some extent, the whole ensemble of fourteen), and plays in repertory at the Court House Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake through October 7th. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Androcles the tale concerns a meek, pious Christian tailor in the days of the Roman Empire, when Christians were routinely on the bill of fare for hungry lions at the Colosseum. Our hero, Androcles, on the run, befriends a wild lion in distress.  Years later, when he’s been captured and is…

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THE BASICS:  This year’s lunchtime theater offering at the Shaw Festival is assistant Artistic Director Kate Hennig’s adaptation of four Oscar Wilde fairy tales.  Christine Brubaker directs a cast of six.  TALES, which plays in repertory through October 7th, has a special curtain time of 11:30am, and runs for about an hour.  There is no intermission. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Three great Oscar Wilde stories for children–The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, and The Selfish Giant–have been stitched together using a fourth, less familiar one, The Remarkable Rocket.  I would say more, but why spoil it?  Let’s just say that…

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THE BASICS:  Brian Friel’s award winning Irish drama, which debuted in Dublin in 1990, plays in repertory at the Royal George Theatre in Niagara on the Lake (Shaw Festival) through October 15th.  Krista Jackson directs a cast of eight.  LUGHNASA, with its single intermission, runs approximately two hours and twenty minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  The action (what there is of it) unfolds in a tiny hamlet in Ireland during the summer of 1936.  Michael, the narrator and voice of the playwright himself (the play his largely autobiographical), sets the stage, introducing us to the five unmarried sisters (one, Christina, is his…

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THE BASICS:  Shaw’s lively take on the short, tumultuous life of the Maid of Orleans is arguably his finest play.   The Shaw Festival production, directed by its new A.D., Tim Carroll, plays in repertory at the Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake through October 15th.  There are sixteen in the cast, with quite a number in dual roles.  SAINT JOAN, with its single intermission, runs about two hours and forty five minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Shaw’s recounting of the tale of Joan sticks pretty close to the facts, as we know them.  We follow the zealous Maid from the beginning of her unlikely…

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THE BASICS:  This sprightly, popular British musical from 1937 got revived in 1985, with a new book by Stephen Fry and additional songs by Noel Gay, and was even more of a hit the second time around (Eight years in London, three on Broadway)!  The Shaw Festival is presenting the revised version in repertory at the Festival Theatre through October 15th.  Ashlie Corcoran directs a cast of twenty-three.  Musical director Paul Sportelli conducts an ensemble of thirteen.  ME AND MY GIRL, with its single intermission, runs about two hours and thirty-five minutes. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  When charming Cockney wastrel Bill Snibson…

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THE BASICS:  The Jewish Repertory Theatre finishes up its Year of Amy Herzog with this terse little domestic drama from 2012.  PAN plays weekends (less Friday nights) through May 21st, at the JCC’s Seller Theatre, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville.  Co-founder and Artistic Director Saul Elkin directs a cast of seven.  The show runs about 90 minutes; there is no intermission. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  New Jersey, present day.  When we first meet him, Jamie, a struggling young journalist, seems to be in a pretty good place.  He’s finally getting some recognition, has supportive parents and a long-standing girlfriend who’d like to…

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THE BASICS:  The WNY premiere of this recent vintage suspense drama by Ken Urban plays weekends at the New Phoenix Theatre, through April 15th.  Kelly Bocock-Natale, the company’s artistic director, directs a cast of three.  THE CORRESPONDENT, with its single intermission, runs slightly under two hours. THUMBNAIL SKETCH:   A grieving husband hires a dying woman to deliver a message to his recently deceased wife in the afterlife.  She eventually admits to scamming him, but a relationship develops. Shortly thereafter, the man begins receiving hand-delivered letters with highly personal details, letters that presumably could be written only by the deceased. A…

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