The Spectrum

Face it – the vast majority of students at UB could use a bit of culture. What better way than with a trip to Buffalo's famed theater district?

Shea's Performing Arts Center in Downtown Buffalo offers many shows each season. It also features a variety of seats and prices to fit almost any budget. Shea's is an easy walk from the Theater train stop on Niagara Frontier Transit Authority's (NFTA) rapid transit. Some upcoming shows include:

Shrek The Musical

Feb. 22-27

Price: $40-$70

Although the musical adaptation of DreamWorks' 2001 animated comedy may not feature Mike Myers (Shrek Forever After) as the iconic ogre, Shrek The Musical still promises to be an enjoyable night for anyone in attendance. Filled with endless comedy and original music written by the award-winning Jeanine Tesori, this is one musical anyone can enjoy.

Young Frankenstein

March 22-27

Price: $40-$70

What's better than watching a Mel Brooks comedy classic? Watching a musical adaptation of said classic live and written by the man himself. That's exactly what you get with Mel Brooks' musical, Young Frankenstein. If this musical is even half as good as the 1974 film on which it is based, then make sure you find the time to make it out to one of the performances.


April 22-May 22

Price: $40-$70

Ever wonder how the wicked witch of the west came to be in The Wizard of Oz? This is the premise of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning musical Wicked, based on Gregory Maguire's novel of the same name. If you're only going to see one play this year, make sure this is it.

Another option is Road Less Traveled Productions (RLTP), located within the Market Arcade Film & Arts Center just down the street from Shea's. RLTP offers a series of plays, which are mostly written by local artists. It also offers a student discount of $15, compared to full price of $30. For really inexpensive seats, RLTP offers Mighty Taco Talkback Thursdays, where students only pay $5 a ticket and are encouraged to join in a discussion after the show. More information and a schedule can be found at

The Irish Classical Theater Company, also in the Theater District near Shea's, shows its own series of plays – mostly great classics like "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" which is playing until Feb. 6, but also traditional Irish plays. The student price is $15, but it can only be purchased one hour prior to curtains up. More information can be found at Some upcoming shows include:

The Mandrake

March 3-27

Price: $30-$40

Written in 1518 by Niccolò Machiavelli, The Mandrake tells the tale of protagonist Callimaco and his quest to capture the affection of the beautiful Lucrezia through the use of a love potion. With over-the-top characters and hilarious situations, this is one play that promises to have the audiences rolling with laughter.

Shining City

April 28-May 22

Price: $30-$40

If ghost stories are your thing, then Shining City is the play for you. Set in Dublin, the play follows the story of a widower who seeks out the help of a therapist after he believes to have seen his dead wife in his house. Written by the Tony-nominated Conor McPherson, Shining City is sure to grab your attention and never let go.

Alleyway Theatre, found at 1 Curtains Up Alley, is a renovated 33,000-square-foot former bus depot. The company offers a continuous season from September through May, as well as special events scattered throughout the year, including the Buffalo Quickies.

Buffalo Quickies

March 3-19

Price: $25 general admission, $13 student tickets

In the bathroom? In the car? No, Alleyway Theatre is the new popular place for people to get a quickie. A compilation of 10 10-minute plays, Buffalo Quickies will have audience members slapping their knees in hilarity. With a ticket price of $13 for students, it is cheaper than acquiring a streetwalker's service for the night.

During the summer, Buffalonians are able to partake in Shakespeare in Delaware Park, a yearly event offering evening performances of two of the Bard's plays each year. This year will feature "The Merchant of Venice" from June 16 through July 10 and "As You Like It," starting on July 21 and ending Aug. 14. The show is open to the public and open to the elements, so patrons may suffer rain delays and attacks of mosquitoes.

Whether you prefer watching the silver screen or gazing at live actors on stage, Buffalo offers many options that accommodate a student's budget and many that are easily accessible on public transport or on foot.