The Buffalo theater radar
Theatrical productions in Buffalo to keep an eye out for
When discussing the best parts of Buffalo, we often talk about the city’s most famous accomplishments. Buffalo wings, the Bills, the snow –– they’re all considered important aspects of Buffalo culture. Perhaps one of the most underrated yet consuming aspects of the city, however, is its theater presence.
Buffalo has its own theater district, Shakespeare in Delaware Park and a huge street party, “Curtain Up!” celebrating the start of the theater season. Buffalo is abuzz with upcoming theater productions. In no particular order, here are some upcoming shows students and community members can look forward to in the next couple months.
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
Starring Buffalo, Buffalo State Performing Arts Center, Oct. 19-20
Starring Buffalo will present the musical version of Victor Hugo’s novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” this month. Featuring songs from the Disney movie and originals from composers Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, the musical tells the story of the titular hunchback Quasimodo’s quest for acceptance and love.
Students will latch on to the musical’s relevant topics of tolerance and justice. This production features well known Broadway names, UB vocal professor Keith Ersing, UB alums Leah Berst and Ben Michael Moran, members of UB’s Zodiaque Dance Company and high school performers from the area.
This dark musical will be performed in concert from Oct. 19-20 at the Buffalo State Performing Arts Center.
Second Generation Theatre Company, Oct. 12-28
Second Generation Theatre Company will present the musical, “Big Fish,” from Oct. 12-28. The musical is based off Daniel Wallace’s novel “Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions” and Tim Burton’s movie, “Big Fish.” The musical, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by John August, tells the story of traveling salesman, Edward Bloom and the larger than life tales he tells to his son, Will. When Will grows older and expects a son of his own, he tries to make sense of his father’s stories. The heartwarming musical discusses the relationship between fathers and sons and the conflict between truth and fiction.
This production is directed and choreographed by Michael Walline and musically directed by Philip Farugia. Second Generation Theatre Company was founded by UB graduates Kristin Bentley, Arin Lee Dandes and Kelly Copps.
Irish Classical Theatre Company, Nov. 2-25
Known for its outstanding productions of classic and modern plays, the Irish Classical Theatre Company presents “Sive” by John B. Keane, from Nov. 2-25. “Sive” tells the story of the young titular character, who is forced by her impoverished family to marry an older wealthy man despite being in love with another. The play deals with themes of poverty and the treatment of women in Ireland during the ‘50s.
The Andrews Theatre places the audience up close to the action on the stage. This style of seating ensures that the audience will have an intimate experience, regardless of where they sit in the house. UB acting professor Vincent O’Neill is the Irish Classical Theatre artistic director, and the director for this production.
“A Doll’s House, Part 2”
The Kavinoky Theatre, Nov. 2-25
Playwright Lucas Hnath’s sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s play “A Doll’s House,” runs at The Kavinoky Theatre from Nov. 2-25. The play answers the mystery of what happens to Nora, the protagonist in both plays, after she asserts her independence from her domineering husband, Torvald, at the end of Ibsen’s original drama. “A Doll’s House, Part 2” has Nora returning to the family home 15 years later.
The play captivates audiences with its comical analysis of family relationships, especially in a more independent world. The production will be directed by Robert Waterhouse, and will star Buffalo theatre favorite, Kristen Tripp Kelley as Nora.
UB Theatre & Dance, Center for the Arts, Oct. 18-28
UB has its own share of exciting theatrical productions with musicals and plays performed by current UB students.
“Pippin” tells the story of the titular prince trying to find meaning in his life, while being steered by a mysterious performance troupe and their leader, the Leading Player. The production is guest directed and choreographed by Paul Stancato, and musically directed by UB Associate Professor and Director of Music Theatre, Nathan Matthews.
Julianna Tracey is a contributing writer and can be reached at email@example.com