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Theater: Final likelihood to get to 710, OCC, PRT, and ART* – Buffalo Rising

ALL IS CALM, The Christmas Truce of 1914 musical, introduced by MusicalFare Theatre, runs by means of December 18, Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 8:00, and Sunday at 2:00 at Shea’s 710 Theatre (710 Most important Road on the nook of Tupper). 716-847-1410 or go to sheas.org or simply present up on the field workplace. 1 hour, 10 minutes with out intermission. WARNING – flashing lights, sounds of gunfire and explosions, and atmospheric results are used on this manufacturing.

This is similar present that MusicalFare initially introduced on their mainstage in Amherst in November 2021.  ALL IS CALM takes place on The Western Entrance of World Struggle I, recognized for its ugly extracted trench warfare which in the end decimated a technology.  Early within the battle, through the Christmas of 1914, for one evening, the British and the German troopers got here out of these vile trenches, to not kill, however to share their frequent humanity. They traded trinkets, cigarettes, and meals, and so they sang. Apparently, rather a lot. And the following day the excessive command was livid that the foot troopers had pulled again the curtain on the unstated reality which I’ll describe first utilizing the phrases of President Hoover – “Older males declare struggle. However it’s the youth that should battle and die” and in our time George Carlin who stated “Struggle is wealthy previous males defending their property by sending middle-class and lower-class younger males off to die. It at all times has been.”  Sure, these quotes are anachronistic, however they match. This true story is informed within the phrases and songs of the lads who lived it. 

It’s sung “a cappella” (voices solely with out orchestra and on this case solely male voices) which, except listening to skilled chamber choirs reminiscent of “Chanticleer” or “The Kings Singers,” is to not my style. I didn’t attend this present run at Shea’s, however the viewers at MusicalFare appeared to find it irresistible on the time. I’m positive this present run is equally positive. 


BIG BAND CHRISTMAS MEMORIES, written and directed by Mary Kate O’Connell that includes The George Scott Large Band from The Coloured Musicians Membership runs by means of December 18, Fridays – Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 3:00. On the mainstage of the New O’Connell & Firm Theater, 4110 Bailey Avenue, Amherst, NY 14226. 716-848-0800   oconnellandcompany.com Run time 1 hour-45 minutes together with one intermission.

Starring Melissa Kate, Michael J. Galante, Mary Kate O’Connell (stepping in for Lizzie Arnold) and Daniel Mink (drummer doing double responsibility as a solid member, together with a portrayal of “Hannukah Harry”) the jokes and skits have been, as they announce from stage, fairly corny, however the Child Boomer crowd round me liked it. And that features numerous my seven sisters-in-law whom I took with me (representing the primary and the final of the Boomer technology).  The music was nice enjoyable and kudos to Mary Kate O’Connell who stepped in, and by cleverly re-arranging among the songs, completely nailed it. O’Connell, like most of the musicians, has a long time of expertise, which made for a enjoyable, stress-free afternoon. I’m undecided it’s “good for the whole household” as billed, however this I can say: If you happen to don’t take your mother, aunts, or grandmas to this, then disgrace on you and also you get coal in your stocking. Significantly, this won’t be “hip” or “cool” sufficient for you (to make use of two Boomer phrases which I collect are fairly out of favor) however it is a marvelous option to say “thanks” to the individuals who paid on your braces, or no matter.  

In the meantime, additionally closing this Sunday, O’Connell and Firm can also be providing two extra matinees of A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, by Charles M. Schulz, primarily based on the tv particular by Invoice Melendez and Lee Mendelson, in a stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer, by particular association with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson, directed by Doug Weyand. This runs by means of December 18, solely Saturday and Sunday matinees at 12:30 (every half-hour lengthy) adopted by a meet and greet with Santa Claus. It’s additionally on the New O’Connell & Firm Theater, 4110 Bailey Avenue, Amherst, NY 14226. 716-848-0800 oconnellandcompany.com  Runtime: half-hour

Apparently, that is the primary 12 months that the traditional animated TV particular that includes Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and the gang discovering the true which means of Christmas is not going to be aired on tv. So this can be your solely likelihood to catch the story on this 30-minute stage adaptation. I’ve a selected aversion to this story, and with none younger folks to take, I handed on it. However, provided that Theater of Youth hasn’t come again but from the shutdown, I’d completely go to this. 

CADILLAC CREW, a play by Tori Sampson, directed by Linda Barr, and introduced by the Paul Robeson Theatre, additionally runs by means of December 18, Friday – Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 4:00 within the African American Cultural Middle, 350 Masten Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209 716-884-2013  paulrobesontheatre.org or simply present up on the field workplace.  The runtime the evening I noticed it was 2-1/2 hours.

CADILLAC CREW opens in an area civil rights workplace in Virginia in mid-1963, on a day when the activist Rosa Parks is scheduled to talk at a rally. We meet three African American staffers: “Rachel” (Francesca D’Auria) the energetic head of the workplace and her colleagues/workers “Abby” (Aquiera Oshun), “Dee” (Janate Photo voltaic Ingram), and “Sarah,” who’s white, (Nikol Stellabuto). In some unspecified time in the future, the ladies discover out that the lads accountable for the rally have determined that since Rachel has requested Rosa Parks to vary her matter from a re-hashing of her well-known bus journey eight years earlier to as an alternative focus on the topic of rape, that Rosa Parks is not going to be talking in any respect, however merely act as a figurehead for the rally. Rachel is outraged and convinces her colleagues to hitch her on a street journey into the deep South to confront racism in addition to rape tradition. They determine to turn into a part of what was often called the “Cadillac Crews” – ladies, generally black solely, generally combined, who would drive all through the South, talking and organizing. It was a really harmful endeavor and a few have been brutally murdered. 

This can be a story of girls being marginalized by males and of historical past being rewritten, typically by males, leaving the function of girls out of the narrative.

The play continues with the 4 ladies on their street journey after which poof, the story ends.  What occurred to them?  Good query, and that’s one of many main factors of the play. Then, bringing this to the current day, after a fancy dress and wig change, the 4 actors reappear, with Stellabuto now within the function of a podcaster whose three company are Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, the precise founders of Black Lives Matter, whose names are comparatively unknown just some years later. So that is additionally a play about erasure, particularly of women-led actions. Appropriately, this play is a part of the Paul Robeson Theatre’s 2022-2023 “season of celebrating ladies who lead.”  

The play by Tori Sampson (first produced a number of years in the past at Yale Repertory Theatre) is itself slightly uneven, typically slowing down to present us not dialog however speeches. Sampson’s swap from workplace, to automobile, and eventually to present-day podcast may have been smoother. And the casting on the PRT was additionally uneven. Nonetheless, it is a play that can stick with you, coping with numerous vital points. so I’d suggest attempting to suit this in throughout this closing weekend in case you may. 

* And, truly operating by means of Friday, December 23 we’ve got THE BIRTH OF SANTA, a brand new play by Justin Karcher and Eric Mowery, directed by Eric Mowery, that includes Andrew Zuccari, David Wysocki, Daniel Burning, Eric Mowery, Ian Michalski, Maryna Seufert, and Rick Lattimer. December sixteenth at 7:30 pm, December seventeenth at 5 pm (so no battle with the Payments-Dolphins rescheduled recreation), and subsequent week, Thursday and Friday, December twenty second – twenty third at 7:30 pm at American Repertory Theater, 545 Elmwood Avenue. (716) 697-0837 artofwny.org  Runtime: 1 hour – forty-five minutes with out intermission.

THE BIRTH OF SANTA affords a prolonged philosophical dialogue of artwork – what’s it, what’s its goal, is there ever any “unhealthy” artwork, what’s the “responsibility” or accountability of the artist, each to his viewers and to himself, and is commercialism at all times a damaging drive? (“Mr. Commercialism is performed by the director, Eric Mowery.). The unfastened construction is a reimagining of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” the place Scrooge is visited by three ghosts. On this play, an artist (Andrew Zuccari), well-known for schmaltzy Christmas-themed work, decides to go in a special path (with a portray of a unadorned Santa biting the top off a gingerbread man) and it’s not effectively obtained. 

Despondent and obstinate, the artist goes again to his studio, alone having alienated his important different (Danielle Burning), the place he’s berated by his agent/supervisor (David Wysocki) for messing up a really profitable gig. The artist is visited by three ghosts, who’re themselves “artists of the Christmas spirit,” together with Norman Rockwell (whose Americana work graced the duvet of “The Saturday Night Publish” for many years) as performed by Rick Lattimer; the Little Drummer Boy (a “musical artist” performed with gusto by Ian Andre Michalski), and Brutus the Robotic (Maryna Seufert) which has been programmed to have the ability to paint. Three very completely different “artists” to make sure. 

It’s a really wordy play as is likely to be anticipated being written by a poet (Karcher) who loves to show a phrase. I discovered it slightly exhausting to comply with at occasions, as I used to be fascinated about one fascinating flip of phrase when one other shortly adopted. After the present throughout a dialog with the playwright (who’s the “New Play Growth Director for ART/WNY”) Justin Karcher stated that he’s attempting to encourage his poet mates to attempt their hand at writing performs. ART/WNY has doubled down these previous a number of seasons on its dedication to new performs and we look ahead to what’s subsequent which I consider can be, in April, RUST & REDEMPTION: REQUIEM FOR A BUFFALO GRUNGEBAND by j. snodgrass. 

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