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The Irrepressible Fried

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(Photo by Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Since "Boilermakers and Martinis," Manny Fried's new one-man show, debuted at the Road Less Traveled Theatre last Friday, calls, e-mails and chatter have been circulating about the show, the man, and the huge stretch of time his story represents. Some have called to express their utter disbelief about the time in the 1950s when the citizens of Buffalo and the rest of the nation were so easily led by anti-communist, or as Fried put it, "red-baiting" forces that were at work to suppress people who were only out for a fair shake. Others have expressed regret for being passive during the McCarthy-era witch hunts and to praise Fried for what he had to go through.

Others, like fellow actor Mary Loftus, have told me that Fried's spirits are up -- after dipping way down after a setback from his recent hip surgery and the death of his brother Gerald in April -- and that the attention he's getting for his play from many directions is finally making him feel loved by a wider segment of a previously divided community. It was a community that tried very hard to destroy and silence him, but now, it seems, old wounds have healed and people are ready to hear Fried's poignant and important story.

That's good to hear. Check out a preview of "Boilermakers and Martinis," from the Road Less Traveled Web site, below:

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