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Thursday Theater Roundup: May 20

Welcome, readers, to the third installment of the Thursday Theater Roundup, our weekly listing of our critics' picks for the best shows around Western New York's professional and semi-professional theaters.

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Anne Roaldi (top), Sheila McCarthy and Eileen Dugan in Jewish Repertory Theatre's production of "Door to Door."

  • "From Door to Door" through June 6 in the Alleyway Theatre, in a production by the Jewish Repertory Theatre. From the review: "At times veering close to melodrama, or, as we call it in the old country, “shmaltz,” the play comes up balanced, and ultimately packs a rewarding emotional experience. It is satisfying not in its resolution of huge issues, but in the ongoing rhythms of life; the patterns that we encounter, maybe try to break, and frequently come full circle to inevitably embrace." --Jana Eisenberg

  • FREDO, ZINDLE "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?" through May 22 in the Road Less Traveled Theatre. From the review: " 'The Goat' is Albee at the top of his game. Every bit of dialogue is imbued with multiple levels of meaning, which mirror the playwright’s desire to build up a sense of bourgeois decorum on-stage only to shatter it with a sledgehammer. Hence his characters’ interest in maintaining precise language (a la 'Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?') amid unimaginable emotional chaos, which provides incredible moments of contrast for actors to sink their teeth into." --Colin Dabkowski

  • "Lettice and Lovage" through May 30 in the Kavinoky Theatre. From the review: "Doyennes Anne Gayley and Rosalind Cramer, in reprise. What could be better? British playwright Peter Shaffer’s 'Lettice and Lovage,' one of his rare comedies — but one filled with his customary themes of denial, fantasy and aspiration—has returned to the Kavinoky Theatre after a nearly 20-year hiatus, bringing with it acting icons Gayley and Cramer, the long-ago stars of the first production: the impeccable Gayley as sweetly eccentric Lettice Douffet and the relentlessly precise Cramer as grumpy Lotte Schoen." --Ted Hadley

  • Zooma Zooma "Zooma Zooma" through May 30 in MusicalFare Theatre. From the review: "Right from the opening number, 'The Birth of the Blues,' we can tell they’re up to something deliciously fun and naughty. For the first (but far from last) time of the night, Hall hits the wall in the back of the theater with her big, big voice, coming all the way up from those swaying hips that were custom-made to be wrapped in slinky satin."--Melinda Miller

  • "Engaged" through May 23 in the Andrews Theatre, produced by the Irish Classical Theatre Company. From the review: "The key here, and director Pezzimenti knows this very well, is to tell the outrageous tale with great seriousness, dead-panned in some instances, exaggeration on the shelf. Most of the time, this 'Engaged' obeys the playwright’s wishes; not always, but close. The play is full of 'shifts' in its focus, the plot weaving in and out regarding Chevie’s antics. Pezzimenti admires this but is wary, too. This is a production that, in less skilled hands, could die on the vine. That doesn’t happen." --Ted Hadley
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