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Thursday Theater Roundup

Now that summer has finally arrived, the theatrical offerings across Western New York have thinned out just a tad. For those looking to satisfy their theatrical appetites for between now and the July 7 opening of "My Fair Lady" at MusicalFare Theatre, the July 22 opening of Shakespeare in Delaware Park's all-female version of "Macbeth" and the Aug. 12 opening of "All Shook Up" at Artpark (among many other upcoming offerings, including the sprawling Buffalo Infringement Festival and the brand-new Twin Tiers Theatre Festival in Olean), check out the latest version of our Thursday Theater Roundup:

"Jake's Women" through June 26 at Medialle College in a production by Kaliedoscope Theatre Productions. From the review: "Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions and director Thomas LaChiusa saw much that they liked about 'Jake’s Women,' and a lively, acidly funny play has emerged, superbly acted by veteran troubadour and comedy club regular Robert “Ernie” Insana, as Jake, and a stellar harem of seven actresses: Kaleidoscope diva Beth Gerardi-Wharton, award-winning Lona Geiser, Sarah Blewett, Maura Nolan, Jennifer Fitzery, Shaina Greser and Elizabeth Oddy, as a wannabe Jake date. Forgettable? Not anymore." --Ted Hadley

Lovers, jo, diane and colleen

Josephine Hogan, Diane M. Cammarata and Colleen Gaughan in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's production of "Lovers."

"Lovers" through June 27 in the Andrews Theatre in a production by the Irish Classical Theatre Company. From the review: "[Brian] Friel’s writing, O’Neill’s caring interpretation, and the cast’s relish and skill all combine to create an affecting experience. This is not the romantic evening implied by the play’s single-word title. It is, however, another excellent opportunity to join the Irish Classical on its journey, exploring the breadth of human emotion with creativity and heart." --Ted Hadley

"An Ideal Husband" through Oct. 31 at the Festival Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., in a production of the Shaw Festival. From the review: "The intricacies of the plot — which, truth be told, is a little tiredly conceived and tends in spots toward the maudlin — all serve one over-arching and worthy point: We are all hopelessly imperfect creatures whose only hope for forgiveness comes through the redemptive power of love. It’s a beautifully simple, almost naive idea, and it’s what elevates the play beyond a chuckle-worthy society comedy. That it was written while Wilde was embroiled in a public scandal over his forbidden homosexuality, and from which he would never recover, lends the play’s storybook conclusion a gloss of wistful fantasy that makes it all the more compelling." --Colin Dabkowski

"Harvey" through Oct. 31 at the Royal George Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., in a production of the Shaw Festival. From the review: "'Harvey' should be completely exempt from deep analysis. It is about happiness. Its simplicity and gimmicky humor are its chief strengths, a fact exploited by director Joseph Ziegler and carried on ably by his cast. This is the antidote to Chekhov, the perfect cure for world-weariness and a great affirmation of eccentricity that strives to bring out the dreamer in us all." --Colin Dabkowski


GUSTO The Cherry Orchard 

Severn Thompson as Varya and Laurie Paton as Lyubov Andreyevna Ranyevskaya in "The Cherry Orchard" at the Shaw Festival.

"The Cherry Orchard" through Oct. 2 in the Court House Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., in a production of the Shaw Festival. From the review: "This production, featuring Shaw veterans Benedict Campbell as Lopakhin and Laurie Paton as Lyubov among a great many other gifted actors, employs an excellent Irish-tinged adaptation by Tom Murphy. This imbues the script with subtle sense of modern urgency (“How’s tricks?” instead of “How are you?”) and expands it ever-so-slightly beyond the insularity of its rural Russian milieu."

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