What's on: our weekly theater roundup
Greetings, theater-lovers of Western New York. The current season is well underway, with many a worthwhile production running through Sunday. Next week, we'll see the openings of American Repertory Theatre of Western New York's production of "Twilight Zone Redux," Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York's "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" and, of course, the touring production of the massively popular Disney musical known as "Mary Poppins" at Shea's Performing Arts Center (look for a preview of that in Sunday's Spotlight section).
But for now, check out these recommend shows now approaching the end of their runs:
"The Pride," through Oct. 9 in the Buffalo United Artists Theatre. From the review: "...one of Campbell’s many skills as a playwright is seamlessly weaving together the characters in a way that drives his point thoroughly home. His writing, though it sometimes leans too heavily on one or another melodramatic formula, is at once utterly believable and infused with a sweet and rhythmic poetry that puts one in mind of Tony Kushner." --Colin Dabkowski
"Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill," through Oct. 10 in the Paul Robeson Theatre. From the review: "Joyce Carolyn tells Billie [Holiday's] story on stage at the Paul Robeson Theatre in Lanie Robertson’s biographical revue, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.” She does so carefully, and with respect for the material of this household name. Where many resort to impersonation, Carolyn gives her interpretation of that raspy, caged voice. Occasionally a note or trill sneaks in the fragility of Holiday’s vibrato, but never without musical merit and hardly in abundance... The same cannot be said for Robertson's script." --Ben Siegel
Brian Mysliwy and Patrick Moltane in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's production of "The Cant." Photo by Bill Wippert / Buffalo News.
"The Cant," EXTENDED THROUGH OCT. 8 in the Andrews Theatre in an Irish Classical Theatre Company production. From the review: "...a well-plotted thriller that gets to the heart of the Irish Traveller’s intrinsic sorrow, their abuse at the hands of the powerful and the survivalistic instincts that keep them forever on the run." --Colin Dabkowski
"Trace," through Oct. 10 in the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle in a Torn Space Theater production. From the review: "Like [Dan Shanahan's] previous pieces, the consumerist critique “Stivale” and the horrifying quasi-mystery 'AREA,' the piece occupies a fertile realm somewhere between visual art and performance. It includes the odd piece of pointed dialogue ('I have come to accept in these hours the rules of efficient terror,' one character says), but more often derives its haunting and visceral power from the indelible and thoroughly unsettling images it creates." --Colin Dabkowski
"Ruined," through Oct. 10 in TheatreLoft in a Ujima Theatre Company production. From the review: "Inspired in part by Bertolt Brecht’s 'Mother Courage and Her Children,' Nottage’s play is an exploration of the way in which men’s battles, as its characters demonstrate with unsettling clarity, play out on the bodies of women. Though the pulsating poetry of Nottage’s writing spins off on rare occasions into the realm of melodrama, the play manages to sustain a near-constant tone of realism and tension that kidnaps our attention and doesn’t let go until long after the final word of dialogue is spoken." --Colin Dabkowski
Also, the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. is entering its final weeks. Check out the shows our reviewers recommended here.