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Jawing With an Extra From 'Alligator Apocalypse'

In Buffalo, the competition in the department of Strange Things You Get Paid To Do is always keen, but actor Dave Lundy surely scores high in this category. He spent five hours on Sunday, starting at 7:30 a.m., running around with a shovel, fighting imaginary alligators.

He was a paid extra in "Alligator Apocalypse," being shot Sunday next to the Hotel @ the Lafayette. (A corner of the hotel is apparently standing in for the Empire State Building. Buffalo plays New York.) Another alligator fighter was the stellar jazz pianist Kevin Doyle. We have Kevin Doyle to thank for this action-packed shot, which we snatched from the jaws of his Facebook page. 

Gator

Lundy has appeared in some arresting dramatic productions. And Buzz, who has admired him on stage at Shakespeare in the Park, had to ask: In "Alligator Apocalypse," when he was in the teeth of battle, where did he get his motivation, so he could look believable fighting imaginary beasts? Did he brandish his shovel westward and imagine directing his wrath against various government officials?

Lundy said no.

"They told us to look serious and not smile," he said.

Now that had to be tough. You have to admire actors. They are not like the rest of us.

We bet when he said goodbye to the filmmakers he did not even say "See you later, alligator."

Buzz, being a mere mortal, would not have been able to resist!

New York Times Praises Actress' Buffalo Accent

Theater-masks

Love this New York Times review of a 2012 production of Tom Dudzick's "Miracle on South Division Street." A Buffalo production of the play opens Friday at the Kavinoky Theatre.

The Times reviewer writes in the last paragraph: "The players are all very comfortable in their roles — Ms. Cosgrave gets the most laughs — though only Ms. Zazzi has the hard A of the Buffalo accent nailed."

The Buffalo "A" is a most elusive talent!

Alas, the rest of the cast gets an "A" only for effort.

"A Chorus Line" Legend Recalls Marvin Hamlisch

Donna"One Singular Sensation," the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, had a lot of singular moments, as well as a few sensational ones. One memorable interlude came when Donna McKechnie reminisced about creating the role of Cassie in "A Chorus Line."

McKechnie, left, joked around about what happened when Marvin Hamlisch wrote "her song" for the show. The time was running out before the show was going to open, and she was excited when he announced he had written it.

She said he handed her the score and laughingly asked, "Can you sight read?"

And the song was, initially, a problem to sing! McKechnie mimicked herself trying to sing it.

Her solution to the song's difficulty, or should we say, impossibility?

She wanted to tell him, "Don't you think it's a little range-y?" but did not. You did not tell Marvin Hamlisch how to do his job.

Instead, she told us, slowly: "You breathe and pray and you trust that being the genius he is, he will rethink this."

The packed house burst out laughing. Breathing and praying add up to the secret to a lot of success in life, you know? It worked for McKechnie.

We note that McKechnie has a book out, "Time Steps."

It is starting to sound like a Buzz must read!

Buffalo Radio Legend Mistaken For British Knight

Loquacious legend and Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee Shane Brother Shane ...

Shane

... was at a gas station the other day, gassing up the ol' WYSL MYSL, when a couple got out of an SUV and approached him.

"Are you Sir Ian McKellen? he asked. "My wife says you are."

Sir Ian McKellen ...

Ian

... having never cracked Top 40 Radio, Shane had no idea who he was. He said no.

The gentleman then asked, "Have you ever been told you look just like him?"

"No," said Shane. Never at a loss for words, he hit them with a swashbuckling torrent of them: "As a kid heard Eastwood, then I heard Crocodile Dundee everywhere! Lately I hear a lot of Jean-Luc Picard, but I don’t know your guy, sorry.” 

A Comic Looks At Terrorism

 

After meeting the dapper and charming comic Mark Saldana at E.B. Green's -- and where else to meet someone than while you are listening to Jackie Jocko? -- Buzz went on YouTube looking for glimpses of his art.

We love the clip up above! It appears it was filmed in Los Angeles. That is quite a talent we have in our midst here in Buffalo, lucky ducks that we are.

Today in Buzz we are gossiping about how Mark's brother -- his name is Eric, by the way -- is getting married, and Jocko is congratulating him in his unique way. 

Mark weighed in later on the situation.

"I will try my hardest not to go for the Arrested Development joke during any wedding toast I give where I would lean into the mic and say 'Her?' " he wrote on his Facebook page. He added: "Love you both!"

Priscilla, Lemon of the Desert

Prisbus

It is said that 100 soldiers in lockstep can bring down a bridge.

Thus it should be no surprise that three drag queens in lockstep can bring down a bus!

Whatever the reason, the bus Priscilla, the star of the camp drag queen musical "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," reportedly kicked on stage last night at Shea's Performing Arts Center. The reports came from people who were there and who, trust us, know what they are talking about.

That bus had had it!

There were apparently no mechanics in the house. Where are rednecks when you need them? And so the show continued sans bus. Priscilla is supposed to have issues so the malfunction was not a complete drag.

News Arts Critic Colin Dabkowski loved this show, which gets rolling again tonight.

Priscilla willing...

Newly exhumed Richard III was no stranger to Buzz

Richard

Buzz loves the story of how they have found the bones of England's Richard III. Right now the king is lying there in England with a Catholic priest watching over him and reporters filing past him. Questions are being raised. Did Shakespeare gave Richard III a bad rap? Perhaps he was not the villain he is often made out to be. It will be interesting now that there is DNA involved, and other sophisticated methods of investigation. Perhaps we will get some surprises.

It is most exciting! And personally we are pulling for the king, pictured above.

Because Richard III was no stranger to the Buzz column!

Continue reading "Newly exhumed Richard III was no stranger to Buzz" »

Drosselmeyer in the sky with diamonds

Marino

Buzz ran into Gary Marino, who plays Drosselmeyer in the American Academy of Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker," on stage this weekend at UB's Center for the Arts.

Gary, pictured above in his iconic role, is having a great time with the legendary ballet, explored recently in great depth by The Buffalo News. This production uses Flying by Foy, the same company that flew Mary Martin in "Peter Pan."

A matinee school performance, Marino said, brought the house down.

"I fly out, the kids go wild," he said. "Three thousand grade school kids screaming at the tops of their lungs. I love the school shows. You could do anything and they would just go wild."

He added: "It's like you're the Beatles in 1967."

Grown-ups are invited to join the kids in this magical mystery tour this weekend.

We dare them to scream at the tops of their lungs!

'Nutcracker' cracks 'em up

Battle 2

"The Nutcracker" is on stage at Shea's this weekend -- there is another show today at 2 p.m. -- and Buzz is sorry, but this is one guilty treat we just cannot resist. It is a joint production by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Neglia Ballet Artists. We went last night.

It is so entertaining! That is the battle scene up above, charming and weird at the same time the way this battle scene is supposed to be.

And speaking of charming and weird, it is fun just to observe the kids in the audience.

One little girl in a purple dress and sparkling purple shoes kept climbing things in the lobby at intermission. She was fascinated with the big marble water fountain and kept shimmying up it.

Then when Buzz was trying to throw out our plastic champagne glass she was climbing the garbage receptacle! It looked as if she was trying to throw herself in!

There were tots in our row and you could tell they loved being at the ballet.

"Bravo!" they would yell at the end of a dance.

And: "Encore!" Can you believe it?

You could tell what the kids loved because they were vocal about it. They loved the grandfather, who pretty much stole the party scene. He is Fredonia faculty member Paul Mockovak. And they got a huge kick out of it when Fritz, danced charmingly by Sergio Neglia's son Nico, gets thrown over an adult's shoulder and spanked. Ha, ha! They knew what that was about!

One of the best scenes is Mother Ginger, who in the Neglia production is a giant cupcake. Out from under her skirts skip all these little cupcakes. 

"Ah!" breathed a little girl down our row. "Cupcakes!"

So cute.

Plus, when we got out of Shea's, the air was filled with the first snowflakes we had seen this season.

Perfect!

 

Amputation alert

WhippingMan_lg

The Jewish Repertory Theater, in a cheery ad in Gusto, describes "The Whipping Man" -- now on stage -- as "Matzah and Mayhem!" Oy vay! They will have their little joke.

The reality is, we hear, somewhat more grim.

News critic Colin Dabkowski, reviewing it, mentions "a raw and wrenching display of emotional pain."

Not to mention physical pain!

A friend went to the play and was horrified to find that there is also, ahem, an on-stage amputation.

"One of the most grisly things I've ever seen on a mainstage," he confides. "It's a pretty good show. But I'll tell ya, I was damn careful about letting my own leg hang into the aisle."

Ow ow ow!! Kind of lends new meaning to "break a leg."

"Believe it or not," our friend said, "I never thought of that."