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The Theater Roundup: pre-Thanksgiving edition

Before the annual onslaught of holiday-flavored shows hit Western New York stages, plenty of non-Yuletide (or at least only quasi-Yuletide) fare is on view on local stages. Here are some highlights:

The cast of Buffalo United Artists' "The Temperamentals," running through Dec. 4.

"The Temperamentals," through Dec. 4 in the Buffalo United Artists Theatre. From the review: "Director Kelly’s cast gives a clinic in ensemble work. Christopher LaBanca as Harry is funny, persuasive and maddening — wild-eyed here, organized and logical there. Marc Sacco’s Rudy is a willing partner but cautious and grounded in the real world. LaBanca and Sacco are superb. They’re ably joined by Ryan Cupello, Adam Rath and Michael Seitz, all in multiple roles, and remarkable here in minimal and often clunky surroundings." --Ted Hadley

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Debbie Pappas and Brian Riggs star in "The Dead," at the Andrews Theatre through Dec. 5. 

"The Dead," through Dec. 4 in the Andrews Theatre, produced by the Irish Classical Theatre Company. From the review: "Attending the play in the intimate Irish Classical Theatre Co. theater-in-the-round is as near to being a guest at the party as the audience can get without being handed a glass of port... The major players are excellent. Debbie Pappas as Gretta Conroy is an elegant, long-necked beauty who can no longer conceal a tragic youthful passion. Sharon Strait, as Mrs. Malins, wrings her hands and agonizes over whether her bon vivant son, Freddy, played by Lou Colaiacovo, will arrive drunk, and Freddy does not disappoint. His comic timing is flawless, and she roils his remaining internal turmoil with frowns and sharp glances." --Anne Neville

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The cast of "Present Laughter," a the Kavinoky Theatre through Dec. 4.

"Present Laughter," through Dec. 4 in the Kavinoky Theatre. From the review: "Yes, the life of an aging, wealthy matinee idol is almost too difficult for words. But fortunately for the audience at the Kavinoky Theatre, where a production of Noel Coward's frothy comedy 'Present Laughter' opened last Friday, Essendine finds plenty to say. And most of it is hilarious. David Lamb, reprising a role he's played twice before at the Kavinoky, eases back into Essendine's skin as effortlessly as his character slips into one of his expensive dressing gowns. Lamb, the Kavinoky's longtime artistic director, has a special talent for seeming genuinely perturbed and relentlessly upbeat at the same time." --Colin Dabkowski


"Cabaret," through Dec. 12 in MusicalFare Theatre. From the review: "In order to give the familiar show a fresh feel, Kramer has wisely sidestepped Bob Fosse’s ingenious 1972 film and Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s acclaimed 1998 Broadway revival. Instead, he based the production on a 1975 version of the show in which political undertones become political overtones and employed his actors as cabaret musicians. Kramer also enlisted the gifted choreographer Michael Walline, who put together precisely engineered bouts of choreography that cast the dancers of the Kit Kat Club as half-possessed robots." --Colin Dabkowski


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