As you plan your weekend schedules, you may want to know that eight -- count 'em, eight -- productions are opening in and around Buffalo this week. Reviews of those shows will be forthcoming in next week's Gusto, but for a preview of what we've reviewed (and liked) so far, check out our weekly theater roundup:
"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 or 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
"Dixie's Tupperware Party," through Nov. 14 in Shea's Smith Theatre. From the review (coming next week): "Enter Dixie Longate, that spunky Southern homemaker who talks like Kathy Griffin, sounds like Paula Deen, dresses like “Gilligan’s” Mary Ann, and packs a lunch that would make June Cleaver blush. And when her buttons are pushed, she’s the fiercest Dixie since Carter. Longate, the female impersonation of actor/writer Kris Andersson, stars in “Dixie’s Tupperware Party,” an interactive comedy act/Tupperware sale. It is dirty, it is brash, and it is just the perfect slice of life that Middle America can call its own." --Ben Siegel
Peter Palmisano and Lisa Ludwig in Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York's production of "The Last Night of Ballyhoo."
"The Last Night of Ballyhoo," through Nov. 7 in Alleyway Theatre in a Jewish Repertory Theatre production. From the review: "In this elegant production, director Saul Elkin takes a laudably straightforward approach and allows his actors to add just the right amount of quirkiness to make them for the most part compelling and fully realized. Uhry’s script is graceful, powerfully layered, nuanced and sincere (not unlike that of his more famous play, “Driving Miss Daisy”). Elkin and the Jewish Repertory Theater give it its due, with excellent lighting from Brian Cavanagh, costumes by Donna Massimo, sound by Tom Makar and, especially, a fine period set by Lynn Koscielniak and Dyan O’Connell." --Colin Dabkowski