Buffalo's theater scene is firing on all pistons this week, and we're happy to report that a number of local productions that are delivering the goods. That's especially relevant as local arts advocates continue to fight budget cuts proposed by Erie County Executive Chris Collins. Here's our weekly look at the current shows our reviewers like on local stages:
Above: Kavinoky Theatre Artistic Director David Lamb talks about playing the lead role in the theater's production of "Present Laughter." Video produced by Joseph Popiolkowksi.
"Present Laughter," through Dec. 4 in the Kavinoky Theatre. From the review (coming tomorrow): "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
"Dixie's Tupperware Party," through Nov. 14 in Shea's Smith Theatre. From the review: "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
"Inside Out," through Nov. 14 in a Theatre of Youth production at the Allendale Theatre. From the review (coming tomorrow): "Anyone who can remember their childhood will tell you that few topics for a two-hour play seem, on the surface, more jaw-droppingly boring. So the fact that 'Inside Out' accomplishes this task with panache -- and has at-risk city school students doing an aerobic routine in glorious unison by the time the whole affair is over -- is practically miraculous." --Colin Dabkowski