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Thursday Theater Roundup

The theater scene is buzzing this week, with a head-spinning array of recommended shows running on local stages. Here's our weekly roundup of what to see:

Michele Marie Roberts, Marc Sacco, Steve Copps and Lisa Ludwig in "[title of show]" in MusicalFare Theatre.

"[title of show]" through March 6 in MusicalFare Theatre. From the review: "The layers of self-awareness here are at 'Inception' levels, sometimes nauseatingly so. But all is tempered by a heavy dose of humor ripped from the mouths of today's self-mocking, fake-accent-speaking, ironic youth. And it's hilarious." --Ben Siegel

Lisa Vitrano stars in "Bitch Bares All," her one-woman show, in Road Less Traveled Theatre. Photo by Sharon Cantillon / The Buffalo News

"Bitch Bares All," through Feb. 13 in Road Less Traveled Theatre. From the review (coming in tomorrow's Gusto): [Lisa] Vitrano is remarkable throughout this hour -- gliding here, darting there, a dozen or so characters portrayed -- but 'Bitch Bares All' may not, in truth, tell the whole story. By the very nature that is autobiography, there is too much information at moments, gaps at others (the author's -- playwright's -- prerogative). There will be, I think, much more to share. Vitrano is 'still here.' For this, with her, we rejoice." --Ted Hadley

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Jacob Albarella and Tilke Hill in American Repertory Theatre's production of "Cowboy Mouth." Photo by Robert Kirkham / The Buffalo News

"Cowboy Mouth," through Feb. 12 in Buffalo East, produced by the American Repertory Theatre of Western New York. From the review (coming in tomorrow's Gusto): "Shepard, an American playwright, director and actor who won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1979 for his play 'Buried Child,' and Smith, the proclaimed 'God-mother of Punk,' whose 1975 album 'Horses' was hailed as a monument of the New York City punk rock movement, are alive and well in these characters. Their cultural influences are known outside of this play, of course, but their souls exist here in tangible ways." --Ben Siegel

"Three Viewings," through Feb. 12 in the Medaille College Theatre, produced by Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions. From the review (coming in tomorrow's Gusto): "The little stories are sometimes wickedly funny, humor found in strange places, playwright Hatcher mixing light, dark and the creepy in equal measure... Kaleidoscope plays homage -- just enough, not overdone -- to Edgar Allan Poe, with 'Three Viewings.' Overall, an able effort." --Ted Hadley

Buffalo United Artists Theatre
Justin Ryan and John Kaczorowski star in Buffalo United Artists' production of "Anita Bryant Died For Your Sins." Photo by Sharon Cantillon / The Buffalo News.

"Anita Bryant Died For Your Sins," through Feb. 12 in the Buffalo United Artists Theatre. From the review: "Playwright Brian Christopher Williams has made a valiant and at points successful attempt to evoke the joys and frustrations of growing up gay in a small town before the advent of AIDS. The charm of the script -- thanks to excellent performances by Justin Ryan and the rest of this gifted cast and Chris Kelly's ever-savvy direction -- can't help but shine through." --Colin Dabkowski

Diane Curley and Neal Moeller in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," through Feb. 6 in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's Andrews Theatre. From the review: "The brilliance of the play’s construction and its crackling dialogue, in order to have their full and devastating effect, have to be matched by the director and cast. For the most part, director Greg Natale and his actors deliver. [Neal] Moeller visibly seethes with disdain for everyone — including himself. It is a thrill to watch him go ego-to-ego with [Dan] Walker’s Big Daddy, who spouts his own peculiar brand of disgust. But while Curley, as Maggie, does catty quite well, she refuses to allow even a spark of warmth or vulnerability through the veneer. But with Natale’s keen attention to detail, the show’s natural pacing and the talents of the cast and production team, this “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is itself far too rare to be normal." --Colin Dabkowski

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David Butler and Tim Newell star in "Gutenberg! The Musical!" in the Alt Theatre. 

"Gutenberg! The Musical!" through Feb. 5 in the Alt Theatre. From the review: "No profound truths were uncovered, no shocking insights into the human condition revealed, no conceptual depths plumbed. The show is simply two straight hours of the most low-brow, crass and depraved theater we’ve seen in Buffalo for some time. For all those reasons and more, it was wonderful." --Colin Dabkowski

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Eileen Dugan and Patrick Cameron in "Third," running through Feb. 6 in the Kavinoky Theatre.

"Third," through Feb. 6 in the Kavinoky Theatre. From the review (coming Friday): " The production is solid, moving at a quick pace with a short intermission and it's over before you look twice at your watch. Wasserstein died of cancer at age 55, not long after finishing this play, and you can't help making assumptions of how her illness may have affected her writing. [Protagnoist] Laurie has a 'therapy session' monologue to help anchor the play, but other scenes seem out of place, even unnecessary -- especially a feel-good ending that could be excised with no harm done at all. But the actors carry it off splendidly, handling the smart dialogue with finesse, although everyone does sound a lot like Wasserstein." --Melinda Miller

"I Am a Man," through Feb. 5 in Subversive Theatre's Manny Fried Playhouse. From the review: "Annette Daniels-Taylor’s direction captures the integrity of these men’s stories, employing a number of theatrical devices that collectively work in harmony. In other hands, these dramatic layers might have appeared thrown together or disconnected, but here they complement not only each other, but also the text." --Ben Siegel


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