Tonight marks Curtain Up!, Buffalo's annual celebration marking the opening of a new theater season. Last Friday, we published a run-down of all the shows, many of which opened last week. We're reprinting it below (with the addition of one we regrettably left out last time), along with new videos with some local directors to help you get the lay of the land. Here goes:
Through Oct. 9 in the Paul Robeston Theatre, 350 Masten Ave. (884-2013 or www.africancultural.org)
This play, directed by the respected Edward G. Smith, tells the legendary story of the final days of jazz musician Charlie Parker's life and raises questions about race, conformity and overcoming a troubled personal history.
"The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron"
Though Sept. 8 in Shea's Smith Theatre, 658 Main St. (800-745-3000 orwww.sheas.org).
Robert Dubac's one-man show on the age-old comic trope of the difference between the sexes, has collected rave reviews during its recent tour. It features Duban performing several dreamed-up archetypes, each of whom offers a different (and, from the looks of it, equally absurd) idea of what women actually want.
Through Oct. 16 in MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst (839-8540 or www.musicalfare.com)
With music arranged and performed by The Albrights, a Buffalo rock and blues band whose popularity has skyrocketed in the past year, this version of Lionel Bart's beloved classic will transport Dickens' lovable orphan to the American Dustbowl in the 1930s.
Through Oct. 2 in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. (853-4282 or www.irishclassicaltheatre.com)
Irish Classical co-founder and artistic director Vincent O'Neill calls this 1992 play by David Hirson, recently revived on Broadway to critical acclaim, "a tour de force for an actor of comic genius," referring to local favorite Brian Misliwy, who takes on the role of the quirky Valere. "It's like Torn Space versus the Royal Shakespeare Company."
"The Ghost of Fort Niagara"
Through Oct. 1 in Alleyway Theatre, One Curtain Up Alley (852-2600 orwww.alleyway.com).
Legend has it that at Fort Niagara, a headless apparition stalks the grounds, scaring the wits out of visitors at opportune moments. To Alleyway Theatre founder Neal Radice, the oft-repeated tale of the Fort Niagara ghost seemed the perfect backdrop for this spooky musical, which had its world premiere Thursday night in Radice's Main Street theater.
"Elegies: A Song Cycle"
Through Oct. 2 in O'Connell and Company's theater in Gleasner Hall at Erie Community College North Campus, 6205 Main St., Williamsville (848-0800 or www.oconnellandcompany.com).
In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, artistic responses abounded. One of the more enduring is "Elegies," a popular and frequently performed song cycle by the typically quirky composer and lyricist William Finn ("Falsettos," "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee").
Through Oct. 2 in the Road Less Traveled Theatre, 639 Main St. (800-745-3000 or www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org)
If comics are your thing, the world premiere of local playwright Shaun McLaughlin's "Internal Continuity" could be right up your alley. The show is about adult comic book fans struggling to break free of their latent dorkdom. "It's about growing up and thinking outside the box a little bit," said director Scott Behrend, "but also still being yourself.
Through Oct. 9 in the Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave. (829-7668 or www.kavinokytheatre.com).
This classic musical, which includes the song "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," is an unusually large undertaking for the Kavinoky, and features an extensive cast of local favorites, including Debbie Pappas, Kelli Bocock-Natale, Peter Palmisano and Kelly Jakiel.
Through Sept. 25 in the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster (683-1776 or www.lancopera.org).
This musical version of the beloved fairy tale, featuring a score by Rodgers and Hammerstein, comes to life on the Lancaster Opera House stage in a production of Coop's Spotlight Productions.
Through Oct. 15 in the Subversive Theatre Collective's Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave. (408-0499 orwww.subversivetheatre.org).
The Subversive Theatre Collective is going for broke with its production of Peter Weiss' breathless 1964 play that it calls a "watershed work of 1960s experimental protest theater."
Through Oct. 9 in the Theosophical Society of Buffalo, 70 Military Road, in a Torn Space Theater production (812-5733 or www.tornspacetheater.com).
Local theater producer and playwright Dan Shanahan is hellbent on introducing local audiences to unusual spaces. This time, he's inviting crowds to see his original, largely wordless piece (which includes, perhaps unexpectedly, krumping and live music) in an old church that serves as the headquarters of a local Theosophy society.
Through Oct. 1 in the Buffalo Laboratory Theatre's space in the Swan Auditorium at Hilbert College, 5200 South Park Ave. (202-9033 or www.buffalolabtheatre.org)
This original piece by BLT founder Taylor Doherty is a Beckettian (or maybe Kafkaesque) rumination, which focuses on four detainees trapped in a single room.
"In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)"
Through Oct. 8 in the New Phoenix Theatre, 95 Johnson Park (853-1334 or www.newphoenixtheatre.org)
Sarah Ruhl's provocative play, which got an ecstatic reaction during its recent Brodaway run, deals with an unlikely topic: the invention of the vibrator in the late 1800s. This production, directed by Robert Waterhouse, features an impressive cast and a series of curious, powered props designed by Franklin LaVoie.
Through Oct. 16 in Theatre of Youth, 203 Allen St. (884-4400 or www.theatreofyouth.org).
Various Allentown businesses will help turn the entire neighborhood pink for this production of the kid-friendly musical "Pinkalicious," in which a young girl contends with her seemingly incurable sweet tooth for pink cupcakes. In addition to its message about proper nutrition, the show, which is sponsored by Roswell Park, will help to raise breast cancer awareness.
"Barefoot in the Park"
Through Oct. 1. A Kaleidoscope Theatre production in the main building of Medaille College, 18 Agassiz Circle (479-1587 orkaleidoscopetheatreproductions.com).
This Neil Simon play, a prototypical romantic comedy very much of its era (that is, the early '60s) focuses on the high jinks of a pair of newlyweds. This production, directed by Don Gervasi, stars local faves Margo Davis and John Buscaglia, among others.