During last evening's performance of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert," a technologically complex touring show playing in Shea's Performing Arts Center, a piece of scenery broke down and caused a 20-minute delay in the production. A large bus that serves as the play's central set piece apparently malfunctioned and had to be removed. The show, according to one audience member, went on without the bus and the cast members did their level best to make up for its absence.
There were also a couple of small hiccups during Tuesday's opening performance of the production, including a malfunctioning light panel on the bus and a botched quick costume change toward the end of the production. (I chose not to write about either of those in my 3.5 star review of the show, as I didn't believe they significantly impeded the production in any way.)
Shea's marketing director Lisa Grisanti issued this statement today when asked about Wednesday night's issues:
"There was a minor electronic malfunction of the bus on stage
during the second act of the Wednesday night performance. The performance was
stopped for about 20 minutes while the bus was removed from the stage after it
was determined that more time was needed to address the
situation," she said. "The situation was taken care with the bus being tested
several times, and we are confident there will not be any more issues. Sometimes these things happen in live theatre. We have been receiving much
positive feedback from patrons about the show."
I'll keep my ears open for any more technical mix-ups during tonight's performance.
Out of all the tragic myths of American life – and there are, sadly, plenty to choose from – that of the perfect nuclear family has churned out perhaps the most dramatic material. The peculiarly American delusion that such a thing as a perfect nuclear family exists, or once did, has provided fodder to countless artists working in the popular media. Perhaps the most persistent miner of this notion is Sam Shepard, whose play “Buried Child” explores the disintegration of both the actual American nuclear family, such as it ever was, and of the very idea of it.
Torn Space Theater (Adam Mickiewiecz Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave.) opens its production of the 1978 play, directed by David Oliver, tonight. In its post-modern way, the play explores the life of an American farm family beset by alcoholism, economic decline and various other dusty brands of disappointment and disillusion.
“Beyond his essential predecessors like [Eugene] O’Neill and [Arthur] Miller he took the family into a more mythic theatrical landscape,” Oliver said in a release. “In ‘Buried Child’ this is paradoxically realized in part through forces of plenty bearing down on an otherwise isolated family unit, their lives lacking on all levels.”
University at Buffalo English Department's Exhibit X Fiction Series continues
with a reading by award winning poet and essayist Christine Hume at 7 p.m.
tonight at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Ave. (near Tupper St.) in Buffalo. The event is free and open to the
Hume, a professor in the interdisciplinary Creative Writing Program at Eastern
Michigan University, is the author of three collections of poetry, "Musca
Domestica" (Beacon Press, 2000), winner of the Barnard New Women Poets
Prize; "Alaskaphrenia" (New Issues, 2004), winner of the Green Rose
Award and Small Press Traffic’s 2005 Best Book of the Year Award; and Shot
(Counterpath Press 2009).
She has also published two collections of lyric essays, "Lullaby:
Speculations on the First Active Sense," a chapbook and CD (Ugly Duckling
Presse 2007); and most recently, "Ventifacts" (Omnidawn, 2012). The latter book has been described as
beginning "the year Hume's daughter develops a wind phobia, but quickly
blows into lyric investigations of the wind in art, politics, and literature,
highlighting the currents between imaginary relations and physical
and essayist Carla Harryman has observed that "Hume's poetry pursues a new
mode of experiential thinking, located in an uncanny architecture of somatic
existence touching the physical world" and praised the poems in Hume's
collection "Shot" as "gorgeous and courageous
In tonight's event at Hallwalls, Hume
will perform selections of "Ventifacts" and “Speech Talks Back,” a
critical-creative curation of sound art that uses public speech overlaid with
From the review: "As for 'Priscilla,' this stage adaptation is successful in replicating the
patent absurdity, unlikely emotional weight and foot-long eyelashes of the film
in all its consciously preachy glory." --Colin Dabkowski
Beth Donohue and Wendy Hall in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's production of "Dancing at Lughnasa."
From the review: "...You enter and exit the picture fluidly, never sure of whose emotions
you’re responding to. In the end, you feel awoken from a dream, in the
hazy déjà vu of it all. How exquisite this can be." --Ben Siegel
The Kavinoky Theatre's production of Michael Frayn's old comic chestnut "Noises Off" is on stage until March 10.
Here is director David Lamb with some insight into the show:
In his four star review of the show, News reviewer Ben Siegel said, "The Kavinoky’s current production of Michael Frayn’s classic modern farce “Noises Off” is perhaps not absent of flaws. That would be absurd. I dare you to find anything wrong with it, though, or to not take pure joy in everything it offers."
Hard to believe it's already this time of year, but the annual Buffalo Infringement Festival -- which balloons bigger and bigger every year -- has announced it is now accepting proposals for projects. Interested musicians, actors, playwrights, painters, sculptors, hula-hoopers and multidisciplinary artists of every imaginable variety can apply here. Proposals (which are automatically accepted, pursuant to Infringement's uniquely egalitarian mission) are due on tax day -- April 15. Here's the official release:
The Buffalo Infringement Festival is 11 days of under the radar art. During the festival, the city comes alive with a range of eclectic, independent, experimental, and controversial art of all forms. Originating in Allentown, art bursts from every corner of the city, pumping creativity and absurdity along the way. The Buffalo Infringement Festival is a non-profit-driven, non-hierarchical endeavor organized by volunteers in our community. Infringement continues its three-fold mission of providing exposure to regional artists, building relationships with local venues and creating space for public art. Infringement welcomes all musicians, visual artists, dancers, poets, actors, filmmakers, performance artists, and street performers to submit a proposal. There are no fees to enter and every application is accepted.