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Thursday Theater Roundup

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The cast of Road less Traveled Productions' "Circle Mirror Transformation" on the stage of 710 Main Theatre. Photo by Jim Bush.

"Circle Mirror Transformation," through Feb. 17 in 710 Main Theatre, produced by Road Less Traveled Productions. ★★★★

From the review: "So smartly constructed is this piece of laugh-driven theater -- a fast-forward glimpse into a six-week acting class in a small Vermont town -- that moments with absolutely no right to be funny on their own manage to produce irrepressible outbursts of laughter. And this production, because it has been so extraordinarily well executed by Road Less Traveled Productions co-founder Scott Behrend and his gifted cast of five, amplifies those laughs to deafening volumes." --Colin Dabkowski

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The cast of "F------ Men" at Buffalo United Artists.

"F------ Men," through Feb. 23 in Buffalo United Artists Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "For all its playful and shameless titillation, the play is a clever if not exactly boundary-breaking consideration of the ways in which gay men from a cross-section of American society connect to one another. It is based on the late-19th century play “La Ronde” by Arthur Schnitzler, a heterosexual exploration of precisely the same questions." --Colin Dabkowski

"A Night With Schwartz," through Feb. 16 in the Lecture Hall Theatre at Medaille College, produced by Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions. ★★★

From the review: "The KTP spends much time in teaching mode. It’s a labor of love, not perfect – a few lame scene and song setups, a good deal of standing around looking pensive, a clunky bit of choreography on the usually enjoyable “All for the Best,” from “Godspell” – but solo vocals are often crisp and knowing, sensitive minutes from a carefully selected cast of eight. For KTP’s first foray into an original work, “Night” is admirable. The Schwartz was definitely with them." --Ted Hadley

Marc-Jon Filippone (Grasshopper) and Simon Blu Randle (James Henry Trotter) star in TOY's James and the Giant Peach.

"James and the Giant Peach," through Feb. 10 in the Allendale Theatre, produced by Theatre of Youth. ★★★½

From the review: "This TOY remake is a wonder in many ways: magical sets by Kenneth Shaw, full of gears and levers, see-through scrims, sea creatures on walls, a jungle-gym, a swaying, enormous peach. Victorian costumes are eye-catching, the insects colorful and detailed. TOY’s entire technical crew should take a well-deserved bow for its work – as should the agile cast." --Ted Hadley

Theater Subversive 12

Xavier Harris and Megan Callahan appear in Subversive Theatre's production of "Angels In America: Perestroika."

"Angels in America," through Feb. 16 in Subversive Theatre's Manny Fried Playhouse. ★★½ for "Millennium Approaches" ★★★ for "Perestroika."

From the review: "The play is an immensity, overstuffed with ideas and full of as much suffering, as much love – and as many well-placed jokes – as any American play. But it’s also a deeply personal tale about a group of individuals seemingly as different from one another as it is possible for Americans to be, each one scraping and clawing his or her way toward a true identity." --Colin Dabkowski

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Taylor Doherty and Kathleen Golde star in "Gruesome Playground Injuries" at Buffalo Laboratory Theatre.

"Gruesome Playground Injuries," through Feb. 9 in Buffalo Laboratory Theatre's Swan Auditorium. ★★★½

From the review: "Director [Stephen McKinley] Henderson puts Doherty and Golde through an extraordinary 70-minute, no-frills, tell-the-tale regimen. They age, change clothes and appearance – sometimes they regress and fill in some details – they spar, confide, make a point, rescind." --Ted Hadley

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