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Thursday Theater Roundup

Tina Rausa, Mary McMahon, Victoria Perez and Margaret Massman appear in Road Less Traveled Theatre's production of "The Clean House." Photo by Harry Scull Jr. / The Buffalo News.

"The Clean House," through May 12 in the Road Less Traveled Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "Director Derek Campbell’s campy approach to the production is in perfect sync with the often tongue-in-cheek nature of Ruhl’s script, which blurs the traditional boundaries between time, place and character to make the piece feel like a living New Yorker cartoon, only funnier." --Colin Dabkowski

"Almost, Maine," through April 27 in Buffalo Laboratory Theatre's Swan Auditorium at Hilber College. ★★★★

From the review: "It is a lovely piece of theater that feels perfect for this time of year, with spring sprouting all over this sometimes barren landscape. It’s time for romance." --Ben Siegel

"'Swonderful: The New Gershwin Musical," through May 19 in MusicalFare Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "It’s a musical revue that you can actually sit through, if you aren’t itching to dance through, without asking yourself 'why' and 'when' – as in 'will it stop?' " --Ben Siegel

"Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas," through April 21 in Shea's Smith Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "It’s all in good fun, and not remotely offensive. Yet that didn’t stop this audience of presumably many Catholics to cower in shame at Sister’s routine verbal attacks on them. This is the audience participation that’s involuntary, beautifully crafted by Newton-Breen’s spot-on candor and playwright Maripat Donovan and Marc Silvia’s ferocious wit. Everyone’s a target." --Ben Siegel


"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," Friday through April 28 in O'Connell and Company's Gleasner Hall.

From the review: "O’Connell & Company and director Guy Tomassi have a lovable production of “Charlie” at their current ECC home for the next two weekends. Tomassi has a soft spot in his heart for the show and it shows. His cast has been well-chosen." --Ted Hadley

A joke to die for sits at the heart of 'The Clean House'

Sarah Ruhl’s popular and critically beloved 2004 play “The Clean House,” starring Victoria Perez as a Brazilian maid with a penchant for comedy, opened Friday night in the Road Less Traveled Theatre. The show, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre and later made its way to the Lincoln Center Theatre in New York City and regional theaters nationwide, explores class, race and comedy through the lens of one peculiar character.

Matilde (Perez) is a reluctant maid on a quest to find the funniest joke in the world. In a strange twist, that quest takes her into the home of two Connecticut doctors in the midst of marital troubles, and the results are at once poignant and funny. Perez, a member of the recently formed Road Less Traveled ensemble, pitched the show to the company’s artistic director Scott Behrend, who said he became an instant fan of the piece and the playwright.

“I think Victoria will be unbelievable in the part,” he said. “It’s gonna be a real highlight of the season.”

Derek Campbell directs a cast that also includes Peter Palmisano, Christina Rausa, Margaret Massman and Mary McMahon.

– Colin Dabkowski

“The Clean House”

When: Through May 12.

Where: Road Less Traveled Theatre, 639 Main St.

Tickets: $17 to $32.

Info: 629-3069 or

Artfarms, Niagara University, Just Buffalo win NEA grants

An aerial view of vacant land on Buffalo's East side, the future home of the Artfarms. (Via

The latest round of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts will fund projects at three Western New York organizations.

A collaboration between the Polish Community Center of Buffalo and Artfarms, a project launched by architect David Lagé to foster new activity on Buffalo's East Side with public art installations, will receive $35,000 from the federal agency.

"In a place with limited economic, social and cultural activity, Artfarms simply weaves together the ongoing initiatives in the East Side to support a common vision for its landscape,” Lagé said in a statement. "By building a cultural place with the efforts of those already engaged with the neighborhood, we believe Artfarms will transform the vacant land into the area’s most defining asset."

Just Buffalo Literary Center will receive $20,000 to fund its Babel reading series, the 2013-14 version of which was recently announced. And Niagara University will receive $20,000 grant to fund a project called Ethnic Wedding Dress in New York State, described in a statement as "a project celebrating wedding rituals of several immigrant communities."

Earlier NEA grants for 2013 were awarded to Squeaky Wheel, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and White Pine Press.

--Colin Dabkowski

Seneca Casinos announce 'Summer Rush' concert series

A mix of music stars and funny folks will fill the "Summer Rush" series at the Seneca Casinos this season. Here is the rundown of what's planned in the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls (Bear's Den Showroom and Seneca Events Center) and the Seneca Allegany Events Center.

Tickets are on sale now unless noted and are available through the Seneca Casino box offices, or by calling (800) 745-3000. Here’s the schedule so far:

Marcus Miller, 8 p.m. June 7, Bear’s Den Showroom; $40.

B.B. King, 7 p.m. June 8, Seneca Allegany Events Center; $40.

Sonny Landreth, 8 p.m. June 8, Bear’s Den Showroom; $25.

The Go-Go’s, 8 p.m. June 15, Seneca Niagara Events Center; $20.

David Cassidy, 8 p.m. June 21, Bear’s Den; $55 (on sale noon May 6).

Paul Reiser, 7 p.m. June 22, Seneca Allegany Events Center; $20 (on sale noon Monday).

An Evening with Leo Kottke, 8 p.m. June 22, Bear’s Den; $35

Jackson Browne with Sara Watkins, 8 p.m. June 29, Seneca Niagara Events Center; $50

Drew Carey, 8 p.m. July 6, Seneca Niagara  Events Center (ticket prices and on-sale date to be announced).

Jeff Dunham, 7 p.m. July 12, Seneca Allegany Events Center; $45 (on sale noon Tuesday).

Tommy Castro, 8 p.m. July 12, Bear’s Den; $25 (on sale noon May 13).

Alabama, 7 p.m. July 27, Seneca Allegany Events  Center; $80 (on sale noon Tuesday).

The Stick Men featuring Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto & Markus Reuter, 8 p.m. Aug. 2, Bear’s Den; $25 (on sale May 13).

Buckwheat Zydeco, 8 p.m. Aug. 3, Bear’s Den; $25 (on sale noon May 13).

Tracy Morgan, 8 p.m. Aug. 10, Seneca Niagara  Events Center; $25 (on sale noon May 20).

Howie Mandel, 7 p.m. Aug. 16, Seneca Allegany Events Center; $35 (on sale noon May 29).

Huey Lewis and the News, 7 p.m. Aug. 31, Seneca Allegany Events Center; $35).

Brad Garrett, 8 p.m. Sept. 7, Seneca Niagara Events Center; $30 (on sale noon June 10).

Alice In Chains, Jane's Addiction headline Uproar Festival

The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival heads to the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. Aug. 11. Headliners Alice in Chains and Jane's Addiction are joined by Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, Walking Papers, New Politics, Middle Class Rut, Danko Jones and Chuck Shaeffer Picture Show.

Tickets are $29, $49, $59 and $85 reserved with $87 reserved four-packs and $20 lawn with $60 lawn four-packs and go on sale at noon April 25 through, or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Allman Brothers, Steve Winwood to perform at Darien Lake

The Allman Brothers Band, with special guest Steve Winwood, announce a concert at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23 in the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $35, $45, $55, $65 reserved and $29.50 lawn and go on sale at noon April 27 through and or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Looking forward to Felder's new song cycle


Excitement is building over Tuesday's performance at Lippes Hall in Slee Hall of David Felder's extravaganza “Les quatre temps cardinaux." Homegrown soprano superstar Laura Aikin, pictured above, will be singing in the cycle. So will bass Ethan Herschenfeld, whom you can watch here singing the part of the dragon Fafner in Wagner's "The Ring of the Nibelungs."

That is quite a costume! A very cool Fafner.


Felder's cycle includes the recorded voices of several of the poets whose poetry is woven into the work.

One of those poets is the late Robert Creeley. Felder has included a couple of settings he made previous of Creeley's poetry, "Spring Light" and "Buffalo Evening."

In Tuesday's Buffalo News, the wildly experimental Felder shares some of his thoughts regarding his new work. Meanwhile, you can hear what he does with "Buffalo Evening."

Tomorrow promises to be a Buffalo evening to remember!

For info on UB events, call 645-2921.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

Counting Crows, Wallflowers to open Buffalo Place Rocks Canalside

The Counting Crows and the Wallflowers will kick off the 2013 version of the newly renamed Buffalo Place Rocks Canalside concert series on June 28 at the Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf in downtown Buffalo.

Each ticket purchased will come with a copy of the Counting Crows' new live album, "Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow."

Tickets are $16 advance and $20 day of show and go on sale at 10 a.m. April 26 through, charge by phone at (888) 223-6000 or visit Buffalo Place Inc. at 671 Main St. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.




For more information, visit

Brian Regan comes to Shea's

Comedian Brian Regan announces a show at 8 p.m. Dec. 6 in Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St.

Tickets are $42.50 and $47.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. April 26 through the box office, online at or charge by phone at (800) 745-6000.

For more information, visit

Dylan returns in Darien Lake triple bill

Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket and Wilco will perform in the Americanarama Music Festival on July 18 at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

Tix are scheduled to go sale on May 4, with more info to be announced on April 29.


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