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Thursday Theater Roundup

669842  Into the Woods KI#5

Bobby Cooke, Loraine O'Donnell and Jenn Stafford star in Second Generation Theatre's "Into the Woods."

"Into the Woods," through June 23 in the New Phoenix Theatre in a Second Generation Theatre production. ★★★★

From the review: "[This] version of Sondheim’s dark mutation of classic fairy-tale tropes, directed with keen attention to detail by Chris Kelly and performed by a phenomenal cast of newcomers and vets, takes us dangerously deep into the strange thicket of Sondheim’s imagination. After almost three hours in this alternate universe, so powerfully rendered by SGT’s cast and design team, we emerge into the real world with a renewed faith in the fairy-tale powers of the theater." --Colin Dabkowski

"The Book of Mormon," through Sunday in Shea's Performing Arts Center. ★★★★

From the review: "Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s breathlessly funny and strategically offensive show is surely the most vulgar, foul-mouthed and sophomoric piece of theater ever to appear in the vicinity of a Broadway stage. It is also one of the smartest and most emotionally savvy, inserting devastating critiques of religious hypocrisy and American values into a package guaranteed to beguile all but the most jaded theatergoer." --Colin Dabkowski

"Sex'd ," through Sunday in the Paul Robeson Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "This multigenerational, family-centric, often religiously themed stage is the home of good, nurturing, expository storytelling, yes, but not typically challenging or controversial storytelling. For this breakout alone, it is worth seeing." --Ben Siegel

At the Shaw Festival:

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"Guys and Dolls," through Nov. 3 in the Festival Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "For this production, directed by Tadeusz Bradecki with molecular fidelity to the original material and choreographed to within a millimeter of its life by Parker Esse, the Shaw has rounded up a phenomenal cast." --Colin Dabkowski

Barbara_0519_DC

"Major Barbara," through Oct. 19 in the Royal George Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "Director Jackie Maxwell’s production of Shaw’s long-winded but monumentally engaging play about the tug-of-war between public and corporate interests sets out to rescue Undershaft from her status as a weak protagonist all too willing to mold her ideals to the arguments of others. Alas, despite Maxwell’s laudable efforts and a remarkable performance from the magnetic Nicole Underhay in the title role, the show fails to transform Shaw’s projection screen of a protagonist into a living, breathing human." --Colin Dabkowski

Betters_0176
Claire Julien and Julia Course star in the Shaw Festival's production of "Our Betters."

"Our Betters," through Oct. 27 in the Royal George Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "The play, which explores the efforts of newly wealthy Americans to seek ancient British titles and the status that accompanies them, is timed to exploit our culture’s renewed obsession with the roaring ’20s and the surrounding decades. The play, though a bit clunky in its conceit, is positively 'Gatsby'-esque in its attempt to uncover the emptiness of the British aristocracy and the equally vapid American climbers who try to invade it." --Colin Dabkowski

Buffalo awards grants to cultural groups

Today, at long last, the City of Buffalo annouced a series of grants from its newly established $200,000 cultural and anti-violence fund that it had been slow to release. Here is the list:

Organization

Program Name

Awarded

100 Mighty Men Ministry

Mighty Men Street Clean Up & Peace Initiative

$1,000

African Cultural Center of Buffalo, Inc.

Educational Cultural Enrichment

$7,500

Alleyway Theatre Inc.

2013-14 Season of Live Theatre

$4,000

Back To Basics Outreach Ministries, Inc.

Youth Strengthening Program

$7,500

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc.

Project Empower

$2,500

Buffalo Arts Studio

General Operating Support

$5,000

Buffalo Christian Center

The Merge

$5,000

Buffalo Fine Arts Academy / Albright-Knox Art Gallery

2013 Art Alive!

$2,500

Buffalo Inner City Ballet

Dance Enrichment Program

$5,000

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame

Comprehensive Music Database and Archival Project

$2,500

Buffalo Naval Park Committee, Inc.

Inner City Overnight Program

$1,000

Buffalo Niagara Concert Band, Inc.

USS Little Rock Summer Concert

$1,000

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Celebration of Music

$2,500

Buffalo United front, Inc.

Family Fishing Day 2013

$5,000

Burchfield Penney Art Center

Tours & Art Education Workshops

$2,500

Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art, Inc. (CEPA)

CEPA Gallery/Big Orbit Gallery Merger

$2,500

Central Terminal Restoration Corp

Bricklayers & Allied Crafts Workers Local 3 and Job Corps Security Remediation

$4,000

Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo, NY, Inc.

Queen City Jazz Festival

$5,000

Community Action Organization    of Erie County Inc.

Sports P.L.U.S.

$7,500

Community Music School of Buffalo

Outreach Concert Series

$2,500

El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera, Inc.

Visual Arts Exhibitions for Artists of Color

$5,000

GIRLS Sports Foundation, Inc.

GSF/ NICYO 2013 Slam Jam & Cultural Expo

$2,500

H.E.A.L. International

H.E.A.L. Weekend Recreation Program

$4,000

Hallwalls, Inc. (Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center)

Year-Round Public Cultural Programing in the Contemporary Arts

$5,000

Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY

Hispanic Heritage Month Main Event - Restauracion Cultural

$5,000

Irish Classical Theatre company, Inc.

General Operating Support

$2,500

Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy

Cultural Preservation

$2,500

Juneteenth Festival Inc.

Sankofa Days

$5,000

Just Buffalo Literary Center

Babel

$5,000

Latin American Cultural Association, Inc.

Cultural Extension

$2,500

Mad DADS of Greater Buffalo

Youth Basketball

$5,000

Martin House Restoration Corporation (MHRC)

General Operating Activities

$2,500

Metro CDC Delavan Grider Community Center

Nonviolence for Youth Program - "Acting In"

$7,500

Michigan Street Preservation Corp.

Nash House Museum

$5,000

Music is Art

Music is Art Festival

$2,500

National Inner Cities Youth Opportunities, Inc. (NICYO)

Safe Structured Youth Sports

$7,500

New Phoenix Theatre on the Park

Pay-What-You-Can Thursday Performance Series - lower West Side Johnson Park Neighborhood Revitalization

$2,500

People United for Sustainable Housing

Grant Street Neighborhood Center

$5,000

Road Less Traveled Productions

Ongoing Organizational Programming

$2,000

Shakespeare In Delaware Park, Inc.

Shakespeare In Delaware Park

$2,500

Squeaky Wheel / Buffalo Media Resources

Youth Education Programs

$2,500

Stop The Violence Coalition, Inc.

Youth Intervention Project

$7,500

The Friends of Vienna

Three Chamber Music Concerts

$1,000

The National Federation for Just Communities of WNY, Inc.

First Time/Last Time Program

$7,500

The Western New York Artists Group

General Programing

$2,500

Theatre of Youth Company, Inc.

School Children Access Program

$5,000

Torn Space Theater

Main Stage Production Activity

$2,500

Tru-way Community Center, Inc.

Tru-way Community Center, Inc.

$2,000

Ujima Company, Inc.

General Operating Support

$5,000

Western NY Book Arts Collaborative

Free Family Workshops

$2,500

Young Audiences of WNY, Inc.

Out of School Time Programs

$5,000

 

Total Amount

$200,000

The full press release from the city is here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Brian Setzer Orchestra brings holiday show to UB

Get ready, get set, the Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks 10th Anniversary Tour will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts on the North Campus, Amherst.

Tickets are $37, $52, $67 and $77 and go on sale at 10 a.m. June 14 through the center box office, online at www.tickets.com or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000.

For more information, call 645-2787 or visit www.ubcfa.org.

Merle Haggard/the Red Hot Chili Pipers head to Buffalo

BPO Nation has announced two new shows. Country legend Merle Haggard will come to Buffaloto perform at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 in Kleinhans Music Hall (3 Symphony Circle). Tickets are $40-$60 (with VIP seating available) and go on sale at 9 a.m. June 14.

Rock 'n Roll bagpipers the Red Hot Chili Pipers will take the stage at Kleinhans for a concert at 8 p.m. Feb. 8. Tickets are $35 and $45 (with VIP seating available) and go on sale at 9 a.m. June 22.

For more information, call 885-5000 or visit www.kleinhansbuffalo.org.

Albright-Knox staff creates human version of 'Path'

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Andy Goldsworthy's new and controversial commission for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The winding path, which only becomes visible under the perfect confluence of atmospheric conditions, is surely the most temperamental and unpredictable piece of art in the gallery's collection. For the gallery's annual "Art Alive" competition, in which teams create tableaux of artworks from the gallery's collection, members of the Albright-Knox education department decided to produce a human version of Goldsworthy's "Path." Here's what they came up with:

The gallery, according to this post on its Tumblr page, is launching a new summerlong photo-sharing campaign based on Goldsworthy's work at the gallery and elsewhere. "We encourage you to walk the Path, create your own Rain Shadow, make something out of sticks or leaves, or get creative with nature in other ways," the gallery writes. "Please share the photos of your observations or creations on Instagram or Tumblr and include #akgoldsworthy and @albrightknox in your captions."

--Colin Dabkowski

Gordon Lightfoot on a Carefree Highway to Kleinhans

Celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot brings his "50 Years on the Carefree Highway" tour to Kleinhans Music Hall (3 Symphony Circle) for a show at 8 p.m. Oct. 25.

Tickets are $35 to $75 and go on sale June 17. For more information and tickets, call 885-5000 or visit www.kleinhansbuffalo.org.

Live chat at noon: Miers on Music with The News' pop music critic

(Friday) Theater Roundup

Note: Because of a posting error, this week's Theater Roundup didn't make its normal appearance on Thursday morning. Here it is below:

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Michael Seitz and Matthew Crehan Higgins star in Buffalo United Artists' production of "The Normal Heart." Photo by Robert Kirkham / The Buffalo News.

"The Normal Heart," through June 8 in Buffalo United Artists Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "A compelling production of the 1985 play, directed by Javier Bustillos, opened Friday night in the Buffalo United Artists Theatre, serving as a chilling reminder of that shameful period in American history for those who lived through it and a shocking primer on latent human cruelty for those who didn’t." --Colin Dabkowski

At the Shaw Festival:

AR-130519361.jpg&maxW=602&maxH=602&AlignV=top&Q=80

"Guys and Dolls," through Nov. 3 in the Festival Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "For this production, directed by Tadeusz Bradecki with molecular fidelity to the original material and choreographed to within a millimeter of its life by Parker Esse, the Shaw has rounded up a phenomenal cast." --Colin Dabkowski

Barbara_0519_DC

"Major Barbara," through Oct. 19 in the Royal George Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "Director Jackie Maxwell’s production of Shaw’s long-winded but monumentally engaging play about the tug-of-war between public and corporate interests sets out to rescue Undershaft from her status as a weak protagonist all too willing to mold her ideals to the arguments of others. Alas, despite Maxwell’s laudable efforts and a remarkable performance from the magnetic Nicole Underhay in the title role, the show fails to transform Shaw’s projection screen of a protagonist into a living, breathing human." --Colin Dabkowski

Betters_0176
Claire Julien and Julia Course star in the Shaw Festival's production of "Our Betters."

"Our Betters," through Oct. 27 in the Royal George Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "The play, which explores the efforts of newly wealthy Americans to seek ancient British titles and the status that accompanies them, is timed to exploit our culture’s renewed obsession with the roaring ’20s and the surrounding decades. The play, though a bit clunky in its conceit, is positively 'Gatsby'-esque in its attempt to uncover the emptiness of the British aristocracy and the equally vapid American climbers who try to invade it." --Colin Dabkowski

Critic's Corner for Thursday Canceled on account of rain

Well, no, that's not why. But a combination of factors --an afternoon screening for me and last night's late night Axl Rose duty for Jeff Miers --has taken us out of the Critic's Corner business for this particular Thursday.

Please forgive us and come back next week when we hope to open our little lemonade stand again.

In the meantime, have a kind thought for your hardworking Buffalo News critics.

--Jeff Simon

Braun's to host Florida Georgia Line, Big Night Out Tour

Braun's Concert Cove (11891 Main St., Akron) announces concerts featuring the Big Night Out Tour and Florida Georgia Line.

The Big Night Out Tour features performances by Fuel, Hoobastank, Lit and Alien Ant Farm and begins at 7 pm. July 13. Tickets for the show are $35 advance, $50 day of show.

Florida Georgia Line will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 5. Tickets are $30 advance, $40 day of show.

All tickets are available at the venue or online at www.tickets.com.

For more information, call 542-2425 or visit www.braunsbar.com.

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