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Thursday Theater Roundup: BUA's 'Blanche' wraps up; Subversive's 'View from the Bridge' continues

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Andrew Gollhardt, James Heffron and Thomas LaChiusa star in Subverisve Theatre's production of "A View from the Bridge."

The Thursday Theater Roundup features currently running productions that have received three or more stars from our reviewers. Here are this week's picks:

"Blanche DuBois Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire," through Sunday in a Buffalo United Artists produciton in the Main Street Cabaret. ★★★

"A View from the Bridge," through May 3 in a Subversive Theatre production in the Manny Fried Playhouse. ★★★½

Neil Wechsler's ambitious 'Against the Grain' theater fest postponed

When Buffalo playwright Neil Wechsler announced plans last year to produce his own outdoor adaptation of "Faust" at Silo City this summer using actors from across the Northeast as part of a new annual theater festival, it sounded almost too good to be true.

Turns out it was, at least for this year.

"Factors beyond our control have forced us to delay the production until the summer of 2015," Wechsler said in an email. "While we are disappointed that we will not be able to present Faust this summer, the extra time will allow us to present it more effectively next year."

Wechsler's Against the Grain Festival is meant to bring international attention to Buffalo's grain silos as potential sites for theatrical experimentation. It's also part of a trend to tie the city's artistic identity to the structures and to employ them as as symbols of a uniquely Buffalonian culture.

--Colin Dabkowski

Thursday Theater Roundup: Last week for Ujima and BPT's 'The Trojan Women'

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Lorna Hill, center, finds inner strength as Hecuba in “The Trojan Women,” opening tonight in TheatreLoft.

"The Trojan Women," through April 19 in a co-proudction of Ujima Theatre and Buffalo Public Theatre in TheatreLoft. ★★★

"A View from the Bridge," through May 3 in a Subversive Theatre production in the Manny Fried Playhouse. ★★★½

"Blanche DuBois Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire," through April 27 in a Buffalo United Artists produciton in the Main Street Cabaret. ★★★

City of Night puts out a call for site-specific work

City of Night, the grassroots multi-arts festival which will take over Silo City on June 28, is seeking proposals for "performance art, installations, sound art, murals, dance, theater, and light-based works."

Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo, the group behind the popular festival, released a teaser video in hopes of inspiring Western New York creative types to apply. Check out the City of Night website if you're interested in applying. Here's a look:

 

And a handy walkthrough of the site for artists interested in exactly what they're applying to:

 --Colin Dabkowski

Thursday Theater Roundup: Strong work at Ujima, BUA, Subversive and Torn Space

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Jimmy Janowski stars a Buffalo United Artists production of "Blanche DuBois Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire."

"Blanche DuBois Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire," through April 27 in a Buffalo United Artists produciton in the Main Street Cabaret. ★★★

"A View from the Bridge," through May 3 in a Subversive Theatre production in the Manny Fried Playhouse. ★★★½

"The Trojan Women," through April 19 in a co-proudction of Ujima Theatre and Buffalo Public Theatre in TheatreLoft. ★★★

"Mud," through April 13 in Torn Space Theatre's Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle and Library. ★★★

MusicalFare cabaret space opens tonight with tribute to Louis Prima and Keely Smith

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Debbie Pappas and Norm Sham will perform a tribute to Louis Prima in MusicalFare Theatre's new cabaret space.

MusicalFare Theatre will hold a soft opening tonight for its newly completed Premier Center Cabaret tonight with Norm Sham and Debbie Pappas' tribute to the music of Louis Prima and Keely Smith. The show runs at 8 p.m. tonight, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20.

The theater's renovation includes an expanded lobby and bar area in addition to the performance space. Here's a shot of it during a the opening of "Tommy":

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On April 11, Christina Rausa opens a three-day run of "The Belle of Amherst," a one-woman show based on the life of Emily Dickenson. The space's official opening will coincide with the opening of MusicalFare's production of "Adrift in Macao" on April 23.

--Colin Dabkowski

Thursday Theater Roundup: 'Robin Hood,' 'Mud' and 'Trojan Women'

Patrick Moltane, Willie Judson, and Bonnie Jean Taylor appear in Torn Space Theater's production of "Mud." 

"Robin Hood," through April 6 in Theatre of Youth's Allendale Theatre. ★★★½

"Mud," through April 13 in Torn Space Theatre's Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle and Library. ★★★

"The Trojan Women," through April 19 in TheatreLoft. ★★★

'Lion King' cast gives surprise performance on a plane

In this video that's in the midst of going viral, the Australian cast members of "The Lion King" surprise their fellow passengers with a rendition of "The Circle of Life." It's almost definitely a Disney viral advertising stunt, but a beautiful moment nonetheless.

--Colin Dabkowski 

 

Give for Greatness becomes part of ASI

Give for Greatness, the arts fundraising organization launched by Artvoice publisher Jamie Moses in the wake of Erie County's 2011 cultural funding crisis, will become part of the Arts Services Initiative.

The merger of the two organizations, funded by a consortium of local foundations known as the Fund for the Arts, will create a new development director position at ASI. It will primarily benefit small cultural organizations and expand G4G's mission to include a larger swath of Western New York.

As the funding crisis of 2011 recedes into memory, ASI board president and MusicalFare Theatre founder Randall Kramer said, "the need for G4G remains as prevalent as ever for small and new organizations, as well as groups in Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties where public sector [support] for the arts is not as strongas it is in Erie."

It's tough to overestimate the importance of a group dedicated to funding new and emerging cultural groups Western New York and Erie County, as the vast majority of public and private funding goes to long-established organizations. Gaining a toe-hold as a new group is remarkably difficult -- a problem this reimagined version of G4G aims to solve.

Since its founding, according to the G4G website, the organization has raised $150,000 for local arts organizations. It was headed for a time by former Studio Arena Theatre director Kathleen Gaffney, who left the organization several months ago.

--Colin Dabkowski

Thursday Theater Roundup: Closing weekend for 'Red,' 'Good People,' 'An Iliad' and 'Once'

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Stuart Ward and Dani De Waal star in "Once" in Shea's Performing Arts Center.

The Thursday Theater Roundup features currently running shows that received three or more stars from our reviewers. Here are this week's picks:

"Red," through Sunday in 710 Main Theatre. ★★★

"Good People," through Sunday in the Kavinoky Theatre ★★★

"An Iliad," through Sudnay in the Road Less Traveled Theatre ★★★

"Once," through Sunday in Shea's Performing Arts Center. ★★★½

"Robin Hood," through April 6 in Theatre of Youth's Allendale Theatre. ★★★½

"Mud," through April 13 in Torn Space Theatre's Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle and Library. ★★★

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