This Monday, September 18, at 5:30 pm Buffalo will honor award-winning actress Roslyn Ruff with a star in the Buffalo Theatre District as a kickoff event for the 40th anniversary of Curtain Up!, the annual start of the theater season. The Monday 5:30 pm event will take place at the corner of Main and Tupper Streets, hosted by past inductee, Tony-nominated Stephen McKinley Henderson. The public is invited.

(Note: Curtain Up! is actually on Friday, September 22, when all the local theaters begin their shows at 8:00 pm, and everyone is invited to the big block party on Main Street stretching from Tupper to Chippewa Streets. You need not attend a show that night to join the party. Everyone is invited.)

Some of Roslyn Ruff’s career highlights include:

Playing Coretta Scott King opposite Brian Cranston as LBJ in ALL THE WAY on Broadway

The original cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, FAIRVIEW

Being Viola Davis’ standby for FENCES on Broadway

Appearing in numerous television shows including LAW AND ORDER

Appearing in the film, THE HELP with Viola Davis

Appearing as Lady Capulet in ROMEO AND JULIET on Broadway with Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad

Starring in August Wilson’s THE PIANO LESSON at the Signature Theatre in New York which earned her the prestigious 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress.

In an extended conversation, Roslyn Ruff told Anthony and Peter how her time in Buffalo prepared her well. “I almost felt like I’d gotten a B.F.A.,” she said. A graduate of Turner Carroll High School (K-12) she played the young mother “Mrs. Jackson” who loses her baby in the James Baldwin play THE AMEN CORNER in a production for Ujima Theatre. She told how she used a monologue from that role for her “contemporary piece” when auditioning for graduate school. She was given early admission to the American Repertory Theatre (Harvard University).

In an extended conversation, Roslyn Ruff told Anthony and Peter how her time in Buffalo prepared her well. “I almost felt like I’d gotten a B.F.A.,” she said. A graduate of Turner Carroll High School (K-12) she played the young mother “Mrs. Jackson” who loses her baby in the James Baldwin play THE AMEN CORNER in a production for Ujima Theatre. She told how she used a monologue from that role for her “contemporary piece” when auditioning for graduate school. She was given early admission to the American Repertory Theatre (Harvard University).

She has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theaters, in television (“Law and Order” for example), and in movies (“Rachel Getting Married,” “Salt,” “The Help,” and “Marriage Story”).

Notes: Ujima Theatre is currently co-producing THE COLOR PURPLE (a musical) on stage at Shea’s 710 Theatre (see listings below). THE AMEN CORNER is currently on-stage in the Festival Theatre on the Shaw Festival campus (see listings below).

Road Trip! GYPSY, A Musical Fable, with Book by Arthur Laurents, Music by Jule Styne, and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim has been called “the perfect musical” by Anthony who will be leading a bus tour up to Niagara on the Lake Wednesday, September 27 leaving from the AAA parking lot in Amherst at 8:30 am and returning at 6:30.. To get your ticket click here:

Anthony’s reviews appear in The Buffalo News ( and Peter’s reviews appear in Buffalo Rising (

LOCAL LISTINGS ARE PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS: CLOSINGS (last chances to see these plays), then OPENINGS, then CONTINUING, then The Shaw Festival lineup for 2023.



MURDER BALLAD, by Julia Jordan with music and lyrics by Juliana Nash, directed by Doug Weyand, starring Anthony Alcocer, Leah Berst, Jenn Stafford, and Ricky Needham. 9/14 – 10/15 Thu-Sat 7:30, Sun 2:00. (Note: Curtain Up! performance Friday, September 22 is at 8:00.) (716) 629-3069,

MURDER BALLAD BLURB: Murder Ballad is the dramatic story of a love triangle gone wrong, an exploration of love, lust, and betrayal centering on Sara, an uptown girl who seems to have it all with her husband Michael, but whose downtown past with bad boy Tom lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her.


THE COLOR PURPLE, music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray; book by Marsha Norman, based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker, directed by Sarah Norat Phillips, music direction by Karen Saxon, choreographed by Naila Ansari, starring Gabriella McKinley as Celie, Anika Pace as Nettie, George Brown as Mister, Brian Brown as Harpo, Curtis Lovell as Sophia, Jetaun Louie as Shug, and many others. Co-presented by Second Generation Theatre, Ujima Company, and Shea’s 710. 9/14 – 10/1, Thu – Fri 7:30, Sat 8:00, Sun 4:00 at Shea’s 710 Main Theatre (Main Street corner Tupper). (716) 847-1410

THE COLOR PURPLE BLURB: This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel boasts a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music, and blues. It’s a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love, and a celebration of life. Produced with Ujima Company, Inc. and Shea’s 710.

ASL performance 9/24 @ 4:00.


CONTINUING: (shows listed alphabetically by title; plays starting with “The” are alphabetized under “T”)

A GREAT WILDERNESS, a play by Samuel D. Hunter, directed by Drew McCabe, presented by Buffalo United Artists, starring Michael Starzynski, Diane DiBernardo, Jon May, Emily Yancey, Kerrykate Abel and Jonathan Beckner. 9/1 – 9/23, Fridays at 7:30 (except 9/22 at 8:00), Saturdays at 6:00 at the Compass Performing Arts Center, 545 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222. or

A GREAT WILDERNESS BLURB: After decades as the gentle-natured leader of a Christian retreat that endeavors to “cure” gay teens, Walt is packing up his life and preparing for a reluctant retirement. But when his final client quietly disappears into the remote Idaho wilderness, Walt discovers that his previously unwavering moral compass no longer points the way. With profound humanity and subtlety, A Great Wilderness navigates complex moral terrain, exploring the shifting motives and inconstant strength of our personal convictions.


GUYS AND DOLLS, a musical, based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon, music & lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows, directed by Chris Kelly. Sep 6 – Oct 8, 2023. Wed & Thu at 7pm, Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 3:30pm & 7:30pm, Sun at 2pm. Note: The performance on Friday, September 22nd (Curtain Up! night) is at 8pm.

MusicalFare Theatre, c/o Daemen College, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226 (Tip: Enter off Getzville Road, about 500 yards north of Main Street.) (716) 839-8540

GUYS AND DOLLS BLURB: A fresh and innovative production of the all-time classic musical comedy, GUYS & DOLLS tells the overlapping stories of high-roller Sky Masterson, who falls in love with mission worker Sarah Brown, and lovable rapscallion Nathan Detroit, engaged for 14 years to Miss Adelaide, a headliner at the Hot Box Club. It features a classic score by Frank Loesser, including the songs “Luck Be a Lady,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” “If I Were A Bell” and “A Bushel and a Peck.”


RENT, the musical by Jonathan Larson, directed by Nicolette Navarro, presented by Bellissima Productions, starring Ben Caldwell as Roger, Aaron Saldana as Mark, Timiyah Love as Mimi, Heather Casseri as Maureen, Sam Crystal as Joanne, El Tyner as Collins, Lio Salazar as Angel, and Augustus Donaldson as Benny. 9/8 – 24, Fri – Sat at 7:30, Sun at 3:00 at the Lorna C. Hill Theatre, 429 Plymouth Ave Suite #2, Buffalo, NY 14213 (716) 218-8530 Note: Friday 9/22 RENT will start at 8:00 for Curtain Up!

RENT BLURB: Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice, and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Rent has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages. Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, Jonathan Larson’s RENT follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves, and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical.

Content Warning: sexual themes & simulated sexual acts, strong language, simulated use of drugs and drinking, flashing lights.


THE LIFE AND SLIMES OF MARC SUMMERS, a play by Alex Brightman, directed by Chad Rabinovitz, starring the real-life Marc Summers (and audience volunteers), with music by Drew Gasparini. 9/10 – 9/30 (Two pay what you can previews on 9/9 at both 2:00 and 7:30; Opening Night Sunday, September 10 at 7:00; Industry Night Monday 9/18 at 7:30; Curtain Up! September 22 at 8:00, Note: Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 only; One extra performance Wednesday, September 27 at 7:30). All other shows Thu – Sat at 7:30, Saturday matinees at 2:00, Sundays 9/17 and 9/24 at 2:00.

THE LIFE AND SLIMES OF MARC SUMMERS BLURB: Marc Summers is an icon of a generation. You may know him from his time hosting Nickelodeon’s DOUBLE DARE and Food Network’s UNWRAPPED or as the Producer of hits like DINNER: IMPOSSIBLE and RESTAURANT: IMPOSSIBLE, but now you get the chance to meet the real Marc Summers in person– a man who’s led a fascinating life of fame and frustration. The play is a guided tour through Marc’s life, from an early obsession with magic to his notable television career to his appearance on Oprah announcing his ongoing battle with OCD. Marc himself stars in this tell-all about his life, his disorder, and taking the physical challenge. Get ready for games, music, magic, and Double Dare!


THE ROYALE, a play by Marco Ramirez, directed by Verneice Turner, co-produced by The Paul Robeson Theatre and Revelation Theatre, starring Vincenzo McNeill, Roosevelt Tidwell III, VerNia Sherisse Garvin, David Mitchell, and Matthew Ball. 9/8 – 24 Thur – Sat at 7:30, Sun at 4:00. Preview Thursday, 9/7 at 7:30. Thursdays are Buy One, Get One Free. All shows at The Paul Robeson Theatre, 350 Masten Avenue, Buffalo NY 14209. (716) 213 7253,, African American Cultural Center (716) 884-2013

THE ROYALE BLURB: It’s the opening decade of the 20th Century, and Jay “the Sport” Jackson is about to become the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World! But for Jay, as his aspirations and success become real, so do the harsh truths of life in Jim Crow America, and the consequences they could have on his family back home. The Royale examines society’s relationship with our cultural heroes and the responsibilities that are thrust upon them when they find themselves outside of the ropes. Loosely based on real events, The Royale explosively brings to life the ultimate fight for a place in history.


WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME, a play by Heidi Schreck, directed by Robyn Lee Horn, presented by The Kavinoky Theatre, starring Lindsay Brandon Hunter, Amara Gomez, and Kodi James. 9/8 – 24 Thu – Fri 7:30, Sat 3:30, Sun 2:00. D’Youville University’s Kavinoky Theatre, 320 Porter Ave, Buffalo, NY 14201 716-829-7668

WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME BLURB: Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful, and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Playwright Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans. CONTENT WARNING: What the Constitution Means to Me contains mature and potentially triggering content (domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, discussions of abortion and its stigmatization) and is recommended for ages 15+. If you would like further information regarding these content warnings, please contact the box office at 716-829-7668


OPENING LATER THIS MONTH (Curtain Up! on 9/22 and after):

BELFAST GIRLS, play by Jaki McCarrick, directed by Kyle LoConti, presented by Irish Classical Theatre, starring Robyn Baun, Cassie Cameron, Solange Gosselin, Lily Jones, and Renee Landrigan. 9/22 – 10/15. On opening night, 9/22, all “Curtain Up” shows are at 8:00, otherwise, Thu – Sat at 7:30, Sat at 3:00, Sun at 2:00. 625 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 (716) 853-1380

Additional Programming:

Open Rehearsal (for Subscribers Only): Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, at 6:30.

Pay-What-You-Can Performance: Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at 3:00.

Industry Night: Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at 7:30.

Young Professionals Night: Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at 7:30.

Speaker Series: Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, at 1:30.

Community Matinee: Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, at 10:00 am.

ASL Interpreted/Open Captioned Performance: Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 at 7:30.

BELFAST GIRLS BLURB: The year is 1850, and five young women seek to escape the famine in Ireland aboard a ship bound for Australia. As they sail toward the promise of new lives in Sydney, they struggle to leave their pasts behind.


LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, musical by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play by Jean Poiret, directed and choreographed by Dewayne Barrett, musical direction by Jill Neuhaus, presented by O’Connell & Company, starring a cast of 20 O’Connell favorites including Joey Bucheker, Anna Fernandez, Michael J. Galante, Mary Coppola Gjurich, Greg Gjurich, Daniel Lendzian, Mary Kate O’Connell, and David Wysocki. 9/22 – 10/8 Opening Friday 9/22 at 8:00 (Curtain Up!), then Thu – Sat 7:30, Sun 3:00, additional Saturday matinees 9/30 and 10/7 at 3:00 with all shows on the O’Connell & Company Mainstage, 4110 Bailey Avenue, Amherst, NY 14226 (716) 848-0800

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES BLURB: La Cage Aux Folles remains one of musical theatre’s all-time biggest hits, adding a new dimension to the boulevard comedy. After 20 years of partnered bliss, Georges and Albin, two men partnered for better or worse, get a bit of both when Georges’ son (fathered during a one-night fling) announces his impending marriage to the daughter of a bigoted, right-wing politician. Further complicating the situation is the “family business”: Albin and Georges run a drag nightclub in St. Tropez, where Albin is the star performer, “Zaza.” Georges reluctantly agrees to masquerade as “normal” when he meets the family of the bride-to-be. But Albin has other plans, with hilarious results.


MRS. DOUBTFIRE, musical by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, directed by Jerry Zaks, presented as part of Shea’s Broadway Season,

Sun 9/24 – Sat 9/30, Sun at 1:00 and 6:30, Tue – Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2:00 and 8:00 at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, 646 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 847-1410

MRS. DOUBTFIRE BLURB: Everyone’s favorite Scottish nanny is headed to Buffalo in an internationally acclaimed new hit musical critics call “wonderful, heart-warming, and laugh-out-loud funny” (Manchester Evening News) and “a feel-good, family-friendly comedy that delivers” (The Hollywood Reporter). Based on the beloved film and directed by four-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Zaks, Mrs. Doubtfire tells the hysterical and heartfelt story of an out-of-work actor who will do anything for his kids. It’s “the lovable, big-hearted musical comedy we need right now,” raves the Chicago Tribune – one that proves we’re better together. RUNTIME: 2 hours, 35 minutes including one intermission.

Mrs. Doubtfire has been created by a team of award-winning artists, with a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, original music and lyrics by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, (the Tony Award®-nominated team behind Something Rotten!, along with O’Farrell), direction by four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks (Hello, Dolly!), scenic design by David Korins (Hamilton), choreography by Lorin Latarro (Waitress), and music supervision by Ethan Popp (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical).


AT THE SHAW FESTIVAL THEATRE, Venue by Venue listings.

For details visit



A Musical Fable, Book by Arthur Laurents

Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee


BLITHE SPIRIT by Noël Coward



By James Baldwin




Adapted for the stage by Damien Atkins

Based on the novel by C.S. Lewis



By Tom Stoppard

Adapted from Einen Jux will er sich machen by Johann Nestroy, but you’ll recognize scenes from Thornton Wilder’s THE MATCHMAKER and also from the musical HELLO, DOLLY!


VILLAGE WOOING (2023’s Lunchtime One‐Act)

By Bernard Shaw



By Edith Wharton




By J.M. Synge


THE APPLE CART by G.B. Shaw, directed by Eda Holmes, starring Tom Rooney and others, is in repertory through Saturday October 7, 2023 at the Shaw Festival’s Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre behind the Festival Theatre (they share a courtyard), 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (905-468-2172 / 1-800-511-7429) Download house program here.



By Helen Edmundson


And there are two new “venues” at the Shaw Festival including



A romantic comedy by Pierre de Marivaux

Improvised by the Shaw Festival Ensemble – a new play every time.


Written and directed by Selma Dimitrijevic

and there’s “OUTDOORS @ THE SHAW”


Created by Alexandra Montagnese and Mike Petersen

Commissioned and presented by the Shaw Festival

Rogers and Hammerstein’s


Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical arrangements by Fred Wells

Orchestration by Michael Gibson and Jonathan Tunick

Conceived by Walter Bobbie


For the HOLIDAY SEASON 2023 The Shaw Festival will bring back

Lerner and Loewe’s


Book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe

Original dances created by Agnes DeMille

Revised book by Brian Hill


By Charles Dickens

Adapted and originally directed by Tim Carroll


Shea’s Buffalo Theatre has announced their 2023-24 Broadway Season:

MRS. DOUBTFIRE 9/24 – 30, 2023

MOULIN ROUGE! 10/24 – 11/5, 2023

with ANNIE as a “special engagement” 12/19 – 24, 2023

and then in calendar 2024:


FUNNY GIRL 2/13 – 18, 2024

LES MISERABLES 3/12 – 18, 2024

MAMMA MIA! 4/9 – 14, 2024

MJ THE MUSICAL 6/11 – 16, 2024