Celebrate 40 years of live theatre in Western New York on Friday, September 22nd at Curtain Up! 2023 in the Buffalo Theatre District! This will be the 40th in-person celebration of the opening of Buffalo’s professional theatre season. Curtain Up! is produced by the Theatre District Association of WNY Inc. Founded in 1979, Theatre District Association of WNY, Inc. is a not-for-profit community association dedicated to the promotion of the health and well-being of Buffalo’s neighborhood known as the Theatre District. Curtain Up! 2023 is Presented by M&T Bank.
The Theatre District Association will kick off the week of celebration with a star-studded Plaza of Stars Induction Ceremony. On Monday, September 18th, award winning actress, Roslyn Ruff will receive her star in the Buffalo Theatre District as a kickoff to the 40th Anniversary celebration. The ceremony will take place at 5:30pm at the Plaza of Stars (Main Street at Tupper Street). Ms. Ruff will be inducted by Tony Award nominated, and award-winning Plaza of Stars inductee, Stephen McKinley Henderson.
Ruff, a Buffalo native, has made a name for herself on stage and screen. She earned critical acclaim for her performances in August Wilson’s plays, including “Seven Guitars,” and “The Piano Lesson.” Ruff won the 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for her performance in “The Piano Lesson” and earned an Obie award for her performance in “Seven Guitars.” The star honoring Roslyn Ruff will be the newest addition to the Buffalo Theatre District’s collection of stars that celebrate the careers of Buffalo’s most talented performers. The ceremony will feature remarks from Ruff, city officials, and local arts leaders.
Curtain Up! 2023 Schedule
Curtain Up! will be held on Friday, September 22nd in Downtown Buffalo. As always, Curtain Up! is a “make your own” night signature event. Select a place to dine, purchase tickets for any of a wide variety of shows, and then enjoy free entertainment on the street in the Theater District.
There will be a Curtain Up! Kickoff Party held upstairs at The Bijou on Friday, September 22nd from 5:30pm through 8:00pm. Guests will enjoy a two-hour open bar, and delicious bites featuring a carving station, and hors d’oeuvres. A limited number of tickets are available and priced at $75 per person. For more information, and to purchase tickets, call the Shea’s Buffalo Theatre Box Office at (716) 847-0850.
Act I – Theatre Performances
8:00 pm – Curtains rise at ten productions at area theaters. Advance reservations are recommended. Guests should check with each individual venue to review start times, run times, and ticket pricing.
Act II – Free Street Party
10pm-12:00 Midnight. When the curtains fall, the free Theatre District street party goes into high gear. Free outdoor entertainment on Main Street between Chippewa and Tupper Streets will feature a variety of music and specialty acts.
Lineup Of Curtain Up! 2023 Theatrical Performances (Act I)
Alleyway Theatre 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, NY 14202 | (716) 852-2600 | www.alleyway.com
THE LIFE AND SLIMES OF MARC SUMMERS by (two-time Tony Award nominee) Alex Brightman, Music by Drew Gasparini, Directed by Chad Rabinovitz, starring Marc Summers
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 live and in person in this one man show about his life and career. Plus, you’ll even get a chance to play Double Dare and take the physical challenge! (Run Dates: September 9th – September 30th)
BABUSHKA! starring Todd Benzin and Don Gervasi. BABUSHKA! is WNY’s most celebrated long-form improv team of Benzin and Gervasi. With one suggestion from the audience, they create an entire evening of on-the-spot performance and comedy. With over 50 years of improv comedy experience combined, BABUSHKA! has been a WNY favorite since 2010. (Run Dates: last Friday and Saturday of every month)
Irish Classical Theatre Company 625 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 | (716) 853-ICTC (4282) | www.irishclassical.com
BELFAST GIRLS by Jaki McCarrick 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. (Run Dates: September 22nd – October 15th)
The Kavinoky Theatre 320 Porter Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201 | (716) 829-7668 | www.kavinokytheatre.com
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME by Heidi Schreck, Directed by Robyn Lee Horn. 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. (Run Dates: September 8th – September 24th)
MusicalFare Theatre 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226 | (716) 839-8540 | www.musicalfare.com
GUYS AND DOLLS, score by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrow. It 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. Telling the story of a group of small-time gamblers and the ladies in their lives, Guys and Dolls features a classic score by Frank Loesser, including the songs “Luck Be a Lady,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and “A Bushel and a Peck.” (Run Dates: September 6th – October 8th)
O’Connell & Company 4110 Bailey Avenue, Amherst, NY 14226 | (716) 848-0800 www.oconnellandcompany.com
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Book by Harvey Fierstein, Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman, Based on the play by Jean Poiret. 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. (Run Dates: September 22nd – October 8th)
Road Less Traveled Productions 456 Main Street Buffalo NY 14202 | (716) 629-3069 www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org
MURDER BALLAD by Juliana Nash & Julia Jordan. Murder Ballad is the dramatic story of a love triangle gone wrong, centering on Sara, an uptown girl who seems to have it all with husband Michael, but whose Downtown past with bad boy Tom lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. Murder Ballad is an exploration of love, lust, and betrayal set to a killer musical score. (Run Dates: September 14th – October 15th)
Ujima Company, Inc., Second Generation Theatre, Shea’s 710 Theater, Co-Production Presented by SaveonSP 710 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202 | (716) 847-0850 | https://secondgenerationtheatre.com
THE COLOR PURPLE music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray, and a book by Marsha Norman, based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker and its 1985 film adaptation. A musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story. With a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love, and a celebration of life. (Run Dates: September 14th – October 1st)
Shea’s Smith Theatre Shea’s Smith Theatre, 646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202 | (716) 847-0850 | www.sheas.org
DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY Presented by Shea’s and Albert Nocciolino. Dixie Longate is the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma’s Tupperware party into the 21st century. Audiences howl with laughter as Dixie demonstrates the many alternatives uses for the iconic plastic kitchen staple. Filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, audience participation and a little bit of empowerment and homespun wisdom, Dixie’s Tupperware Party leaves your heart a little bigger and your food a little fresher. (Run Dates: September 19th – September 24th)
Starring Buffalo Bittersweet Piano Lounge at Hotel at the Lafayette, 391 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 | www.starringbuffalo.org
STARRING BUFFALO CABARET: AN EVENING OF SONGS WITH THE STARS. A new musical theatre revue and cocktail party featuring Starring Buffalo’s signature combination of Broadway, Buffalo, and student performers. Cocktail attire. (Show Date: September 22nd)
Stay tuned for the announcement of the Curtain Up! 2023 Main Street Party free entertainment roster. Complete details regarding Curtain Up! 2023 may be found online at: https://tda-wny.com/
About Theatre District Association of WNY, Inc.: Founded in 1979, Theatre District Association of Western New York, Inc. is a not-for-profit community association dedicated to the promotion of the health and well-being of Buffalo’s neighborhood known as the Theatre District. It is our goal to foster public awareness and appreciation of the unique aspects of the Theatre District as an urban cultural neighborhood and to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas which may affect the welfare of the District and its members and to promote dialogue with other agencies or organizations which may impact our neighborhood. TDA focuses attention on neighborhood cleanup and physical improvement, and encourages programs for safety and security. TDA also participates in the development and production of public events which showcase the Theatre District and promote its economic development and growth