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2020. It’s hard to believe we’re here already. And it’s even harder to believe it was two decades ago when we were all worrying about the potential impact of “Y2K.” And now we’re on to another decade. Well, hopefully myself and my theatrical colleagues have gotten better at creating theatre. And hopefully that has led to greater experiences in the theatre for you, our audience. Let’s see if we can continue to build on the past in 2020. I know that’s my intention.

January, due to its placement right after the holidays and during the dead of winter, is usually a relatively light theatre month. And this year is no exception. The Kavinoky theatre is the first out of the gate with their regional premiere production of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY by Jason Robert Brown. It opens January 10th. I have long considered Jason Robert Brown one of the pre-eminent composer/lyricists of our time. The following week on Jan. 16th features another regional premiere, THE ANTIPODES by Annie Baker. This play is hailed as a “darkly humorous and incisive look at the absurdity of the human condition and our relentless need to order our disordered world.” Wow – that’s a mouthful! The following night on January 17th Irish Classical Theatre returns to the works of William Shakespeare with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. This performance is a special collaboration with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and will be performed on the stage of Kleinhans Music Hall from January 17th – 19th only. Also opening on January 17th is THE ANASTASIA TRIALS IN THE COURT OF WOMEN by Brazen Faced Varlets. This is billed as a play with intense audience participation, so be prepared! Theatre of Youth opens its production of MISS NELSON IS MISSING on January 25th. MISS NELSON IS MISSING is recommended for children 6 and up. That same night, January 24th, features a one-time only performance of THE ILLUSIONISTS on the stage at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Finally, and also on the 24th, Agatha Christie’s THE MOUSETRAP opens at the Lancaster Opera House.

Cabaret performances this month at the Premier Cabaret at MusicalFare include NASHVILLE 2 NEW YORK, featuring the original songs of Jaclyn Brown and Ryan Kaminski, on January 10th, A TRIBUTE TO DOLLY PARTON, LINDA RONSTADT & EMMYLOU HARRIS on January 18th (tickets only available for the matinee performance) and THE EVERLY BROTHERS, featuring Joe Donahue and Brandon Barry, on February 1st. All other January cabaret performances are already sold out.

Enjoy your new decade!

Randall Kramer is the Artistic and Executive Director of MusicalFare Theatre, the Immediate Past President of the Board of the Arts Services Initiative, a steering committee member of the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance and a past President of the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo.