Curtain Up!

Friday, September 20th, 2019 is the 38th Curtain Up! Event which celebrates the opening of the theatre season in Buffalo and the continued strength of the Theatre District that has played a large role in Buffalo’s Resurgence. It is a unique event that involves three “Acts” in one evening.

Theatre District Association of Western New York and

M&T Bank_341_CMYK

cordially invite you to join us for
the 38th annual celebration of the opening of
Buffalo’s professional theatre season.

Act I
38th Annual Gala Dinner at 500 Pearl

New location! Open Bar and Hor’s d’oeuvres Reception!  Valet Parking!
Gala Dinner tickets are $100 ($110 after September 3)

Act II
Participating Theatre Productions

The Curtain goes Up! at 8pm on the beginning of the theatre season. Participating productions are included below. Contact a theatre to reserve your seats!

Free Street Party on Main Street

Live Music! Street Performers! Food Trucks!
After the theatre, join the party on Main Street until 1am to celebrate!

Alleyway Theatre

1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, NY 14202
716-852-2600 x0

NAVIGATORS by Gordon Farrell

Fresh off his Broadway Hit play Lifespan Of A Fact, Gordon Farrell continues his longstanding connection with Alleyway Theatre with the premiere of his latest juicy play. Imagine… a night of sailing with a political family casting off for deep secrets! It’s an exciting start to Alleyway’s 40th season starring Chris J Handley, Sandra Roberts and Tom Owen, directed by Neal Radice.

(Run dates: September 12–October 5, Thu-Sat at 7:30 PM.)

All seats $38

Brazen-Faced Varlets


Rust Belt Books
415 Grant Street, Buffalo, NY  14215

Heather recounts her childhood growing up gay in a strict, religious, Jehovah’s Witness household. 

(Run dates: Sep 20-Oct 6, Fri at 8 PM, Sat and Sun at 2 PM)

All seats $15

Buffalo United Artists


Alleyway Cabaret
672 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202

Josh and Brennan are about to get married in Palm Springs on a lovely Saturday afternoon. However, the night before turns into a drunken, drug-fueled scream riot because one of the guests becomes more and more furious about a stipulation on the wedding invitation: “Please refrain from wearing bright colors or bold patterns.” In the struggle for equality, what do we really want? What do we lose? And, is there any cocaine left? New York Times Critic’s Pick. Starring James Cichocki, directed by Carly Weiser.

(Run dates: Sep 13-Oct 4, Fri and Sat at 8 PM)

All seats $25

Irish Classical Theatre Company


625 Main Street, Buffalo, NY  14203
716-853-ICTC (4282)

The dreadful demise of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers in Romeo & Juliet and the unrestrained passion of his Othello are arguably eclipsed by this rarely revived 17th Century Jacobean drama.  Written a generation later and similar in theme and structure, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore is one of the most poignant, passionate and disturbing tragedies written for the early modern stage. This tale of forbidden love, deception and gruesome revenge will provoke the mind and disquiet the heart.  Swept up by an inexorable vortex of deadly desire, Annabella and Giovanni risk eternal damnation by consummating their love in defiance of society, the law and the Church.  In this world rife with corruption, greed and misogyny, who will bear the blame, and who will pay the price?

(Run dates: Thu-Sat 7:30PM, Sat at 3PM, Sun at 2PM)

All seats $60

The Kavinoky Theatre

HAIRSPRAY by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Based on the movie by John Waters

320 Porter Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201

It’s 1962 Baltimore and plus-sized teenager Tracy Turnblad has one dream: to dance on The Corny Collins Show. When the African-American students teach her some of their dance moves, Tracy transforms into a star-using her newfound fame to advocate for racial integration on the TV show. This hit musical’s beautiful message of acceptance and progress teaches us all to look past the color of one’s skin and fight for the equal rights of every human being.

(Run dates: Sep 6-Oct 6)

$45/general, $40/seniors, military. Discounts available for students and groups

MusicalFare Theatre

WEST SIDE STORY, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226

Returning to its core as a young, desperate love story with its heart based in the streets, MusicalFare’s production will be re-imagined for its intimate space, enabling audiences to experience the show as if seeing it for the very first time.  

(Run dates: Sep 4–Oct 6)

$47/general, $17/student

New Phoenix Theatre On The Park 

IZZY a musical revue by Jim Santella and Grant Golden

95 Johnson Park, Buffalo, NY 14201

Izzy celebrates the musical tour de force of one of Buffalo‘s most famous, glorious, but unheralded composers, Israel Freel! An almost musical superstar who almost changed the world.
(Run dates: Sep 20-Oct 19 at 8 PM)

$30/general, $20/Student & Senior

O’Connell & Company

GENTLEMEN PREFER DIVAS: BROADWAY LEGENDS Created and written by Mary Kate O’Connell

Shea’s Smith Theatre
658 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

One Night Only – join us for a fabulous celebration of BROADWAY LEGENDS. Salute famous shows and performers that have graced Buffalo’s stages, from Shea’s to Melody Fair and every stage in-between. Hear about private backstage moments with these BROADWAY LEGENDS and relive stories from these wonderful shows that have entertained global audiences for decades!

(Run date: September 20) 


Road Less Traveled Productions 


456 Main Street Buffalo NY 14202

“The West is what you make of it. Outside of that it doesn’t exist.” So says Ash Upson to Pat Garrett after he arrives unexpectedly at Garrett’s failing ranch in Las Cruces. Decades after the deed, Garrett is living out his life as “The Man Who Shot Billy the Kid”. Or is he? When Upson confronts him with an audacious proposition and a very much alive Billy the Kid, Garrett must decide what to make of his past memories and, more importantly, his future legacy; if Billy the Kid is alive, then who is Pat Garrett? With creativity and skill, this tantalizing “what-if” scenario blends fact and fiction in a drama that is at times both funny and unnerving as it first questions and then deconstructs our personal and cultural mythmaking. Directed By Scott Behrend 

(Run dates: Sep 12-Oct 6, Thu-Sat at 7:30 PM, Sun at 2:00 PM)

$39/general, $22/student, $5/student Thursday

Subversive Theatre Collective

CATCH-22  by Joseph Heller

The Manny Fried Playhouse
255 Great Arrow Avenue, Suite #302, Buffalo, NY 14207

Don’t miss this rare production of Joseph Heller’s own stage adaptation of his off-the-wall anti-war novel that continues to inspire anti-authoritarians everywhere! This deliciously sour ridicule of war-mongers, depraved bureaucrats, and self-serving demagogues is needed now more than ever in a land drowning in its own hypocrisies.

(Run dates: Sep 6-28 Thu-Sat at 7:30 PM)

$30/general, $25/students, seniors and members. All Thursday performances are pay-what-you-can.

Ujima Company, Inc.

PIPELINE by Dominique Morisseau

429 Plymouth Ave., Suite #2
Buffalo, NY, 14213

The title refers to the school-to-prison pipeline that is so often discussed but remains unresolved. Nya Pittman, an inner-city public high school teacher, places her son in a private school in an attempt to ensure that he will not suffer the same fate as her students. Other unforeseen problems arise at the school and her son is threatened with expulsion. Now her decisions and efforts to provide safety clash with his suppressed rage and insecurity. Pipeline is a story about all of us and what we do or don’t do to stop the flow.

(Run dates: Sep 13 – Oct 6, Thu-Sat at 7 PM, Sun at 4 PM)

$30/general, $25/senior, $15/student