by Ed Healy


A visit to the Kavinoky Theater begins with a very pleasant surprise. After stepping inside a rather generic, institutional looking building on the campus of D’Youville College on Buffalo’s West Side you are quite improbably transported to London’s West End as you enter a charming jewel box of a theater complete with balcony and boxes done in a lavish turn-of-the-century style. It’s one of the genuine pleasures of attending a show at the Kavinoky Theater – it’s a very cool space and there are no bad seats in this very intimate setting.

The Kavinoky Theater company – as opposed to the building itself – also offers theatergoers a very pleasant surprise. This small organization, working in a relatively small, out-of-the-way space consistently puts on high level, artistically compelling productions that are worthy of far larger entities in far larger cities. A typical Kavinoky season is an eclectic mix of musicals, comedies, premieres of new work, and dramas by stalwarts like Buffalo’s A.R. Gurney. What links this potpourri of theater is a dedication to high production values and outstanding local talent.

The theater’s current production is a case in point. “Hot n’ Cole” is a celebration of the work of great American songbook composer Cole Porter. It’s a revue with an attitude and features six dynamic performers, as well as two very talented pianists. Classics of the Cole Porter canon such as “Anything Goes,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Love for Sale,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,” and “Night and Day” are featured in a variety of unexpected arrangements and styles sung by a constantly changing array of cast combinations. The show has energy and panache and the set – a stylized rendering of New York’s Chrysler Building – sets the right tone and creates the perfect ambience for the songs of the very urbane Cole Porter.

“Hot n’ Cole” runs through April 5th. For more information, call (716) 829-7668 or visit