by Susan Braun

If you want to catch fine performances by two of Buffalo’s most accomplished actors, Anne Gayley and Roz Kramer, take yourselves to the Kavinoky Theatre to see them reprise the roles they played 20 years when Peter Schafer’s comedic play Lettice and Lovage was first produced. The show, which opened on Friday, April 30th, is directed by Kathleen Gaffney. Lettice Douffet (Anne Gayley) is a tour guide at an old British mansion that does not have an exciting historical past. To make up for this perceived lack, Lettice embellishes the facts with great enthusiasm until she is unceremoniously fired by Lotte Shoen, the Human Resources Manager at the British Preservation offices.

Conflicts between creativity and fact are quickly resolved as Lottie, suffering from guilt, comes to visit Lettice at her apartment. She brings information about a new job as well as a glowing letter of recommendation. Lettice invites her to “quaff” a potent English cordial which she concocts using an herb called lovage. And so begins a new friendship.

For information about tickets and show times, contact the Kavinoky Theater at either 716-881-7668 or www.kavinokytheatre.com.

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by Susan Braun

If you’re looking for an evening of laughter and intrigue, may we suggest The 39 Steps currently running at the Kavinoky Theater?

Originally a book by John Buchan, and later adapted for a 1935 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps is a mystery complete with a handsome hero, a beautiful spy and a chase through the countryside!

The Kavinoky Theater is the first in the nation to obtain the rights to produce this play following its run on Broadway and the national tour. And it is quite a production! The cast of 4 actors assume all of the many roles in the play, sometimes changing from one character to another seamlessly right in front of the audience by a mere change of hat!

Chris Corporandy does a masterful job in the role of Richard Hannay, the debonair leading man. Jenn Stafford shines as three “femmes fatale” including a German spy and a Scottish housewife. And David Lundy and Robert Rutland make quite the team as they play “a cast of characters” ranging from hotel owners to policemen to vaudeville actors to a married couple.

The very clever and imaginative use of simple stage props, special effects and music literally steals the show. A shadow puppet scene set in the countryside in the dark of night includes an airplane swooping down a la North by Northwest. It’s one of a number of references to other Hitchcock films. And of course, everyone knows Mr. Hitchcock makes an appearance in all of his films. Look carefully and you may find him lurking in the shadows!!

The 39 Steps will be on stage at the Kavinoky Theater until December 6th. For more information about the show and tickets, visit www.kavinokytheatre.com

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