Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

May 8, 2014

Area theaters take a step back to 1937 with "Of Mice and Men" and "You Can't Take It With You"

Niagara Gazette — It’s 1937 all over again on area stages. “You Can’t Take It with You” and “Of Mice & Men,” Broadway contemporaries 77 years ago, both opened Friday, separated by content and a continent, unified in their depiction of loyalty in desperate times.

“OF MICE & MEN” – Woodbox Theater at the NAAC, Pine & Portage, meets the challenge of John Steinbeck’s grim, enlightening mini-saga. Two drifters, George small and canny, Lenny huge and simple, wander into a California ranch to find the ways and means of independence.

Sami Grawe efficiently directs Chris Best and Tim Kordela, Best playing down his own years to capture George’s conflicted sense of duty in his rolling eyes, Kordela splendid as the helpless man-child, obsessively twisting at his shirt-tail. He makes you laugh, and feel guilty for it.

Support comes from Bob Priest as maimed old Candy and his last-legs dog; Peter-Mark Raphael singularly sinister as Curly (ironic, in view of his hairstyle); Drew Krause as the savvy mule-skinner Slim; Paul Everett as the sullenly segregated Crooks; Savanna Easton as the voluptuous vamp; ex-ump Sam Granieri, with the task of making the final call on the dog and peppy young John Macomber.

The dog, Arrow, Priest’s own, scores a bullseye.

The set is spare and often effective, the cast eager and sincere. Slim says, “You don’t need no smarts to be a nice guy,” and you don’t need an Equity card to bring “Mice & Men” to life.

“YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU” – On a set that redefines “garage-sale chic,” Niagara Regional Guild stages this sprawling comedy as a farce fresh out of finishing school. Few doors slam but the motion is perpetual, even when Alice Sycamore (Sarah Stroka, a dreamboat in blue) intersects the trajectory of dart-throwing Grandpa Vanderhof (Chuck Slisz, faithfully genial).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Night & Day
  • Fair 2014 Niagara County Fair sticks with tried-and-true attractions

    The 2014 Niagara County Fair will be held Wednesday through Sunday at the county fairgrounds, Lake Avenue.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hagar preview art 072414 Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony talks Sammy Hagar and fast cars Claudio Zampolli is the person that can be credited with making Tuesday's show at Artpark possible. Billed as "A Journey Through the History of Rock, " the show features what some rock fans may call the better half of Van Halen, or at least the better half of what has been dubbed as "Van Hagar," the temporary marriage of two rock giants of the 1980s that resulted in some amazing music.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Jennings column art 072414 Trio of acts make their triumphant returns They say all good things come in threes so we will be looking at three shows coming to the region this weekend, including a supergroup trio, a band out of Denver and a guy that has Carolina on his mind.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD temptations 072414 art 1 Temptations set to play Riviera Theatre Even those who are young enough to not have grown up in the Temptations' heyday are still likely to be able to identify one of their hits. Even if they can't say that it was the Temptations who wrote the song, most people know at least some of the words to "My Girl."

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Early tickets for Buffalo Philharmonic concerts now available The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is offering a chance to lock in your favorite seats to six of the season's highlights.

    July 24, 2014

  • NAD Calleri review art 072414 CALLERI: Two new films highlight the merits of movie stars

    In the truly great classic "Sunset Boulevard," the character of Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star, says in reference to her former fame: "I am big, it's the pictures that got small."

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Artpark advance art 072114 3 Doors Down close out Wednesday series at Artpark Wednesday Night's 3 Doors Down concert is the final in the 2014 Coors Light Wednesday series, the younger counterpart to the popular Tuesday night series that continues through August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Artpark review art 071714 Megadeth brings the metal to fans at Artpark It was mega-loud and mega-fast at Artpark Tuesday night as soon as thrash metal pioneers Megadeth hit the stage for a 90-minute set. Dave Mustaine and crew performed to an enthusiastic albeit smaller than usual crowd mostly clad in black clothing.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sara Bareilles 1 SLIDESHOW: Sara Bareilles takes the Artpark stage

    Pop diva Sara Bareilles was so good that even an hour long rainstorm couldn't drive her fans away. 

    July 17, 2014 6 Photos

  • NAD Jennings column art 071714 JENNINGS: Aretha Franklin, Tom Cochrane coming to town this week This week's column will focus on three shows coming to the Niagara region this week, all artists I am very familiar with so this offering will be a bit more on the personal side than usual. Those three shows are, Tom Cochrane with Kim Mitchell, Aretha Franklin and Theory of a Deadman.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page