Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

March 14, 2013

Faba may close out directing career with 'Over the Tavern'

Niagara Gazette — Hal Faba has wanted to direct “Over the Tavern” for a while, so it seems fitting that the play may very well be his final directoral effort.

Faba, 84, a veteran performer in the area, was drawn to “Over the Tavern,” because of his roots in the Fruitbelt of Buffalo. 

The play, written by Buffalonian Tom Dudzickk, is about a Polish Catholic family that lives over a tavern in Buffalo and, while written as a comedy, examines some of life’s biggest questions.

While Faba was raised in a German Baptist family, most of his friends were Polish Catholics and he was the leader of a Polish band in high school.  While Faba’s been away from directing plays for the past few years, due to health issues,  directing “Over the Tavern,” through six weeks of nightly rehearsals and the last two weekends of productions, has distracted him from the constant pain he battles in his legs and hands from neuropathy. “This play has gotten my mind off of it,” he said. “I enjoy directing it so much.”

“But, this will be my last play unless my health allows me to do more,” he said.

If it is his last production, it will be a very satisfying one. He loves his cast and the performances they’ve been giving, including one special dinner theater rendition at the new Topper Social Club on 19th Street. 

From a seat in the Woodbox Theater, he described the cast members and then reenacted a scene in the play between the husband and wife, arguing over the woman in the husband’s life. Faba is deeply impressed at how well his actors do the scene. 

“He says to her, ‘you’re my first, you’re my last. You’re my only,’” Faba says, using his own venerable skills to bring the lines alive. “And then they kiss,” he continued. “It’s beautiful. Just beautiful.”

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