Presents: musicalfare 24 hours (MF24H)
At 8pm on June 22, 2013 at 710 Main THEATRE (formerly Studio Arena) in Buffalo's Theatre district, MusicalFare Theatre held its 2nd annual presentation of MF24H: MusicalFare 24 Hours.
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW, FEATURING HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PERFORMANCE AND BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE!
Creativity happens daily at MusicalFare Theatre as shows are constantly being created, developed and produced.
What would happen if that ENTIRE PROCESS was done in 24 hours? - From the idea, to the writing, to the rehearsal, to the production?
MusicalFare 24 Hours (MF24H) brings an entirely new idea to Buffalo Niagara. The 24 hour creation, development and production of FOUR short musicals and their world premieres.
MF24H featured a multitude of local theatre artists, in a celebration of the energy and creativity that epitomizes the new Buffalo!
How it all works:
Below, you will find iconic photos of Buffalo in 4 categories --architecture, landscape, community and industry – and the general public was invited to vote on their favorite photograph in each category with web-polls.
On the evening of Friday, June 21st, WAS is a “Kick Off” reception at 710 Main Theatre where the winning photograph in each category was announced and assigned to one of the creative teams as the inspiration for their musical. Each team consisted of writers, composers, directors and actors (writers, composers and directors are listed below).
At that point, the writers/composers/directors went to rehearsal spaces to conceptualize and write their mini-musicals (overnight). The actors then reported at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 22nd to their creative team to begin rehearsals. The musicals were taught, rehearsed and memorized to be performed (off-book!) at 710 Main Theatre at 8pm that night.
Official casts for the 4 musicals at MF24H:
Writers: Randy Kramer and Donna Hoke
Director: Doug Weyand
Cast: Diane Curley, Wendy Hall, John Kaczorowski, Guy Tomassi
Writers: Jason Bravo and Jon Elston
Director: Scott Behrend
Cast: Tara Kaczorowski, Kevin Kennedy, Nick Lama, Renee Landrigan
Writers: Theresa Quinn and Michael Walline
Director: Michael Walline
Cast: Nicole Marrale Cimato, Dudney Joseph, Laura Mikolajczyk, Katy Miner, Doug Weyand, Michael Zito
Writers: Phil Farugia, Brandon Barry and Chris Kelly
Director: Chris Kelly
Cast: Kerrykate Abel, Joe Demerly, Maria Droz, Alan Trinca
PUBLIC VOTING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS
Each of the 4 mini-musicals is based on an individual photograph which YOU, the general public, got to choose by popular vote!
The photographs were divided into 4 categories: ARCHITECTURE, COMMUNITY, INDUSTRY and LANDSCAPE. Each photo is an iconic image of the people, places or things of Western New York.
VOTING IS NOW COMPLETE. The winning photos, per category are:
Architecture - photo A
Community - photo F
Industry - photo L
Landscape - photo O
HERE ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHS, PER CATEGORY:
Photo Credits (alphabetically): Patricia Layman Bazelon/Courtesy CEPA Gallery, Buffalo History Museum, Colin Dabkowski, Dr. Mark Donnelly, Michael Walline Photography, Douglas W. and Linda Weyand.
REACTION FROM THE PRESS to THE INAUGURAL MF24H in 2011:
VIDEO PREVIEW from THE BUFFALO NEWS:
THE BUFFALO NEWS - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - by Colin Dabkowski (review):
After 4 years of darkness, joyful audience embraces the opening of 710 Main Theatre.
Former Studio Arena Comes Roaring Back.
On a February night in 2008, several teary-eyed staffers of Studio Arena Theatre joined a nearly sell-out crowd to watch the final moments of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Buffalo institution’s last full production before it vanished from the cultural landscape for good.
On Saturday night, as many of those same audience members and former staffers looked on, the storied space at the edge of Buffalo’s Theater District came roaring back to life.
The revival of the 625-seat theater, now known as The 710 Main Theatre, comes after a nearly four-year hiatus during which Shea’s Performing Arts Center President and CEO Anthony Conte patiently waited for several banks to relinquish their claims to the building and for the grueling bankruptcy process to play out.
The occasion for the first public event at the theater since 2008 was MusicalFare Theatre’s 24-hour musical festival, dubbed “MF24H,” a whimsical fundraiser for the theater in which four teams of writers, actors, musicians and directors were given a mere 24 hours to write, rehearse and stage four distinct pieces of musical theater.
The atmosphere in the building on Saturday night was electric as beaming patrons flowed through the doors and into a large auditorium that looked completely unchanged from four years ago. One patron, Bob Beiswanger, remarked that he half-expected a musty smell and some accumulated dust — but a month of work on the building to get it back into shape allayed those fears.
The first musical of the evening was Donna Hoke and Jason Bravo’s rickety, minor-key reflection on loss inspired by a photograph of Larry Griffis’ Bidwell Parkway sculpture as inspiration. The second, Jon Elston and Billy Horn’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek Buffalo love letter about a washed-up pop music writer-producer, played by Jeffrey Coyle, and a punky young duo, played by Maria Droz and Megan Callahan, was a crowd favorite.
At intermission, as happy patrons milled around the theater’s lobby and bought drinks from the bar in its reopened lounge, MusicalFare Artistic and Executive Director Randall Kramer reflected on the evening’s significance to the city.
“It’s fantastic. They’ve done a great job with it. It feels like it did, maybe even better than it did, four, five years ago,” he said. “We’ve got a space in the heart of this city vibrant again, working again.”
Former Studio Arena subscribers Judy Balcerzak and her husband, Frank, said they were happy to see the building back in action after so many years of dormancy.
“They did a super job. It brings back a lot of memories,” Frank Balcerzak said, with Judy adding that she hoped the theater space would slowly make its way back to prominence.
The evening closed out with a performance from the upcoming MusicalFare production of “Hair!” and two more musicals.
For Kramer, and at least judging by the healthy attendance and loud applause, the evening was a fitting reopening of one of the city’s most important theaters.
“Even with how long it took to save this building, in the big picture it was the right thing to do,” Kramer said. “If you saved it three years ago, you would have had such a debt load, you couldn’t be successful. Now the debt’s gone, they’re starting from scratch and they can actually be successful.”
THE BUFFALO NEWS - June 22, 2012 - by Colin Dabkowski (preview):
The lights are about to go back up on one of the most important stages in Western New York. On Saturday, the 710 Main Theatre (710 Main St.) at the edge of Buffalo’s Theater District will host its first public show since its former tenant, Studio Arena Theatre, went belly-up in 2008.
MusicalFare Theatre, the popular Amherst-based company, will have the honor of inaugurating the renamed space with its 24-hour musical festival. The festival begins tonight with a VIP reception during which four teams assembled by MusicalFare director Randall Kramer receive their assignments for a mini-musical. The teams will spend one long, caffeine-fueled night writing their scripts, cast their shows in the morning, rehearse them in the afternoon and present their polished final products on the theater’s stage at 8 p.m. Saturday.
ARTVOICE - June 14, 2012 - by Anthony Chase (preview):
As the future of the old Palace Burlesque at 710 Main Street slowly takes shape—that’s the building best known as the former Studio Arena—the first event out of the box is inventive and locally produced, and promises to be spectacularly fun. MusicalFare’s inaugural 24 Hour Musical Festival will take place in the facility on Saturday, June 23 at 8pm.
The intentionally daft concept is this: What might happen if the entire collaborative process of creating an original musical took place in just 24 hours?
MusicalFare, the Snyder-based musical theater, will create, develop, and stage four short musicals at 710 Main, in just one day. MF24H will feature a multitude of local theater artists.
Writers, composers, directors, and actors will be organized into four teams. Then, the event description tell us, “on the evening of Friday, June 22nd, there will be a reception at 710 Main Street where major donors will be viewing photos in 4 categories relating to Buffalo/Western New York: architecture, landscape, community and industry. They will then vote on their favorite photo in each category. The four winning photos will be assigned to one of the creative teams as the inspiration for their musical.”
Then, it’s guaranteed pandemonium as the artists go to rehearsal spaces to whip the elements they’ve been given into four original musicals inspired by sights and stories of Buffalo-Niagara.
The actors will report at 9am on Saturday, June 23 to begin rehearsals. These brand new shows will be rehearsed and memorized, to be performed (from memory!) at 710 Main Street at 8pm that same night.
Writing/directing participants include The Albrights, Scott Behrend, Jason Bravo, Jon Elston, Donna Hoke, Chris Kelly, Randall Kramer, Billy Horn, Marc Sacco and Michael Walline.
The actors are Todd Benzin, Megan Callahan, Charmagne Chi, Jeffrey Coyle, Maria Droz, J.R. Finan, Ellen Horst, Tara Kaczorowski, Katy Miner, Jennifer Swart Mysliwy, Kelli Bocock Natale, Loraine O’Donnell, Ben Puglisi, Michele Marie Roberts, Steven Sitzman, Matt Witten, and Dawn Woollacott.
MF24H is sponsored, in part, by: